Sunday, October 4, 2009

Meditation with an Apple Tree (at Earthstory)

I attended Earthstory near Petersham, Massachusetts last August where I participated in a "deep ecology" workshop inspired by Joanna Macey.

Trishki facilitated a way for each of us to listen to and connect with a tree. She suggested that we go with a question. Mine was something like this: "Why do I feel anxious about the passage of time?" Trishki said, before you choose a tree to sit with, make sure it's willing.

The first tree whose power caught my imagination was a very big, old oak tree. But as I stepped closer, I saw that the tree's base was surrounded by poison ivy. I took that to be a "no." The next tree that caught my imagination was an old, (long unpruned and wild-looking) apple tree whose trunk curved upward in an appealing, reclining way that invited me to sit with my spine, my trunk, aligned with it.

That's what I did. I snuggled until my bottom, back, neck and head were held comfortably by the tree trunk and when I'd done that, I found myself looking at one of its limbs, borne down by many green apples. The tree was holding onto the soil and rocks that my legs and feet felt below, lifting water and nutrients through its trunk behind me, up, out into its fruit, before me. A caress, of sorts.

I listened. My anxiety, it seemed, was about ego. About accomplishing. About proving something. The tree suggested, "Try this: Just be for a while. I will support you. I am strong and healthy, life is abundant here."

So this is my idea of a prayer answered. I have many "gods," alive and around me. They all will speak to me if only I listen.