Tree Energy: We Are the Earth


I have an Elm tree I can see from my kitchen window. Its twisted branches reach beyond the house and toward the open sky. Elm trees can grow up to 100 feet. The eye in its trunk faces the window as we look at each other. The eye is as long as my forearm and just as wide. The tear-drop shape perfectly outlines an eye with eyelids.

Lately, I’ve wanted to hug the tree. I’ve lived in my house for over ten years, and I never hugged the tree that was right in front of me. So, one quiet night this summer, I stepped barefoot onto the cool, wet grass in dark blue pajamas. I quickly walked to the Elm tree, aware of my neighbors’ eyes. I wrapped my bare arms around the tree and put my cheek up to its rough bark. I pressed my fingertips into the deep grooves. I connected my concentric fingerprints to the rough bark. I imagined the inside circles of the trunk matching the outside circles of my fingertips.

I felt the tree’s protective and grounding energy. I pushed my chest into the tree’s trunk to see if it would move. The rough bark dug into my bare skin. The smell of smoke from a distant bonfire filled my nose. I thanked the tree and let go.

The Elm tree reminded me that we are part of nature. As I type on a plastic keyboard and look at the words on a glass screen, I realize how separate we are from nature. In the past, I would be writing on paper – made from a tree. The crackle of the paper and the smooth writing surface bring back memories of simpler times.

There are so many connections to trees. There is the tree of life, the symbolism of trees in all religions, Qigong, yoga, the chakras, and even the Christmas tree.

However, my main message is to connect with trees to become grounded. You can connect with tree energy by doing Qigong. I do “Standing Like a Tree” every morning.

Qigong has roots in Chinese medicine and ancient shamanism, extending more than 4,000 years. Qigong is a philosophy that connects with the rhythms and energies of life. These energies are available to everyone on this planet. Anyone can learn how to do Standing Like a Tree.

Here are the steps:

  1. Stand with your feet parallel and shoulder-width apart, toes pointing straight ahead, the knees slightly bent, the back straight but not stiff, and the abdomen relaxed.
  2. Keep your chin up and eyes soft. Relax your face and jaw. Round your arms like holding a beach ball or hugging a small tree’s trunk – the height of your chest or heart area. If you practice Reiki, you can balance your heart chakra while doing Qigong.
  3. If you are inside, look out a window at a tree. Hold your gaze at the tree while standing.
  4. Once you have the position, feel the energy in your body and breathe. The breath is both passive and active, yin and yang. Relax. Soften your hands, wrists, elbows, and shoulders.
  5. Then say in your mind (taken from Master Chunyi Lin, Spring Forest Qigong):

I am in the universe.
The universe is in my body.
The universe and I combine together.

Stay in your posture for five to twenty minutes each day. You can count your exhalations to remain mindful. If you count sixty breaths (exhalations), then it will equal about five minutes.

The energy of the tree and human energy are complimentary. Trees help us reduce stress and balance our energy. Standing Like a Tree can release the extra energy if you have built up energy in your body.

Gina’s Elm Tree, photo by Gina M. Gafford.

I look at my Elm tree every day now. Just by looking at the tree, I can connect with its energy. When I do Qigong or yoga, my body becomes like a tree. I am part of nature. Nature is in my body. Nature and I combine together.


Enjoy reading this article? Read more from Gina M. Gafford



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