Energetic Cleanse: Forest Bathing
I write to share two very special things with you: First, a practice recorded in the Redwoods to capture the healing and cleansing energies of the trees and waters. Ancient civilizations respected used both trees and water for their cleansing and nourishing properties, and more recently the Japanese culture has documented this with a practice called "Shenrin Yoku" ... which means "Forest Bathing."
When we pause to consider what Forest Bathing alludes to, it means the trees are literally washing us clean as we enter into their energy field. I have come to understand that each tree has this ability to cleanse us, and most all of the trees are able and choose to help humanity in this way, regardless of whether we realize it consciously or not. The energies in this recording will helpfully support you in feeling this cleanse!
The Forest Bathing energies are complimented with fresh flowing stream water from a spring rain. All water carries information and the water in this stream is from a recent spring rainfall in an area that is now well watered ... you can hear and feel it joyously bubbling with life as it flows down to lower ground. Such a lovely combination for cleansing and energizing us along our journey.
Second, I write to share the foreword of one of my favorite books The Hidden Life of Trees, by Peter Wholleben. (You can find the book in its entirety and purchase it here). The foreword to this groundbreaking and truly amazing book is written by Tim Flannery, here goes:
"We read in fairy tales of trees with human faces, trees that can talk, and sometimes walk. This enchanted forest is the kind of place, I feel sure, that Peter Wholleben inhabits. His deep understanding of the lives of trees, reached through decades of careful observation and study, reveals a world so astonishing that if you read his book, I believe that forests will become magical places to you, too.
One reason that many of us do not understand trees is that they live on a different time scale than us. One of the oldest trees on earth, a spruce in Sweden, is 9,500 years old. That's 115 times longer than the average human lifetime. Creatures with such a luxury of time on their hands can afford to take things at a leisurely pace. The electrical impulses that pass through the roots of trees, for example, are at the slow rate of 1/3 of an inch per second. But why, you might ask, do trees pass electrical impulses through their tissues at all?
The answer is that trees need to communicate, and electrical impulses are just one of their many means of communication. Trees also use the senses of smell and taste for communication. If a giraffe starts eating on an African acacia, the tree releases a chemical into the air that signals that a threat is at hand. The chemical drifts through the air and reaches other trees, they "smell" it and are warned of the danger. Even before the giraffe reaches them, they begin producing toxic chemicals. Insect pests are dealt with slightly differently. The saliva of a leaf-eating insect can be "tasted" by the leaf being eaten. In response, the tree sends our a chemical signal that attracts predators that feed on that particular leaf-eating insect. Life in the slow lane is clearly not always dull.
But the most astonishing thing about trees is how social they are. Trees in a forest care for each other, sometimes even going so far as to nourish the stump of a felled tree for centuries after it was cut down by feeding it sugars and other nutrients, and so keeping it alive. Only some stumps are thus nourished. Perhaps they are the parents of the trees that make up the forest of today. A tree's most important means of staying connected to other trees is a "wood wide web" of soil fungi that connects vegetation in an intimate network that allows the sharing of an enormous amount of information and goods. Scientific research aimed at understanding the astonishing abilities of this partnership between fungi and plant has only just begun.
The reason trees share food and communicate is that they need each other. It takes a forest to create a microclimate suitable for tree growth and sustenance. So it's not surprising that that isolated trees have far shorter lives than those living connected together in forests. Perhaps the saddest plants of all are those that we have enslaved in our agricultural system. They seem to have lost the ability to communicate, and, as Wholleben says, are isolated by their silence. "Perhaps farmers can learn from the forests and breed a little more wildness back into their grain and their potatoes," he advocates, "so that they'll be more talkative in the future."
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Lisa Marie Haley