Each morning the first thing I do is to go sit out under the Catalpa tree.
I arrange myself on my red, heart shaped plush pillow, wrap myself up in blankets, and close my eyes.
Now you might be imagining this beautifully landscaped, clean, picturesque scene. You can go with that if you’d like, but the reality is that there’s a half falling over wood pile behind the tree, garbage and recycling bins next to it, and a wooden bench that really needs refinishing on the other side.
I don’t mind any of it. It’s the tree I want to be with.
The fresh, crisp morning air feels so good as I breathe. The birds sing. The tree’s canopy glows in the morning sun. It really is a beautiful way to wake up.
I sit there, and my mind tries to be helpful by composing articles like this one, singing me songs or reminding me of things to do. It’s like an over eager, well meaning young friend. I patiently watch it with one part of my consciousness, but there is another part of me that goes deeper.
I follow my breath into this place in my heart. I like to think of it as the sanctuary of my soul. It’s very spacious and peaceful there.
At some point I invite my mind to join me in that spacious soul space, and this little, happy, childlike voice in me says, “Hi God.”
A vast, loving, totally content presence answers back “Good morning, Katrina.”
From there meditation becomes easier.
My awareness dances between the flow of my breath, the pulse of my heart, the acrobatics of my mind, and the limitless feeling within from which came that simple yet profound “Good morning.”
All the while there is the presence of the tree. She (it seems like a she, though I don’t know if trees do the whole gender thing) stands behind me, her roots in the earth beneath me, her branches spread out above me, heart shaped leaves and long seed pods dangling all around.
The tree feels like a friend. She likes it when I come sit under her, when I kiss one of her leaves to say “Good morning,” or when I admire her from further back so I can see her shape and color more completely. Her beauty enhances the quality of my meditation and my life.
There is a presence that I feel in my meditation, and I’m certain it’s the tree. It’s a part of nature that I can connect with on this level of being open and sensitive. It’s very comforting, kind, accepting, sweet.
You can do this too. Any tree will do. Or even a plant you particularly like. Each will have its own vibration, of course, but I think there is an element that they share; an ability of nature to nurture, to love, to care for those who choose to pay attention.
- If you have an experience you’d like to share about meditating in nature, I’d love to hear about it! Please post a comment below and light up this sacred little corner of the web with inspiration.
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