Originally posted by Bruce Baker
Does anyone meditate with a Tree?
Yep. Every time I take a hike or a bike ride through the woods (couple times a week, usually -- despite my own case of Meniere's, Bruce).
Do I exchange energy and ki with 'em?
Who knows? No way to measure something intangible.
Do I feel better after? Yep. Fresh air, exercise, touching nature instead of this plastic and glass, blue sky overhead, rich dirt under, animals and plants (and it's coming up on mushroom season here in Indiana!) and water and wind.
To sit on the bank of a river, feeling the breeze in my hair and letting the stream tickle toes -- furyu.
I occasionally take the dojo folks out to the woods, too. Training in the open air is like nothing else I know.
Is it meditation? Yes. Is it mystical and magical? Nope. It's life and living and being and experiencing.
I'm not a big fan of Zen (being more a fan of the passion and vigor of the esoteric Buddhism of Marishiten or Fudo Myoo than the antiseptic and static practices of monks), but being outdoors, especially training outdoors, is very much zen in the sense of mindful existence.
I am something of an animist and believe that all things have an intangible spirit. And our own spirits are enriched by frequent trips to the wilds to commune with the greater spirit of the world at large.
Do I sit zazen under a tree or go around hugging 'em? Nope. No need. Walking amonst 'em, training under them, is plenty.
Exchange of energy? Nah. Better tapping into my own energy because I'm doing and being rather than sitting and reading? Yep.