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Old 04-11-2002, 12:38 PM   #1
Bruce Baker
Dojo: LBI Aikikai/LBI ,NJ
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Meditate with a Tree

Does anyone meditate with a Tree?

Seriously, get friendly, talk to, then exchange energy with trees?

I thought I was the only looney doing it, until I found a picture of O'Sensei with his hands extended to a tree, bokken leaning on the tree? It wasn't until I found this little known Chinese community who uses Chi to heal and they use trees to reenergize their Chi.

I started to think about my childhood of climbing, being in and around trees, whether playing, eating, or sleeping near trees ... and feeling invigorated afterward. When I saw the same principle in this healing book, I thought there might be more than meets the eye in both KI/Chi exchange with nature, and O'Sensei spending so much time with nature?

Seriously, any of you have experience or have teachers who meditate/teach KI who use trees or nature to reenergize?
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Old 04-11-2002, 12:52 PM   #2
Chocolateuke
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Smile

trees are cool! but my question is what do you mean by meditation?? do you mean relaxing and feelign fullfilled or trying to connect with the tree? what is meditation to you??

Dallas Adolphsen
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Old 04-11-2002, 01:20 PM   #3
Lenocinari
 
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Tree huggers.......

Just some input-

I happen to have a fairly large grove of redwood trees in my back yard. I built quite an extensive system of walkways and a tree house so that my friends and I could wittle away the summer hours. I spent many a nights in those trees and I have to say that I would always awaken a lot more refreshed and alert than any time on the ground. Could this be the Mystical Arbor Day Ki we are debating now?
Quite a few years back I invested in a Japanese Maple Bonzai. I keep it in my room and it does bring sense of calm and togetherness to its surroundings.
I'm no expert at all but doesn't Feng Shui (the bringing of positive Chi to a household through room arrangement) have a practice of keeping plants in the room to welcome good Chi? In any case I could be convinced that plants are a good source of Ki. (Possibley because of their direct rooting to the earth?)

Just a few thoughts-
Ben

In order to see the stars, you first have to turn off the lights.
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Old 04-11-2002, 01:28 PM   #4
Kat.C
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Bruce, how do you exchange energy with a tree?
I believe that all living things do have energy and it sure would be nice to restore my depleted supply. Or am I experiencing this energy exchange when I garden, which I find joyful and calming?

Kat

I find the aquisition of knowledge to be relatively easy, it is the application that is so difficult.
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Old 04-11-2002, 06:01 PM   #5
IrimiTom
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Trees (all green plants really) are the main reason why we are all alive. If you think about it, trees actually represent and in their actions fulfill many of the principles we talk about and admire, hope to achieve, etc
in MA and aikido perhaps more specifically: the general image to most people is that animals react to their environment and other organisms and trees just.. are. But a tree has no "fight or flight" response, it has to "blend in" and turn a conflict into harmony (eg. a fungal disease, or a wound).
From a more biological and less metaphorical point of view, trees have no nervous system and yet are in perfect chemical equilibrium with the environment; they are one of the few kinds of organisms (that we can see with the naked eye, at least) that convert solar energy into chemical energy. To me that is transcending in one way or another something animals cannot do that easily (or at all)....
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Old 04-12-2002, 05:52 AM   #6
Jorx
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Talking

I really can't help saying it but I guess ERIC CARTMAN wouldn't be a good Aikidoka in any way!

("You treehuggin' hippie crap!")
(Doesn't believe in chi)
("Dammit b*tch I'll kick you in the nuuuuts!")
(Doesn't believe in non-violence)
("I'm gonna chop off your weenie and put it on some bread and feed it to Kittie")
(Wants to apply bokken techniques in a really weird way)

Jorgen

Oh my God... they killed Kenny...
You bastards!
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Old 04-12-2002, 06:27 AM   #7
erikmenzel
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Well, to each his own,

but,

if the tree would like to exchange energy with me, it should just come to me

It is just a process of coming out. Dont be affraid to tell your tree how much you love him. Be proud and tell your friends and family how much you love your tree. Wear button saying " I love my tree", buy bumperstickers saying " I break for trees" and most important, move to a country where you can marry your tree.

More serious, all interest and acceptance in/with nature is good aikido practise. Just walking, accepting (without any goal, just accepting) and feeling ( not wanting to feel, just feeling) is a great way to find rest and practise the mind in acceptance. (I did not come up with this, Kiichi Hine Sensei told me).
Training somehow is beter after a walk in the fields, having seen the young lambs play!

Erik Jurrien Menzel
kokoro o makuru taisanmen ni hirake
Personal:www.kuipers-menzel.com
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Old 04-12-2002, 08:05 AM   #8
Ghost Fox
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I've done some Taoist meditation/Chi-Kung with trees. It's a very common practice. First we start off standing in front of the tree at about arms length. Next you perform the larger orbit meditation. Breathing in energy down your front centerline, through the perineum down your legs to your feet. Breathing out imagining the energy up you legs back through the perineum, up you spine over you head and out your nose. After you are conformable with that during the in breath do not stop at you feet. Imagine the energy going through the ground towards the tree into the roots up to the top of the tree (Expanding out to every branch and leaf.) On the out breath going back down the tree back out the roots back into your feet etc... You should imagine a continuos circuit between you and the tree. (Sorry for the bad explanation it's easier to show then write.)

You could also sit with your back against the tree. Feeling the energy of the shooting up the tree and penetrating into the ground. You then imagine your own energy doing the same. Here you are trying to be in resonance with the tree. Emulating its energy pattern, merging and sinking into the tree, becoming the tree.

In Ninja spiritual mysticism they do similar exercises with boulders, lakes, and even walls. The idea being that if you can resonate with the energy you are standing against it would be more difficult for sentries and pursuers to detect you.

P.S. Bruce thanks for keeping these forums interesting. I usually agree with the spirit of what you are trying to say and impart.

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Old 04-12-2002, 08:21 AM   #9
Kat.C
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How do you learn to meditate? What exactly is meditation? Is it just breathing? Breathing energy? How do you breathe energy? I know nothing about it at all. Do you learn from a book. What are the benefits?

Kat

I find the aquisition of knowledge to be relatively easy, it is the application that is so difficult.
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Old 04-12-2002, 08:38 AM   #10
Ghost Fox
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My aikijustu instructor used to do shomenuchi ikkyo undo on a tree. He also wrapped his belt around the trund and did Fudokoriundo and judo shoulder thows. He would find a tree of medium size. Not so big as to be immovable and not to small as to be to easily moved. We would bow to the tree in the beginning and at the end of the exersise and say a small thank you. Now a days I give the tree a big hug.

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Old 04-12-2002, 09:36 AM   #11
Ghost Fox
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Quote:
Originally posted by Kat.C
How do you learn to meditate? What exactly is meditation? Is it just breathing? Breathing energy? How do you breathe energy? I know nothing about it at all. Do you learn from a book. What are the benefits?

Gee that's a tough question and a long one to boot.

First it is easier to learn meditation with an instructor. I've trained with Taoist, yogis, Zen Buddhist and other occult schools for over a decade, and a still feel like such a neophyte.

The best definition I ever got was, meditation is the art and science of achieving an alter-state of consciousness. This is not hard to believe since most occultic schools feel like most of mankind exists in a semi-sleep, not truly awake. (States of consciousness: sleep, dreaming, semi-sleep (normal waking consciousness), and awake (most people are rarely truly awake.)) This semi-sleep state allows us to be lead by our emotions even when we know we are doing something wrong (kind of like a dream). When you hear about most violent crimes, the suspect usually says he didn't realize what he was doing, it was almost like it was some else. Also, daydreaming is a slip into an altered-state condition.

Breathing is seen as the doorway into the subconscious (better altered-state of consciousness). Most every other autonomic function is out of out direct control (e.g. heart rate, digestion etc...). Breathing is easily controlled by our conscious will, and that what gives us an opening into the altered-states. By slowing our breathing our brain wave begins to switch from a beta state to an alpha an eventually a delta. This has been scientifically proven in biofeedback research. Once in an altered-state it is possible to begin to control other autonomic function as well as plant suggestions (auto-hypnosis) I think there is someone in this forum better schooled in these application.

Also, by learning to control our breathing we better learn to control our emotions. If you ever noticed a child upset they tend to breathe more quickly and more into their chest. Most every emotion has a different breathing pattern (rate of breath and how deep we breathe). By recognizing these and learning to control our own breathing we are less likely to get swept away by our emotions. Also, we can generate emotions at will. In a calm, alert condition humans tend to breathe deeply into their hara (belly) at a rate or about 4-8 breaths per minute. The average person breathes about 12-16 breaths per minute usually into their chest. I heard that most of the alveolus (sorry about the spelling) are located at the inner lining of our lungs (Colleen is this true), by taking deeper breath we improve the amount of oxygen in our blood.

Breathing and energy (ki, chi, prana, mojo etc...) are different. But again by controlling our breathing we gain access to this energy (usually controlled by our subconsciousness). Breathing leads the ki; it is a form of induction.

I think Koichi Tohei has a great book out call "Ki in Daily Life". The are many others. Some very arcane, some for novices.

Zen Meditation is focused more on achieving a state of true wakefulness. Most occult schools often see this goal as the most superior. Total emission in the NOW. Other schools use meditation to achieve a semi-dream state (controlled visualization). This allows them more control of their autonomic function and resist pain. It also allows them to work with their ki, work spells (if you believe in that sort of thing) and perform other feats.


This is only my humble opinion. I know some of you don't believe in this occult stuff, and some of you western thinkers and scientist get into a big teassy on these things. Please feel free to offer your opions and correct any of my statements about medical and scientific findings.

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Old 04-12-2002, 10:10 AM   #12
Chuck.Gordon
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Re: Meditate with a Tree

Quote:
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.

Chuck

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Old 04-13-2002, 05:53 AM   #13
Bruce Baker
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Tree power ...

Just found picture of O'Sensei in The Secrets of Aikido By John Steven.

Text caption reads: Morihei performing an Aikido exercise out to build Kokyu power. Nature is an inexhaustable source of Kokyu, and we must learn how to harness and concentrate that force.

Damien's description was about the closest to what I have found, but I do believe it was fifteen to twenty minutes of meditation/ communion with energy exchange of your energy flowing and the tree energy flowing like two circles becoming one as positive on one side of the circle and negative on the other side join in to energy flowing through your body and the tree as it connects from the ground and sky to form a circle.

The other thing, is that trees living very slowly take awhile to adjust to one's ki/chi lifeforce, so it may take a while to get this friendly tree to exchange energy.
********************************************
They have cartoons in Estonia? That was really stupid enough to be funny.

I am just trying to figure out what is humor and what is flat out stupidity, but the harmony of Aikido just keeps making me laugh! Thanks.
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Old 04-13-2002, 10:05 AM   #14
Jorx
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Quote:
They have cartoons in Estonia? That was really stupid enough to be funny.
He

That's the thought I got when that first drifted into my mind... and as I am a regular 19-year-old, my mouth is often bigger than my actual self, so I just couldn't help sharing this thought with you all...

Now try imagining the SP gang in gi-s.
Kenny would be better suited for Kendo huh?

Nice thread though...
Although I personally do believe in life force of some sort (I mean 200 years ago it wasn't sciencifically proven that magnetic fields were there!?!) I'd just like to point out that IF none of this were true you would be still able to benefit from meditating with a tree/lake/cat/beercan etc when you would believe in it. Because autosuggestion is quite much proven and powerful.

I have actually never REALLY tried meditating with a tree (maybe I should) BUT I would like to expand this thread to another perspective - is it possible to meditate with animals? Is holding a ladybird on your finger enough? Or a purring cat in the lap (my personal favourite) Or is this something different? Or is it all the same?

Jorgen
Estonian Aikikai

P.S. We even have McDonalds y'know!
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Old 04-13-2002, 12:10 PM   #15
Kat.C
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Does meditating/exchanging energy with something mean you are in harmony with it? Would that be the ideal state, to be in harmony with the universe? Is it possible? Do you think aikido can bring you to this state?

Just feeling philosophical today.

Kat

I find the aquisition of knowledge to be relatively easy, it is the application that is so difficult.
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Old 04-13-2002, 04:50 PM   #16
Ghost Fox
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Quote:
Originally posted by Kat.C
Does meditating/exchanging energy with something mean you are in harmony with it?
Not necessarily. It depends if the energy exchange is symbiotic and not parasitic. There are some people out there who are able to suck energy from people. My old aikijitsu teacher was good at it. You have to give and recieve energy freely.

Would that be the ideal state, to be in harmony with the universe? Is it possible? Do you think aikido can bring you to this state?

I don't know if it would be ideal, but it would be pretty nice. I think aikido can help bring you to this state, but I feel you might need some other esoteric (Taoism, Wicca, etc...) to help.

Just my opinion.

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Old 04-13-2002, 06:51 PM   #17
Kat.C
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Quote:
Originally posted by Ghost Fox


Not necessarily. It depends if the energy exchange is symbiotic and not parasitic. There are some people out there who are able to suck energy from people. My old aikijitsu teacher was good at it. You have to give and recieve energy freely.

How on earth do you do that?
And what happens to the person you've sucked energy from!?

Kat

I find the aquisition of knowledge to be relatively easy, it is the application that is so difficult.
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Old 04-13-2002, 07:37 PM   #18
Jonathan
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Sorry for being the only dissenting voice in this tree-hugging thread, but I can only grin broadly and chuckle to myself when I read of people exchanging energy with a tree.

I grew up on an acreage filled with apple trees and have spent weeks at a time in the bush hundreds of miles from the nearest building (you can actually find places like that in Canada), but never have I received any energy from a tree -- except for what it provides in a campfire.

You people have wonderful imaginations!

"Iron sharpens iron; so a man sharpens the countenance of his friend."
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Old 04-13-2002, 07:48 PM   #19
guest1234
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Goodness, two weeks away from buildings...whatever did you do about a bathroom? Oh. Gives new meaning to everyone hugging those trees and napping beneath them...

The positive thing I see about hanging out with plants is that they use our CO2 and give us O2, so I guess they are like a free oxygen bar...
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Old 04-13-2002, 08:25 PM   #20
Kat.C
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Quote:
Originally posted by Jonathan
Sorry for being the only dissenting voice in this tree-hugging thread, but I can only grin broadly and chuckle to myself when I read of people exchanging energy with a tree.

I grew up on an acreage filled with apple trees and have spent weeks at a time in the bush hundreds of miles from the nearest building (you can actually find places like that in Canada), but never have I received any energy from a tree -- except for what it provides in a campfire.

You people have wonderful imaginations!
Imagination leads to discovery

Kat

I find the aquisition of knowledge to be relatively easy, it is the application that is so difficult.
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Old 04-13-2002, 09:47 PM   #21
Erik
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Quote:
Originally posted by Kat.C
Imagination leads to discovery
Or, fantasies.

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Old 04-13-2002, 10:04 PM   #22
Kat.C
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Quote:
Originally posted by Erik


Or, fantasies.

Well, you've got me 'stumped'

Kat

I find the aquisition of knowledge to be relatively easy, it is the application that is so difficult.
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Old 04-14-2002, 08:56 AM   #23
Jorx
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Well doesn't many ppl of you have the "Expect nothing be ready for anything" thing for their signature???

Don't expect that the treehuggin' may be a way to exchange energy but be ready for that one day it'll prove to be

And as I said above. There's nothing wrong with autosuggestion... when people feel more energized after meditating with a tree then go for it!

What's wrong with fantasies
Everybody loves the Lord of the Rings

Jorgen
Estonian Aikikai
Riveta Sportsclub
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Old 04-14-2002, 10:33 AM   #24
Anat Amitay
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trees

Hi there!
Actually, in Chineese medicine, when one learns the basics of the elements etc, there are some things that relate to trees.
the 'Wood' is one of the elements, green is the color connected to it (strange, isn't it?!) and the feeling connected is anger. It is said that when a person is angry, he should hug a tree. I guess it should bring calmness (just don't hug the thorny ones... ).
But the other thing I wanted to write is about books relating to trees in nice ideas-
The first is 'The giving tree' by Shel Silverstein, which is a beautiful book.
the other touches many subjects but has a small part to do with plants and it is 'The book of pages' by David Whiteland (I think).
All in all, these are nice books about life and what we make of it.
So, enjoy your hug
Anat
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Old 04-19-2002, 05:28 PM   #25
Bruce Baker
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Tree huggers reference book

I thought I gave this book back to my brother, but I didn't.

Chi Nei Tsang
internal organs chi massage
by Mantak and Maneewan Chia
ISBN: 0935621-35-0
copyright 1990

If you go to your local library, they usually have a book list to purchase new books. See if they will put it on their order list. The book I have is under $20 ... they might go for it?

If you library belongs to a county or state library system, they might purchase a couple of copies.

I know I have found some little known resources just by going to the library?
Hey, librarians have brains enough to buy some pretty neat books? Take advantage of them brains!

There is a lot more to learn than the tree to human energy exchange .... but it does begin to explain a lot of hinting by people with strong ki from nature, doesn't it.

Any more people out there with more references or tree power experiences?
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