I’ve developed this meditation over the last few years, and it is instructive to the nature of giving and receiving.
A little history in its development:
It started with energy meditations I used to do while exploring torus energies. Essentially a Torus is a shape like a donut, and I would focus on energy rising up from my feet, out through my head, then expanding out around and down my body back to the feet, up again and out. This was an extremely cleansing meditation, and one I used often in my early inquiries into Manifestation.
A friend of mine, who’s opinion is often contrary to my intuition, once mentioned that I might try imagining the flow of energy into the other direction, received from above, then sent down into the earth, instead of the way I was doing it. I found this jarring at first, and seemed unnatural, but after a time I found it came easier to me to flow the energy in this fashion. I also found it to be very grounding (which may be why she mentioned it) and brought me a sense of security and stability I did not have before.
One night, while we were out having coffee and conversation, I was holding a favorite stone of mine, a gift from a very dear friend, (rhodonite), and I was working with charging stones with energies. A curious idea came to me.
Why not let the energy flow both ways at once.
Needless to say, this was a very difficult thing to imagine. I did not imagine two fields of energy, because I wanted the sense of simultaneity of the two…I wanted the experience that these two opposing flows of energy were actually one and the same. It took me some time to get it going, but I was used to each individually, so I was able to get it down after about half an hour (although, only briefly). I decided to leave it for another time, when things were quieter and I wasn’t holding conversations and set the stone down on the table. My contrary friend asked to see the stone, very curious, and I let her. After holding it a few moments, she looked to me and said…”It seems like the stone is breathing”.
And I thought about this for a time, and realized, this was very much something like the sensation I felt while doing this meditation. It was tied to the expansion of my belly, the contraction of it, and while I found this interesting, I didn’t think so deeply on it, but this idea helped me to imagine both directions of the flow of energy.
It was a year or so later, while meditating with the tree sculptures I made, to feel the energies of them, both newly made, and then later as the energies of the stones settled into cohesion, that I started meditating as a tree. I was not only being with the sculpture, but with the living tree itself. I don’t remember exactly when the idea came to me, but it wasn’t long after I started these meditations that I remembered that Tree breathes as well.
Now, when Tree breathes, it has no muscles and cavities to fill. It has no lungs as an animal would have. Tree breathes not just air, but soil and water as well. Tree breathes Sun. In essence, Tree breathes all the elements. Earth, Air, Fire, Water.
Since it has no lungs, Tree breathes in its cells, and it breathes in and out at the same time. Tree gives and receives at once, in fact, Tree sees no difference between the two. It has no In breath and out breath. it has only breath, and each breath is both the giving of itself, and receiving of the universe.
With this understanding I had found a much simpler way to imagine the two directions of the flow of energy, and unite them in a much more organic and natural way. So, this is the Tree Breath Meditation.
You may be in any position, I have two favorites, one is the Tree pose from Yoga, the other is a simple sitting cross legged, or in a chair. I use this meditation regularly, while working or making jewelry, and as it is simple, once you have it down, you can use it anywhere, at any time.
As the space for the meditation is the Breath of the Tree, it is not necessary to imagine anything in addition to this, but if you like (and sometimes I do) you may imagine yourself as Tree.
Use normal belly breath, slowly, in through the nose, fill your belly with air until you feel the breath all the way into your groin. This will bring a sensation of pressure, and if you are not used to breathing this deeply, it may seem intense and difficult. With a little practice this intensity will become pleasant instead of uncomfortable. With this pressure, though, imagine breathing out through every part of your skin. This will not be difficult, and very quickly it will feel natural and very real.
Slowly exhale, as deeply as you inhaled. Again, if you are not used to this deep exhalation, you will feel a reverse pressure, much like the pressure of the inhalation…but sucking inward. During your exhale, imagine pulling in breath through your skin. Again, this will quickly seem natural and very real to you.
In this fashion, it is very easy to see the energy flowing both ways at all times. The universe gives and you receive at once. You give, and the universe receives at once. This is a very rewarding practice, and you may find that it alters your views and relationships.
Tree has taught me a valuable lesson. There is no difference between giving and receiving. Both are always done at once. There is no loss in giving, there is no gain in receiving. There is no reason not to do both, and there is no real choosing to do either. Both are natural, both are one. I have not learned to give and receive from Tree. Tree has revealed to me that this is how it has always been.
In this, animals remember Tree as well, even though we seem to gulp in air and expel it again, in truth, we also, like tree, breathe in our cells, not our lungs. Our cells do breathe both in and out at once, all throughout our bodies. All life breathes in this way.