There is a wonderful magic about trees. But maybe today we are too concerned with world affairs. Trees have become an ecological issue rather than a beauty to behold. And they can teach us so much. Stand and admire a tree, any tree, and listen. Whether a magnificent horse-chestnut or a scrawny alder sapling, focusing on a tree can help us reconnect with Earth.
Those with some sensitivity may notice that different species impart varying qualities. A stroll through a deciduous wood feels so different from a walk in a coniferous forest, for instance. If we stand by an apple tree, the energy is very much in contrast to that of a mighty oak.
Some meditation traditions employ these differences, knowing that sitting under one type will produce different effects in the meditator than another. It is said that the Buddha attained enlightenment under the bodhi tree. Not just any old tree.
Jesus doesn’t do tai chi, I’m told
Ignorance is part of all of us but it can be staggering at times. Seeing a shard of light through a window doesn’t make us enlightened.
For nearly fifteen years we have run a not-for-profit tai chi group. Tai chi is wonderful for people of all ages, providing exercise for body and mind. It is recommended by the NHS, Versus Arthritis, and the Alzheimers Society amongst many others.
This week I made enquiries about the possible use of a sports hall for tai chi. The hall is part of a community centre, which used to be in public ownership and is now owned by a church. They know us well on the community side of things and the wonderfully spacious hall was available. It would have been ideal.
However, the manager informed me that they would not allow tai chi there. It was completely at odds with their beliefs. They can’t allow that sort of thing. Tai chi is “Chinese and it has mystical roots which don’t fit with Jesus and his teachings”. Oh. Nor does yoga or meditation, in case you were wondering. I don’t know what they would think of trees.