How to Talk to a Tree

Today, you will be glad to hear, I’m not going to offer you any philosophical musings (or, not many). Today I want to share with you what it might look like when you communicate with plants. By now we probably all know a bit of theory, but just like knitting or yoga, it is immensely helpful (at least for me it is!) to see how the theory works out in practice. For some of us it might be even more helpful to see how it doesn’t work out, because believe me, most of the accounts you read are the highlight reel. Behind the scenes, we all start out toddling and bumbling.

If you’ve followed our blog for a while and become fascinated with how plants and other seemingly inanimate beings communicate, and if you’re anything like me, you may have by now bought a book or ten and browsed through the internet to get a handle on the how-to. Maybe you’ve already made some attempts at communicating with nature yourself. 

If you’re like me, you may not have succeeded. 

Reading through posts by Beith or Holly, it may seem like this sort of communication – of understanding and translating into human language a tree’s voice – comes naturally. Well … it does … but that doesn’t mean it comes easily to everyone. We need to keep in mind how very long those channels of communication have been all but closed off. How long we only used our cerebral capabilities and our mind and mouth to communicate.

My own first attempts at communicating with something not human actually were made with an angel (it works the same way, you know, you just don’t have any tangible being in front of you). I had this meditation thingy outlined, this small and short exercise that was supposed to open the channels, and oh, did I try. I worked really hard, again and again, but nothing at all happened. After my hour-long fail, I threw a bit of a toddler tantrum hissy fit (okay… to be honest, it was not a bit of  but quite the real thing) and stomped off to bed, and by stomped I mean stomped. I lay down, I closed my eyes – and off I went into the vision that had so eluded me before. Met Archangel Raphael and had a nice long chat.

My lesson learned was that I had to let go of “I want” and any expectation or desired outcome for it to work. And so it stayed, for the most part.

It is immensely helpful and maybe necessary for me to properly ground and centre myself, and connect to what people call their Inner Light, Higher Self, God or Goddess, Divine Love – you will know what I mean. Then I have to open my heart and mind. Stay still and listen. And receive understanding as a gift.

Sometimes I received this gift completely out of the blue. Once, I was walking through a botanical garden, not thinking of very much at all, though I was at the time quite immersed in spiritual practices in a way I haven’t been since I’ve ceded such a large part of Me to Being Mommy. Back then, I was looking around me, as one does, when I saw this big cedar tree. I blinked – and suddenly I SAW the cedar. It was beaming at me, all proud, and showing me in a way that was more visceral than visual that its function on this island was that of a purification plant (no pun intended), only not for water but air and energy. I SAW the energy moving through this tree  in a vortex-like wave. I thanked the tree and then I blinked and I was left with the knowledge and memory of what I had seen while the tree had drawn its veil over itself again.

Another time I was sitting and resting under an oak tree, again not thinking about anything much at all, when the tree energetically tapped my shoulder and proceeded to offer some lines of wisdom to me. I was able to have a short conversation, then the window closed again. 

Another time I picked up a small rock from the newly tilled field and without warning it starting chatting me up – but you can read my account of the lesson this rock imparted in our very first blog post.

As you can see from these examples, the way a being communicates can differ from time to time and being to being. Sometimes a message arrives as words forming in your mind and you have to take care to even notice them among the clutter. Sometimes it may be a vague impression, an idea. Sometimes it may be a knowing, like it was with my cedar tree. 

We have to remember that trees or spiritual beings or stones do not talk in the way humans do, they don’t have language. But then, what is language but sound waves that are detected by our ears transformed into electric currents and signals that are then decoded in our brain! So no matter who we communicate with, our understanding happens when our brain decodes the signals sent to it, no matter how and where those signals were produced. These signals are being sent all the time, most are simply lost in the filter everyday consciousness installed in our minds.

If you like, you can do a simple exercise to take note of how much is lost all the time. So, pick a person you know well – a relative, a friend, a neighbour – and try to sense All about this person. What you will notice is that apart from the obvious things like their looks and voice and the rest of the stats you know about them, included in you knowing this person and sensing this person is every memory you have of them, every talk you had, every interaction. Not consciously remembered but still, tangibly, present as a bodily inner knowing. Eugene T. Gendlin, the developer of Focusing, calls this the Felt Sense

So if you want to start talking to trees or other non-human beings, the first thing you may want to try is stop seeing them as scenery, as strangers, and settle down long enough to get a felt sense of them. And out of this felt sense communication will arise, in any of the ways I mentioned earlier. 

Plant communication is not a skill; it’s not like learning a foreign language. Remember that you are trying to establish a relationship, a mutual communication line. You shouldn’t do this in order to get information, to establish how spiritual you are, how much more enlightened to be able to talk to trees – in any case, if that’s your motivation, chances are the beings will not reveal themselves.

Plant communication is, simply put, learning to read your bodily sensations as they change when you interact with somebody or something. 

So, stop trying, especially stop trying hard. Offer up your expectations and start being and listening.

Saille Freeling has been wandering along spiritual and mystic paths for the past two decades until she found her home in OBOD. She calls herself Ovate-in-training; in real life she is a biologist and editor.

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