As the leaves are beginning to turn color and fall from the branches, I find myself thinking of my Reiki tree. It’s a special tree, in a park near my home, which my Reiki teacher had asked me to choose. For years, I would stride passed this tree, on my many walks through the park and not notice it as anything other than one of the many trees in the park. But, after the walk with my teacher, this tree became so much more to me, and it was truly a significant turning point in my Reiki training. Of course, it’s not really “my” tree, as it belongs to everyone. But, I created a connection with this tree and myself, which profoundly helped me to literally root myself in Reiki energy.
I have always been a very visual person and love to see examples of things I am learning. Reiki is challenging in this way, as there is so much that needs to just be felt or experienced and the seeing and hearing comes later, with time. I think my teacher could sense that I was struggling with the simplicity of Reiki, making it harder than it needed to be, asking her questions, which answers were already inside of me, if I was able to quiet myself to hear them. She listened to me but did not provide any answers. Instead, she turned to me and said, “Pick out a tree.”
“Pick out a TREE?!”, I said… did she even hear me… does she know what I am asking? “Yes, pick out a tree and see what it tells you.” She went onto explain how she speaks to the trees and how they have so much to teach us. She told me that I should visit this tree more often and I would find my answers. I was confused but intrigued. In retrospect, I realize just how fortunate I was to have such a teacher, who was encouraging me to search myself and connect to my own soul, in this way. At the time, midway through Reiki 3 training… there were many things coming up for me and I was hoping for reassurance and looking for validation. I wanted to know that I was learning correctly and doing well. What happened instead is that I discovered how Reiki works inside of myself and inside of this tree, throughout nature and all living things. And, I came to know that I don’t need to ask anyone for validation or encouragement. The proof is all around us if we open our eyes and become aware of it.
As I made frequent visits to my tree, I would look and listen, much more closely, as I touched the trunk and looked up at the branches. As the weeks passed, I noticed the frozen icicles, hanging from bare branches, soon replaced by tiny buds. A few weeks later, almost like magic, the buds blossomed into leaves. And, in no time at all, lush green leaves filled the tree with abundance. As storms came and went, I could see tiny branches broken and strewn around the base.
Each season brought different weather and changes. And, regardless of how bare the branches looked the following winter, the tree stood tall and proud, with an inner confidence that the lush green leaves would soon return and an inner knowing that new and beautiful life will sprout soon enough and begin the cycle again. After a year passed, I realized that I didn’t just watch the tree and observe nature in action, but I felt a calm sense of peace that had shifted me. I felt a confidence and a trust that I too am a part of this spectacular energy. I too have roots that are deep and branches that are flexible and an inner wisdom that guides me through the unknown. I started to notice all of nature and my connection to nature in a new and exciting way. I began to realize, that we don’t just learn Reiki, we become Reiki… that we always have been and it is about reconnecting. We live Reiki. It is a beautiful realization that you are enough just simply by being a living part of nature. To feel and recognize that you are made of universal life force energy and that Reiki is about allowing this energy to move through you and into all you do. That is Reiki. And, it all connected and clicked and felt very real and authentic. It didn’t matter if I took great notes in class or was certain of the hand positions or the meaning of each symbol. It is something so much bigger. And, when you feel this connection… the blue of the sky looks even bluer, the opening of a flower is spectacular, a sunset is a marvel… and so are you. As you observe the magnificent nature of a tree through the seasons, you discover the magnificence inside yourself. Rooting ourselves in nature this way, helps us shed what’s old and make room for what is new.
In today’s world, we have become so accustomed to instant gratification. If we have a question, we can find an answer online in seconds. If we can’t solve a problem quickly, we grow impatient. But, sometimes… the truest, most important answers take time. They need to grow. We need to find the patience to allow the energy of the answer to take shape. We need to trust that it will come.
Sometimes the biggest lessons come from the simplicity of nature. I visit my tree several times a week. I touch the trunk each time I pass and imagine I can feel the Reiki energy from the tree, passing into me. I often ask a question in my head and the answers come to me, while in its presence. We all can learn from the wisdom of the trees and the key is being patient and open. We are all a part of Reiki energy and it is so beautiful to feel and realize this connection.
Things that matter take time and finding your purpose is not something that happens overnight. We all have abundance inside ourselves and it is there, even in times when it is hard to see or imagine. We will be faced with storms that will bring unexpected winds that can shift our energy and toss us around. But, we need to stand tall… rooted in confidence and trying our hardest not to fall.
Let’s all find the patience to learn from the trees… and the wonderful teachers who point us to them. For this, I am forever grateful.