by Pompe Strater-Vidal
Zen Sensei and founder of Relax Breathe Flow

This week I’ve been listening to my trees when I meditate. I prefer them to the news. Tall evergreens, full grown pines and spruce, surround my home. Spring comes next week, so they’re filled with birds. When the wind blows, they whisper and sway.

My Zen teacher, Kobun Chino Roshi, liked to say that a tree could be your teacher. I watched his students scratch their heads in confusion, wondering what he meant. Thinking this was a Zen Koan, an impossible puzzle, deliberately designed to blow their minds.

But here’s a secret from a Japanese Zen Master. He meant exactly what he said. A tree can be your teacher:) And you can try it now:

For this meditation, you can either visualize a tree, or sit under one. A flowering tree, a coconut palm, an oak or a maple. Whatever you like best. They all reach down into the earth, and up into the sky.

Sit with a straight back in a comfortable chair or on a cushion for 3 minutes or more.

Take a deep breath in, and a deep breath out.Gently follow your breath
Your hands resting on your thighs,
Palms facing up, or
Palms facing down.

Visualize a beautiful tree,
Your favorite

Rooting down into the earth,
It rises up to the sky.

Stable and strong,
Grounded and alive.

Take a break from the chaos of the world swirling around you. Turn off the news. Meditate with a tree. Let me know what you find.

All the best,