Updated: Aug 24
In this blog, we will connect with The Tree of Life as a living Bodhisattva. In Qigong, springtime is associated with the wood element and trees. Trees are master teachers of the forest. They live for a very long time because they are always connected to all of their sources. They know how to root deep into the earth and receive nourishment from the water and soil that is teaming with life. They know how to dance with the wind and how to bend and sway when things get intense all around them. They are masters at connecting to the light from the sun, stars, and cosmic bodies. Just like we do, they grow from the inside out.
The symbol of The Tree of Life is in every culture and every spiritual tradition.
Qigong is a living descendant of ancient Taoist shamanic practices. In shamanism, there are three worlds in which we travel and work: the underworld, the middle world, and the upper world.
In this teaching, we are exploring The Tree of Life as a living symbol within you as you stand as an axis Mundi as a divine-human between earth and sky. One of the most prominent teachings of the trees is shared in The axiom as above, so below, as within, so without.
The Tree's roots connect to the underworld; The yin, dark, hidden, fertile, rich, vast, nourishing underworld. We meet our spirit guides, animal totems, ancestors, and spiritual teachers in the underworld.
We know their root systems are mirrors of their canopy. Under the soil, their roots are vast and an essential part of an unseen infrastructure that holds the integrity of the soil and mountainsides together. Through their root systems communicate with each other. Mother trees know their children. Healthy trees send nourishment to the sick members of their community. They create habitats and homes for countless animals, insects, amphibians, birds, fungi, and other plants and us.
Their branches, canopy, leaves, and blossoms open to the sky above. They open to the upper world, receiving the yang celestial and cosmic energy of infinite wisdom of the expansive and healing light of the divine.
We meet our spirit guides, higher self, angels, and teachers in the upper world.
The trunk of the Tree is like us in the middle world. The connection point the conduit. The center point of the Axis Mundi. Where the vertical and horizontal meet. You are the center.
We live in the middle world and practice our Qigong, alchemy, and magic—journey for healing, finding lost things, and remembering what has been removed from us.
In the Middle World, humans have an inseparable relationship and communion with trees. Trees literally radiate compassion with their presence. And we reciprocate with each other. We breathe together. We breathe in their oxygen and exhale carbon dioxide, which they breathe in with delight, and they exhale out oxygen for all living beings on our beautiful mother earth.
As a symbol, the Tree of Life represents the cycles of birth, life, death, and rebirth. Many creation myths worldwide are based on the idea that we come down from the heavens as this spark of light. We go all the way down the Tree of Life to the very roots, where we gestate for nine months in the darkness of the womb, and then we are born into the light and grow back up toward the heavens. In that process, we forget who we are. Then we, through our growth period in life, remember who we are.
At the point of death out of this mortal body, we return again back down to the root, into the womb of Mother, and we transcend back up to the starry heavens from whence we came.
I personally resonate with this idea that we come down from light, and we incarnate into the dark, fertile womb of Mother and are grown from it.
In spring Qigong when we are working with the wood element and the Tree of Life, we are deepening our understanding of living with the Tao as a path of harmony and great love. Trees and the wood element connect us to all our sources supporting us to live longer, more beautiful lives. The Tree of Life and its roots are a source of replenishment, renewal, nourishment, nurturance, and connection to all living beings. And being fully human from the earth as humankind.
One of the primary transformations spring Qigong offers is the ability to transform stress into vitality and anger into kindness. Which has me feeling more into the word kindness.
In our culture, words like soft, gentle, and kindness are synonyms for weakness. And that is far from true. Kindness is a high art of the awakened ones—the Bodisatavvas who walk the world with compassionate hearts and aligned actions. Walking the Tao and Living in the Tao is simple but not easy just as being kind is simple but not easy.
Kindness has the word kind in it. Kind means of the same kind. Meaning as humans, we are the same. And the word Kin means we are the same family. Not just humankind but also the Kin of all living beings. We are interrelated as one whole family.
In Spring Qigong, we transform the feeling of anger and lack into vitality and abundance. It is much easier to be kind and generous to yourself and your neighbor when we are in an abundant and vital state. This brings refreshed meaning to be kind to your neighbor.
The Tree of Life is teaching us many things here. How to travel between the worlds, our interbeing ness, how to be a healthy and divine human. We don't have to do it all alone because we are never alone. We are a part of the whole. Trees teach us about the wholeness and holographic nature of the universe. They are great transformers and alchemists, teaching us how to release what no longer serves by composting it to the earth and being reborn, replenished, renewed, and in communion with ourselves as nature.
We just touched the surface of this rich teaching. What symbolism does the Tree of Life teach you?
Do you want to experience more? Join us for Qigong, and in the meantime, I recorded a guided Tree of Life mediation and activation for you here!
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Hugs and deep bows of gratitude to you and your practice,