Teach me How to Be a Forest

Ancient Sugar Maple
Photo by Janine Pung

Most humans walk by us and think, “It is just a tree.” But a few humans stop and listen and realize we are so much more than “just a tree”.

Listening to trees
Consider this a “mindfulness” activity that includes a tree. Many people “talk” to trees, but in doing this activity, you will be learning how to listen to the trees.

  • Find a place that has a sense of wildness with some big trees
  • Find a tree that you are drawn to
  • Choose a place where you feel safe and will not be disturbed
  • Slow down your energy – pay attention to your breath
  • Be present – quiet the self-talk and chatter
  • Ground – send your roots down below your feet and let them mingle with the roots of the tree
  • Listen to your heartbeat and let the tree join with your heartbeat
  • Inhale Oxygen – a gift from the tree / exhale CO2  – a gift for the tree
  • Listen with your whole body, not just your ears
  • Listen without expectations – let your mind be a clean slate
  • Listening can come to you in feelings, colors or sounds inside of your body and it may not be in words
  • Learning how to listen is a skill that needs to be developed over time

Red Oak snag
photo by Janine Pung

Teach me how to be a forest – A human asks an old red oak snag –  “Why is it you seem so alive, when you are dead?”
We don’t think/live like you do. You think that when something “dies” it has no more life. Nothing actually “dies”, but is part of a continuum that is in constant change. There is no end or beginning.

Photo by Janine Pung

Teach me how to be a forest
Put down your phone. Don’t be afraid to open yourself up and receive. Trust the deep connection being created, for it is within this space that you will fully experience what you see, hear, feel and sense.

Blue Dasher
Photo by Janine Pung

Teach me how to be a forest  – You have to let go of the “I” and be part of the “We”.

False Solomen Seal Fruit.
Photo by Janine Pung


Teach me how to be a forestWhen you touch one of us with an open heart, you touch the whole forest.

Photo by Lawrence Wade


Teach me how to be a forest  –  You have to let go of  your dead wood.

Tree Wound
Photo by Janine Pung

Teach Me How to be a Forest –   You can heal from your wounds.  All you need is within you.

Jack O’Lantern – Highly poisonous
ID by Ron Spinosa
Photo by Janine Pung

Teach me how to be a forest – Be deeply rooted to the planet and connected to the sky at the same time.


Photo by Janine Pung

Teach me how to be a forest     You will find freedom in embracing uncertainty.

Chicken in the Woods
Photo by Janine Pung

Teach me how to be a forest  Just like all things in this forest, you have a right to exist.

Photo by Lawrence Wade

Teach me how to be a forest  –  Slow down. Walk and breathe with the forest inside of you.  Become One with us.

Reader Dale Antonson shared the following:
Connecting to the trees creates an awareness of the timeless life that exists all around us.  It’s important take the time to get out of our own way and connect ourselves back to the energy of the soil.

Performing ‘Healing Touch’ on an ancient Bur Oak that suffered major trauma in 2014.
Photo by Dale Antonson

 If this posting resonated with you, I would highly recommend, Finding the Mother Tree by Susan Simard. Dr. Simard is a forest ecologist whose research has shown how interconnected and conscious trees are .

At a forest clear cut, Simard writes, “The beauty is that with a little momentum, a little help at this site, the plants and animals will come back. They’d make the forest whole again, help it recover. The land wanted to heal itself.”

This entry was posted in Connecting to Nature, Nature Guardians, Photography/Art. Bookmark the permalink.

11 Responses to Teach me How to Be a Forest

  1. Sanjay Cherian says:

    So much wisdom in that post. Thank you for making me remember.

  2. James Cotton says:

    Connecting with nature is powerful and healing especially during such difficult times.

  3. Marty says:

    Beautiful thoughts and photos –

  4. Mary Slaughter says:

    Very inspiring, “much food for thought.”

  5. vicki says:

    Beautiful and moving. Thank you.

  6. Wendy Tremblay says:

    Beautiful photos and words. Thank you for sharing!

  7. paul gagner says:

    Words cannot express my gratitude for Nature…all of it. And for you Mr. Wade!
    Thank you.
    Are you familiar with Suzanne Sinard (sp?)
    ‘Intelligent Trees’ and ‘Mother Trees’ a documentary.
    also; “The Overstory” by Richard Charles

  8. Sandra Cowing says:

    Larry and Janine your photos capture the wonder and beauty of trees and nature.

  9. kathy adams says:

    My soul is smiling

  10. Rita Sandstrom says:

    Wonderful! I’ve always loved trees and I do talk to them. They seem to hear and be aware of my presence when I praise and touch them. Thanks for sharing your photos and words!

  11. Cindy Eyden says:

    Wonderful photos Janine Pung! You capture the essence of wonder! And Lawrence Wade – your words and your depth of experience are moving. Thank you.

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