Trees play an important role in the brighter world we are creating now. They are more than the lungs of the Earth and storage vessels for carbon dioxide. They hold several keys to the fate of humanity, chief among them, ancient wisdom and powerful healing properties. How do we bring about global regeneration through trees? Three ways: connect, protect and plant.
Whether in the backyard, at a neighborhood park or in a forest, we can connect to peace and beauty through trees. Have you touched or hugged a tree lately? It’s natural to be drawn to trees. We humans share twenty-five percent of the same genes with them!
Perhaps you already have a tree you regularly visit. If not, be on the lookout for a tree that speaks to you in some way. The key to unlocking the power of the forest for regeneration and healing is in our six senses. Connect with the tree using your sight, hearing, smell and touch. Soften your gaze and sense the energy field of the tree. Breathe deeply and take in the rejuvenating air. Practice inner listening as you place your hands on the tree. Simply be in silent presence with it. Give thanks. Make an offering or pick up any litter around it.
By opening our senses, it bridges the gap between us and the natural world. And when we are in harmony with the natural world we can begin to heal. – Dr. Qing Li, Forest Bathing
Before 1900, forests made up thirty percent of the world’s landmass. Now it’s only ten percent. Humans destroy an area of forest the size of a football field every two seconds, every day. That amounts to a staggering 80,000 acres (32,374 hectares) of trees cut down daily. So, what can one person do to not only to stop but reverse this?
We can withdraw our support from the main industries responsible for global tree loss: beef, soy and palm oil. We change this by upgrading the way we eat, embracing a plant-based diet and avoiding foods containing palm oil. Good for us and even better for the planet!
We can also protect existing forests by supporting ancient forest conservation efforts. California state parks, for example, shelter sixty percent of the world’s remaining old-growth redwood forests, including the General Sherman and the General Grant tree, both well over 2,000 years old. These trees have witnessed all of our modern history. Imagine the wisdom they contain. They provide a source of natural intelligence that is part of the foundation affecting millions of species, including humans.
In addition to protecting existing forests and trees, we can regenerate the Earth by planting trees ourselves. A single tree can absorb four and a half kilograms of air pollutants a year. We can plant a tree in our yard or help tree-planting groups in our community. We can support indigenous people as Earth stewards and join others who are restoring harmony and balance to the Earth, one tree at a time.