JohnC

SM - Importance of Tree gong

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On 5/5/2014 at 10:15 AM, JohnC said:

This is a question to Michael Lomax(Ya mu) or Brion(Kempomaster), and I thought it would be interesting to hear from others that have experience with this and different opinions.

 

I'm wondering about the importance of Tree gong, what it does and why we should practice? Mainly to satisfy my curiosity, but also as I continue to practice this system, I'm feeling very drawn to do this lately.

 

I've read in other systems (longmen pai) that tree gong helps you release past life karma and increases your energy, which I take to mean it heals your biology/nature/genetic structure, and other spiritual stuff. Is that relevant or valid for us at all in the SM lineage? Or are there other cool things about tree gong?

 

I was practicing with a tree yesterday and after about 20 minutes had to stop, but afterwards I felt really cranky and had a lot of emotions coming up... which I take to mean I was releasing and moving it out. Today though, I'm feeling pretty good, despite not much sleep, and a hell of an exhausting weekend.

 

Thanks for your replies.

 

John

 

I like to meditate in the forest, does that count?

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Posted (edited)
On 5/6/2014 at 6:48 AM, Ya Mu said:

Our system utilizes this relationship to help with many things, not the least of which is a better personal and intimate understanding of root Taoism. Tree knows things due to root connection with Earth and other Tree. Sharing these things with you only occurs with the deep friendship Friend is referring to. The Qi interaction is very powerful but it must always be a respectful interaction - never the taking of qi.

 

I find this an interesting topic ... One that I am not able to countribute beyond some basic observations.

 

I once attempted a tree qigong based on an ill advised teaching that was based on the taking of qi. My experience immediately was that this was an incorrect understanding and I ceased the practice. In its place, I substituted a brief practice ... almost as an apology for the misuse ... of simply standing with the tree with a focus on rootedness. I have sense given up the practice but not the memory of the experience. It was fairly profound.

 

So, I will watch the conversation develop and hopefully learn something.

 

Thanks.

 

btw ... There was an interesting post today regarding research that has demonstrated an observsble connection between trees via their root systems. So, it appears trees do not "stand alone".

Edited by OldDog
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On 25/07/2019 at 6:48 PM, dwai said:

I’ve not really done tree qigong before, so wondering if we can categorize trees into yin or yang characteristics, and if so, which type of tree should we approach if we want to balance yin and yang energies within us?

 

Working with trees is a big part of the Longmen tradition as well as other northern Daoist sects.

 

Trees are considered yin in nature. So when you feel yang stimulated, it is your own yang Qi, not the tree’s.

 

Don't practice (or get into a Qigong state) with bare feet on the ground (unless it’s for a very particular reason). This basically drains your yang Qi into the ground. It might feel nice and relaxing - but that’s because you’re being drained. Always practice either with shoes or a mat between you and the ground.  Yin Qi passes through these insulators with no problem, but it keeps your yang Qi in - which is what you need for your cultivation.

 

Generally trees either help to purge pathogens from your body (xie Qi) or they help to nourish you. Generally during the day time the trees will purge you and when the sun is down they will nourish you.

 

There are various correlations of what trees work on what parts of your energy system - but in reality, I personally never found this to be the case. It seems a lot less ordered like that... individual trees of the same species will work with you very differently for example.

 

When picking a tree, size and impressiveness is not particularly important. You want the tree bigger than you. You want the trunk to be straight... I find pine trees particularly good in general... if you know how to find ‘dragon lines’, pick trees on a dragon line or even where two dragon lines cross. You’ll notice a substantial difference :)

 

There are various postures used to connect to the tree. If you have an active energy system it doesn’t matter too much how you connect though.

 

Ideally stand 3 feet from the trunk, sink into your school’s wuji pose and get into the ‘Qigong state’... then extend and your fingers out and towards the centre of the trunk... stretch inside and ‘touch’ the Qi of the tree.

 

Once you’re connected just let the tree lead. Some trees will pull you in, some will push you away. If you get pushed away, take the hint and find another tree :)

 

If you get pulled in, just relax, let go and let the tree do it’s thing... don’t be surprised if weird shit happens. Stay in a secluded, private spot for this reason 😬

 

enjoy!

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38 minutes ago, freeform said:

let the tree do it’s thing

hmm, what thing exactly?

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7 minutes ago, Taoist Texts said:

hmm, what thing exactly?

 

I thought it was pretty clear - ‘weird shit’ :) 

 

It depends very much on how active your Dantien is and how open your channels. For some people no weird shit, for others very weird shit. Just give it a try and see I guess :)

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4 hours ago, freeform said:

I thought it was pretty clear

no, not clear at all, including clear to you. If it was clear to you, your answer would be specific. But thanks for replying.

 

My comment on the OP:

1. Working with external objects is a sure sign of a false method (fake Longmen in this case)

2. Weird stuff going on with you let alone done to you is a sure sign of a deviation

3. Trees dont do anything. If you think they do you are deluding yourself.

 

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Posted (edited)
2 hours ago, Taoist Texts said:

Trees dont do anything. If you think they do you are deluding yourself.

 

Hi Taoist Texts,

 

Try/feel being a tree yourself and return to Nature. Sometimes I think of myself as an apple tree.

 

Apple trees are not delusions ~ I like to eat their fruits.

 

Return to our roots as intended by Nature with feelings...

 

th?id=OIP.XMqTI4PTkWdS7kJcwR60FgHaDf&pid=Api&P=0&w=385&h=182

 

th?id=OIP.IL7mLLsCeO5pWopeTTUS_gHaHa&pid=Api&P=0&w=300&h=300

 

- Anand

 

Edited by Limahong
Enhance ...

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4 hours ago, Taoist Texts said:

no, not clear at all, including clear to you. If it was clear to you, your answer would be specific.

 

Ok... I think I might have ascribed more of a sense of humour to you. But I guess it just shows how little we really know random people on the Internet :)

 

4 hours ago, Taoist Texts said:

1. Working with external objects is a sure sign of a false method (fake Longmen in this case)

 

How do you know? 

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I don't know much about trees, but I know one thing... and that is that Freeform writes from clarity and experience. He takes time off everyday from his practices to help people out, and he does it for no reason, so for that we can all be grateful. By not defining the experience, he lets you discover it for yourself, without pre-conceived notions. Everyone is a valuable member here, even people we disagree with. We can learn from everyone. My rule is not to tap the fish-tank... just let every fish do its thing, and watch all the colorful movements. Enjoy everything. Don't get caught up in any one fish or thing, but try to be helpful to everyone in the aquarium.

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7 hours ago, freeform said:

Ok... I think I might have ascribed more of a sense of humour to you.

ahh the famous brit humour

 

 

Quote

 

Britain's unique take on humor may seem baffling at first

 

 
 
7 hours ago, freeform said:
12 hours ago, Taoist Texts said:

1. Working with external objects is a sure sign of a false method (fake Longmen in this case)

 

How do you know? 

Thank you for asking Freeform

 

I know for following reasons:

1. The foundational Taoist texts refer to ingesting external qi as 'madness', while on the subject of  trees it is specifically said 'the plants and trees wither and rot, they can not even save themselves, how can they help you?"

2. Nowhere in Longmen or Quanzhen literature any practice with any external objects is so much as hinted at (except to refute it).

3. Tree practice is advocated by famous modern teachers. "famous modern teachers"=fake

4. My own experience.

 

But since Longmen and trees came up, here is an endearing cartoon of Longmen's founder Qiu

practicing under a numinous tree

image.png.a7ca0898252fd0ac2235c8d801677839.png

beating up the lumberjacks to protect the tree

image.png.08f247accce013b0658c4ceb6f65270f.png

seeing the tree spirit in a vision

image.png.37daf854b65b7d457420fc9374b5e4e0.png

unable to save the tree, he stops his student from maiming the lumberjacks

image.png.3c1de0df865c73111ea0c849824b8474.png

celebrating and mourning the tree in a poem

http://www.qiuchuji.org/?type=comic

 

 

 

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3 hours ago, Taoist Texts said:

I know for following reasons:

1. The foundational Taoist texts refer to ingesting external qi as 'madness', while on the subject of  trees it is specifically said 'the plants and trees wither and rot, they can not even save themselves, how can they help you?"

2. Nowhere in Longmen or Quanzhen literature any practice with any external objects is so much as hinted at (except to refute it).

3. Tree practice is advocated by famous modern teachers. "famous modern teachers"=fake

4. My own experience.

 

Great - thanks for that.

 

1. Ping Heng Gong has nothing to do with ingesting external Qi. This shows a major misunderstanding. 

 

2. Classical texts generally don’t describe practices - they describe required qualities, signs of attainment and errors. The practices to build the qualities, attain the signs and avoid the errors should be taught by teachers. 

 

3. This. I think here’s the crux of your disagreement. You have a strong preference that colours your understanding.

 

All living teachers are modern.

 

Modern does not = fake.

 

You practice a rather modern art yourself.

 

The teachers I’ve learned Ping Heng Gong from are not famous and they certainly wish to remain that way. I’ve learned this practice (or other very similar ones) from two different lines... and nothing to do with WLP :)

 

4. Your personal experience is still very much a mystery :)

 

 

PS. Nice comics

 

PPS. The trouble with ‘British Humor’ is that it’s missing a ‘u’ :) Otherwise it’s great.

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26 minutes ago, freeform said:

You practice a rather modern art yourself.

i respectfully disagree but me being just myself what do i know)

 

27 minutes ago, freeform said:

Classical texts generally don’t describe practices

i respectfully disagree but studying those for just 20 years what do i know)

 

29 minutes ago, freeform said:

1. Ping Heng Gong has nothing to do with ingesting external Qi.

http://www.scholarsage.com/tag/ping-heng-gong/

 

we took our positions six feet away from a tree and made smooth up and down chi kung movements in order to contact the trees energy field. After going up and down only twice my shoulders were already protesting and out of some kind of desperation, I asked the tree to please support me. The moment I had pronounced that little inward prayer the pain was gone and my arms moved up and down effortlessly. Along the process the tree energetically took hold of me slowly but surely. Well, I’m only 5 feet something compared to that 50 feet tree. The energetics are somehow similar to a fountain: the moment you drop something small into it the upward force will drag it along. If you look at the structure of a tree it basically has a fountain structure, not only upward but also downward. And once you’ve become energetically one with a tree,

 

Quote

This shows a major misunderstanding. 

I agree) care to dispel it?

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2 hours ago, Taoist Texts said:
3 hours ago, freeform said:

You practice a rather modern art yourself.

i respectfully disagree but me being just myself what do i know)

 

You practice Taiji from what I remember - are you one who believes that Taiji is some ancient art?

 

It's not. It's (relatively) modern - yet its depth as a martial art is unparalleled - and it's certainly not 'fake'.

It does follow principles that are ancient though.

 

2 hours ago, Taoist Texts said:
3 hours ago, freeform said:

Classical texts generally don’t describe practices

i respectfully disagree but studying those for just 20 years what do i know)

 

You're right - you have way more experience in studying the classics than me - I'm under no illusion about that. But respectfully, I trust the opinion of a violinist who can play the violin a hundredfold more than one with 20 years experience of reading sheet music.

 

Our difference in opinion stems from: I think that having a skilled teacher is paramount. You seem to think that there is no such thing as a skilled teacher.

 

Maybe you did manage to learn how to 'play the violin' by reading sheet music - you've shown no evidence of that though... And even if you can - how do you know that what you're playing is 'music' and not just noise - having never heard a live violinist play?

 

2 hours ago, Taoist Texts said:
3 hours ago, freeform said:

1. Ping Heng Gong has nothing to do with ingesting external Qi.

http://www.scholarsage.com/tag/ping-heng-gong/

 

Looks like it's taken from the subjective experiences of a student - with all the perceptual errors inherent in that... yet still, it doesn't talk about absorbing or ingesting qi from a tree.

 

2 hours ago, Taoist Texts said:
Quote

This shows a major misunderstanding. 

I agree) care to dispel it?

 

Sure - but I'd have to show you - in front of a nice pine tree preferably :)

 

Let's just say that Ping Heng Gong works on the principle of 'Qi as information' rather than 'Qi as substance'.

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37 minutes ago, freeform said:

It does follow principles that are ancient though.

good, we are in full agreement then)

39 minutes ago, freeform said:

Our difference in opinion stems from: I think that having a skilled teacher is paramount. You seem to think that there is no such thing as a skilled teacher.

 

Maybe you did manage to learn how to 'play the violin' by reading sheet music - you've shown no evidence of that though... And even if you can - how do you know that what you're playing is 'music' and not just noise - having never heard a live violinist play?

all good questions, lets take them up in a more suitable topic unless they are rhetorical

 

40 minutes ago, freeform said:

Sure - but I'd have to show you - in front of a nice pine tree preferably

i live in hope. )

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44 minutes ago, freeform said:

'Qi as information'

 

Hi freeform,

 

Some information may be in timely order...

 

21 hours ago, Taoist Texts said:

Trees dont do anything.

 

Plants are the air-purifiers for planet earth. They clean it, and in doing so produce the oxygen we, and all animals need to survive. This happens through one of the most amazing chemical reactions you can imagine, photosynthesis.

- Botanical Society of America

 

Now man is trying to contain global warming through reforestation.

 

Each of us leaves behind carbon footprints.

 

- Anand

 

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10 hours ago, Sebastian said:

Enjoy everything. Don't get caught up in any one fish or thing, but try to be helpful to everyone in the aquarium.

 

 

tenor.gif

 

 

giphy.gif

 

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On 7/26/2019 at 12:56 AM, MildMouse23 said:

 

I like to meditate in the forest, does that count?

Not unless your doing stillness movement with a tree.

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Posted (edited)

Slightly OffT perhaps but i’ve pondered what sort of feedback flora gives and i’d appreciate some feedback on these impressions. Not meaning to derail, i just thought that it could be the right place.

 

So, ”met” a lot of trees and i gotta say most i’ve had the occassion to spontaneously come in some sort of ”feeling expericence” type of contact with have been pretty grumpy, stale or bitter somehow if not directly hostile/off-putting. Birch, ash, chestnut, beech, some oaks and rowan (landscape and soil type has major influence i think) and maples are just not very nice. Some individuals are either just not open to me at all and others seem very chill, but they are exceptions. 

 

Some were in city areas, some in the forest and other very different settings, they were all different in flavor and feel.

Most of them didn’t seem to be at odds with me being human, their baseline gave me aversion and mistrust as a reaction.

A few i’ve tried to elaborate with have seemed responsive but erratic, confused or detached. I’ve come to the concluseion that most leaf bearing plants are just not very buddy buddy like.

Conifers have shown variation, pine-trees have this silent but inclusive vibe going almost everywhere i meet one, they keep birch at bay or as ”pets” almost. I really like pines, we have understanding. 

Junipers and spruce can be nice if the plants have space and reflect lush nourishment and growth but as soon as they stand close or in a thick forest they’re just defensive and almost angry, unless the soil is considerably damp and sour (that earthy, pungent smell of acidified spruce sap and stale marshlands) where they’re downright depressive to be around, there is almost a decadent vibe of enjoying the rot... idk, i guess it could be silly of me but the experiences have been fairly consistent.

 

Cultivated or half ”domesticized” fruit trees, flowers and similar plants often incite a very positive disposition, my impression is they’re really into hustle and bustle and relating to things somehow... i tried to chill with some multimillenary olive trees last summer and that felt good, majestic and just beyond, i dont think they related but they felt very safe to be around.

 

But regular trees in nature, as they come in scandinavia at least are not my kind of crowd at all. Further up north where forests grow and are tended to over a cycle of about a century is better because, i think, their growth period is slow and they come up well balanced because loggers and forest keepers calculate and clear out competing flora to encourage the trees to feed well. Farther south where there is more nourishment and seasons are less harsh the trees feel sorta dull and heady in comparison, as if the industrial cultivation gives them too much juice so they go a bit gym-rat after some fifty years of mainlining Earth food undisturbed...

 

From keeping a cutesy little garden with all manner of fruit and flowers and a senile old chestnut(?) that had its crown chopped off decades ago before we moved in i like to keep flora as company, especially the cheery ones, but trees in general are no-go for energetic practice for me.

I’d say that beside those few ”friendly” trees i bump into (and i apologize to almost all who seem disturbed or negative just in case, like bumping people in the streets) flora is more useful as barometers for what kind of energy the land and sky creates there. A good spot has chill trees and bushes, inauspicious land is detectable from how its inhabitants feel and live.

 

Does any part of this resonate with those of you who work with trees in qi-gong or do i need to go in the padded room with my ideas on this? 

Edited by Rocky Lionmouth
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