Like everything else in life, the spiritual path has a trick to it that they never tell you about. They tell you how you should think and feel: “Accept all things evenly, as coming from God”; “Desire nothing, cling to nothing”; “Let the world be as ashes in your mouth.” What they don’t tell you is that this state is impossible to achieve in a real, meaningful way by one’s self. We need a guru or an embodied spiritual agent acting upon us to truly transform ourselves. Not even Jesus or Gautama Buddha did it by themselves: they were receiving lots of guidance and support from the spirit side; the Buddha even used a tree spirit to get enlightened, the technique which will be described presently.
For those of us who don’t have gurus, it is necessary to go to nature spirits to borrow the energy we need to keep ourselves straight on the spiritual path. The only difference between a human guru and a nature spirit is that the latter operates much more slowly and gently than the former; it can take months or years of going to the same nature spirit daily to obtain the same effect that a human guru can give with one swift blow.
People are using tree spirits all the time. Any time you have sat under a tree to read, or write, or relax, you have followed your true feelings to find a proper tree spirit, and then you’ve plugged your feelings into it. Your mind, your concepts, may be saying, “Oh, how lovely! Pretty day, blue sky – let’s go sit under a tree.” And you just sit there and don’t know what is happening; but your body knows it. Your body goes there because it needs it; and it knows exactly where to go, what to do there, and when to leave.
This is why trees are so important in the practice. Trees strengthen our essential being so we know what our desires are; not the desires of our parents, teachers, or society, but our own true desires, our intent, the reason we were born. They give us steadiness and sobriety – rootedness if you will.
In actual practice, it is most effective to resort to the same tree spirit or spirits every day – or better yet, every night, after you’ve already had a few hours sleep – for weeks or months at a time, rather than to go to different trees all the time (unless you have some specific need, such as a healing). This is because the effect of a tree spirit is incremental, and almost imperceptible at first. Only after you’ve resorted to the same tree daily for a long time will you begin to consciously feel what that tree is doing to you; although here and there you run into a tree who really socks it to you.
However, you can talk to a tree at any time, from your first visit, if you like; though there are trees that don’t have much to say, and which frankly eschew small talk. However, no tree prefers this form of communication, and no tree will talk to you if you’re acting stupidly. Any thoughts or feelings you have when you are sitting beneath a tree in a relaxed frame of mind are probably messages from the tree.
It’s best to sleep at a tree; next best is to doze, or just turn off your mind and listen to sounds, or meditate. But even sitting there thinking or reading has its beneficial effect; it’s just that the tree can perform its work more easily if you have your mind turned off. You can bring a groundcloth, pillow, mosquito net, or whatever else you may need to make yourself comfortable. The tree is not going to be impressed that you are sitting in e.g. a lotus position, if that is not truly a comfortable position for you. The important thing is to just relax.
Observe that you must not kill bugs, because trees regard that as a violation of their hospitality – one of their guests killing another – so if bugs bother you, shoo them away gently, or use insect repellant or netting.
If you do nothing else of spiritual exercises or work but only go to the trees (for a few minutes at least) every day or night, then you’ll find after a couple of months that you are just plain happier all the time, without any obvious reason for it.
(excerpted from Thought Forms - amzn.com/1499267444)