Secrets of Magic 18: Think green

We learn in grade school that plants exhale oxygen and breathe in carbon dioxide, while humans breathe in oxygen and exhale carbon dioxide, in a symbiotic relationship. We exchange more than air with plants. They form the bulk of our diet, including grains such as wheat and rice, legumes like lentils and beans, and vegetables. Herbs provide spices and medicines. Just as importantly, the presence of green growing things provides us with vital energy that feeds our spirits.

Gardening is the best way to rediscover how we are embedded in the earth and to synchronize ourselves with the seasons. When we turn the soil to add compost, or even fill a pot with soil, we enact the ancient relationship of human with land. Helping a seedling grow to a mighty plant, enjoying its flowers and picking its fruits, connects us with the forces of birth and beginnings, growth and strength, completion and reproduction, withdrawal and death, and rebirth.

Even when we can’t garden, we can notice the trees in our environment. There’s a reason people hug trees—they channel energy directly from the planet, giving us a direct access to the earth’s energy, and they wick off our excess energy and negative energy to direct it harmlessly into the ground.

Introducing plants into our homes brings their energy into our immediate environment. Plants in containers on windowsills and cut flowers or greens in vases work equally well. It’s important to change the plants out when they wither, as they then spread the energy of decay. We can keep the energy fresh by replacing spent flowers with new ones and removing dead leaves from container plants.

Paying mindful attention to our relationship with plants helps us to gain the greatest benefit from the gifts they give us, both the physical gifts, and the spiritual ones.

I exchange energy with the plants in my environment.

Practice: Create the stages
The next time you are outside near a tree, place a hand on its trunk. What do you notice about your energy and the energy of the tree? Imagine energy coming from the tree into your body. Now imagine energy flowing from your body into the tree.

Eat a salad or a handful of fresh vegetables. As you eat, pay attention to the colors and the flavors of the vegetables. Imagine the energy of the vegetables flowing into your body. Give brief thanks to the plants for sustaining your life.

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