In universal Asian understanding of nature, there are five elements, or forms of energy, that make up the physical world: Wood, Fire, Earth, Metal, and Water. Together, they create the Elemental Cycle, which gives rise to all the processes of nature as the elements interact—wood feeding fire, fire creating earth, earth forging metal, and so on.
These same elements are within the human being, too, in various proportions, and balancing them within the energy body is an important key to health. In the next five blog posts, we will look at each of the elements and provide a meditation to help bring that element into balance in your life.
The first element we will examine is wood. As humans, we have relied a lot upon this element to build our homes and to provide the primary fuel for fire. Wood represents the human being’s ability to grow and change, just as the giant oak sprouts from the tiny acorn. When wood energy is poor within the human energy body, we may face stagnation in life with few opportunities for physical, mental, or spiritual betterment. In the physical body, this may manifest as liver or gall bladder issues, or in problems of the arms and legs.
The Wisdom of Trees
If you have ever stood in awe of a giant sequoia or an ancient oak tree, you already have some idea of the power of wood. We often speak of giant, old trees as though they are wise old spirits, beings who have stored up all the wisdom of the ages through a slow, long process of growth. This perception is quite accurate. They indeed embody the energy of growth and wisdom, and that is the energy that wood can bring into your life. So, practice wood meditation often if you wish to progress with strength and wisdom on your spiritual path.
You gain some wood energy through contact with any wood, even a young sapling or a piece of wooden furniture. But the best bet is to find one of those beautiful old trees that seem to embody the energy of a wise old grandma or grandpa. I recommend that you go on a trip into nature to find a tree that speaks to you on the spiritual level; undoubtedly, you will know when you find one. When you have, do the following meditation to imbue yourself with the energy of wisdom and growth.
Wood Elemental Meditation
- Find a time and place when you can sit quietly with the wood with whom you will be communing. A special wooden object or a backyard tree is okay, but a special, old tree you have found in nature is even better.
- Stand in front of the tree with your feet shoulder width apart and your feet parallel. Stand straight and relax your shoulders as you breathe deeply into your abdomen. Exhale and release all tension.
- Place your palms on the trunk of the tree and feel the rough texture of the bark. Keep your elbows bent and your arms soft. Close your eyes and feel the energy of the tree enter your palms and then your arms, imagining an arch of energy connecting the energy of your heart to the energy of the tree.
- Visualize the energy of the tree mingling with the energy of your heart, and then with the energy of your body and brain. Feel the strength and life of the tree entering your energy body.
- Continue to breathe in and out as you exchange energy with the tree. When you feel refreshed and renewed, end your meditation and slowly lower your arms. Open your eyes and see how the tree and the world around you look different, perhaps brighter and more vivid.
- Before departing from your tree, place your palms together in the prayer position and bow forward from the waist as an expression of sincere gratitude.
The Healing Powers of Wood
If you want to bring the energy of wood into your life, repeat this meditation often and consider bringing more wood into your daily experience, maybe by planting more trees in your yard or by including more wooden objects in your home. Turn to the energy of wood whenever you feel shaken by something, such as when you have experienced trauma or great disappointment of some kind. If you are angry or upset, you will find that wood, especially in the form of live trees, has the power to “soak up” the hot energies of these emotions, cooling your mind so you can act from your highest wisdom. Eventually, you might begin to see wood as a great friend who’s there to help you on your way.