In 1993, I was walking in the woods with my chocolate Labrador. It was a normal activity on a typical day. I had no particular thoughts as I was simply enjoying being in a natural setting. As we started down a small incline towards a creek, I placed my hand against a tree for balance and then, everything changed.
The only way I can describe this sudden shift in perception is extremely limited by the confines of language. I am a visual person, but I will do my best to paint the picture with words.
The second my hand made contact with the bark of the tree, I was literally plunged into another form of being. I suddenly became the tree and I could feel and "see" my roots within the earth. Then, my knowing (it is the only word I can think of using to describe my state of perception) pulled out and I could "see" where this tree stood on the planet. This smooth transition continued as I again pulled out into our universe and felt at One with everything.
Just as suddenly, I was back in my body in the exact position before this event. I looked down at my dog, who did not seem impatient at what I assumed was a lapse of time standing still, and continued my forward motion down the small hill. Needless to say, during the rest of my walk, I tried to make sense of what had just happened to me.
Like my NDE (Near Death Experience), which I described in one of my previous posts, I had no points of reference or teachings to explain what had occurred. It would take another 14 years before I found a person who could answer my questions. This exchange took place during a yoga retreat at a satsang in southern Quebec. I asked a most enlightened gentleman from India, Sri Vast, if he understood what had happened to me.
I remember the immediate feeling of comfort I felt, when he laughingly replied that this also happened to him all the time. He described this experience of Oneness from his cultural perspective and then asked me, "Tell me, have you been touching trees since that time?". I sheepishly admitted that I had and he told me to stop trying to re-create the moment since, by focusing on the past, I would be blocking other even more fascinating events from taking place within my daily life .
Wise words to live by....although I do occasionally find myself in front of a magnificent tree and wonder, "Maybe if I just touch this one".
For further research, please checkout the following website:
Sri Vast, an Inspiration for a New Humanity