When we sit with a plant and consciously breathe in their oxygen and breathe out for them our carbon dioxide, we create an intimate connection with that plant in that particular moment. We share breath. Plants breathe out the oxygen that we need, and in turn, they “breathe” the carbon dioxide that we breathe out.
I heard about Greenbreath, a meditation with music developed by Pam Montgomery, and I felt drawn to the idea of a breathing meditation with a plant in a similar way. Before I tried Greenbreath for myself, I tried working with the sharing of breath using simple focused breathing, with an awareness of exchange of breath with the plant. The depth of connection was profound and wonderful. I found myself sitting for almost an hour without realisation of the passing of time. I felt a deep connectedness with all things and most deeply with the plant.
This was not a guided meditation, just simple sitting but with the conscious awareness and intention of sharing breath with the plant. I have tried several ways of doing this, but the way that works best for me is to find a way of being in almost direct physical contact with the plant. I’m sure you don’t actually need to be that close – but this is what works best for me. It helps me to maintain my focus.
So first, you need to choose a plant to work with. The first flower I sat with was a tulip. Although I didn’t feel drawn to make an essence, it was really wonderful to work with. But you can choose any plant – tree, lichen, moss – whatever you feel drawn to. There is full information on how to choose your plant and how to become settled on our page about Plant Communication for Beginners.
Once you have chosen, make yourself comfortable as close to the flower as you can get, and spend a little time just sitting and settling into your space.
Once you feel settled, lean towards the plant and express your intent either out loud, or simply from within. If you receive a clear no, then you should choose a different plant. A “no” can simply be a feeling of discomfort of some kind. If all feels comfortable and well to you, then introduce yourself and spend a little time looking at and being with the plant. Begin to breathe consciously.
You can choose to breathe in and out through your mouth, which is a powerful circular breathing technique. If you do this, then breathe in through your mouth deeply and calmly and breathe out again through your mouth, leaving no pause between the in and out breaths. Focus on your breath and its circular, hypnotic motion. Allow all blockages to clear and fall away. If you find yourself thinking about other things, simply return your focus to the circular breath.
Alternatively, you can choose to breathe in through your nose, and then out through your mouth. For this meditation, I prefer to breathe in through my nose and out through my mouth because I enjoy the scent of the plant. It adds an extra sensory awareness of the plant for me. In fact, from time to time, as I feel drawn, I will lean forward very close to the plant and deliberately breath in the scent of it. It can be intoxicating! But I have also found it illuminating.
Sit with the plant and if you find your attention wandering, bring it back to conscious breathing with the plant – focus on your intention to intimately share breath with this wonderful being and focus on your own breathing.
It is not always necessary for something to happen. Often, I meditate with a plant, and find that I have simply enjoyed sitting, focusing on my breath, being calm and taking some time for myself. I feel refreshed and re-charged.
Sometimes, I feel frustrated and unable to focus. When this is the case, I prefer to do something different. I love to do the Dance of the Five Elements, and I might repeat the dance a couple of times and then move on to a different (usually more physical) activity.
Sometimes, I sit with a plant and the connection is awesome and deeply spiritual. The boundaries between myself, the plant and the universe blur and I feel larger, as though the space between all my atoms has widened.
No one experience is greater or lesser than the other. They are all just different experiences.
If you choose, you can use flower essences for finding deep connections with nature and your own intuition, and for assisting in a deeper meditative state. You could think of:
Mirrors our resting at peace, sitting in quiet wonderment at the true beauty of everything in this astonishing universe. In this peace, attitudes and opinions ease away – finally leaving only pure consciousness, pure awareness.