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By Sarah Hodges

Next time you feel overwhelmed, stressed, or frazzled, find a tree somewhere outside and lean your back against its big trunk. Sit there with your spine connected to the tree trunk for 10-15 minutes, and observe any changes in the way you feel. You may be greatly surprised to discover the calming effect of tree-leaning.

A few years ago when I was feeling the stress of living in a city, I went to visit the Sequoia trees in Southern California with a  good friend from Austria. When we arrived we searched for an inviting space to sit, and she suggested we meditate with our backs against the tree. We both found a comfortable position sitting on the ground, our backs resting gently on the tree’s massive trunk, and closed our eyes. I felt a peace wash over me and even released some tears as I felt a pressure lift off my body and mind. When we opened our eyes again and spoke, we both said the same thing — we both felt as if we were in the warm embrace of a wise grandparent, reminding us that everything would be OK.

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This post is also available in: 日本語 (Japanese)