How to Practice Plant Spirit Meditation

How to Practice Plant Spirit Meditation

Getty/Dani DG

Meditating and journeying with plant spirits is a powerful way to deepen your connection to nature. One druid teacher offers her wisdom.

Humans have been connecting spiritually with plants since before recorded history. You can work with the spirits of plants to learn from them, access healing and health, and deepen your own connection to nature.

The first step is to choose a plant to work with. I recommend choosing plants that humans have grown for many, many years, like sage, rosemary, mugwort, thyme, apple, or strawberry. These plants have very long relationships with humans and are gentle teachers. It is a great idea to choose a plant you already have some relationship with—maybe one you grow in your garden or on your windowsill, or one that you harvest for medicine. Once you’ve had some experience, you can branch out and work with a wide variety of plants in the broader world.

Sensory Meditation With Plants

One of the first things to be aware of in this work is that plants have spirit and awareness too. Thus, it is best to treat them with the same respect you would any human teacher, which includes introducing yourself, asking permission to interact, and offering your gratitude. Unfortunately, in today’s age, too many humans are not aware of the spirits of nature and end up taking from them without permission or acknowledgement. If you want to work with the plant spirits and learn their medicine, it is important to first treat them respectfully, and this respect goes a long way towards strengthening your relationship with them and learning their deeper teachings. You can develop your own methods for gratitude.

Begin by standing or sitting near the plant and taking a moment to clear your mind and open yourself up to spirit communication. Share gratitude and an offering to the plant—this can be water, a bit of tobacco, or perhaps some kind words. Then ask permission of the plant to interact and learn from them spiritually. As you ask, pay attention to what you feel, hear, see, or experience. Plants, like other spirit beings, can interact in many different ways, so you may see something physical (a leaf blowing in the wind) or feel the answer in your gut (that’s your intuition). If the plant says no, thank it and try a different plant or come back on a different day.

Assuming you have permission, take time to carefully observe the plant with your physical senses—see the way the leaves attach to the stem and observe any fruit or flowers that the plant may be producing. Get to know this plant with your senses of sight, touch, smell, and—if the plant is edible and it allows you—taste.

Once you’ve taken this time, turn your attention to your inner senses. What do you sense from this plant as an energetic being? Pay attention to the first thing that you feel with your body or any information or words that pop into your mind. Intuition is an embodied experience, and we can often communicate with other spiritual beings by paying attention to how our body changes and shifts in their presence. I suggest that you engage in this observation and meditative practice at least several times before moving to the next stage.

Journeying With Plant Spirits

Once you’ve begun to establish a relationship with a plant, the work can deepen through meditative journeying. There are many different methods and traditions for journeying with nature spirits, as it has been something that people have been practicing for much (if not all) of human history.

I will share one approach that is used in the druid tradition that utilizes the visualization of a sacred inner grove, where you can communicate with plant spirits. For your plant spirit journey, you will either want to be in a very comfortable position near your plant where you can sit or lay down, or have an image or a piece of the plant in a place you can be comfortable and not disturbed.

Begin by stating your intentions, such as, “I wish to journey to meet the spirit of rosemary and learn from her.” You may choose to cast a circle or cleanse the air with smoke to protect yourself and ready yourself for deep spiritual work.

Now, get yourself in a fully relaxed position (sitting or lying down), paying attention to your breathing. Take three deep breaths to start, then move into what is called “fourfold breath,” where you count to four as you inhale, lightly hold for four beats, exhale for four counts, and then lightly hold for four counts. After doing nine fourfold breaths, feel yourself relaxing into a normal breath.

Envision yourself on a path leading into a forest. Take all the time you need to build this image in your mind—the path beneath your feet, the edge of the forest, the deepening of the forest trees and plant life. As you walk the path further into the forest, you see a clearing—an inner sacred grove. This is a safe place. Take time to build the image of the grove—does your grove have trees? Stones, water features? And as you build this image, know that you can return to the grove and the space will always be a place of safety for you.

There, in the center of the clearing, is your plant. The plant may look larger than life or have other features not present in the physical world. Your plant may also exhibit other spirit characteristics, such as a face, a different form, and so on. Approach the plant spirit and exchange a greeting and spend time talking. At this point, the journey is between you and the plant—the plant may offer you teachings, take you on a journey to other groves or places in the inner realms, offer their spirit medicine, and more. One journey is rarely enough to learn everything you can from this spirit being. Complete your meditative journey by thanking the plant spirit and visualizing yourself returning the way you entered the grove, then grounding yourself in the here-and-now.

Once you are able to journey with the plants in this way, they can be your primary teachers and guides. This approach opens up an enormous number of possibilities for you to learn directly from the plants and enhance your existing practices with herbal medicine, the plant kingdom, and the spirits of the land.

Explore these three ways to spiritually connect with nature.

How to Practice Plant Spirit Meditation

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