Tuesday, July 30, 2013
The plants are talking, are you listening?
A recent study published in The Economist showed evidence of something that herbalists, indigenous people, and folk healers have known for generations. In the study scientists demonstrated that in a group of tomato plants growing close to one another, when one became sick nearby plants activated their genetic defenses against the bug. When airflow between the plants was restricted, these responses were still activated. The scientists conclusions? These responses are triggered through an interconnected web of communication lying beneath the surface of the soil.
When I read this story, I was delighted to find confirmation of something that I have known deep inside my spirit for many years. Plants are connected to each other in ways that we can't even imagine. If the plants are communicating with each other in such a way, who is to say that humans and plants can't communicate? Ask any gardener and they will tell you that working in the garden shifts their mood or emotional state. Is this because gardening slows one down and inherently reduces stress? Perhaps. But could this also be that plants have an inherent ability to communicate with us on a deeper level, "beneath the soil", if you will?
My cosmology guides me to an understanding of the relationship between plants and humans as deeper than science has been able to prove. I have found through my own experience and witnessing the experiences of my clients and students, that when we slow down and open to deep listening, plant and human communication is possible. In today's busy world, it is difficult to find the time for stillness to open to this communication. But imagine what might be possible if you did?
Today, I invite you to allow yourself to be inspired by the tomato plants in this study. Find 5-15 minutes in your busy schedule and find a plant in your life to sit with. This could be a plant in your garden. a beloved houseplant, a tree in a nearby forest, or even the wild roses growing underneath the freeway near your home. Find a comfortable position and take some deep breaths connecting with your center. You may want to imagine that you have roots that reach down into the earth. You can imagine that these roots intertwine with the roots of the plant you are sitting with. Take a breath into your connection with that plant, however you feel that connection. And from that place of connection, listen. What is this precious green blood saying to you?
You may be surprised with what you hear.