“I think that I shall never see a poem lovely as a tree. A tree whose hungry mouth is prest against the earth’s sweet flowing breast” — Joyce Kilmer
I was startled one afternoon to receive a small potted plant from my friend, Helen, who begged with empassioned urgency, “Please take this ficus… Peter’s killing it!” One look at the small plant was all I needed to feel love and empathy for it, as I saw the few leaves it had were drooping, and it’s soil was dry with an air gap around the edges of dirt in its pot. The tiny ficus reminded me of Charlie Brown’s Christmas tree, with its diminutive size and stature so much smaller than one would expect from a tree.
This same ficus tree now stands taller than me, and has been a permanent resident in a place of honor by a south facing window in my living room for the last couple of decades. It has been through many repottings and branch trimmings over the years, and its trunk is now broader than my arm. I feel a sense of peace and love when I sit near this tree, in much the way I feel calmed when stroking a dog or cat’s fur.
We can benefit from feeling love and affection for plants every bit as much as we do for our furry companions, and some horticulturists have noted and written about how trees are pets, too. There are many similarities between plants and animals, with both depending on humans for care and optimal living conditions. Plants thrive when loved and cared for, and humans thrive when surrounded by supportive plants. Recent research studies have shown that plants have consciousness and the ability to communicate in ways that protect and defend their area, albeit on a much slower time scale than animals typically respond.
When I visited Dean Radin at the Institute of Noetic Sciences, I was delighted to see he had a lovely tree in his office. I write about this encounter in my book, Aura Advantage: How the Colors in Your Aura Can Help You Attain Your Desires and Attract Success:
“When plants have been hooked up to lie detector equipment, they’ve shown strong negative responses to being around someone who simply thought about burning a leaf, and responded equally strongly when a visitor arrived who killed plants for a living. Other researchers working with plants have found that they respond in a positive way to someone who feels love for them. When I participated in recent plant studies conducted at the Institute of Noetic Sciences, I could see the auric field of the plant expand as it responded to IONS Senior Scientist Dean Radin, author of numerous scientific research papers investigating various psychic phenomena. The plant reacted each time Radin stroked a tender new leaf, or brought some water for it when its soil was dry. At the same time as the plant’s auric field increased, the ECG-like monitoring equipment displayed a prolonged spike.”
My favorite night spent in a hotel was unquestionably the night I spent in a tree house in Oregon… where I felt a sense of ecstatic bliss being ensconced in a tree’s energy field all night long. I highly recommend the experience of spending time in a tree house if you ever get the opportunity, as there is no way I can adequately or completely describe the sense of joy and wonder I felt as I felt the tree swaying me gently while holding me securely all night long.
If you feel somewhat skeptical that plants can demonstrate consciousness in any way humans can relate to, I encourage you to check out some of the amazing work being done at Damanhur, Italy, involving music of the plants. My first encounter with plants playing music was at the second international conference on science and consciousness in Albuquerque, New Mexico, when plants played music on Stephen Halpern’s synthesizer, with amazing results. As I reported for Enlightenment News in June 2000,
“The evening Steven Halpern concert was truly amazing, because Steven had a very special guest performer – a potted plant! A philodendron was hooked up to a MIDI and synthesizer with two alligator clipped wires, and it proceeded to play a beautiful, complex piece of very unique music. The philodendron’s song started off sounding a little bit sleepy, then gradually picked up tempo and proceeded to play a song unlike anything I’ve ever heard humans play! It was exquisite, and soothing, and fresh. The notes would rise and sustain on high notes that sounded something like someone playing a rising scale on a xylophone … then it would be quiet.
Next, a melody would begin with lower notes and a chord would hang suspended and sustained as notes rose slowly … bringing to my mind the vision of water flowing down gently from a plant’s leaves into the soil after a rain. I almost felt like I could smell the fresh air of the outdoors in this very large conference room! Halpern explained that some people from Damanhur in Italy had created the technology which allows any plant to “sing,” provided the plant is awake and willing to participate.”
To get an idea of just how amazing music of the plants truly sounds, I encourage you to watch a video filmed in Damanhur, Italy that shows talking, musical plants.
I hope you’ll enjoy watching and sharing my YouTube video summary of Plants are Pets, Too — featuring me and my furry canine companion — and I hope you’ll feel free to leave comments either here on this blog or on my YouTube video page.
Noticing that plants have conscious awareness is something we can benefit from in many ways, not the least of which involves feeling the joy and comfort of having special relationships with them. And all of this helps expand what we imagine possible when we contemplate my favorite meditative question, “How good can it get?!”