Friday, December 19, 2008


This article from Singapore is about a group of people who practice a type of qigong / daoyin / yangsheng in the Botanical Gardens in order to be near plants.

Not to be confused with qigong, the traditional Chinese discipline of circulating energy within the body, "tree-gong" is rooted in the Tao Te Ching (a classic Chinese philosophy text) and ancient Chinese principles of energy flow, said Ms Law's instructor, Mr Thomas Kwan.

The 50-year-old said that the energy from plants and trees aids the human body in "getting rid of 'congestion' that makes us feel unwell".

At Yosan we learn something similar - it's a simple meditation where you find a tree that you like and sit beneath it for 30 minutes a day. That's it! The benefits are reduced stress, lower blood pressure, a sensation of peace and overall well-being.

It might sound too simple, but the mere fact that there isn't anything to "do" is what makes this exercise unique. Turn off your cellphone. No reading books or magazines to pass the time. Don't try any special meditation techniques. Bring a chair if you like, be comfortable.

Finding and picking the right tree is most of the work. Some of us are lucky enough to have one right outside our doors. If you live in the city like me you might have to travel for a bit to find a tree that you vibe with. Also, rotate trees after a month or so.


Carryout said...

I was really intrigued by this post on tree gong. I went out to my local park and found a tree to sit. I was curious what the significance of "30 minutes" was, if there was any?


Jonah Ewell said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Jonah Ewell said...

Hey carryout, no real significance to the amount of time. 30 minutes is long enough so that your everyday consciousness begins to fall away, but not so long that your butt hurts and ants begin to crawl on you.

How was your experience in the park?