I could feel the energy in the hall as the issue came up. I was nervous about speaking, but I knew that it was important for my little community.

I never thought that I’d be arguing for a tree to be cut down.

I grew up in a family that spent a lot of time on walks in the woods and hiking trips. My dad considered the forest his church. Yet, there I was, in my local town meeting, ready to argue for taking down a healthy tree.

I felt no ill will towards those who wanted to save the tree, because I knew that we were really on the same side.

We both knew this truth: Our connection to nature reminds us of a wholeness greater than ourselves. {Tweet it!} It pulls us beyond our everyday concerns and into a larger consciousness of life.

Spending a few minutes in the garden or in nature is truly the lazy mama’s trick for presence.

Being immersed in nature is like the ultimate goal of Yoga – to train the bodymind & spirit to merge the small self with the larger Self, or universal force.

Buddhism teaches Interconnection – that we are really not separate from the rest of life, from the rest of the earth. Just as an individual wave is not separate from the rest of the ocean, there is no “I” that is separate from all that is.

Connecting to the earth reminds us of what we often forget – that we are part of a larger whole.

Whether we know of those concepts or not, when we get in nature we feel reassured and at ease.


So why did I want that tree cut down? In fact, we have 40-50 trees on our little half-acre forest. It seems incongruous.


The reason goes back to our little forest – we have so much lovely shade that it is impossible to grow vegetables here. The tree we wanted cut down had been shading our beloved community garden, where neighbors of all ages meet to connect with the earth and with our food sources. So, I am grateful that down it came – with a replacement planted where it can grow and shade children’s play for years to come.

The gardeners and the tree-lovers both wanted to protect our meaningful connection to the earth – to the leaves and the soil, the birds and the the myriad of nature’s details that soothe the senses. It brings us beyond ourselves into a wider, broader sense of interconnection.

Become Present

Choose to practice mindfulness in nature today to feel that sense of interconnection yourself. Here are four ways:

  1. Garden mindfully. Slow down and become present, noticing your in-breath and your out-breath. Try this little slogan or gatha, “Breathing in, I see my true nature.” and then, “Breathing out, I feel peace.”
  2. Practice walking meditation. Walk slowly and bring your awareness into your body. Notice how the soles of your feet feel as they touch the earth. Try this gatha with each step: “I have arrived,” then with your next step, “I am home.” Breathe and smile.
  3. Look with appreciation. Take a few moments to look closely at a tiny flower bud, rock or piece of bark. Appreciate the intricacy. You can also practice surya dristi, or sun-gazing meditation at sunrise or sunset. This yogic practice aims to connect us with the source of life.
  4. Listen with awareness.   Quiet yourself as you listen to the birds and all the other sounds around you. See if you can enhance your awareness to notice more than you usually do.

Now it’s your turn.


In the comments below, tell us about your favorite place to connect with the earth and why it is so special to you.

I teach mindfulness and yoga so that we can all come back to our true selves. You that sense of larger interconnection in nature as well as in a daily yoga practice. I hope you feel it today!


Be well,


P.S.  Soon, I will be opening up registration for this year’s last session of the Daily Practice program, a 28-day immersion into yoga and mindfulness for self-care. Make sure you are signed up to know when the program opens!