begin and end with a meditation
I was pretty blown away when I had my first herbal meditation. I mean what is that even? Well I was attending a year long herb program and about 40 of us were sitting in a large room and we were spending the weekend with a guest teacher who was mostly a wild forager and medicine maker.
Of course he was much much more, however as a sort of close to the first day he said something like “let’s find out about this plants medicine” and passed around an unlabelled tincture which we all took a drop of and then closed our eyes and “meditated” for 15 minutes.
I spent most of my time in my head trying to figure out what the plant was and worrying about my ability to do that within my peer group. Luckily not everyone was on that particular wavelength and as we shared our experiences I started to glean just how much our bodies knew about what was going on in and also within them, when we let our minds get out of the way.
That started a lifelong practice of me sitting quietly with the plants and getting to know them, using all my senses - observation, taste, sounds (often songs are heard!) smells, feelings and that thing, the spidey sense. This is traditional medicine and how my ancestors learnt about the healing properties of plants.
Most of all though, what this practice gives me is a way to trust my senses. There is enough information to confirm that what I gleaned by just being present with a plant can also be explained by chemical x reacting to chemical y responsible for action z. Set a group of people in a room and ask them to take an unknown herb and report on their impressions and you will amazed at the similarities and themes that spring up and resonate.
It’s something that I have being doing for years now, and something that I love to share, this way of being with the plants so that we can be supported in trusting our bodies, trusting our feelings. Each month I will be offering a guided meditation, inspired by a herb that I am wildcrafting. This month it’s the emergent Stinging Nettle Urtica dioica.
Enjoy and I would love to hear your thoughts!