How to Practice Hugging Meditation

How to Practice Hugging Meditation
AP Photo/Rick Bowmer

In my hermitage I have planted beautiful trees. When I do walking meditation, I often stop and hug one of the trees, breathing in and out. It's very nourishing. The tree gives me strength, and it always seems to me that the tree responds to my hugging and breathing.

A tree is always available, but I'm not so sure about a person! Often, we're not really there with the people we love. We get caught up in other things, like our work or the news on TV. Hugging meditation is a practice of awareness. If we're not available, how can we hug someone? We return to ourselves to become totally present and available for the other person. If hugging isn't done in this spirit, it's only a ritual without content. When we're mindful and present, hugging has a deep power to heal, transform, and bring reconciliation.

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