We joined hands forming our own sacred circle of love- each excited with anticipation, not only because of the miraculous surroundings in our midst but also for the entire adventure that had just begun. As we were individually drawn to explore the forest, small groups formed naturally, and Ruthi and I paired off together taking the trail to the left, as others walked on ahead. The astute hikers sought the high trails and, in an instant, we all set out on our own.
|Ruthi Cohen Joyner
Being of Jewish decent, Ruthi expressed sincere difficulty in trying to forgive the horrific genocide of her ancestors. She was not sure that she could extend such a magnanimous and loving gesture to Hitler and the Natzis and like-minded individuals who perform such horrific crimes against humanity. She related to the trees’ unique hardships at the hands of lumbering companies who aim for profit and care little about the mass destruction of precious forests. As we spoke of the need to be compassionate and to forgive (whether it be heinous crimes against humanity or the thoughtless destruction of nature), I was touched by Ruthi’s kindness in mentioning how she benefited from listening to my Embracing Forgiveness CD. I know the benefits of forgiveness, and I am always humbled by those who give such sincere testimony about my guided meditation to help others heal their hearts.
As we spoke about the need to forgive, Ruthi suddenly felt the magnetic pull of a nearby fallen tree, and she stepped up and over a ridge to touch the limbs. “This is the time,” I urged my new spiritual sister, “to let go of convention and allow the powerful energy of the trees to help you forgive the past- once and for all.” I slowly walked on and in a private and profound exchange, Ruthi experienced a personal transformation of surrender and sending the loving energies of forgiveness into her own family and society’s past. When her communion with the fallen tree ended, Ruthi stepped back onto the trail alongside me. She appeared visibly changed. Forgiveness does that to a person. Her whole countenance radiated serenity and peace- previously experienced on the outside- now within. We walked on in reverent silence.
Muir Woods resounded with a plethora of boisterous tourists, who totally ignored the signs to quietly honor the natural habitat. We were all grateful that our early arrival gave us the privacy we enjoyed in such a magical place. The energies remained palpable and stayed with us long after we boarded our van headed north to Mt. Shasta. Even now… I can still feel the loving embrace of the ancient, magical trees.