In March 2011 – I was with a group of 25 people working with Marko Pogacnik in Manhattan for a week. The work was focused on encounters with great spiritual presences – the Hierarchies . We had been a group studying together, meeting every few months over two years in different locations in the USA. Some locations were urban, some rural, some wilderness and we were learning ways to perceive and communicate with the non sense-perceptible aspects of the varied landscapes .
Our group approached great boulders in Central Park as well as locations in the Inwood Hill Park;
Human activity has been present in Inwood Hill Park from prehistoric times. Through the 17th century, Native Americans known as the Lenape (Delawares) inhabited the area. There is evidence of a main encampment along the eastern edge of the park. The Lenape relied on both the Hudson and Harlem Rivers as sources for food. Artifacts and the remains of old campfires were found in Inwood’s rock shelters, suggesting their use for shelter and temporary living quarters. In 1954 the Peter Minuit Post of the American Legion dedicated a plaque at the southwest corner of the ballfield (at 214th Street) to mark the location of a historic tree and a legendary real estate transaction. A living link with the local Indians who resided in the area, a magnificent tulip tree stood and grew on that site for 280 years until its death in 1938. The marker also honors Peter Minuit’s reputed purchase of Manhattan from the Lenape in 1626. The celebrated sale has also been linked to sites in Lower Manhattan.
This gave us the opportunity to experience how Manhattan is a gateway to many worlds as well as a kind of “capitol” for the human world. That New York City is the seat of the United Nations is one expression of this. Another place we worked was the great meteor in the meditation room at the United Nations (placed there by Dag Hammarskjöld).
On the last day of our work in New York the group visited the Cloisters in the Northern End of Manhattan overlooking the Hudson River. Marko invited us to give our attention to one particular tree and to come back to the group with our impressions. We were familiar with this way of approaching a place or a particular aspect of a landscape. We were careful to ground through our feet and also to be open to cosmic forces from above with both of these streaming through our hearts . This we did using our Imaginative Cognitive attention. We were listening and noticing our perceptions.
We gave our attention in this way to the specific tree that Marko had identified. I experienced a delicate web of light (an ongoing fireworks where the colour and streaks of light were appearing like a fibre optics web of silica) pulsing and shining. It was an experience of a very large, conscious presence – a kind of library was the thought that arose in me in response to the image.
I felt a great warmth, excitement and a benevolence coming towards our group from this presence. We gathered to share our experiences and to hear Marko’s reason for bringing us to this particular tree. Marko’s presentation pointed to something he is experiencing that is new on the earth; he called it a tree civilization (we all thought of the Ents in the Lord of the Rings). This tree civilization is using mature and ancient trees in order to connect with humanity. Marko said that not all old trees are participating in this work but that in order to participate in this global network the tree must be mature (say 80 years and older).
This trip proved to mark an end of my old life and threshold to the new. Upon return from this work my husband said he had never felt me so far away. Shortly after this he declared he was ready to sell our home. Within six weeks the house was renovated (entire 2nd floor, basement cleared and transformed) and put up for sale. The house we rented after this was outside the city. There were four silver maples trees on that property where I first explored tree “conversations” that I documented using Derwent coloured ink pencils.
The encounter with that tree in the Cloisters in New York was the beginning of what has become a potentially life long work.
I returned to this tree in June of 2013 when I was back in the area.
The tree conversation from that second visit is what you can see on this page.