A Beautiful Tree Appears in My Meditations

Question

I’m having trouble understanding what my meditations mean. Almost every time I meditate I see the same tree, but always in a different place, and it’s never the focal point of what I’m seeing. But it’s in every single one. It’s the most beautiful tree I’ve ever seen, every limb is perfectly shaped and curved. It’s almost like a bonsai tree but it’s much larger. And its colors are always so bright and vibrant, no matter where the tree is. I just need help understanding what this means?

—Gavin Melton, US

Answer

Dear Gavin,

Meditation is a process of stilling the restless mind and opening one’s heart to divine love. In deep meditation, when your breath and mind are very still, you will generally not be “seeing” anything except the light of the spiritual eye.

Meditation comes in two parts: the “getting there” and the “being there.” For a long time, most meditators work with the first part, using meditation techniques to arrive eventually at a state of deep inner calmness. Nevertheless, this part of meditation is essential and also very beneficial.

So while one is working primarily with the “getting there” part of meditation, it is not uncommon to have things appear to your inner vision, such as what you mention: the beautiful, colorful tree. It is probably best to approach what is happening to you in this way:

When it appears to you, pray to God (and Guru, if you have one) to reveal to you the meaning of what you are seeing, and what, if anything, you need to learn from it or do about it. It’s possible that it is some sort of symbol which has a specific message for you. A “Tree of Life” appears as a symbol in many religions and cultures, including the yogic path.

But it’s best not to try too hard to figure it out! Once you have asked for guidance in understanding whatever it is you might need to know, then relax and trust that what you need to know will be revealed to you at just the right time.

And remember that this is your unique vision alone. Asking someone outside of yourself to “analyze” it for you is never as effective as seeking out and receiving your own inner guidance.

Continue to meditate deeply. If you know and practice the techniques of Yogananda’s Kriya Yoga path, these will be enough to lead you quickly to freedom and oneness with God, the goal of all meditation practices.