Monday, February 19, 2018

Invited to a Non-Traditional but Sacred Reflexology Path: Banyan Tree

Banyan Tree 
I was in Taiwan in October 2017 to attend the ICR Conference and Gina Stewart’s RVP at Garden of Hope in Taitung.  

I was very much looking forward to experiencing Reflexology paths. After doing our morning constitutional* in Taipei by the Tamsui River after our first night walking back to the hotel we passed through a small park called Yuquan Park where seniors and some younger people were exercising.  

A man said hi and invited us to join him and other seniors who were walking on the roots of this banyan tree.  How did he know?  Was it written all over our faces?  We took off our shoes at the edge and embarked on a "session of sacred tree reflexology."   Banyan trees are considered sacred.**. Regal felt we were invited into a tradition and that it was a very warm welcome, I could not agree more.

Sacred Tree
One of the woman (upon seeing me wear glasses I imagine) showed me an eye reflex on the thumb and said "eyes."  I in return showed her the adrenal gland reflex and demonstrated “stress,” we laughed and nodded at each other. 

We returned almost every morning before breakfast and encountered one of the ladies again and the man who invited us was just leaving on his bike the morning before we left town for Helulian. 

Again, this was so special because of the personal invitation and because banyan trees are considered sacred trees.  Some even say that it was a banyan tree that Buddha awoke under, but it seems to have been a different kind of fig tree.  I posted some great links on trees, mythology, and Buddhism as seen below and I will revisit them myself and do some more reading as soon as I can.   

Walking: It was not easy to walk on the roots and I lost balance a couple of times and yes, I also hit a branch more than once being so focused on the ground:-).  Walking  along the thick parts of the roots was easiest.  Before we left, we washed our feet.

The days I returned to this draft, I found myself cooking root vegetable soup.  I don’t remember making this decision consciously; it just happened and I also returned to wearing my tabi boots that make it easier to feel my own roots.  Although it was a bit below freezing my wool socks kept me warm almost until the end of my morning walk.

Slow traveling is my preference; taking more time for everything including the morning constitutional slows everything down and allows us to be more present.  I find  myself coming back refreshed and strengthened rather than exhausted from my vacation, although in this case it was also a week of work.  There were so many special moments every day.  But this one was extra special.  It truly was a warm welcome. 

Thank you for visiting as always, 

*(I have a daily morning constitutional with Mowgli in New York that was extended post Obama),  most people I know have not been immune to the change and are more stressed than usual; that includes me.  There will be a post about my modified practice at one point. 


shoes, bags, bikes are left at the edge
Yuquan Park is next to the bridge; our hotel below, Beiman Subway Station to the right 
Regal loves trees

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