Contemplating a Leaf

This is a simple exercise in contemplation. It can give rise to deeper mysteries or it can be used to develop awareness. It’s best suited to the times when you are restful rather than outgoing.

How to Practice

Choose a leaf that has fallen and bring it home to a quiet corner.

Really look at this leaf. Notice all the aspects you can about it – its colour, its texture. Touch it gently with your fingers and notice along the edges, along the underside, along the top, along the stem, all of the different textures that are included in that leaf. Smell it. Is there a scent that you can discern? And if so, what is it like? As you move it in your hand, what are the sounds associated with that leaf? Feel it thoroughly.

Now close your eyes and imagine that you are bringing the essence of that leaf into your body – that somehow it could pass through your skin and sit in the centre of your body – affecting the way that your body works, the ways that your body feels, the emotions that your body evokes. Is this just a fallen leaf, or does it hold a certain life of its own?

Rest for a while in this and allow the connection to open. You don’t need to sense its energy or aliveness to make a connection. The connection already exists.


It doesn’t have to be a leaf, it can be a pebble or a shell, a petal, a feather, or a starry night sky.