The Power Of Trees and Chanting To Heal with Shannon Sullivan

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Sullivan shares with us the deep practice of healing our ancestral roots by using the analogy of trees. We use the imagery of trees in so many ways such as mapping out our ancestral tree. She shares how trees can be a mirror of our own bodies pointing out that we have much to learn from them as they guide us in understanding ourselves as well as our ancestral roots. She tells us that when a certain tree calls to us we can befriend it and allow its branches, leaves, trunk, and roots to teach us. Sullivan also speaks about the power of communal chanting. Gathering with others to chant provides powerful healing energy as it taps into the morphogenetic field of millions of people who have chanted for thousands of years. She says, “These songs create a bridge between the past, those who sung it, into the present, you who are singing it.” She reminds us that chanting with others moves us deeply on a soul level and connects us to Spirit and Mystery. (hosted by Justine Willis Toms)


Shannon Sullivan is an interfaith spiritual teacher and teacher of meditation. She has broad experience with many spiritual traditions from around the world as well as her communion with nature. Trees in particular have a deep significance for her and she's developed a series of teachings and meditations using the metaphor of trees. One of her teachings involves healing our ancestral roots.

To learn more about the work of Shannon Sullivan go to

Topics explored in this dialogue include: 

  • As a massage therapist, what was the pivotal moment that led Sullivan to experience energy fields that are invisible to the naked eye
  • How Sullivan looks at the analogy of a tree to guide us in our own ancestral history
  • Sullivan’s story of how the unconscious pain of abuse in her family’s history was carried within her
  • What are some of the questions Sullivan asks of her clients when working with healing ancestral roots
  • What is the significance of the practice of ofrenda – a Hispanic tradition of offering to our ancestors
  • Why Sullivan recommends befriending a particular tree
  • What is the grandmother ironwood tree that Sullivan has connected with
  • How collective chanting honors Spirit and has power to heal
  • What was the chant that Justine Toms sang at Michael Toms’ cremation ceremony
  • How Sullivan found a spiritual home that allows her to express the song of her soul in its fullness
  • What is the Japanese practice of Kintsugi

Host: Justine Willis Toms   Interview Date: 5/12/2020   Program Number: 3704

Music Playlist

From Album:  Rhythms of Awakening
Artist: Glen Velez
2005 Sounds True #M923D

Opening Essay: Track 01 Ostia
Music Break 1: Track 11 Forest Callings
Music Break 2: Track 04 Waking
Music Break 3: Harvest Full Moon 2019 – Shannon Sullivan (guest provided)