Day Program: Forest Bathing/Shinrin-yoku Experience
January 21, 2024
Forest Bathing/Shinrin-yoku Experience – Where Nature Greets the Soul
Inspired by the Japanese practice of Shinrin-yoku (forest bathing), forest therapy enhances one’s health and well-being through connection to and interaction with the natural world. Forest therapy follows a sequence of guided invitations that provide structure while embracing opportunities for creativity and serendipity. Each experience is a chance to explore and cultivate a deepening relationship with nature.
The experience lasts for approximately 2.5 hours.
Guided Forest Bathing:
Led by experienced nature guides, embark on a mindful exploration through the lush woodlands of Drala Mountain Center. Engage in guided activities designed to awaken your senses, heighten your awareness, and deepen your connection with the natural environment. Our guides will gently encourage you to savor the present moment, allowing the forest to become a sanctuary for relaxation and introspection.
Immerse yourself in the sights, sounds, and scents of the forest as you stroll along tranquil paths. Feel the softness of moss beneath your fingertips, listen to the gentle rustle of leaves, and breathe in the crisp, invigorating air. This sensory journey aims to restore balance, reduce stress, and promote a profound sense of well-being through the therapeutic power of nature.
Mindful Meditative Moments:
Discover carefully selected meditation points nestled within the forest, where you can pause and engage in guided meditation sessions. These serene locations, enhanced by the natural energy of the surroundings, provide a tranquil space for reflection, mindfulness, and the cultivation of inner peace.
Invitation to Engage Nature:
Invitations in forest bathing are gentle prompts crafted by experienced guides, encouraging participants to engage mindfully with nature. These prompts, ranging from touching soft moss to listening to whispering leaves, create a sensory and contemplative exploration. Each invitation provides an opportunity to slow down, embrace the present, and foster a profound connection with the forest.
Tea Ceremony in Nature:
The experience ends with the ancient tea ritual in a setting that harmonizes with the rhythm of the forest. A secluded clearing serves as the backdrop for a calming tea ceremony, allowing you to savor the flavors of locally sourced herbal teas while surrounded by the soothing sounds of nature.
Closing Circle and Sharing:
Conclude your Shinrin-Yoku experience with a communal closing circle. Share your reflections, experiences, and newfound connections with fellow participants. This collective moment fosters a sense of unity and gratitude, leaving you with lasting memories of a transformative journey through nature’s embrace.
Nature’s healing energy awaits as you immerse yourself in the timeless beauty of the forest, guided by the principles of mindfulness and connection. Rediscover your inner balance, rejuvenate your spirit, and let the forest be your guide on this enriching journey at Drala Mountain Center.
Participants will meet at the Guest Services Cabin. After entering the main gate, just past the stop sign across from the main parking area, you’ll see the Guest Services Cabin on the right. Please park in the main lot (to your left, across from Guest Services) and walk to Guest Services.
Extend Your Experience:
Consider joining us for a healthy lunch (by donation) or stay overnight to enjoy the sacred land of DMC for a bit longer!
The Nature Fix: Why Nature Makes us Happier, Healthier, and More Creative by Florence Williams
Escape the hustle and immerse yourself in the therapeutic embrace of nature with our exclusive 2.5-hour Shinrin-Yoku experience at Drala Mountain Center. Inspired by the Japanese art of forest bathing, this immersive journey invites you to slow down, connect with the natural world, and find rejuvenation amidst the ancient and serene forests surrounding the center.
Laurie Fonken, Ph.D. Educator and Counselor. 25 years as a professional counselor and educator in the field of health and well-being and is a certified guide through the Association for Nature and Forest Therapy (ANFT).