After several Forest Bathing – Nature Therapy walks I am pleased to say that our purpose built trails are a great addition to the Limina experience. They seem to be providing a beautiful opportunity for our guests to connect with Nature. Hidden fern gardens, wildflower meadows, Hemlock families, babbling brooks, a treasure filled beach and even a stoic Tree Man. I have walked by this tree several times and only last week did I notice my new friend, tree man, holding the weight of a fallen friend. He, like many other examples in Nature, continue to show me how Nature often finds a wonderous way to adapt. I not only admire the resilience but I am amazed by the beauty that has come from this transformation. I wonder when the neighboring limb first fell on this Beech tree and I had noticed the ‘Liminal’ state of this tree, would I have tried to fix it and not let him adapt as it has?
I have noticed that many people are still trying to understand what Forest Bathing is. I think Nature Therapy is probably a better name. The following is a good description.
The primary goal of Forest Therapy is to support the wellness and health of participants through guided immersive experiences in forests and other natural settings. A Forest Therapy Guide facilitates safe gentle walks, providing instructions—referred to as “invitations”—for sensory opening activities along the way. These walks follow a standard sequence. They begin with guided sensory attention and embodiment activities that establish contact with the present moment and place. Next come a series of connective invitations, often improvised in the moment and adapted to the needs of participants. These may be followed by wander time and/or sit spot. The walks end with a ceremony of sharing tea made from foraged local plants. Guides are not therapists. Support for wellness, personal development, and perhaps healing comes to participants from their interaction with natural environments. Guided activities have as their sole aim creating and sustaining safe, meaningful, and relational contact between participants and nature. Guides do not diagnose participants, nor do they enter into agreements with participants about specific complaints and goals for wellness. Apart from simply helping people to connect with nature, guides aim to be agenda-free. We view the healing contract, if any, as existing between the forest and the participant. –From ANFT Forest Therapy Guide Training Manual
Please consider joining us for a Forest Bathing Retreat October 6th -9th.