5 ways this experience is different.
Forest Immersion—rooted in the Japanese practice shinrin-yoku ("soaking in the atmosphere of the forest")—brings the magic of mindfulness into the woods to enhance our sense of well-being and deepen our relationship with ourselves and with other beings. Invitations offered by the guide are designed to open our senses—not just our physical senses alone—but also our imaginative, intuitive and heartfelt senses. The sensory and relational practice of guided forest immersion brings us into being with the rest of nature and connects us with our own wildness.
This practice, most commonly referred to as "forest bathing" or "forest therapy", begins with a guided awakening of your senses and then follows a sequence of prompts. These “invitations” are carefully selected by the guide based on her relationship with the land and are chosen to bring a mutually rewarding connection between the participants and the other-than-human-beings on the land.
You will have the opportunity to share your own reflections, as well as listen to and hear experiences from other participants after participating in each prompt. Sharing, or quietly listening to the insights shared by others, provides insights into the limitless ways we experience the world, and a simple yet remarkable way to reconnect with humankind.
It is a meditative and mindful retreat with periods of stillness, walking, and wandering. Expect to meander off trail and have ample space to explore each prompt in your own way.
You know the feeling when you’re juggling personal, family, household, work, school and other obligations…and you still have to figure out dinner in the midst of all that? Contrast that to an all inclusive resort where you get to relax on the beach all day while someone else has breakfast, lunch and dinner planned and prepared for you. No thinking about making dinner while on the beach - you get to be fully present with the ocean. Guided forest immersion is like that. Instead of your mind wandering to what’s happening afterwards, how long you’ve been there, assessing if you should walk further or turn around, and so on, preoccupied with mental chatter and planning - your guide has the itinerary prepared for you! You'll get to experience being fully present and the comprehensive benefits of a forest immersion retreat. Drop in and go with the flow.
You’ll also benefit from the guide’s training and experience. Let’s look at another example. You could do yoga at home by yourself, yet many people find that an instructor’s guidance, carefully selected sequencing, calming and encouraging demeanor, and camaraderie of the fellow participants enhances the experience and benefits tremendously. So too with forest immersion, a certified guide has been trained to design and deliver a flow that skillfully brings you into a progressively deeper connection with yourself and the beings you are sharing space with.
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