Oh yes, a luxuriant cleansing forest bath. A total immersion into the very soul and heart of the experience of being in and with the forest. A pleasing, rejuvenating, captivating, engaging absorption of Life and of communion.
There is a Japanese practice called shinrin-yoku that in translation means “forest bathing”. In this practice participants are asked to fully engage with nature using all five senses. The only mission is to be with the forest in a mindful and focused way with your sight, taste, hearing, touch and smell.
Not only is the experience pleasing and stress reducing there are other reported health benefits.
From the article “This Japanese Practice Could Transform Your Day” by Nicole Frehsee (Huffington Post):
“A study conducted across 24 forests in Japan found that when people strolled in a wooded area, their levels of the stress hormone cortisol plummeted almost 16 percent more than when they walked in an urban environment. And the effects were quickly apparent: Subjects’ blood pressure showed improvement after about 15 minutes of the practice. But one of the biggest benefits may come from breathing in chemicals called phytoncides, emitted by trees and plants. Women who logged two to four hours in a forest on two consecutive days saw a nearly 40 percent surge in the activity of cancer-fighting white blood cells, according to one study. “Phytoncide exposure reduces stress hormones, indirectly increasing the immune system’s ability to kill tumor cells,” says Tokyo-based researcher Qing Li, MD, PhD, who has studied shinrin-yoku. Even if you don’t live near a forest, studies suggest that just looking at green space — say, the trees outside your office window — helps reduce muscle tension and blood pressure.”
Find your forest and go inside, your senses alert and your mind open. Focus on the experience itself. Feel it. Absorb it. Enjoy the cleanse and the rejuvenation from your forest bath.