Forests and Sensory Meditations.
Forests have a natural ability to shift our mental state and energy. When we walk through them, we listen to the sound of birds, feel the wind on our face, we see strands of sunlight streaming through the branches and feel the sun’s warmth on our faces. We can smell the cedar, the damp soil, the mosses, the scented plants after a rainfall.
Instantly, our senses are expanded. We become mindfully present and timeless.
Meditations that are sensory invite a more personal experience of the moment. Create an instant understanding of where you are now, your conversations with your own soul and your deepest connection to nature by creating a sensory bridge to the forest.
Focus on each sense. Notice something to focus on. For instance: the chirping of birds, the smell of cedar, the feeling of the cushion of moss underneath you, the sunlight streaming through the tree canopy, the taste of a leaf.
Be present and take in the experience of the present moment with all of these senses engaged.
The Japanese have a meditation practice called “Shinrin-yoku” or forest bathing that does exactly this. To read more on this practice, read Time.com article or the book “Forest bathing: How Trees can help you find Health and Happiness”. Dr. Qing Li, Viking @2018.
Forest walks. Boosting your immunity.
Walking in the woods as a form of therapy is supported by science. Not only does it boost your immunity but contributes to your health and happiness, your peace of mind.
Scientists discovered that trees give off “phytoncides”. These are volatile compounds or more simply, essential oils, that we breathe in. These substances trigger a response in our immune system to create more anti-cancer cells or NK [ natural killer cells} that boost our immune system.
Other benefits include lowering blood pressure and heart rate as well as reducing stress-induced hormone levels of cortisol.
How to Forest bathe.
Find a place to sit that you are drawn to. Close your eyes and breathe in deeply. Listen to the sounds around you. Feel the sun or the wind on your face.
Touch the base of a tree. Visualize tree roots intertwined and connected like a telecommunications network. What question would you ask the tree? or what message do you want to send to the world through this network?
Send the message or ask the question. Wait and see if you get a message or insight, an image flash or even, a distinct feeling.
While this practice might initially strike you as weird, odd, “woo woo” or impossible. Being more connected to the natural world is needed and becoming more vital for our well-being. We have lost touch with the environment and our connection to it. Consider a walk in the forest as a spiritual practice with resounding health benefits. The evidence is compelling us to connect more simply to nature and more often to stay mentally and physically healthy.
Shifting energy states.
Being in the presence of trees can shift and cleanse your energy. Start by taking a deep breath of fresh air and then, expel negative energy and emotions.
Let yourself feel the energy of the trees around you. Absorb the energy. Let the energy revitalize, relax and move you into a state of calm and a place of peace. Meditate under the canopy of trees and notice how you feel afterwards from breathing in fresh air.
The Wisdom of the Ancient Forests.
Ancient forests are filled with the energy of wisdom. It has been said by those who communicate with trees that they exist in another dimension and higher realms of consciousness.
Just as we gravitate to sit still to meditate, trees create movement, and wind in their meditative states. [ Brian Scott: Youtube My Journey to the New Earth. The message from the Trees.]
Tap into the nature of higher realms of consciousness through connecting to ancient forests in your meditation practice. Visualize walking in ancient forests. Tap into the energy and forest bathe whenever and wherever you are.
Forests are part of our natural health eco-system. They inspire improved immunity and well-being of our mind, body and soul. They are an essential for re-setting our energy and for aiding us to become more present, wise and expanded as human beings.
“Getting away from it all” isn’t about escaping anything. It is about re-awakening our senses and listening to them. And, re-discovering the immense power that nature has to amplify our connection to where we are. Forests rejuvenate us. Just a simple walk is enough to find peace of mind.