Taking a deep breath and walking in a forest of Coastal Redwoods and Monterey Pines, or through a grove of Coast Live Oak, Cedars, and Monterey Cypress … immersed in bird song and a clean, clear breeze from the Pacific Ocean. Welcome to Monterey County – the perfect place to experience a different way of connecting with the natural world.
When I first heard of Forest Bathing, I was intrigued. Something deep inside of me said, “Yes! I don’t know what it is, but I know I want to experience it.” So I did… and I found myself falling in love.
That first experience led to a long-term relationship. Every time I drop into sensing the always-already-here connection with the natural world, I feel the ease of belonging – I feel like I’ve come home.
"Come to the woods, for here is rest.” – John Muir
What is Forest Bathing?
Forest Bathing is not:
- Like speed dating… it is not a hike. There is no “goal.” The focus is on “being here,” instead of “getting there.” Pace is slow. Attention is open.
- Like a science class… it is not a nature walk. There is no call to “know” what something is. The focus is on “sensing,” instead of on “naming.’
- Like something to check-off a list… It’s not about doing. It’s about being.
Being among trees in this way is an invitation to drop into Nature’s Time Zone-- into the unseen rhythm of everything in its own time, in its own way. Forest Bathing evokes a relationship with Nature based in curiosity, openness, and acceptance -- not a bad base for a relationship of any kind.
Here, Awe happens.
Simple, Basic Invitations of Forest Bathing
- Pause, breathe, and walk slowly. Allow yourself to see and feel the more subtle movements that are always happening.
- Suspend what you think you know. Allow yourself to be surprised in discovering what is here.
- Open your senses. Allow yourself to receive what is coming to you via sight, sound, smell, touch and taste.
- Notice that you are connected with everything here. Allow yourself to sense how you are affected by and how you are affecting what is around you.
A Few (of Many) Nearby Forest Bathing Spots
- Rip Van Winkle Open Space, Pacific Grove
- Garland Ranch Regional Park, Carmel Valley
- Point Lobos State Natural Reserve, Carmel
- Los Padres National Forest, Big Sur;
- Pinnacles National Park, Soledad
If you prefer a Certified Forest Therapy Guide to assist in your experience, Monterey Bay Meditation Studio offers Forest Bathing sessions regularly, or you can contact firstname.lastname@example.org to schedule a customized session for your group.