Forest Bathing International Magazine, Issue 1 - Page 27

Scenes from forest therapy trainings


I sing and laugh more now . . . cherishing this moment more . . .

not having as many expectations . . . making art and being more gentle with my heart, more being in the moment and my confidence in my life has grown . . . I have faced fears and cried tears that I never thought i would.

I have started to feel more and more a part of the living world, as opposed to separate from. Having studied ecology and having an interest in indigenous wisdom I already had an intellectual knowing of that but this practice has helped me to feel this on an experiential level. Guiding walks is a powerful experience of partnering with the more than human world.

I have noticed more deeply that I am with nature, not in the nature. I have realized that human beings and nature beings are equal. I walk in Finland with visitors from around the world; in the forest we truly are equal. I understand the meaning of cultural repair more deeply. I feel more proud to help people from around the world connect with our pure and clean nature and air.. And I have come to understand how truly important forest therapy is, not just as a practice, but also as a global movement.

Before embarking on this practice, I always felt connected to nature. I certainly spent a lot of time there—it was always my refuge, the place I went to find peace and perspective. Yet through the deepening of my relationship to more than human world, the practice of forest therapy has shown me how relatively shallow that connection actually was. I accepted the refuge that nature provided, but there was no true spirit of reciprocity,no deeper acknowledgement or attention given to the more than human world, just a simple appreciation for what it had to offer. That level of appreciation is not nothing—but it feels like so little compared to what I have now: Love.