Thursday, June 3, 2021

Breathing in Nature

A walk in nature walks the soul back home.
Mary Davis

For the past few weeks, we’ve been exploring our five senses to better understand what we see, hear, smell, taste and feel. We checked with ourselves throughout the day and gave thought to these amazing senses in order to expand our mindfulness awareness. Now, let’s take it outside and breathe-in nature the Japanese practice of shinrin-yoku (forest bathing - taking in the forest). This is not just a walk in the woods. It’s an immersion of each of our senses - a communion with the natural environment.

Don’t worry if you don’t have an actual forest to walk around in. The idea here is surrounding yourself with the natural environment. I have found the more I am engaged in any form of Mother Nature’s loveliness, the more peace filled I become. Let’s begin...
  • Find your walking rhythm in an outside space of your choosing.
  • Take a few slow and deep breaths to begin, and let go of everything going on in your head.
  • Walk, pause and breathe. Ask yourself what you see. Continue to walk, pause, breathe and see for a bit before moving to another sense.
  • I like to close my eyes when I pause to take in the sounds, smells, flavors and feelings. Each time I repeat my concentration of one sense, I notice a bit more than I did moments ago.
  • After walking and infusing your senses, you may want to find a place to sit and linger. Immerse yourself by breathing deeper into the natural setting.
The more you bring awareness to your senses, you become more in tune with your surroundings. When you have experienced this space, you can recall it anytime by focusing on what your senses remember.

It’s the end of spring, and summer is just around the corner. Find more time and calm space for yourself outdoors to simply be in nature by breathing-in nature. Continue with this practice as often as possible. It will create a space of calm and wonder, and open a space for your mind to rest.

Take care,
Michelle
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