Morning is beginning as the sun is rising in the east. Sitting quietly watching it happen and listening to the talk of the birds, the breeze, looking at the dew drops on the individual blades of grass. Breathing in through your nose for a slow count of 2 and out through your pursed mouth for a count of 5. Being one with nature. Feeling the crispness of the air on your tongue or in your nose, noticing the pine scents of the great white pine above you or the mudflat scents of a low tide, seeing the spider starting to spin a web, touching the wet dewed grass and feeling the warmth or cold of it. All of this is mindfulness. All of this is healing.
What is Forest Bathing? It is the same as a Mindful Outdoor Experience. A Mindful Outdoor Experience, or MOE or Forest Bathing, provides an opportunity for participants to deepen their connection to the living earth. The living earth speaks to the interconnected life systems on our planet. In our modern times we humans are becoming more and more disconnected from the very system that gives us life. This separation is impacting the quality of our lives as well as the quality of life our planet can sustain. Spending time outdoors and being guided by an experienced Kripalu Mindful Outdoor Guide can spark curiosity, rekindle fond memories and foster a sense of place and connection to the more than human world in our neighborhoods. This is based on the Japanese practice of Forest Bathing which is done in Japan, Korea, Norway, Sweden, Canada, the US, and across the world. It is only with regular practice that we realize its full benefits such as relaxing and lowering our blood pressure, reducing stress, increasing our heart's health and our mental capacities, improving our immune systems and so much more. It can be done in the woods, in a field, along a stream or river, the coast of Maine, in a park, and even in the city.
What is the purpose of a Mindful Outdoor Experience or Forest Bathing? Connect with the Outdoors (in the More than Human world), connect with ourselves, connect with each other – face to face. While disconnecting from the digital world, allow the past to be “passed”. Allow the future to unfold. Be present, right Now , in this moment, In the outdoors… To gather, honor traditions, find meaning, connect, witness, enjoy community, share, create memories, become a better version of ourselves.
Kripalu trained Mindful Outdoor Guide and Master Maine Guide, Alice, will safely lead you into a section of the outdoors that will allow you and other participants to awaken your senses while moving gently. This is not a hike but a short amble with time spent to notice self and the outdoor world. It is not aerobic exercise. It is relaxed and gental.These Mindful Outdoor Experiences can be done rain or shine; morning, noon, evening or night; summer, fall, winter or spring; by young at heart and young or old of age. Attending and participating in an Mindful Outdoor Experience or Forest Bathing session can be done if you can walk, use a walker, a wheelchair, or are otherwise challenged physically.
Most often during the 90 minute session, there will be a welcome, some gentle movements to warm up our body, guided breathing, a sense awakening walk to where we will be spending some time noticing what is around us, a short activity to strengthen our bond with the More than Human world, a time to share our thoughts with others and a closing tea ceremony. When done in a series, each session will be different but flow similiarly.
We might have a small fire or even a flint and steel birthed fire to focus or gaze upon. We might make a mandala or a fairy house or journal or write a group haiku. The possibilities of special activities are endless. Bring something to sit upon such as a small folding lightweight chair or stool, some water, and your enthusiasm. Wear clothing appropriate to the weather conditions and for sitting. Mats will be available for anyone that would prefer to sit upon the ground.
As the warmer weather changes to winter, if we have snow, we will snowshoe and experience the joys of the frosts, snow flakes, and the low sunlight glistening. Listening for the changes in sounds around us, smelling the snow and the trees, touching bark and discovering the secrets of the winter is a joy and a mindful experience.
Celebrating a birthday or an anniversary and don't want to do a traditional party? Book a private Mindful Outdoor Experience. Call 207 729 6333 or email Alice about this.
Have a work group or social group that would benefit by a reset? Book a private Mindful Outdoor Experience. Call 207 729 6333 or email Alice about this.
In February - June 2020 on the first Sunday of the month, Alice's Awesome Adventures is partnering with Merrymeeting Adult Education to offer two hour Forest Bathing or Mindful Outdoor Experiences. The first session will be on Super Bowl Sunday in the morning. The group will then pick the time for the March - June sessions. The places for each session will be determined based on weather. Registration is through Merrymeeting Adult Education.
Check out the Book-It section of this website and find a Mindful Outdoor Experience to join. There are discounts when booking through this website for friends registering at the same time.