Created by Jeanette Banashak:
We’d like to share a practice with you that invites you to engage with nature in a contemplative and compassionate way. The following is a guide for you to immerse yourself in a 1.5 to 2-hour nature experience that is inspired by facilitator, Phyllis Look’s, practice of Forest Bathing, nature walks, and Interspiritual Meditation. Nature Immersion incorporates 7 stages or experiences that correlate with the 7 steps of Interspiritual Meditation.
Forest Bathing, or shinrin-yoku in Japanese, was developed in the 80s in Japan in order to help relieve stress. As it has made its way to the West, the motivations to forest immersion are slightly different, but the science remains the same. Trees emit phytoncides, which is a substance that helps trees and plants protect themselves from harmful germs and insects. This substance affects humans who participate in forest bathing: reduced stress, lower blood sugar, better concentration, diminished pain, and improved immunity. We also generally feel better and happier after connecting with nature, even up to 30 days after your experiences in it.
Developed by Dr. Ed Bastian, Interspiritual Meditation is a 7-step process that incorporates wisdom from the world’s contemplative religious and spiritual traditions. It is simultaneously a spiritual practice and a way of being. The steps include: motivation – may we be happy and healthy; gratitude – may we be grateful; transformation – may we be transformed; intention – may we be loving and compassionate; mindfulness – may we become mindful through our breathing; wisdom – may we become wise through our meditation; service – may we be in service to all beings.
In the experience/meditation, we take in nature through the senses, through the eyes, nose, ears, mouth, hands, and feet. We stimulate and engage our senses by being awake and alert to what we see, what we smell, what we taste, and what we feel.
For more information on Interspiritual Meditation, check out: https://spiritualpaths.net/
For more information on Forest Bathing, check out: http://forest-therapy.net/home.html
We hope you enjoy the journey and please feel free to connect with us to let us know how it goes.
©2020, Jeanette Banashak
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Deepening the understanding, practice and importance of spiritual guidance-companionship across traditions.
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