Skip to content

The Daily Dharma – August 24, 2021

Oil painting of a sliver of a moon in a dark blue evening sky with orange and yellow glow of the sun below the horizon all framed by dark leaves of trees. Walking Home, Original oil on canvas, 9.5" x 9.5" Framed prints and canvases, digital download, commercial and advertising licensing of photographs by Seamus Berkeley.
Walking Home Painting Seamus Berkeley

There is a growing surge of interest in these practices [of healing in nature], perhaps in response to some of the problematic failures of industrial medicine. Witness the many people who have found value in Ayahuasca ceremonies, a form of forest medicine from South America that addresses physical well-being but also goes beyond it into psychological and spiritual realms. Think of the forest monks [and nuns] who for a millennia have depended upon solitude under the trees as a pillar of their pathways to enlightenment. A contemporary resurgence in natural healing practices is flourishing in many countries, under many differing names, from frilufisliv (or “fresh-air-living”) of Norway to techniques practiced in in German forest spas to sanlimyok in Korea, where entire national parks are dedicated to the healing powers of forests. In North America there is a growing network of trained guides who are certified to lead groups on forest bathing outings offered under a variety of names, such as “Nature Wellness,” “Forest Mindfulness,” and so on.

M. Amos Clifford
from Your Guide to Forest Bathing