Transformative Blissful Nature-Based Mindfulness Meditation
"When May is in his prime, then may each heart rejoice;
When May bedecks each branch with green, each bird strains forth his voice.
The lively sap creeps up into the blooming thorn;
The flowers, which cold in prison kept, now laugh the frost to scorn.
All nature's imps triumph whiles joyful May doth last;
When May is gone, of all the year the pleasant time is past."
-Richard Edwardes (1525-1566)
Nature Mindfulness Meditation & Audio Transcription
Ok nature friends. Walk away from Google. Lets go breathe in the smell of pine, cedar, oleander and dry grass!
(Take this moment to gather your compass, camera of choice, knapsack, water and snacks.)
Sit down. (If you’re already in the woods, good on you!)
If you’re home or at work, let us start here.
1 Worst to 10 Best.
Mental Body: Tired from the day? Was it heavy with screen time or problem solving? Assign a number: 1 Worst to 10 Best
Emotional Body: Can you identify a specific emotion and give it a rating? Honor all emotions that arise.
Assign a number overall: 1 Worst to 10 Best
Spiritual Body: Choose a few gratitudes that we can send to thank the earth and nature. Depending on how grateful you are in your present moment; Assign a number overall: 1 Worst to 10 Best
It’s amazing that we have mobility, and the means to access natural spaces.
Alright let us go explore!
(Time Machine Fast Forward To: After Our Time in Nature.)
To round off our experiment; simply take time at the edge of the pond, wood, river or city garden to backtrack through each of your bodies and assess if the ratings (1-10) have improved. Pretty awesome.
Facts About the Benefits of Forest Bathing & Time Spent In Nature
You don’t need to go on a huge camping trip or excursion to benefit from forest bathing. You can walk out your door at home or work and into a park to experience the benefits.
In its simplest description, forest bathing has been found to provide numerous health benefits and it simply requires you spend time in nature (as much as possible.)
Many cities have Meet Up Groups that guide locals through forest bathing experiences.
Forest Bathing is not exercise. It is a slow movement and meandering walking pace. It is more about connecting to the natural world than flying by it. (Silence without headphones is one of the requirements.)
One of the greatest health concerns of the 21st century is that we are spending most of our time indoors staring at screens. In 1984 the term “technostress” was coined to describe the symptoms of too much time interacting with cellphones, computers and watching TVs. (Anxiety, depression, anger, insomnia, and mental fatigue are some of the symptoms.)
-The World Health Organization
A List of Health Benefits:
Decreases anxiety, depression, anger and mood disorders
Increased relaxation and mental clarity
Boosts focus & memory
Relief from the mental drain of everyday life
ADHD (reduction in attention fatigue and other related symptoms)
Faster surgery healing (even seeing trees from a hospital bed resulted in faster recovery times)
Cardiovascular and muscular skeletal health
Decreases fight or flight systems
Decreased migraines and respiratory ailments
Lowers the stress hormones cortisol and adrenaline
Enhances the rest and recovery “parasympathetic” systems
Increases creativity and problem solving
Increases gratitude, selflessness and wonder
Health Studies Link
Final Notes Regarding The Wonder Compass Meditative Photography
The articles you will find me posting include nature writing, health and mindfulness, as well as meditative ways to use photography and nature to disconnect from our busy lives and connect creatively to our inner and outer states in the best way we have access to, no matter where we are.
“The Wonder Compass” is not Forest Bathing (it is a way to use photography in collaboration with nature in order to reach blissful states of mindfulness and meditation on a daily basis.)
However, it is important for me to note that “Forest Bathing’s” science is a massive step in realizing how important our health is tied to nature’s health.
Happy Wondering & Adventuring! – Molly Jo
Disclaimer: As an alternative health practice, mindfulness and walking meditations are to be used with discretion. If you have mental health issues, please lean on your therapist to direct you to the right treatments and practices. Be well. Be Safe.
Clifford, M. Amos. Your Guide to Forest Bathing: Experience the Healing Power of Nature. Conari Press, 2018.
Edwardes, R. (2019). May. In J. M. HUNTER (Author), NATURE POEM FOR EVERY DAY OF THE YEAR (p. 201). Place of publication not identified: B T BATSFORD.
Li, Qing. Forest Bathing: How Trees Can Help You Find Health and Happiness. Thorndike Press, a Part of Gale, a Cengage Company, 2018
Li Q, Morimoto K, Nakadai A, et al. Forest bathing enhances human natural killer activity and expression of anti-cancer proteins. Int J Immunopathol Pharmacol. 2007;20(2 Suppl 2):3‐8. doi:10.1177/03946320070200S202
Meadowlark Audio Provided By: Daniel Simion
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