Have you heard of forest bathing? It's not actual bathing in water, but immersing yourself in the woods. Being present, noticing the trees, the wildlife, the sounds and the aromas.
Forest bathing became an integral part of Japanese preventative health care in the 80s. They discovered that being in a forest lowers blood pressure, reduces stress hormone production and boosts the immune system as well as increasing feelings of well-being. In this visualization, you won't actually be in the forest. Still, I hope to help you experience the next best thing.
In the red cedar forest, the trees tower overhead, and their size creates a feeling of insignificance.
The atmosphere is hushed and still. The ancient forest has trapped the air around you, which vaguely smells like incense and earth.
A path winds through the cedar grove which feels like a sacred space, almost like a cathedral. Shafts of sunlight hang suspended through the branches touching the forest floor. You quietly walk on the trail which loops through stands of ferns. The path feels springy from the pine needles scattering over the forest floor.
The trees have endured through thousands of years of different eras and many challenges. Each tree is unique in size and shape, and some of their trunks and branches are carpeted with green moss.
There is some rustling in the twigs overhead. When you look up, you see a speckled owl with amber eyes. You gaze at each other for a few moments, then you continue walking down the path.
You tread lightly so as not to bother any other gentle spirits that live here.
You pass a totem of a frog carved out of a cedar log. Nearby, a spring splashes into a shallow collecting pool cut from the rock. You scoop the clear water up with your hands and put it to your lips. The spring has distilled deep within the earth since the beginning of time and tastes pure and sweet.
The trail widens. As the path opens up, the sky is visible through the trees. Cerulean blue, without a cloud.
Now it begins to meander through monolithic boulders. You reach out and touch one of the rocks which feels cold.
The trail ends at a waterfall plunging over a cliff. The mighty mass of water carries chills the air. Occasionally you feel a slight spray on your bare arms and face. Rainbows dance in the sunshine.
To the side of the trail, you notice a bench cut from an old cedar log. You go over to it and sit down—the sound and beauty of the landscape flood your senses in a comfortable and relaxing way. You close your eyes and breath. Feeling peaceful and relaxed.
〰️ Clara 〰️
I am bringing my favourite outside experiences and imaginings to create visualizations that encourage peace and relaxation.