Reflective Garden Walking … a therapy

A Path Through the Garden touches on the value and benefit of reflective walking while exploring a garden, meadow, or naturally forested area.  Many of us can remember a special day we enjoyed out in the fresh air when our minds developed an idea from nowhere, an idea that grew in resonance and supported a strong feeling for a plan of action. The idea was positive and meaningful and may have contributed to a whole new life path.

In Japan, this notion of walking through a garden or forest for inspiration is not new. Called shinrin-yoku, it literally translates to forest bathing or an immersion into nature and is recognized as being similar to natural aromatherapy.  Think about how the fragrance of spring, fall, Christmas, vanilla and cloves sends your thoughts dramatically to all kinds of events simply from the sense of smell.  Walking through a garden or forest brings the benefits of essential oils released from tree bark, plants, and flowers that enhance immune function and lessen stress and lower blood pressure.

Those undertaking forest bathing visit a forested area for relaxation. The science part is when visitors breathe in wood essential oils called phytoncides as they walk the forest. Phytoncides are antimicrobial volatile compounds from trees and other plants.

Leyla Jo in A Path Through the Garden walked her magical meadow and sought solutions to life-absorbing challenges. If you need solutions to problems served up by life, why not consider forest bathing?

Check out Reflective Garden Walking presented by Ruth McCaffrey ND, ARNP at the Morikami Museum & Japanese Gardens in Delray Beach, Florida. The program incorporates the Morikami Stroll as part of a Well-being program, and how to begin a meditative practice by creating a program of garden walking using reflective readings and journaling opportunities.

Leyla Jo would love it!

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