Forest Bathing Retreat: Exploring the Power of Nature for Greater Authenticity, Clarity, and Resilience
Developed in Japan in the 1980s, forest bathing or shinrin-yoku, ‘taking in the forest atmosphere’, is a way to mindfully and deeply connect with the natural environment. With our fast-paced lifestyle and distant, broken, or tenuous connection to nature, many experience ‘nature deficit disorder, ’ which comes with significant physical, mental, emotional, and cognitive consequences.
Based on the work of the Center for Courage & Renewal and Parker J. Palmer, this day-long retreat combines immersion in forest-bathing and reflection to explore issues of transition, vocation, life passion, purpose, meaning, direction, aging, relationships, and underlying life patterns, to live in greater alignment with your deepest values and the courage to act with integrity and authenticity. In a safe, quiet, and nurturing environment, this retreat promotes reflection, clarity, and insight. Guided by core principles and practices, which include the belief that everyone has an ‘inner teacher’, an inner source of truth, you will engage in mindfulness and reflection practices to support personal and societal transformation.
What to Expect During the Retreat
You’ll begin the day immersed in forest bathing at Bowman’s Hill Wildflower Preserve, located in Bucks county, Pennsylvania’s historic Pidcock Creek Valley. The Preserve is the United States’ only living museum specifically devoted to native plants.
You’ll spend the afternoon at Cloud Cover Cottage, a charming renovated barn and private residence located 3.2 miles from the Preserve, to reflect on the forest bathing experience, using seasonal themes and metaphors, and explore poetry, prose, and journaling. Afternoon refreshments will be served. This retreat includes periods of quiet self-reflection, and large and small group discussions, as well as much laughter and lightness.
What You Will Learn During the Retreat:
- Experience forest bathing at Bowman’s Hill Wildflower Preserve, the only ‘living museum’ devoted to native plants in the United States
- Explore the connection between forest bathing and reflection, using the Courage & Renewal Approach to live a more authentic and courageous life
- Understand the healing benefits forest bathing
- Strengthen your ‘inner wisdom’ through reflection and dialogue
- Practice listening deeply to align your inner values with your outer actions
Retreat Learning Environment:
- Experience forest bathing at Bowman’s Hill Wildflower Preserve and reflect on the power of nature to promote greater authenticity, clarity, and resilience;
- Cultivate a safe, supportive retreat environment for individual and collective healing and engagement;
- Engage reflective practices, using the Courage & Renewal® Approach, founded by Parker J. Palmer, Quaker activist and educator;
- Practice deep listening and communication skills;
- Explore mindfulness practices in the Plum Village tradition founded by Zen master Thich Nhat Hanh; and
- Engage guidelines to create a safe and supportive retreat for all.
Tentative Retreat Schedule
9:00 am-noon Check in/Orientation & Overview/Forest Bathing Practice
12:00-1:30 pm Brown Bag Lunch (Lunch not included)
1:30-4:00 pm Reflection & Integration at Cloud Cover Cottage (Afternoon refreshments served)
Forest bathing will be offered rain or shine.
Bowman’s Hill Wildflower Preserve is the United States’ only ‘living museum’ specifically devoted to native plants. Over 700 of Pennsylvania’s 2,000 native plant species grow naturally on the Preserve’s 134 acres, with 4.5 miles of hiking trails. The Preserve’s diverse habitats include mature hardwood forests, a meadow, steep hillsides, a creek, two ponds and other wetlands, as well as three distinct geological zones.
To learn more about the Preserve visit: https://bhwp.org/explore/a-sense-of-place/
To learn more about New Hope, PA., visit: http://www.visitnewhope.com/ https://www.lonelyplanet.com/usa/pennsylvania/new-hope