Forest Bathing: The Rejuvenating Practice of Shinrin Yoku

Shinrin Yoku: “taking in the forest atmosphere,” the medicine of simply being in the forest, “forest bathing.”

Available for pre-order on Amazon.com (Forest Bathing: The Rejuvenating Practice of Shinrin Yoku)

From the healing properties of phytoncides (self-protective compounds emitted by plants) to the ways we can benefit from what forest spaces can teach us, Forest Bathing: The Rejuvenating Practice of Shinrin Yoku discusses the history, science and philosophy behind this age-old therapeutic practice. Examples from the ancient Celts to Henry David Thoreau remind us of the ties between humankind and the natural world—ties that have become more and more elusive to Westerners.

This book explains the traditional Japanese concepts that help readers understand and share in the benefits of the Japanese approach to forest bathing—a cornerstone of healing and health care in Japan. These concepts include:

  • Yugen: Our living experience of the world around us that is so profound as to be beyond expression
  • Komorebi: The interplay of leaves and sunlight
  • Wabi sabi: Rejoicing in imperfection and impermanence

The book goes on to offer guidelines for finding our replenishment in these peaceful, isolated spaces—from turning off the phone (or leaving it at home) to seeking the irregularities in nature, which in turn can make us less critical of ourselves. Finally, it offers tips not only on being fully present and mindful while you’re in the forest, but also on how to take that mindfulness home with you—even if that home is the busiest and most crowded of cities.