The Japanese Call it Forest Bathing

The Japanese practice something called forest bathing, or shinrin-yoku. Shinrin in Japanese means “forest,” and yoku means “bath.” So shinrin-yoku means bathing in the forest atmosphere, or taking in the forest through our senses.

This is not exercise, or hiking, or jogging. It is simply being in nature, connecting with it through our senses of sight, hearing, taste, smell and touch. Shinrin-yoku is like a bridge. By opening our senses, it bridges the gap between us and the natural world.

According to Dr. Qing Li, author of Forest Bathing: How Trees Can Help You Find Health and Happiness, a “two-hour forest bath will help you to unplug from technology and slow down. It will bring you into the present moment and de-stress and relax you. Numerous studies I’ve conducted have shown that shinrin-yoku has real health benefits.

I have been doing a lot of sky gazing lately, more than usual. I’ve always thought that if emotion were to be painted, it would be in the form of a sky.

The colors, the clouds and all that space in between evokes so much feeling in me. Nature is perfect, it doesn’t question, it doesn’t consider, it simply is.

I am my happiest when I am surrounded by nature. It is my sacred place.

Seascape I, 2019
20” x 20”
Oil on canvas