The locations in which we practice this wonderful medium is often a bit of a contentious subject, almost an argument among practitioners at times. I know several healers that often bring their clients into the woods to take advantage of the beauty and tranquility to help their client relax, calm down, clear their heads and to take in the moment. It is often followed by their particular practice of Reiki, Tai Chi, Chi Gong, Yoga, Meditation (moving or otherwise), etc…
In some areas of the world you can find a fantastic spot as easily as looking in your back yard. Sometimes naturally or sometimes man made through hours of love and labor to create a Sacred Space. In other areas of the world it may take hours, days, weeks, months or even years to find that spot that speaks to you. When you finally do find this spot, it can be very hard to offer this knowledge to others as you will no longer be able to sit for hours on end in this area without having someone possibly stopping by to check it out for either the same purpose or for something nefarious. For this reason I understand why this is a heated subject for many people.
It takes time to find a good spot that you can call a Sacred Space, and I have a few that I keep to myself. They are often in more remote areas that require a bit more effort and technical skill then I would offer to a client, friend, fellow practitioner. For this reason I feel safe they wont be readily found and I use them for my personal sanctuary when I need to recharge. I have also found several others that offer very nice vibrations and they fit my check list nicely for what I feel is appropriate for my Shinrin Reiki Clients.
- They are usually within 1 to 2 miles of a parking lot/ trail head.
- They are usually not more then a few hundred feet from a major trail system.
- The trail system while best walked with sturdy boots, can be accessed by sneakers.
- The canopy is varied and has areas for both sun and shade on the ground.
- There is almost always a water source present as I utilize it during some grounding exercises.
- There is almost always rock outcroppings present as I utilize it during some grounding exercises.
- The trail system, while public is not usually over used during weekdays or early mornings or late summer evenings.
- The tree’s, forest, brush, plants, flowers, wildlife have to be rich and abundant and you need to be able to smell the earth.
- Several of my locations give either access to the East, West or both for times when we are doing morning and evening lessons.
I always get to know my client/fellow practitioner so there wont be an issue of a fear of heights, water, getting muddy, dirty, or if they get bothered by the wind. As we are going out to try to relax, as beautiful as nature is, don’t ever assume your client feels the same way as you do. At least not the first few times out… Place them in the most comfortable setting as they can handle and work your way from there.
With all this being said… I would really like to be able to build a map of some of the best “public” places to enjoy forest bathing. In order to do this as effectivly as possible I will need the communities help. I am in the process of finding the best way for users to easily submit this information, if anyone already knows of something, please let me know. Until then, I will get a map going that I can add everyone’s “public” places too.
In order to not re-invent the wheel, if any of these trail systems are already part of the Hiking Project, we will reference their website as they have done a remarkable job of cataloging so many trail systems with all the information that you may need. However, when submitting a location to us, we prefer that you fill out our form and include all the pertinent information as it is geared towards our needs.