Interconnectedness: An Invitation

We are Nature-illiterate, most of us.  Living in urban areas, we have so little chance to experience the interconnectedness of life; to see how eco-systems in nature function, working together.image re the interconnectedness of life

That can make it really difficult to figure out how and where we truly belong.

Where and how do we access opportunities to find ourselves among Nature again?

And really pay close attention to what that’s like for us?

This isn’t a matter of merely making the time to go for a walk or a jog in the park, where we’re focusing on other stuff in our heads.  Like paying the bills… Or a project we’re working on… Or something that’s distressing or worrying us.

No…

Interconnectedness: A Fundamentally Different Invitation

How can we find our way to the wilderness in Nature, in order to re-connect with our own inner wilderness?  Because it’s within our inner wilderness that our experiencing our innate inter-connectedness with all life, happens.  Like among like. image re Japanese forest bathing, shinrin-yoku

The Japanese have a way of describing this kind of healing. They call it shinrin yoku. 

It means ‘forest bathing’.

What a beautiful evocative description this is for me…It opens my heart somehow, this sense of bathing in my essential self, while walking in a forest.  But how does it actually improve our health?

Benefits of Forest Bathing or Walking

Well, on July 6, 2010, the New York Times reported a study that showed that when walking in forests and parks, the level of white blood cells (those immune system boosters) actually went up.

And, the NSC Blog reported that in Jan. 2010, a study was published, reporting 280 healthy Japanese, whose levels of cortisol, pulse rate and blood pressure were all lowered. How’d this happen?

It was the result of a few hours’ walk in a wooded area or forest (as compared to a similar length of walk on city streets). So, in Japan, forest bathing has become a recognized way of providing relief from stress, and finding relaxation.

Furthermore, in her book, Teaching the Trees, Lessons from the Forest, author Joan Maloof shares about a study that was done in the forests of the Sierra Nevada mountains.  Researchers there discovered a total of 120 chemicals in the forest air, only 70 of which were identifiable.

The very air we breathe in a forest seems to help us move into better health.

The forests provide us with so much that is yet unknown…

image re each tree as universe of interconnectivityA World in a Tree, and a Tree Among Others

What is known, is that each tree is an entire ecosystem unto itself – a whole world where all the beings connected are each and all interdependent upon the other organisms of the tree…

And when you put that together, with the interconnectedness shared among of all the trees, each of which is an eco-system… Is it any wonder that we humans can feel and experience being part of the interconnectedness too, when we walk among the trees?

So, urbanite or country cousin, next time you’re feeling stressed and in need of relaxation, try one of the most ancient ways of re-connecting to your own sense of relaxation and sustainable connections…

The solution is as near as your closest forested park or forest….

 

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