We'll meet at the large, open-air picnic shelter, located across the road from the Arboretum's Visitor Center, directly below and visible from the paid parking lot. (Free street parking is often available in the immediate vicinity.) After a brief introduction to the park and the concept of forest bathing, we will walk, gently, slowly and mindfully, to a secluded area within the park, where the guided meditation of 20 - 30 minutes will take place, followed by a serving of pine needle tea and brief discussion of the forest bathing experience, and a calm, gentle walk to return to the park entrance.
As a practitioner of Transcendental Meditation for more than thirty years, it was a natural progression to expand and combine it with the traditional Japanese concept of Shinrin-Yoku, Forest Bathing. The health benefits of a mindful connection with nature have been well documented. A life-long Portlander and local expert on the local Arboretum, I know of several secret hideaway locations deep within the 200 acre park where one can de-stress and bathe in the healing, gentle aroma of the most gentle giants, century-old trees within just three miles from the heart of downtown.
Pine needle tea
Near the intersection of the Fir and Hemlock Trails is a small, secluded clearing, nestled amid a small, century old grove of arborvitae, western red cedar, hemlock and larch trees. Although the Arboretum is a public park, this section is hidden and little known. Here we can sit on the soft ground and drink in the pure, fresh air and gentle light that reaches us as it is filtered through the needles and branches of these "trees of life."
In an outdoor setting, weather should be considered. Additionally, we will sit on the ground in a forested area. Pine needles, bark, twigs & branches will be present, and possibly moisture, as well.
Forest Bathing with Guided Meditation