Sunday, 29 September 2019

GREEN MEDICINE - visual forest bathing / shinrin-yoku

Green Medicine Shinrin Yoku

The Healing Forests Of The Pacific Northwest 

We have a long and deep relationship with trees. Humanity has historically looked to trees for their healing properties and medicines. While we’ve made preparations from the leaves, bark or roots, humans have also known that to simply be in the presence of plant beings can be healing and can be ‘plant medicine'.

Trees are potent living sources and symbols of spiritual and physical healing, regeneration, immortality and salvation. Tree medicine also works on us at a deep psychological/spiritual level beyond our awareness; trees have been seen as channels for divine energy for millennia. I believe we are still touched by that ancient world view even if we aren’t consciously aware of it. This can be seen in the recent phenomenon of Japanese ‘forest bathing’ now reaching the West, where people are guided into forests so they may be washed, cleansed and purified by the spiritual forces that pulsate through the woods in an all-encompassing unity – like a green baptism.

The impetus behind this series comes from my empathy for Indigenous culture and spirituality - many thanks to the generous Indigenous elders and friends who've guided and taught me along the way. They shared with me ways and viewpoints that provided a roadmap that’s helped me to feel Spirit in my own culture and everywhere around me. Using this roadmap brought about a shift in my worldview – a shift that opened me to the beauty of nature again. Now I use photography as a tool to explore the raw elemental power of the natural world by visiting and re-visiting places I’m drawn to in order to be touched by their spiritual essence. I try to receive images from these sacred places that contain this essence so it may be shared with others.

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