“Forest bathing” is the translation of shirin yoku, the Japanese practice of mindfully experiencing nature through the senses. In the early 1980s, the Japanese government sponsored several studies that showed that forest immersion has a wide array of health benefits including lowering the stress hormone cortisol, strengthening the immune system, and improving mood and cognition. During this special weekend, nature therapy guide and filmmaker Sylvie Rokab will guide you in slowly moving through the Esalen landscape, cultivating a sense of presence, and exploring nature’s capacity to ignite new realizations and creativity, inspire wonder, and help us heal.
Sylvie will open the weekend with a screening of her multiple awards-winning film Love Thy Nature, a cinematic journey through the beauty and intimacy of our relationship with the natural world. Then, the group will forest bathe – immerse ourselves in Esalen’s wilderness. Tea ceremony, music, and council sessions are other invitations to deepen the experience. Participants often share that their stress dissolves, confusion lifts, hearts open, emotions surface, ideas spring — and they take home a renewed sense of connection, meaning, and purpose in their lives.