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Monday, 1 April 2013

Get Involved With Your Forests


If you go to a forest,
walk slowly, be aware of
breathing and sensing,
you have entered the
healing path that the
Japanese call Shinrin Yoku,
Koreans call Sanlimyok,
we call Boladh na Sióga
and its all "Forest Bathing".

It is the "medicine" of simply
being present in a forest,
taking in the forest atmosphere,
where all senses are caressed
by the "breath of the fae"

The Japanese developed this idea during the 1980s. I first came across it then, while at college, investigating why the Japanese, the biggest chain smokers in the world, had the lowest heart and lung disease levels. Their well being stats were also rapidly getting better.

No it was not the seafood they eat. I found unique links to green tea, stevia a natural plant as a nutritious sweetener, and Shinrin Yoku, the walks in the forests.

Forest Healing, Forest Calming

Since the 80s, Shinrin Yoku in Japan has become the cornerstone of preventive health care supported by the results of people going into a forest and coming away with calming, rejuvenating and restorative benefits.

The scientists at work on this have discovered that one good two hour session
in the forest nourishes any of us for up to a week, 5 or 6 days.

The nourishment is far greater
from a forest than from
a more open park or field.

These "scientists" have measured ..

  • lowering blood pressure
  • lowering pulse rate
  • reducing cortisol levels
  • increasing vigor
  • anger reduction
  • and an amazing healing of depression

So Bards In The Woods serves Three Purposes
  1. to encourage Boladh na Sióga, our version of the Japanese shinrin yoku
  2. to share fun picnics and encourage more local food shopping
  3. to establish good and better use of already existing Public Access Forests, which is much easier than trying to establish new ones.
Our presence in the forests peacefully campaigns to sustain our Public Access.
We let our elected representative know we are there by showing them plenty of
photos and videos of many of us being there, using and enjoying the Public Forests.
We are the voters that create their careers and access to salaries and pensions.

On the Bards In The Woods web site I am expanding reference information on 3 areas

1) A Map of Public Access Forests around Ireland

2) A Listing of Gatherings of people in these Forests

3) A Catalogue of Good Local Food in Ireland for the Picnics.


What Is A Woodland Gathering?

Folks ask me many questions,
believing that what we do
needs a lot of preparing,
planning and arranging ???

What we do is very simple.

Who goes to the forest
with other people?
What does it take?

You ask family and friends
"Ah, lets go to the forest
together for the afternoon,
and let's take a picnic !!! "

Its as simple as that.

We add three options to this to make this experience even better.

1) Have A Picnic

Its amazing how sharing food and a cup or tea or coffee is the most amazing most social thing we can do. Food is incredible for opening new friendships, sustaining the friendships we have and bringing lots of joy.

Do not miss out of the picnic part of this :-)

2) Bring a poem, words or a story to share ?  (this is optional)

I find poems, stories and songs truly connects us well to the forest, our senses,
inspirations and comfort with each other.

... but some people do find this intimidating, so ...

There are other things we do to get closer to the forest ...
  • We love to help each other out with tree identification skills.
  • We talk about herbal, food, craft and fuel uses of each tree species.
  • Some people encourage various yoga and breathing techniques.
  • Some people have forest games they like to share.

3) Let me know your gathering dates ... message me here  ... or here

I can list your visit to the Forest on our events page ... have a look at that here
to invite other people near you who would like to join up with you

Your only costs are contribution to the picnic table
and any cost of transport to get to the forest

so do car pool, use public transport or cycle where possible
and we can also arrange minibus pick-up if enough people support this. 

The keys of our Bards In The Woods Gatherings are
"Breathe" - "Look" - "Discover" - "Enjoy" - "Relax" - "Calm" - "Be Inspired"

People who share these walks
feel safe, supported, and talk of
the nourishment, healing and joy
they feel through the week
after being in the forest.

Please join us in the forests.
By doing so, you are also saying
you think it's a good idea to have
Public Access Forests in Ireland
that you really want to keep.

The vision for Bards In The Woods is very simple.

Sustain access to Public Access Forests
Encourage the practice of Forest Bathing
Encourage the social sharing of Picnics
from local food where possible.

What else can you do that's better, more natural?

Many thanks for your interest ...

Personally I find going to a gym, meditation room,
church etc. very depriving.

For me, the forests caress all senses
like nothing else.

click to read some more about this here

Being in the forest is far more responsive than
being within any human created building could be,
no matter what the weather serves.

Let us all gather, share and occupy 
the public forests of Ireland

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