2023 Forest Bathing Journey Highlights


Matt Whitney

We recently gathered as spiritual companions for our Nature Immersion and Deep Listening Journey in the forests of North Carolina. Each day we engaged in Forest Bathing exercises led by Jeanette Banashak, had spacious time to rest, and quickly formed a nurturing community of friends. We had evening poetry vespers and song with Simon De Voil, and I led a couple of creative attuning activities involving contemplative photography and mapmaking. We were well cared for by the folks at Kanuga Conference Center and found lots to explore in their extensive trail system.

Here are some comments we’ve received from participants on their experiences:

“This was an amazing process.. it changed my view of the forest and nature… it deepened my spirituality…”

” I was invited to ask the stream a question, and somewhat reluctantly did so. But what the heck, why not? And then I received the clearest answer to a question I’d been toying with for weeks!”

“Walking the labyrinth with this group was magical. Usually I don’t get much from walking the labyrinth with a group, but this time was different and I had a deeply spiritual experience while walking.”

“I came home and immediately felt a deeper connection to the trees in my yard and neighborhood. Every time I walk the dog, I think of my feet “kissing the earth.””

 “At one point that day, Jeanette encouraged us to see what we could taste. I lifted my face and opened my mouth just as a raindrop slid off a rhododendron leaf and dropped onto my tongue. I felt nurtured by nature.”

“The dusk to dark lighting, the music, and walking in the company of those who had companioned us on our transformative week of forest bathing was a magical and liminal space experience…I also will be more intentional and committed to my role and responsibility of listening to and being a voice for the more than human companions of our world.”

“This experience confirmed to me that there is growing appetite for this wonderfully gentle yet potent transformative, grounding and healing embodied practise.”


Picture of Matt Whitney

Matt Whitney

Matt is the Creative Director for SDI.



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