\ Outward Journey / \ Inward Discovery /
\ Outward Journey / \ Inward Discovery /
You have probably heard by now what is Shinrin Yoku, but if not the following is a short description.
Shinrin Yoku in brief
Shinrin Yoku is a term that originated in Japan and translates to “forest bathing” or “taking in the forest atmosphere.” It refers to the practice of immersing oneself in a natural environment, typically a forest or wooded area, with the intention of improving overall wellbeing. Shinrin Yoku is not a strenuous or goal-oriented activity, but rather a slow, mindful, and meditative practice that involves walking or sitting in nature, observing one’s surroundings, and engaging the senses.
The practice of Shinrin Yoku has been found to have a range of health benefits, including reducing stress, improving mood, boosting the immune system, and reducing blood pressure and heart rate. Studies have also shown that exposure to natural environments can have a positive impact on cognitive function, creativity, and overall sense of wellbeing.
We often here the word IMMERSION when it comes to Shinrin Yoku, but what actually does it mean?
On the English etymology of the word
The word “immersion” comes from the Latin word “immersio”, which means “a plunging into or dipping into water”. The prefix “im-” means “in” or “into”, and the root word “mersio” comes from the verb “mergere”, which means “to dip or immerse”. The term “immersion” has been used in English since the early 17th century to refer to the act of submerging something in water or other liquid.
Over time, the term “immersion” has come to be used more broadly to refer to the act of fully engaging or involving oneself in a particular activity or experience, such as immersion in a language or culture. In this sense, immersion refers to a deep and intense involvement in something, often to the point of being fully absorbed in it.
On the Japanese etymology of the word
In Japanese, the word “immersion” can be translated into several different terms, depending on the context and meaning.
沈浸 (chinshin): The first character 沈 (chin) means “to sink” or “to submerge”, and the second character 浸 (shin) means “to soak” or “to steep”. Together, they convey the idea of being deeply absorbed or engrossed in something, as if sinking or steeping oneself in it.
浸透 (shintou): The first character 浸 (shin) means “to soak” or “to steep”, and the second character 透 (tou) means “to permeate” or “to penetrate”. Together, they convey the idea of a substance or quality seeping deeply into something, as if soaking through and penetrating it.
溺れる (oboreru): This term comes from the verb 溺れる (oboreru), which means “to drown”. The exact etymology of this term is unclear, but it may be related to the Old Japanese verb 蒲く (obu), which means “to be immersed in water” or “to be submerged”.
一体感 (ittai-kan): The first character 一 (ittai) means “one” or “unity”, and the second character 体 (tai) means “body” or “substance”. Together, they convey the idea of a sense of unity or oneness among a group of people. The final character 感 (kan) means “feeling” or “sensation”.
熱中 (necchuu): The first character 熱 (netsu) means “heat” or “passion”, and the second character 中 (chuu) means “inside” or “within”. Together, they convey the idea of being deeply immersed or absorbed in a particular passion or interest.
集中 (shuuchuu): The first character 集 (shuu) means “to gather” or “to concentrate”, and the second character 中 (chuu) means “inside” or “within”. Together, they convey the idea of focusing one’s attention and energy on a particular task or activity.
浸す (hirasu): This verb comes from the root 浸 (shin), which means “to soak” or “to steep”. The addition of the suffix す (su) makes it a transitive verb, meaning “to immerse” or “to soak something”.
味わう (ajiwau): This verb comes from the root 味 (aji), which means “taste” or “flavor”. The addition of the suffix わう (wau) makes it a verb meaning “to savor” or “to taste”, and can be used in the context of immersing oneself fully in a particular experience or moment.
一心不乱 (isshin-furan): The first three characters 一心 (isshin) mean “one heart” or “united mind”, and the final two characters 不乱 (furan) mean “undisturbed” or “unwavering”. Together, they convey the idea of being completely absorbed and focused on a particular task or activity, with an unwavering and undisturbed mindset.
“沈浸” (chinshin) or “浸透” (shintou), both terms can convey the idea of being deeply absorbed or engrossed in the natural environment during a shinrin yoku practice. The term “一体感” (ittai-kan) can also be used in the context of shinrin yoku, as it conveys a sense of unity and oneness with the natural world that can be experienced during the practice. Additionally, the term “自然浴” (shizen-yoku) is a Japanese term that is often used to refer specifically to the practice of shinrin yoku, and can be translated as “nature bathing” or “forest bathing”.
Here are some interesting sentences =)
熱中 (necchuu): This term can be used in the context of being deeply absorbed or passionate about spending time in nature, such as “私は森林浴に熱中している” (Watashi wa shinrinyoku ni necchuu shite iru, “I am deeply absorbed in forest bathing”).
集中 (shuuchuu): This term can be used to describe a focused and attentive mindset during shinrin-yoku, such as “私は森林浴に集中して自然と一体化する” (Watashi wa shinrinyoku ni shuuchuu shite shizen to ittaika suru, “I focus on forest bathing and become one with nature”).
味わう (ajiwau): This term can be used in the context of savoring and enjoying the experience of shinrin-yoku, such as “私は森林浴を味わって自然の美しさに感動する” (Watashi wa shinrinyoku o ajiwatte shizen no utsukushisa ni kandou suru, “I savor the experience of forest bathing and am moved by the beauty of nature”).
一心不乱 (isshin-furan): This term can be used to describe a single-minded and focused approach to shinrin-yoku, such as “私は森林浴に一心不乱に取り組む” (Watashi wa shinrinyoku ni isshin-furan ni torikumu, “I approach forest bathing with a single-minded focus”).
I think that, overall, these terms can be used to describe different aspects of the experience of shinrin yoku, from a passionate and absorbed mindset to a focused and attentive approach to the natural environment.
Our Shinrin Yoku Guide Training hopefully will motivate you to spent more time in the forest.
How to prepare for this mediation. Here's a guide to help you prepare: 1. Find a Quiet, Comfortable Space Location:…
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