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Journey Through Life With the Wisdom of the Forest

About the founder of Shinrin Yoku Association and 森の心・人の心 Journey Through Life With the Wisdom of the Forest

As a child and adult, Milena A. Guziak, MChem (UK), PhDEng (Japan), MScPsy (UK), found solace in her imaginary forest. Whenever reality fell short, this mental haven offered comfort and peace, counteracting feelings of depression and anxiety. The seamless fusion of the physical and the mental, reality and imagination, became Milena’s antidote to life’s challenges. These twin sanctuaries of forest and mind were not only restorative but also life-sustaining, gifting her direction, purpose, and a deep-seated love for the forest. This intimate bond with nature nurtured her passion for forest conservation, leading to the birth of the Forest Healing Sphere.

In Milena’s words, “Forest means life, and life means forest.” Her journey led her from the borders of her native Poland to England, and finally, to Japan, where she resided for a decade. An initial internship in Japan turned into a transformative experience, propelling her to return for a doctorate in engineering and applied physics after earning her master’s degree in chemistry in the UK.

As an educator in Japan, Milena championed a reflective, student-centered approach while uncovering the enchanting mysteries of the Japanese forests. It was amidst the trees that she discovered her true self and her calling – to guide others on a journey of self-discovery and healing through forest bathing, or Shinrin Yoku.

Milena’s faith in human goodness, strong connection with nature, and scientific and educational background converged into a passion for creating comprehensive Shinrin-Yoku Guide training. Her master’s research in psychology, focusing on the role of nature in regulating emotions, gave her work an added layer of depth. She continues to contribute to academia with an upcoming publication and collaborations with Prof. David Sheffield of Derby University and Polish State Forests.

With more than 100 Forest Bathing Guides trained under her wing and a Quality Management System Certificate (ISO 9001:2015) for her training services, Milena’s impact is impressive. However, she does not stop at training. As the Founder of SYA and The Mindful Tourist – 森の心・人の心 Journey Through Life With the Wisdom of the Forest,  Milena plays a significant role in promoting nature-based practices.

Her tenure in Japan, her dedication to accessibility, and her belief in the healing powers of forests and humans’ self-healing capabilities underpin her work. As the Chief Editor of the Shinrin Yoku Journal, she continues to share her insights with the world.


Milena thoughts on:

The Interplay of Shinrin Yoku, Kokoro, and New Humanism: Fostering Connection and Unity

In the face of growing existential challenges and rising disconnection among individuals, the practice of Shinrin Yoku, the concept of Kokoro, and the evolution of new humanism are intimately intertwined. These three elements each contribute unique dimensions to our understanding and practice of what it means to be truly human in today’s world.

Shinrin Yoku and New Humanism

Shinrin Yoku, or forest bathing, is a practice that urges us to reconnect with nature, emphasizing mindfulness, presence, and sensory immersion in the natural world. This practice is inherently humanistic, drawing on our fundamental human need for connection with the natural world.

In the context of new humanism, Shinrin Yoku provides a practical methodology for cultivating a holistic and compassionate perspective towards ourselves and our environment. It encourages us to perceive ourselves not as isolated beings, but as part of a complex and interconnected web of life. This promotes mutual respect and empathy, qualities that are central to the ethos of new humanism.

Kokoro and New Humanism

The Japanese concept of Kokoro – encompassing the heart, mind, and spirit – adds a profound depth to the new humanistic approach. Kokoro implies an integrated and balanced approach to human existence, encouraging harmony between our emotional, cognitive, and spiritual aspects.

In alignment with new humanism, Kokoro fosters the understanding that our individual well-being is inextricably linked to the well-being of others and the natural world. It prompts us to see beyond our individual selves and appreciate the rich tapestry of life that surrounds us.

The Confluence of Shinrin Yoku, Kokoro, and New Humanism

Both Shinrin Yoku and the concept of Kokoro encourage us to embrace interconnectedness, compassion, and respect for all life forms – principles at the heart of new humanism. As we immerse ourselves in nature through Shinrin Yoku and balance our heart, mind, and spirit in line with Kokoro, we become more attuned to the shared humanity that underlies our diverse experiences.

This enhances our ability to engage in open dialogue, promoting understanding and cooperation between individuals, communities, and nations. It fosters a sense of shared responsibility and proactive engagement in addressing global challenges, key aspects of the new humanist approach.

In essence, the practice of Shinrin Yoku and the concept of Kokoro contribute significantly to the evolution of new humanism. By grounding ourselves in nature and harmonizing our internal landscapes, we cultivate a compassionate, interconnected perspective on human existence. In doing so, we embody the values and principles of new humanism, fostering a more empathetic, unified, and understanding world.

Visit Milena’s Forest Healing Sphere.

Read more about Milena


Venture on a memorable path with our 10-week Shinrin Yoku Guide Training program accredited by Shinrin Yoku Association . This journey merges the accessibility of online learning with an enriching immersion in the serene forests of Japan. 🌳🇯🇵

Embark on your online adventure with flexible scheduling (GMT-3, Argentina Time) 🖥️🌐:
🌱 July 21 (Fri), 12 PM
🌱 July 28 (Fri), 2 PM
🌱 August 4 (Fri), 8 AM
(More dates available online!)

Continue your transformative journey with a 5-day retreat nestled in the peaceful woodlands of Nara, Japan 🏞️🎑:
🍂 October 2-6, 2023
🍂 October 9-13, 2023


The Mindful Tourist
Journey Through Life With the Wisdom of the Forest


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