The Mindful Tourist - New Logo

Journey Through Life With the Wisdom of the Forest

Expectation vs. Intention: The Role of a Shinrin Yoku Guide or Forest Bathing Guide

Expectation vs. Intention: The Role of a Shinrin Yoku Guide

In the practice of Shinrin Yoku, or “forest bathing,” the role of the guide is instrumental in shaping the experience for participants. The guide’s approach to expectation and intention can have profound effects on the outcome of the session. These two concepts, although closely related, have distinct implications for the quality of the Shinrin Yoku experience.

Expectation: A Double-Edged Sword

Definition: Expectation refers to the belief or assumption about what should happen during a Shinrin Yoku session. These might include specific outcomes, such as achieving relaxation, connection, or insight.

Positive Impact:

  • Setting Goals: Expectations can provide structure, helping to define goals and desired outcomes.
  • Motivating Action: Expectations can drive the guide to prepare and perform in alignment with these objectives.

Negative Impact:

  • Limiting Experience: If too rigid, expectations can restrict responsiveness and limit the organic unfolding of the session.
  • Potential Disappointment: Unmet expectations may lead to dissatisfaction, affecting the guide’s confidence and connection with participants.

Scientific Insight: Research into therapeutic practices emphasizes the importance of managing expectations to prevent dissatisfaction and dropout (Swift & Greenberg, 2012).

Intention: Guiding with Purpose

Definition: Intention is a conscious commitment to a way of being or a quality one wishes to cultivate during the session, such as presence, empathy, or openness.

Positive Impact:

  • Enhancing Connection: Setting an intention fosters a deeper connection with the self, participants, and nature.
  • Facilitating Adaptation: Unlike fixed expectations, intention allows flexibility and responsiveness to the unique dynamics of each session.

Scientific Insight: Intention-setting has been linked to increased mindfulness, a key component of therapeutic success, including practices like Shinrin Yoku (Shapiro et al., 2006).

Balancing Expectation and Intention

For a Shinrin Yoku Guide, striking the right balance between expectation and intention is crucial. Here’s how:

  • Communicate Clearly: Discuss expectations with participants beforehand, but remain open to the unique unfolding of the experience.
  • Set Mindful Intentions: Choose intentions that align with the core principles of Shinrin Yoku, such as fostering connection, understanding, and presence.
  • Embrace Flexibility: Recognize that each Shinrin Yoku session is unique and be willing to adapt as needed.
  • Reflect and Learn: After each session, reflect on what went well and what could be improved. Adjust expectations and intentions accordingly.


In facilitating a Shinrin Yoku session, the interplay between expectation and intention is a nuanced dance. While expectations can provide direction, they must be balanced with the fluidity and mindfulness of intention to create a truly enriching experience.

Guiding with a thoughtful blend of expectation and intention not only enriches the Shinrin Yoku experience but also fosters a space where the miraculous interconnection of life can be deeply felt and appreciated.


  • Swift, J. K., & Greenberg, R. P. (2012). Premature Discontinuation in Adult Psychotherapy: A Meta-Analysis. Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology, 80(4), 547-559.
  • Shapiro, S. L., Carlson, L. E., Astin, J. A., & Freedman, B. (2006). Mechanisms of Mindfulness. Journal of Clinical Psychology, 62(3), 373-386.


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


Recent Posts

  • All Post
  • Activities
  • Blog po polsku
  • Books
  • First Aid
  • Forest Medicine
  • Forest-Human Stories
  • News
  • Research Articles
  • Research Digest
  • Shinrin Yoku
  • Shinrin Yoku Guide Training
  • Testimonials
  • The Mindful Business
  • The Mindful Forest Bathing
  • The Mindful Practice
  • The Mindful You
  • Uncategorized
Load More

End of Content.

Subscribe to our Shinrin Yoku Newsletter. Get inspired through the wisdom of the forest.

* indicates required

Journey Through Life With the Wisdom of the Forest

Share this:

logged_in_greeting="Hi! How may we assist you today?" logged_out_greeting="Hi! How may we assist you today?">
error: Content is protected !!