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and insects, and the rustling of the trees. The sounds we hear in nature can relieve stress and restore us. You can hear so much once you quiet your own thoughts and open your ears to listen. Listen to sounds that are nearby and others that are more distant. Some sounds are so constant that we forget to notice them, and other sounds, such as the music that arises from Earth herself, are so subtle that it takes a long time of being in a very quiet place before you hear them at all.

TOUCH Shift your awareness to touch. If you’re standing, notice how your feet feel touching the Earth. As you sit, touch the soil, put some in your hand, and notice how it feels. Gather a handful of soil and inspect it. What do you notice? What happens if you rub it into your skin? Get lost in the ancient processes at work in the forest. Touch is an often overlooked but very important part of forming bonds with one another and with the Earth. Sometimes we walk through nature as though we’re strolling in an art museum, keeping our hands politely to ourselves. The more we physically touch the Earth, the more we open ourselves to her healing powers—and our touch can be healing for the plants as well.

TASTE Open your mouth, stick out your tongue, and cultivate your sense of taste. We usually associate taste with eating and drinking, but we can also taste the air. Taste the morning dew. Eat a wild berry. Notice how you merge with nature as you open to taste the world around you.

AND BEYOND

Plevin says taking time to listen to the sounds of nature can relieve stress.

More than 2,000 years ago, Greek philosopher Aristotle proposed that humans had five senses. Contemporary neuroscientists, however, have determined that we have a symphony of senses—from 22 to 33, in fact. When we spend our days staring at screens and scrolling with our thumbs, we’re not engaging most of our senses and we are not fully present. As we deepen our nature connection, we reawaken our senses and discover there is a lot more to living than we ever imagined. With all of these sensations in your awareness, what do you notice? Do colors look a bit more vibrant? Does everything have an extra sparkle? With all our senses engaged, we experience what mythologist Joseph Campbell calls “the rapture of being alive.” Excerpt reprinted with permission from The Healing Magic of Forest Bathing by Julia Plevin, copyright © 2019. Published by Ten Speed Press, a division of Penguin Random House LLC.

Profile for The Purist

The Purist Spring 2019 Issue  

Glory, Glory Julianne- Cynthia Rowley Interviews Julianne Moore Mary-Louise Parker's Meditations Eddie Stern & Deepak Chopra on the power of...

The Purist Spring 2019 Issue  

Glory, Glory Julianne- Cynthia Rowley Interviews Julianne Moore Mary-Louise Parker's Meditations Eddie Stern & Deepak Chopra on the power of...

Profile for thepurist