The "Five Invitations" are a set of guiding principles often associated with the practice of forest bathing or shinrin yoku. These invitations serve as reminders and prompts to deepen one's connection with nature and fully engage in the experience. While different sources may present variations, here is a commonly referenced interpretation of the Five Invitations:
Enter the forest with an open heart: This invitation encourages approaching the forest environment with a sense of receptivity, curiosity, and gratitude. It involves letting go of preoccupations, distractions, and judgments, and embracing a state of openness and wonder.
Use all your senses: This invitation emphasizes the use of all your senses to fully engage with the forest environment. It encourages mindful observation and exploration, such as noticing the colors, textures, and patterns of the trees, listening to the sounds of nature, feeling the sensations of the forest floor, and breathing in the scents of the forest.
Connect with nature's rhythm: This invitation invites you to attune yourself to the natural rhythms and cycles of the forest. It involves slowing down, finding a comfortable pace, and aligning your breath and movements with the flow of nature. By harmonizing with the forest's rhythm, you can cultivate a deeper sense of presence and connection.
Find a place of stillness: This invitation encourages seeking out moments of stillness and quiet in the forest. It involves finding a peaceful spot to rest, sit, or meditate, allowing yourself to be fully present in the tranquility of the natural surroundings. This practice can help promote relaxation, inner calm, and a sense of being grounded.
Engage in a reciprocal relationship: This invitation emphasizes the idea of reciprocity and fostering a sense of mutual relationship with the natural world. It involves acknowledging that you are part of the interconnected web of life and recognizing the importance of caring for and preserving nature. It encourages acts of gratitude, stewardship, and a commitment to ecological awareness and sustainability.
These Five Invitations serve as gentle reminders to deepen the experience of forest bathing and cultivate a mindful and meaningful connection with the natural environment.
ChatGPT, May 26, 2023, what are the five invitations of forest bathing, with edits