Shinrin Yoku, Global Context, and New Humanism - About Why Milena Founded Shinrin Yoku Association

In the face of escalating global challenges and rising disconnection among individuals, Milena was inspired to establish the Shinrin Yoki Association (SYA). It was founded on three concepts that are deeply interlinked: Shinrin Yoku, Kokoro, and the evolution of new humanism. Each element contributes unique dimensions to our understanding and practice of what it means to be truly human in today’s world.

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. New humanism, meanwhile, promotes an understanding of ourselves as part of a complex, interconnected web of life, fostering mutual respect and empathy for all beings. Shinrin Yoku offers a practical means of experiencing this interconnectedness and cultivating a holistic, compassionate perspective.

Complementing this, the Japanese concept of Kokoro, which encompasses the heart, mind, and spirit, resonates deeply with new humanism. It suggests a balanced approach to human existence, promoting harmony between our emotional, cognitive, and spiritual aspects, and fostering an understanding that our individual well-being is linked to that of others and the natural world.

Milena recognized the deep resonance between Shinrin Yoku, Kokoro, and new humanism, and their collective potential for fostering a more empathetic, unified, and understanding world. She saw how they could enhance our ability to engage in open dialogue, promote understanding and cooperation, and foster shared responsibility in tackling global challenges.

The SYA, under Milena’s leadership, thus became a leading organization dedicated to promoting the practice of Shinrin Yoku, inspiring individuals to connect with nature, cultivate well-being, and foster a deeper understanding of our relationship with the natural world. The SYA provides comprehensive training programs, resources, and support for Shinrin Yoku guides and instructors, advancing research, and advocating for the integration of Shinrin Yoku practices in various settings, including education, healthcare, and community well-being.

The SYA also acknowledges the need to understand Shinrin Yoku in broader contexts. Recognizing its roots in the deep historical relationship between humans and nature, as well as the cultural nuances that influence its practice around the world, is crucial. The practice aligns with our evolutionary heritage, drawing us closer to our innate biological connection to nature. By respecting the cultural differences that shape the practice, SYA creates a more inclusive and diverse practice that resonates with people from various cultural backgrounds.

Shinrin Yoku is also understood in the context of the global environmental challenges we face. The practice fosters a deeper appreciation of nature and inspires individuals to contribute to global sustainability efforts. Moreover, it offers numerous health benefits, including reducing stress, improving mood, and boosting the immune system.

Finally, Shinrin Yoku contributes to mental and emotional well-being, offering an opportunity for solitude, reflection, and a respite from the demands of everyday life in our increasingly urbanized and technology-driven society.

In essence, Milena established the SYA to offer a multifaceted approach to understanding and practicing Shinrin Yoku, cultivating a more compassionate, interconnected perspective on human existence and promoting a more sustainable and harmonious future.

Find out more about Milena 

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