M I N D F U L  ☼  M O N D A Y S

Brittany Kleinshnitz helps ground us for the week ahead with Mindful Mondays on the NEC’s Instagram and Facebook. Follow us @your_nec and start your week off well.

Forest Bathing

Photo Credit: Brittany Kleinschnitz, NEC Staff

Forest bathing, or shinrin-yoku, is a mindfulness technique promoted as medicine by doctors in Japan. Shinrin in Japanese means “forest,” and yoku means “bath.” It involves paying close attention to our sensual experience of nature.

How does one take a forest bath?

First, find a place to sit or walk – in the forest, at the marsh, or in your backyard (remember to practice physical distancing in public spaces). Begin by taking some deep breaths in and out through your nose. Maybe release a big sigh out of your mouth.

Choosing one sense to work with at a time, focus on what you are receiving. For example, see the way the light reflects on the water. Hear the birds chirping. Smell the fresh-cut grass. Taste the salty air. Touch cool, damp soil beneath your feet. Perhaps connect to your sixth sense – intuition. What arises in this moment of stillness?

Spend some time with each sense, sipping in the experience. Once you feel complete, begin to integrate your senses once again, painting a complete picture of your surroundings.

Take a final deep breath, release, and relax.


Lung Health

These past months we have been experiencing smoke drift from the many California and Oregon fires in our neighboring communities. How are you staying well during this time? Do you have an air filter in your home? A special herbal tea?

Herbs for lung support:
• Marshmallow root
• Mullein leaf (invasive – please harvest!)
• Yerba Santa
• Orange peel
• Red clover blossom
• Slippery elm
• Licorice
• Wild cherry bark
• Anything with anti-oxidants and Vitamin D3

Make a tea or boil in a pot on the stove, then remove from stove and inhale over the pot with a towel over your head. What other herbal remedies do you have for smoke inhalation? Here’s a nice picture of a sky clear of smoke. Breathe it in.

Photo Credit: Pexels.com Creative Commons

Anti-Racism Resources

Hello community, and happy Monday. Our Mindful Monday post today is meant to re-invigorate and support our community by remembering that just because the media has stopped sharing about anti-racism and anti-police violence protests, the effort continues.

We’re sharing a resource from meditation teacher Tara Brach – a woman dedicated to teaching mindful meditation, lovingkindness, and other traditional Buddhist values through a contemporary lens. Her work often weaves social and environmental justice into her stories and advice.

During the early protests, Tara shared an anti-racism resource page from her website. Find it here: www.tarabrach.com/racism/

No matter your religious background or beliefs, Tara soothes ones worries, fears, guilt, and shame. Who do you look to for guidance during these times?