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Your Guide to Forest Bathing at Home [+ Meditative Foraging and Mindful Eating!]

Forest bathing is a form of nature therapy. This form of therapy is all about becoming mindful of the miraculous properties of nature and allowing this awareness to increase and sustain the positive effects on our entire system – mind, body, and soul. We will show you how to create your own forest bathing ritual at home!

We all know the delight of stepping out into the wild when we feel stuck inside. A breath of fresh air, a breeze of sanity, a beam of light, the scent of earth, the relief of birdsong, and the solace of the soul.

Yet, few of us would deem this felt sense of release as a form of therapy or healing. The obvious benefits we feel are often not given deserved appreciation. We tend to take nature for granted.

What Is Forest Bathing (Shinrin Yoku)?

exploring the deepest part of the woods and relaxing

Shinrin Yoku – playfully translated as “Forest Bathing“, is a Japanese form of Nature Therapy that is fast gaining popularity and interest from all over the world. 

Forest Bathing has successfully gained the accreditation of medical science to prove its efficacy on helping people out of depression, anxiety and other types of psychological suffering that are so often caused or exacerbated by the stress and strains of modern lifestyles. 

According to the World Health Organization, stress is the health epidemic of the 21st century and is responsible for many forms of chronic illnesses.

In the 1980s, Japan recognized the physiological and psychological dangers of stress and depression and sought out a new, affordable and effective way to combat it. This was the beginning of “Shinrin-yoku”, roughly translated as ‘taking in the forest atmosphere’ or ‘forest immersion’.–International Nature and Forest Therapy Alliance

It has also been shown to have a measurable effect on our physiological systems such as lowering of heart rate, blood pressure and cortisol, stabilizing of glucose levels in diabetics, and strengthening the immune system. (Forest Bathing: How Trees Can Help You Find Health and Happiness by Dr. Qing Li)

The study “Physiological effects of Shinrin-yoku (taking in the atmosphere of the forest) in an old-growth broadleaf forest) in Yamagata Prefecture, Japan by Yuko Tsunetsugu et al shows us just some of the benefits.

In summary, in the forest area,

  1. Blood pressure and pulse rate were significantly lower, and
  2. the power of the HF component tended to be higher and LF/(LFHF) tended to be lower.
  3. Also, salivary cortisol concentration was significantly lower in the forest area.

The physiological responses suggest that sympathetic nervous activity was suppressed and parasympathetic nervous activity was enhanced in the forest area, and “Shinrin-yoku” was responsible for reducing the stress.

In the subjective evaluation, “comfortable”, “calm”, and “refreshed” feelings were significantly higher in the forest area. The relaxing effect of “Shinrin-yoku” was also felt subjectively.

In conclusion, the present study has proved the relaxing and stress-relieving effects of “Shinrin-yoku” by means of a physiological investigation, with subjective evaluations providing supporting evidence.

Seeing the overwhelmingly positive results of the studies, we can only imagine that there are many more benefits yet to be investigated.

The Benefits of Forest Bathing at Home and Nature Therapy


From my perspective as a meditator, I’d say the most profound benefit of nature therapy is a spiritual one.

Spirituality is all about retrieving the lost knowledge of our inner nature – yet the joke is on us when we realize that this nature is what we are! “Inner nature” isn’t fundamentally any different from “outer nature”, no matter how hard we pretend that we are somehow “different”.

The natural innocence and freshness found in nature seem to stand in ever greater contrast to our contemporary human society which seems hell-bent on hurling itself clear of any sense of natural order at an alarming velocity.

Whilst governments conclude that the best way to deal with a global health crisis is to impose ever more desperate ways to isolate and restrict its populations in concrete homes, the spacious, interconnected web of the woods becomes a more and more distant reality for so many of us.

How to Create a Ritual for Forest Bathing at Home

In our attempt to protect ourselves from the inevitable peaks and troughs of life, we have removed ourselves yet another step further away from the steady mooring of our origins.

Entering a forest at this time, we might even feel a wave of exultation as the sanity of nature effortlessly sets to work on repairing our tragically warped sense of “normality”.

With a few tools to increase our awareness, we can enhance the effect of these benefits profoundly.

First, Breathe


My favorite way to begin a forest therapy session is to ask my participant to breathe deeply and slowly.

To engage properly with nature, we need to synchronize with her heart rate. This kind of deliberate breathing is a powerful tool to slow down the entire system into a more “natural” or normal state.

Enter Consciously

As we enter the doorways of the forest, I suggest that our entrance be a conscious one.

Mindfulness is key from our very first step into the woods. With our conscious entrance, we pay respect and gratitude to nature, for being an eternal source of refuge and respite, no matter how out of alignment our inner or outer lives may have become.

Walk In Awareness


With this attitude of gratitude, we begin walking in awareness through nature’s glades using a method of “walking meditation“.

Whilst many of us imagine meditation as something we do while sitting, walking meditation is a wonderful way to incorporate the essence of meditative awareness into our daily lives.

Synchronizing our breath with our footsteps, we silently move through the forest with a settling sense of rhythm – washing away the noise of busy minds, and into the empty space that is permanently available within us.

One step at a time…

Set your intention

Having reached this first landmark of inner-stillness, I invite participants to pause and consider their highest wish for healing or growth during our session.

Allowing an intention to blossom in us is integral to the fruits of our therapy being born.

Yet we cannot make our intention come to life on our own. 

Surrender to Nature


Just as a flower requires a pollinator to help it bear its most prized fruit, we too need the help of nature to make our most heartfelt desires become a reality.

We become attractive prospects for the agents of pollination when we let go of fear, open up, and allow nature access to the irresistible nectar of our surrender.

We let nature remind us of her unconditional generosity by offering our faith, reverence, and gratitude.

Now to make room for the gifts that we’ve humbly asked for, we must further open up the gates of our perception to make way for the gifts that we’ve asked for. ..

Engage the Five Senses

Opening up the portals of our five senses whilst in a state of surrender, we let back inside a sacred world that we’d previously been obscuring behind the veils of our minds.

Deliberate exercises to fine-tune our senses can be helpful at this point:

Tasting, smelling, hearing, touching, and seeing the forest in the immediacy of the present moment can be a wonderful way to reconnect with a reality that permanently lies beyond the fantasy of our imagination…

The vivid red of a freshly fallen maple leaf, the sensual touch of moss, the fragile scent of the first primrose, the mystical taste of juniper berries…

Discover a Deeper Unity With Your Sixth Sense

Each expression of nature carries its own unique character, yet behind them all lies a familiar basis.

Opening up the sixth sense of our inner feeling, we may experience the unity that lies beyond all of nature’s miraculous forms.

Sometimes we may find that physically lying down under a tree or any other space that sparks inspiration in us can help in the surrendering process. To fall into a light sleep out in nature may be a wonderful way to “lose ourselves” and find ourselves again, waking up in the glad sense of being at home in our surroundings.

Connect the Dots – Nature Is What You Are!

Whilst we are all wonderfully unique, we also share the same natural essence. That essence is beyond definition, yet unmistakably beautiful, vast, and “good”. Knowing this, a revolution of understanding can take place inside us.

Faithlessness gives way to faith, and loneliness makes way for the discovery that our true shelter is right here, and right now.

As we come to know this goodness, our tired systems respond with a surge of vital energy so vast that it carries a power capable of profound healing, and a turning point in our lives.

Create a Symbol – Take Your Lessons Home With You


Nature is a superb setting in which to awaken our inner being. Yet, if we want to bring home our deliverance from difficulty, we must also bring home the lessons that we learned whilst out in the woods.

As the final stage of a session, I suggest bringing back a gift from the forest to place in your home.

A branch, a stone, a feather, or a snail shell can all serve as a persistent reminder of our experience, and the qualities which made it so profound.

I’d recommend placing your object of choice in a dignified part of your home where you will see it often. Creating a shrine for nature can help us to honor and deeply value her importance in our lives.

As the symbol of your healing, treat it with reverence and care, and clean it often. Its sanctity will bless you in direct proportion to the care and devotion you offer it.

Abide in Your True Nature and Let Your Light Shine

The more lasting effects of any kind of therapy depend upon the degree of dedication and devotion we offer it.

Frequent outings into nature can bring us the inspiration and support needed to maintain a healthy, vibrant state of mind, body, and soul, no matter how dim our world may become. If it’s our task to illuminate the world from the inside, then nature is an invaluable resource to keep our light burning even in the darkest of nights.

Set a beautiful intention today: Become a light unto the world, and humbly ask nature to aid you through the sparkling glades and dense canopies that you’ll meet along the way.

Over the past years, I’ve been eagerly exploring ways to reconnect humans back to nature on every level.

Through creating forest gardens, I understood the power of creating ecosystems of which we are an integral part. A place in nature where humans could function with a sense of wholesome purpose and belonging.

Permaculture practices help to restore our faith in ourselves as humanity – that we can indeed play a profound, beneficial role on the planet. We can renounce the role of disease and instead become the medicine. 

We do belong here and we do deserve to exist on this earth with dignity, freedom, and an inherent sense of self-worth.

To extend this recognition of goodness and belonging, I was called to develop therapeutic techniques to help others discover their rightful place as part of nature too. 

One day, the phrase “Meditative Foraging” popped into my mind, and it wouldn’t leave me alone.

When I meditated on this phrase, a torrent of information flooded my system about ways to incorporate everything I’d learned into dynamic methods that could indeed help others to discover the joys of reconnecting to nature that had been so enriching to my life.

This kind of experience of feeling “guided” is nothing unusual once we find the courage to reintegrate with nature. 

Mindful foraging connects us with nature on so many levels – the plants that we ingest even literally become one with our own bodies.

Look, for example, at a young swallow, building a nest for the first time in its life.

Despite having never witnessed another nest getting built, she knows exactly which proportions of mud, hairs, and vegetative material are necessary to build a marvel of architecture that might shelter future generations of her young for 10-15 years to come. 

How does the little bird know how to do this?  

Luckily, she never asks.

She doesn’t doubt for a moment her innate intelligence that guides her every move – the same force that sends her halfway across the world and back every year in a remarkable feat we know as “migration”. 

Foraging in a forest garden can be an especially vibrant experience, the sheer abundance sparking joy in the heart.

Meditative Foraging and Forest Therapy is all about re-learning that immaculate state of connection with nature – where we can feel supported, guided, and nurtured to live as part of a larger ecosystem, a greater intelligence, a source of joy, and a force for good. 

It requires us to lose ourselves and simultaneously find ourselves as part of something much greater.

In my meditative foraging sessions, I ask participants to come to nature with an empty basket.

To leave behind the stories and false narratives that keep them stuck on linear tracks, and instead to interpret the natural world directly through their six senses in the present moment

Through sound, sight, touch, smell, and taste, we explore the essence of nature by getting intimate with the plant world. 

forest bathing and enjoying the wonders of the forest

We use our sixth sense of feeling, or intuition, to interpret everything we are sensing in “outer nature” with our “inner nature”. We build a firm bridge that unites the two seamlessly. 

We discover, as if for the first time, which plants call to us, and in which way we, in turn, feel called to use them. 

The process that follows in the kitchen can be equally enriching.

Preparing food in a mindful way and resurrecting the rituals surrounding food preparation restore awareness of the sacredness of food. We really are, in a physical sense, what we eat.

Later in my journey, I learned about Shinrin Yoku or “Forest Bathing” – a Japanese form of nature therapy developed for many of the same reasons that I had cultivated the meditative foraging method

Highly intrigued, I took a short course with an elder in the world of nature therapy – Steffan Batorijs of

Learning as a group, we took each other through various exercises similarly aimed at getting us back in touch with our natural surroundings. 

From being led blindfolded by a partner through the woodland glades, to lying on our backs under pine trees, we learned to trust and surrender into the primal healing embrace of nature. 

paying attention to the details of the forest

I was very moved by the weekend and went on to practice these techniques as part of my daily schedule.

When we know how to surrender to nature, true miracles of healing and transfiguration can move through us. 

We release control and allow a much greater force to come to aid us with the things that we’ve so longed to see change in our lives. 

It is the solace of hearing a hill stream, trickling over rocks.

It is the joy of a blackbird’s song at dawn.

The radiance of a Celandine flower sparkling in the springtime sun.

The scent of a wild rose, reviving our sensuality.

exploring the middle of the woods and finding a bridge

Though many of us may go out into the wild to witness such spectacles and even offer significant appreciation for the grace, dignity, and basic goodness of nature, few of us seem to take the next inevitable step in realizing that this nature is fundamentally what we are.

Restoring this knowledge, we let the goodness of nature permeate every cell of our body. 

We let it wash clean and heal every wound. 

We allow it to soothe our every sorrow. 

We put our trust in a guardian that will never let us down. 

We feel unconditional love rinse through us and herald relief to our stressed inner systems.

We let it rekindle the flames of inner delight, and watch it dance wildly with us as our lust for life is lastingly restored. 

Energized, revitalized, nourished, and healed, we can return to our busy lives –  safe in the knowledge that this loving presence is always with us, is our very essence.

Though human society may continue in its sleepwalk towards seeming oblivion, we can feel safe in the knowledge that nothing real will be lost. 

The nature we are, and always will be, will remain – and remain for good. 

enjoying the beautiful weather in the deep forest

Knowing this in the face of the calamity that awaits the modern world may be at once heartbreaking and tremendously reassuring. 

A complete kind of emotion – robust, whole, and inspiring us to act in accordance with the goodness we know we are.

Having established a reunion with nature, we become a wellspring of innocence in a parched land – a firefly dancing in a dark night of our collective calendar – and an island of refuge for those feeling alone and afraid in an artificial ocean, created purely by a belief in separation.

Nature Therapy is an invaluable lifeline in these troubled times. 

I urge you to try it, for the sake of our contemporary world and the times to come.

Remember your belonging in nature and you will be doing an invaluable service to others in helping them remember theirs. 

When we take a wander through the wild world, few of us seem to realize the treasure trove we are stumbling through. 

Almost as if in a sleepwalk, our conditioning has blinded us so thoroughly that we can barely make out the gleaming jewels of the plant world that lie before us.

Even the trained botanist who knows too much about the plants they behold may completely fail to know them directly, because of the highly developed filter that they look through when making that encounter.

Meditative Foraging – Open Your Senses to Nature

Mindful foraging can be fun to do with friends – and it comes very naturally to infants too!

Meditative foraging is all about reversing that conditioning, and opening not only our eyes but all of our senses back up to the paradise of nature that we had thought we had lost.

Some imagine paradise being a place we might go to when we die, or a transcendent space occasionally met through “spiritual practices.” 

But for one who knows nature, paradise is a place we can step out into every time we leave our busy minds behind and simply behold the world as it really is.

So don’t think – but sense, feel…

The secret of meditative foraging is all to do with getting out of your mind and back to your senses.

Tasting a plant can be much more than merely tickling the taste buds, but a unique encounter with its essence.

Though the core of our intellectual understanding is paramount – knowing which plants are safe to touch, smell, and taste, and what we might be able to use them for – yet we shed the rest of our cerebral activity to make way for direct connection.

Laying aside our mind, we encounter each plant as if it were the first time. Only then, in the freshness of the present moment can we fully appreciate the gifts that it would love to bestow.

Become Mindful of What You Are About to Engage In

Some wild plants will jump out in your sensory field like beacons, begging for your attention. Here, the nourishing flowers of the Cuckoo Flower stand out starkly against dark foliage.

So, before you walk out into the wild, stop for a moment and become mindful of what you are about to engage in.

Bring your focus to your intention – why are you doing this, and which of your needs you’d like to see fulfilled in this encounter.

Don’t be afraid to dream! 

You might be amazed by the power of this connection and the impact it could have on your life… the more you dare to put into this, the greater the response will be returned by nature.


Open yourself up to receive everything that you’ve asked for. 

Using Your Six Senses in Meditative Foraging

Sometimes the sheer abundance of nature can be almost overwhelming. Here, stitchwort flowers offer more than a light snack but a feast for the senses too.

Receive nature’s gifts through the portals of your six senses:

  1. Sound
  2. Sight
  3. Touch
  4. Taste
  5. Smell
  6. Inner Feeling (or In-Tuition)

1. Listen

Step out into nature, 

Quieten your mind and…


Listen to your footsteps on nature’s floor. 

Listen to the birds in the trees, the grasses in the breeze.

Listen to the cheerful sound of a bumblebee, doing his own bit of foraging.

Listen to how all of these myriad sounds make you feel. 

What comes alive in you, when you truly listen to the intricate tapestry of sounds already present in nature?

2. See


Don’t just look but truly see.

See the wondrous diversity of colors, shapes, shades, and sizes that make up your visual surroundings.

See the radiance of a yellow flower reflecting the sunlight, almost luminous themselves.

See the dark, wizened flesh of an old tree, and the rich story of patterns contained there.

See which plants jump out in your field of vision, and let yourself be drawn to one of them.

Allow your sight to deepen into the visual layers of your plant and see what comes alive in you.

Stop for a moment… 

Before you move onto the next steps it’s important to know which plant you are about to get in touch with. Is it safe to touch, smell, and taste this plant?

If you are in doubt, take a photo or make a drawing of the plant and find out more about your chosen plant before you continue.

3. Touch


Make contact. 

Let your physical body connect directly with that of your chosen plant.

Allow your hands to run along its skin, reading the Braille of its outer form. 

Let it communicate things to you – things that would be left unsaid through your other senses.

Allow the quality of your touch to transmit back your deep curiosity, reverence, and willingness to learn from this plant. 

Enjoy this feeling of connection, a mutual enjoyment of one another.

4. Smell


If you feel invited to, use the deeply intimate portal of smell to further the exploration of your plant.

If your plant has flowers, breathe them in – are they fragrant? How about its fruits?

Crush a sample of the plant’s leaves, stem, or bark between your fingers and inhale its essence.

Let these smells permeate through any prior knowledge you had about this plant, and open up into powerful present moment communion.

5. Taste


Does this plant’s appearance, texture, and smell invite you to meet it with your mouth? 

If so, take a small portion and crush it between your teeth. 

Allow its juices to flow through your mouth, penetrating taste receptors in all parts of your tongue.

How does this oral reading register in your body? 

If your body responds with gladness, a feeling of nourishment, or further curiosity to explore – give your plant a second bite. 

6. Feel


Don’t think,  but feel what is going on around you and inside you.

What does this unique combination of senses leave you feeling about this plant, and how to use it?

What kind of resonance do you feel in your heart space, and what is your “gut feeling”?

Perhaps you feel called to gather some for a light snack, a herbal tea to brew at home, or if there’s enough, then maybe even a substantial meal. 

Gather Your Plant


Before, during, and after gathering a portion of leaves, fruits, flowers, or roots from your plant, offer back an attitude of sincere gratitude as you mindfully place it into your vessel. 

Never take more than you need, but at the same time don’t be shy to enjoy the full riches that the plant is offering you. 

Cultivating Gratitude

Mysterious beings. When we forget our preconceived notions of what plants are, we might be amazed by what our direct perception reveals. Wood sorrel is an unassuming plant – its delicate beauty requires an appreciative eye.

Let the recognition of natural generosity flood through your system as you understand that in nature, things really are given for free.

The very life you are was given as a gift, and nature continues to support that life, through gifts such as the one you are gathering now. 

Recognize that your entire body, and most of the living world, is made up of plants. See how much you have to be thankful for…

Declare yourself as part of nature, by giving back in a way that honors that seed of goodness in you. 

Your well-spring of gratitude is a gracious gift to the world, and its waters nurture you and all of those around you in ways that you couldn’t imagine. 

The more you can allow this pool of gratitude to flow out of you, the greater the gifts of abundance will arrive in your life to match it.

Sensing the world as it really is and cultivating gratitude is a simple recipe for a happy and prosperous life. –Charlie Morton

Give Meditative Foraging a Try

foraging for yummy snacks in the forest and fields

Give the methods I have suggested a try, and watch carefully for the mysterious gifts that may start trickling into your life…

You might end up coming home with a lot more than a basket brimming with dandelion leaves, crab apples, or bilberries, but a happy heart, resounding with the timeless chorus of natural goodness. 

Mindful Growing

Real permaculture is all about making every aspect of life sustainable so that we can go on living in harmony with nature indefinitely.

Mindfulness is a key part of that transition because to best fulfill our role within the system, we must become mindfully aware of all the other myriad aspects that make up the web of life that we’re a part of. 

The gorgeous photos in this article are all taken by my friends who run foraging/culinary classes in Latvia.

The Joy of Mindful Food


Mindful eating is a key practice in this intentional lifestyle.

Our bodies are made up of nothing other than the food we eat and the water we drink – so what we consume and how we ingest it is of paramount importance. 

Mindful eating can also fill our lives with the joy of truly connecting with our food.

As we become attentive to the rituals surrounding eating, we develop new depths of creativity and a cheerful awareness that can add a new dimension of meaning to our lives.

Following these steps, it’s my wish that the wonders of Mindful Eating can bestow its blessings upon your lives too.

1. Mindful Growing

Abundance in the garden – @burdallfamily

If you’re fortunate enough to be growing food in your own garden, backyard, or plot of land, you’ve already taken a big step along the path of mindful eating.  

Cultivating soil, sowing seeds, and nursing our crops to maturity, we can watch our food grow with an awareness and an understanding that may be out of reach for someone who has never had the privilege.

We come to see how the crops we grow are made up of the earth that they rise from, the water that quenches them, the air that they breathe from, and the sunshine that gives them the radiance to prosper. 

Earth, water, air, fire.

The four basic elements that constitute everything in our physical world. When we grow with awareness, we see it with our own eyes. Feel it with our own skin. Understand it with our own mind.

When we consume plants, we then inherit these elements too. The ray of sunlight that sweetened the strawberry we’re beholding literally becomes one with us the moment we take a bite from its succulent flesh. 

And that drop of water that fell from the sky to quench the melon we’re slurping down is now our own water, soon our very own blood coursing through our veins.

When we become aware of the elements, and their function in us and around us, our appreciation of growing can take on new heights.

See the moon in your food! Just as the annual orbit of the sun creates rings in trees, so does each complete moon cycle leave its print in our root vegetables!

With mindful awareness, growing can be a harvest for the senses in every moment…

The smell of a freshly tilled seedbed, seeing the first mysterious leaves of a vegetable we’ve never grown before, hearing the cuckoo sing as we string up our tomatoes

Seen this way, gathering our crops can be just the icing on the cake…

2. Mindful Harvesting


When we harvest food from our own gardens, we already know all of the work that we’ve put into producing it. Now we reap the rewards of all that we’ve worked for, and there is a natural sense of appreciation – for ourselves, and for the plants.

Yet, do we remember to say thank you to all of the other forces that helped to grow the pumpkin that we’re now plucking from the vine?

Do we remember to thank the sun for making its flesh sweet, and the rain for making it juicy? Do we remember to thank the frog who gobbled up slugs who would have otherwise devoured our fragile seedlings?

Let us also thank the worm for the fertile soil and the bee who so kindly pollinated our plant to produce this precious fruit. 

In the vast web of the garden we are but one small part. And whilst our part is essential, we are far from solely responsible for the harvests that feed us.

With the tools of mindfulness, let us become gratefully aware of all the components that made up the crops we are harvesting.

3. Mindful Foraging


Harvesting outside of the garden…

If you don’t have your own vegetable garden, mindful harvesting can also be thoroughly enjoyed in nature, using a million-year-old technique, known as gathering or “foraging”.

Easily recognizable wild plants like nettles, dandelions, wild garlic, wild strawberries, and raspberries can be found just about everywhere in temperate climates. The extra strength they need to thrive in the wild means they are chock full of natural goodness – in fact usually much higher in nutrients than our domestic fruits and vegetables. 

Check out this chart comparing some wild veggies to their domestic cousins to see what we mean!

Chart by (

Gathering is something that reminds us deeply of our ancestry and when we do it with mindfulness, we might even feel the cells of our body tingling with excitement at the remembrance of this age-old ritual. 

Foraging from supermarkets may be a slightly more modern rendition of an ancient art form, but nonetheless, we can still use our innate wisdom to shop mindfully too. 

If we become aware of the devastating impacts of chemical farming, for example, we are much more likely to choose organic, local alternatives. Especially if they still have a bit of mud left on them. 

Choosing organic ingredients is one of the biggest statements you can make about the direction you’d like to see our planet and society heading toward and a powerful way to support farmers who care for our earth. 

4. Mindful Food Preparation 

Kids marinating fresh Gurki – @burdallfamily

Having gathered our ingredients consciously, we are now ready to prepare them for the table. 

All of the energy and dedication we put into this process can nourish us with equal delight as the food itself, when we do it mindfully.

Washing carrots, grating beets, slicing lettuce, or simmering our greens doesn’t have to be a chore. With appreciative awareness, these activities can also become a joy. 

Taking time to prepare a meal properly is a precious act of devotion for our own wellbeing, as well as that of the people we’re cooking for. 

When we focus on the goodness we intend to share with our loved ones, each slice of a knife can be a slice of love. And we all know that a meal cooked with love is a tasty, nourishing meal indeed. 

Food mandalas and decorated platters can a wonderful way to celebrate the food we’re eating. And food presented with loving care is much more likely to be consumed in that spirit too. 

5. Mindful Eating


If we’ve followed the preceding steps properly, then mindful eating should almost happen by itself. 

Who would want to wolf down a plate of food mindlessly that had been so lovingly grown, gracefully harvested, meticulously prepared, and beautifully presented?

When we’ve been involved in the creation of such a meal, appreciating our food comes very naturally.

Yet, by taking just one more small step, we can further enhance our enjoyment – by creating a ritual…

I suggest that to pay due respect to all the myriad forces that went into making our meal, a moment of silence or prayer is appropriate. 

During this time, we can become aware of the food on our plate from the very first stages of its life to its journey to reach us, to the present moment where it awaits our keen appetite.

A plump potato, steaming on our plate can be an object of wonder and awe when we remember her voyage from the hand that first covered her mother potato with soil. 

The mother then bursting forth, with strong, robust shoots, broke through the many layers of soil to reach her first breath of fresh air and beams of sunlight. Think of her delight!

As she grew, those rays of light, rain from the sky, nutrients from the soil, gases from the air, and care of the gardener all helped her to rise up, flourish, and give birth to many tiny offspring potatoes

Those little potatoes then quickly swelled and prospered, as the mother plant nurtured them tenderly to maturity. 

Once her work was done, that caring mother laid her body aside and allowed her guardian, the gardener, to pluck her offspring from the soil. 

The potato was then scrubbed and sliced with care by the cook, placed in a pan of boiling water, simmered on fire, and drained again, allowed to cool a little, before being placed lovingly on a plate for us to enjoy.

Did you keep count of the number of elements required for this potato to arrive on your plate?

Of all the countless helpers who gave their energy to make this simple offering possible?  

Every day we might miss such miracles if we scoff down our food without stopping first to acknowledge what we are about to integrate with our bodies.

Life is an interconnected food web that we are but a tiny part of. 

Everything we produce and consume affects all of the other parts of the web and affects it according to the level of care, appreciation, and intention we do it with.

Mindful eating is a fantastic way to recognize the beauty of this web, and how to best interact as a small, yet integral part of it. 

With this kind of awareness, real permaculture can be born, cherished, and celebrated, one bite at a time, perennially – without end.

Special thanks go out to the Burdall family who offers foraging and cooking classes near Kuldiga in Latvia. Check out their beautiful photos on their Instagram account!

A New Dawn Is Arriving

Our collective predicament has never been so alarming, and more and more of us are waking up to the understanding that we can’t afford to diverge from our origins any longer. Nature therapy is an invaluable tool to illuminate the path of our returning, and is surely more relevant in today’s world than ever before.


  • Charlie Morton

    Charlie is our forest garden specialist. When he is not foraging for his meals, he enjoys designing and planting forest gardens, also known as "forage gardens". Although he is UK-born, Charlie has been involved in the creation of forage spaces across the world. He is always keen to sink his teeth into new projects to re-wild the land and the people on it. Charlie is known for his mindful foraging method and meditative foraging classes, which aim to help others connect with the plant world.

Charlie Morton

Tuesday 9th of February 2021

So glad to hear of the benefit you felt Suzanne! Thanks for your appreciation :)

Suzanne Harris

Saturday 23rd of January 2021

Love these two quotes....this article has inspired me to begin walking again in the native areas near my house. Thanks Charlie!

Opening up the portals of our five senses whilst in a state of surrender, we let back inside a sacred world that we’d previously been obscuring behind the veils of our minds.

Set a beautiful intention today: Become a light unto the world, and humbly ask nature to aid you through the sparkling glades and dense canopies that you’ll meet along the way.


Monday 8th of February 2021

Glad you feel inspired Suzanne - nature can really help us get back to who we are and what matters :)