Garden Bathing

I like to garden bathe. I immerse myself in the garden, letting it wash over me. It relaxes and restores me.  I use the term garden bathing as an analog to the Japanese concept of forest bathing (shinrin-yoku) that has similar benefits.  Forests are far from my house, but, fortunately for me, my garden is just on the other side of my door.  Right now the star jasmine are in bloom, their white blossoms permeating the air with the fragrance of a tropical Eden.  The sound of the water stream cascading into the pond helps calm any stress ripples inside me.   And when a breeze passes through, it adds the rustle of bamboo to the far-away feeling. 

My baths are not always long and quiet.  Many are short and livened by visiting birds.  Occasionally a basking fence lizard will give me a friendly gaze.  Garden bathing settles my universe into its rightful order.  I think the world would be a better place if everyone had a way to settle their own universe into its rightful order.

About the author Clifford Hui

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In the Field

Stories about people studying wild animals.

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