Forest Therapy Guiding Talk at HopeClub: Monday, June 5, 2017

I understand this is a late announcement, but my new day job has kept me from social media almost entirely.  Please pass this on to anyone you think might be interested.

The American Cancer Society’s local HopeClub in Latham offers programs “for anyone whose life has been touched by cancer.”

This free evening presentation/experience includes dinner, so please RSVP to me and I will get the word to them you are joining us!

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“The Forest is the therapist; the guide opens the door.”

An Introduction to Nature and Forest Therapy

Monday, June 5, 2017, 6 to 8 pm The HopeClub, One Penny Lane, Latham

Unplug.

Breathe with clouds, trees, water, flowers.

Come, live in the untamed world for a while.

Do you feel intuitively that being outdoors in nature can make you feel better or centers you?

Have you heard about Japanese shinrin-yoku, or “forest bathing,” and wondered what it might be like to experience? Would you like to know more about this scientifically researched restorative practice and try it for yourself?

Diane Kavanaugh-Black, Nationally Certified Forest Therapy Guide, yoga instructor and local writer, will talk about what a Guided Forest Walk is, what it isn’t, and why you might participate in one! We’ll try it out with a short nature invitation and then together choose where Diane will lead a full Guided Walk this summer for HopeClub.

 

HopeClub Ask the Expert Forest Therapy 06-05-17

Forest Therapy Walk August 21st

At the minimum, I had hoped for a lovely day among the shady apple trees, next to the pond and tiny bubbling stream–even out on the hot July grass. As we slowly moved past water lilies and the nodding raspberry bushes, then shared in a circle later, the morning expanded into an even larger and more important experience for everyone, far beyond what I had hoped for.

This is some of what the participants shared after my first forest therapy walk in July:

[I have] become more aware of the small and large beauty around us, and the greater possibility and actuality of greater PEACE.

You would only be helping yourself [to do a walk]; you have to disconnect to reconnect.

Wonderful for helping you take yourself to another level of mindfulness…

I am calmer. Slowed down. More peaceful.

Won’t you join me on Sunday August 21 from 10 am to 1 pm in Troy on the next walk?  

It’s FREE. (More information below and in the pdf flyer.)

****Use the Contact Us tab above to register for the event.*****

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NATURE & FOREST THERAPY WALK

SUNDAY, AUGUST 21, 2016, 10 AM TO 1 PM

at a six acre private residence in Troy NY

Led by Diane Kavanaugh-Black: Forest Therapy Guide, yoga instructor, local writer & photographer

This introductory walk is FREE, though donations will be happily accepted.

**Forest Therapy is a series of guided sensory invitations into a deeper connection with nature, that takes place in state parks, nature preserves, arboretums, gardens and private spaces. Light hearted and yet potentially profound, the approach slows us down and opens us to possibilities.

**Forest Therapy allows individuals and groups to experience the healing effects of the outdoors and is accessible to everyone, regardless of age or physical condition. The walks are generally under a mile and on easy terrain. No special knowledge or background is needed.

**Nature and Forest Therapy is a research-based restorative practice which comes out of Japanese shinrin yoku or “forest bathing.” Among other benefits, it has been shown to lower blood pressure, decrease cortisol (stress hormone) levels, and increase immune function. You may have seen recent articles in the Washington Post, Yoga Journal, USA Today or U.S. News & World Report, or on National Geographic Explorer channel.

**Further information and links to scientific research and media reports about Forest Therapy can be found at the Association of Nature and Forest Therapy Guides and Programs .

08-21-16 Forest Therapy Walk flyer

Forest Therapy Walk in July

Mandala: bird's foot trefoil.

Mandala: bird’s foot trefoil.   ~~ Let nature do the healing.~~

Here is the first of the promised summer walks in upstate New York, and a .pdf to pass on to anyone who might be interested.

July 22 Forest Therapy Walk flyer

**Please indicate your interest through the “Contact Us” link at the top of this site, and more information will follow.**

Light over the water: breathe in the calm.

Light over water: breathe in the calm.

NATURE & FOREST THERAPY WALK

FRIDAY, JULY 22, 2016    10 AM TO 1 PM

at a six acre private residence in Troy NY

Led by Diane Kavanaugh-Black: Forest Therapy Guide, yoga instructor, local writer & photographer

This introductory walk is FREE, though donations will be happily accepted.

**Forest Therapy is a series of guided sensory invitations into a deeper connection with nature, that takes place in state parks, nature preserves, arboretums, gardens and private spaces. Light hearted and yet potentially profound, the approach slows us down and opens us to possibilities.

**Forest Therapy allows individuals and groups to experience the healing effects of the outdoors and is accessible to everyone, regardless of age or physical condition. The walks are generally under a mile and on easy terrain. No special knowledge or background is needed.

**Nature and Forest Therapy is a research-based restorative practice which comes out of Japanese shinrin yoku or “forest bathing.” Among other benefits, it has been shown to lower blood pressure, decrease cortisol (stress hormone) levels, and increase immune function. You may have seen articles in the Washington Post, Yoga Journal, USA Today or U.S. News & World Report recently, or on National Geographic Explorer channel.

**Further information and links to scientific research and media reports about Forest Therapy can be found at the Association of Nature and Forest Therapy Guides and Programs .

 

Nature Art Show in March at Emma Thacher Center

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“Swizzle stick,”on the Red Belly Snowmobile Path, Partridge Run; more photos from this trail are in the Thacher Nature Center show.

On Saturday, March 5, 2016, from 1 to 4 pm, I invite you all to visit Emma Treadwell Thacher Nature Center, 87 Nature Center Way, Voorheesville NY for the opening reception of their 13th annual Nature Art Show. I have three photographs in the show–come and enjoy them, at the 50 artist celebration, nestled in the center next to Thacher Lake. The opening reception includes live music and refreshments, and there are trails to walk outside near the nature center or back at John Boyd Thacher State Park (don’t miss the escarpment overlook!).

The show runs through March 25 and the Center (free admission!) is open Tuesday through Sunday from 9 to 5.

Directions: If you approach from John Boyd Thacher Park on 157 (off 85/New Scotland Road), you will drive THROUGH Thacher Park, take a right on 256 (Ketcham Road), pass the small Farm Stand on the right, and soon after take a left on Nature Center Road (small sign for Nature Center), which is gravel and leads to the parking area & center.

Nature Photography Show, about Partridge Run, at Bethlehem Library

Photo in the show: "First, Center Yourself: Ox-Eye Daisy, unopened," July 2014

Photo in the show: “First, Center Yourself: Ox-Eye Daisy, unopened,” July 2014

Hello all. The project I have been concentrating on in lieu of workshops the past six months has bloomed in its first public venue.

My hiking partner Carole Fults and I are working on a series of books about the natural areas near Albany, NY, beginning with Partridge Run Wildlife Management Area in Berne.  Below find the announcement of our exhibit at Bethlehem Public Library in Delmar, NY (south of Albany). The show runs through December, in the lobby; there is also an exhibit by a local printmaker and collage artist (link to follow) in the entryway.

Since Bethlehem Library does not have accommodations for formal receptions, I will be at the library for two informal opportunities to ask questions while you look at the photos:

Sunday December 13, from 12:30 to 2:30, with a short talk at 1 pm

Tuesday December 15, from 5 to 7 pm, with a short talk at 6 pm.

Getting to Know Pickerel Ponds photo show flyer

Move with Mindfulness returns April 25 & 26!

The path was clear to the Welcoming House, and its meditation room.

The path was clear to the Welcoming House, and its meditation room.

January snow sparkled beautiful and peaceful, the days and evenings glowed, and we wrote. Downy woodpeckers, chickadees and white breasted nuthatches nibbled at the feeders; other small creatures burrowed into the white. We stretched, we wrote.

White breasted nuthatches reminded us to eat when we needed.

White breasted nuthatches doing their work.

We woke our bodies gently on yoga mats, we wrote, we ate and laughed and took a hike, churned our minds, churned our muscles, loosened both, and wrote.

Time expanded and we got work done. (A personal meditation on how that process went for me, entitled “Essay Tangles and Snarls,” can be found at my writing blog, here .)

Busy, busy little critters burrowed through the snow, before our boot prints even got there.

Busy, busy little critters burrowed through the snow, before our boot prints even got there.

Now I invite you to an affordable spring weekend, one day or both, opportunities to stay overnight if you’d like. End of April, there should be wildflowers in the woods, warmer air in the sun, the pond defrosted, the labyrinth uncovered. And writing to be done!

Details below.

April wildflowers: remember them?

April wildflowers: remember them?

 

Move with Mindfulness, Write with Ease

Saturday & Sunday April 25 & 26, 2015

One Day or Two Day options available.

10 am to 4 pm each day

Come and experience how movement can assist your writing and self awareness in a relaxed environment, with periods to write built into the day.

This workshop-retreat offers an excellent opportunity for work on a new or ongoing project (e.g. fiction, memoir, poetry, personal journaling), or just give you quiet time away, as we experience spring! in gorgeous upstate New York. You can attend Saturday, Sunday, or both days.

Where is it being held? Still Point Retreat Center is a small-scale, homey/comfy retreat center with a spiritual emphasis, in Stillwater NY, very close to the Saratoga Historical Park, 30 miles north of Albany.

You can commute to the workshop or stay at Still Point.

How much will it cost? $59/1 day, $118/2 days, including options to experience a yoga class, learn stretches and self-care for writers, do a labyrinth walk and/or hike (weather permitting) along with other moving meditation, while supplied with noshes throughout the day. Limited income participant $29/ 1 day, $58/ 2 days.

Included each day in your workshop fee: healthy & tasty breakfast foods in the morning, tea and coffee over the day, home made soup for lunch. If you are staying over, dinner will be shared potluck and the evening will be free time (ideas: write, visit with others, rest, walk on the grounds or read).

Overnight accommodations are a separate charge and should be arranged directly with Still Point. Visit the Still Point website here for pictures and information about the cabins & rooms and to sign up for housing. In conjunction with this retreat, you can opt to stay over Friday, Saturday and/or Sunday nights, depending on what rooms are available at the time you book your accommodation with Still Point.

How do I sign up for the workshop? We keep this workshop deliberately small so it is advised to sign up as soon as you know you’d like to come. First, let us know you are attending and which days, through the Contact Us page on this website, and second, mail a check to Of-the-Essence Holistic Wellness, P.O. Box 1344, Troy NY 12181 or contact us for cash payment options.

Winter Writing Workshop days: January 24 and 25, 2015

Meditative walking, part of the wonderful November weekend at Still Point.

Meditative walking, part of the wonderful November weekend.

On November 1 and 2, folks came together at Still Point and discovered an autumn cornucopia of “still points”–including the smell of a wood stove and simmering soup while we wrote, body and breath awareness in the labyrinth, quiet and bird calls and internal music that fed all the senses.

I managed to finally finish the essay for my tab above: What Is Of-the-Essence? (I hope you take a gander at it, when you get a chance.)

Participants clamored for more, so I’ll be offering Move with Mindfulness, Write with Ease once again the weekend of January 24 and 25, 2015.

This time away could even be a holiday gift for yourself or a loved one. Description below; same offering as before, one day or both, same pricing.

Evidence of filling meals for local critters: oak acorn caps and pine cone pieces. Come be filled yourself!

Evidence of filling meals for local critters: oak acorn caps and pine cone seed scales. Come to Still Point and be filled yourself!

Move with Mindfulness, Write with Ease

Saturday & Sunday January 24 & 25, 2015

One Day or Two Day options available.

10 am to 4 pm each day

Come and experience how movement can assist your writing and self awareness in a relaxed environment, with periods to write built into the day.

This workshop-retreat offers an excellent opportunity for work on a new or ongoing project (e.g. fiction, memoir, poetry, personal journaling), or just give you quiet time away, as we experience the middle of deep winter in gorgeous upstate New York. You can attend Saturday, Sunday, or both days.

Where is it being held? Still Point Retreat Center is a small-scale, homey/comfy retreat center with a spiritual emphasis, in Stillwater NY, very close to the Saratoga Historical Park, 30 miles north of Albany.

You can commute to the workshop or stay at Still Point.

How much will it cost? $59/1 day, $118/2 days, including options to experience a yoga class, labyrinth walk, snowshoe or walk (weather permitting) and other moving meditation, while supplied with noshes throughout the day. Limited income participant $29/ 1 day, $58/ 2 days.

Accommodations are a separate charge and should be arranged directly with Still Point. Visit the Still Point website at http://stillpointretreatcenter.com for pictures and information about the cabins & rooms and to sign up for housing. In conjunction with this retreat, you can opt to stay over Friday, Saturday and/or Sunday nights, depending on what rooms are available at the time you book your accommodation with Still Point.

Included each day in your workshop fee: healthy & tasty breakfast foods in the morning, tea and coffee over the day, home made soup for lunch. If you are staying over, dinner will be shared potluck and the evening will be free time (ideas: write, visit with others, rest, walk on the grounds or read).

How do I sign up for the workshop? We keep this workshop deliberately small so it is advised to sign up as soon as you know you’d like to come. First, let us know you are attending and which days, through the Contact Us page on this website, and second, mail a check to Of-the-Essence Holistic Wellness, P.O. Box 1344, Troy NY 12181 or contact us for cash payment options.

Midnight blue pales to day: dawn through the Welcoming House meditation room window.

Midnight blue pales to day: dawn through the Welcoming House meditation room window.