Frequently Asked Questions
What do we do in the 60 minute programs?
A typical agenda is as follows:
Exchange introductions and Cindy offers an invitation of something to consider while traveling through the forest based on what is currently happening that nature.
Cindy will guide the group in a few minutes of stretching our bodies and centering our breath to unpack our stress and leave it at the trailhead before we enter the forest.
Enter the forest in social silence and walk for 15-20 minutes. We will walk gently and quietly, with open awareness to nature.
Stop to gather as a group and then break out to individual spots in the forest to enjoy a 10-minute sit-spot practice.
Gather as a group in a seated circle when the chime sounds, enjoy a seasonal tea and share in council.
What should I bring?
Wear weather-appropriate clothing and hiking shoes or footwear for uneven trail terrain. Be sure to wear long pants to protect your legs. We will provide you with string backpacks that include a foam seat cushion and blanket for your comfort during the personal sit and group tea ceremony. You may use these backpacks to store your personal belongings.
What is a sit spot?
A sit spot (or secret spot) is simply a favorite place in nature that you visit regularly to cultivate awareness as you expand your senses and study patterns of local plants, birds, trees, animals, etc.
What is the council gathering?
When our personal sit time has concluded, we come back together as a group and gather in a circle. Hot tea is served in cooler weather; iced tea in warmer weather. Each person is then given the opportunity to share his/her experience of nature meditation, which allows each member to benefit from the wisdom contained in the whole. Council is based on ways of communicating that can be found among indigenous societies the world over.
Do events take place in inclement weather?
We believe that being connected with the elements is a powerful tool. Our events will take place in rain and snow. If we find that conditions are dangerous (e.g., high winds, lightning), we will reschedule and provide a make-up date for the event.
What are the seasonal teas?
Cindy Olsen serves beverages that speak to the season and to our local flora. She believes that by bringing local and seasonal foods and beverages into our body, we can better align with nature and feel in balance.
Examples of teas served in the past include homemade chai, pine-needle tea, dandelion-root tea, burdock-root tea, honey-lemon-ginger tea, berry and honey tea, cocoa-shell tea, pumpkin harvest tea and ginger-root tea.
How arduous is the walk?
The walk is a short distance (.25-.5 miles) and we walk slowly and carefully. However, there are steeper sections of the trail where we cross rock outcrops. There are also sections that have many tree roots on the floor. There can be mud and ice depending on the season. The terrain is uneven in many places. You will want to be physically comfortable with the elements to enjoy the event.
Should I bring bug spray, sunscreen, a bottle of water?
Cindy provides bug spray options at the trailhead during the warmer seasons. There is not an extended period of sun exposure since we will be in the trees for most of the event. However, if you have a practice of wearing sunscreen when outdoors, you can bring or apply beforehand. It is not necessary to bring water unless it brings you comfort to have with you. The tea ceremony includes a small seasonal beverage. The event is an hour-long with no rigorous activity.
How do the series differ from the individual monthly walks?
The monthly walks include more introduction about the programs roots and the benefits of using open awareness in nature. The weekly series dive deeper each week and include different activities to foster nature connection. The weekly series is also intended to develop a community as we see each other each week.
Does each walk (whether monthly or part of the series) follow the same path each time?
The monthly series typically follows the same path. In the weekly series, we explore different paths.
Are sneakers okay?
Yes. Be aware that we could encounter mud, puddles, ice and rocky terrain. Footwear appropriate for the current weather conditions should be worn.