Princeton Seminary | Recap: Forest Bathing with Guide Justin Ferko
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Recap: Forest Bathing with Guide Justin Ferko

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On March 24th, Princeton Theological Seminary’s Center for Contemplative Leadership (CCL) partnered with Justin Ferko, a spiritual counselor, certified Forest Bathing Guide, and the founder of Wild Spirit Paths, to host a Forest Bathing walk at the Hephzibah Prayer Trail in Princeton, N.J.

Participants gathered at the trailhead with Justin and CCL Director, Bo Karen Lee, for a misty spring afternoon of prayerful contemplation. Justin led participants through meditations that highlighted the networks of life within both their bodies and the surrounding forest ecosystem. Features of the landscape, such as currents in a little creek and clusters of wildflowers, welcomed participants to rest under the canopy of old elm and maple trees. Justin guided participants to identify invitations from the plants, birds, and rocks. After some periods of solitude, participants shared their reflections with one another. Together, with the more-than-human community surrounding them, participants experienced a renewed sense of unity and hope with God’s creation. At the end of the Forest Bathing walk, participants gathered at the labyrinth in the center of the trail. Justin shared a pot of warm nettle tea with everyone, including the forest.

To learn more about Justin Ferko, Wild Spirit Paths, and the practice of Forest Bathing please see Justin’s website here. Like the CCL, Justin consistently offers both in-person and digital opportunities for the contemplative community.

For information on the CCL’s next Forest Bathing walk with Rich Collins on September 16 (which is now sold out – but you can get on the waitlist), please visit Rich’s website here.

Forest Bathing
View Photos of Forest Bathing with Guide Justin Ferko

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Associate Pastor, Faith Lutheran Church, Bismarck, ND

Sylvia Bull, Class of 2015

“My field education placements lifted up my gifts for ordained ministry, and the dual-degree program helped me develop the skills for ministry.”