Anthropocentrism refers to the idea that humankind is the most central or important species on the planet. In this manual, “kin-centric” is used to describe the opposite of anthropocentrism – when humans view the surrounding life as kin, or relatives. The “kin” include all the natural elements of an ecosystem.
An archetype is a recurrent symbol or pattern in art, literature, folktales, and mythology that takes on symbolic meaning. For this reason, characters in stories often embody archetypes. In Forest Therapy guide training, stories are used to help illustrate the differences between the world that people are generally accustomed to and the world of liminality.
As used in this handbook, beyond refers to any phenomenon that can be subjectively experienced but not substantiated by any scientific analysis. Beyond relates to the Imaginal in that the Imaginal is our process of building relationship with anything beyond the material world.
As used in this handbook, bodyfulness is an experience that validates and celebrates the power of the body and its autonomy, intelligence, and integrity. At a deeper level, bodyfulness can lead people toward a more intimate understanding of how their bodies are central in the act of relating to others and to the More-Than-Human world as well.
As used in this handbook, an edge is an experience where people begin to feel some slight discomfort. These experiences may be physical, psychological, emotional, or spiritual.
As used in this handbook, embodiment refers to a state of soft somatic awareness. While in an embodied state of perception, sensory data that would normally be filtered out by the brain is allowed to enter conscious awareness, and the possibility for sensory-based relationships with the More-Than-Human World is awakened.
As used in this handbook, headroom refers to the amount of skill, knowledge, and preparation that a guide has, in excess of what they need in a particular situation.
Images of Wholeness
When a participant has an inner encounter with wholeness, it is often prompted by an outer encounter with some being in the Forest. For instance, encountering a strong tree may prompt a participant to remember her own strength; in this case, the strength is an aspect of her wholeness and the tree is the image of that wholeness.
As used in this handbook, the Imaginal is the human capacity to cultivate relationships with what is beyond the material world. Against the cultural bias of scientism, the Imaginal suggests the potential for inexplicable phenomena to have individually understood power, beauty, and meaning.
An ethic, or worldview, where humans and all beings inhabiting the land are considered kin, or relatives, sharing mutual obligation and respect
As used in this handbook, liminality refers to a state of being that participants may find themselves experiencing during a Forest Therapy walk. This state of being is often characterized by a soft somatic awareness, a sense of timelessness, an active imagination, and a curious open-heartedness.
As used in this handbook, a liminal journey refers to an experience where one shifts into, and then later out of, a state of liminality through the physical and metaphorical crossing of thresholds. A Forest Therapy walk is an example of a liminal journey.
As used in this handbook, omnipartiality refers to the idea that in Circle, no story is any more or less valuable than any other.
More-Than-Human World (MTHW)
As used in this handbook, the More-Than-Human World refers to all the life around us, including that which is unseen. This term is attributable to author David Abrams.
As used in this handbook, nature relation reflects an understanding that we are related, biologically, to the beings of the More-Than-Human World. They are our family, and this is why we seek to build relationships with them. This is very similar to the theory of biophilia, popularized by E.O. Wilson, which suggests humans have a biological urge to affiliate with other forms of life because of this relatedness.
As used in this handbook, reciprocity refers to a quality of relationship where both parties know each other and are known by each other. It is the opposite of a one-sided or purely transactional relationship.
As used in this handbook, story refers to an idea or a worldview that someone may hold.
As used in this handbook, a threshold is an experiential boundary between normal states of perception and liminality.
As used in this handbook, witness refers to the act of non-judgmentally accepting whatever participants want to share in Circle.
As used in this handbook, wholeness refers to the remembering of relationships that have been forgotten, repressed, rejected or are still yet to be discovered. Encounters with wholeness are facilitated in liminality in many ways, including bodyfulness, nature relation and the Imaginal. Through such encounters, participants may connect these experiences to an inner journey of self-remembering and/or self-discovery.