Association of Nature and Forest Therapy (ANFT)

History and Lineage

The Association was founded by M. Amos Clifford in 2012. Amos was inspired by the Japanese practice of Shinrin-Yoku, literally translated as Forest Bathing. His four decades of experience in wilderness guiding, Zen meditation, psychotherapy, educational consulting, and nature connection supported him in creating  a framework for Forest Therapy which has been widely adopted and is now taught by many organizations around the world.

The first training that ANFT provided for guides was held in California in 2014. By the end of 2022, the Association will have trained more than 100 cohorts globally. In September of 2018 a major milestone was providing our first guide training in a language other than English; we trained a cohort of guides in Spanish at a mountain retreat center in Spain. We are a truly global organization with a commitment to creating practices that are adaptable for every culture. Our training team consists of 15 trainers in 9 different countries spanning four continents.

ANFT History Timeline

What energizes our work is our love of nature; but also our sense of impending environmental catastrophe caused by global warming and Western Culture’s emphasis on unsustainable patterns of consumption. Our contribution to finding solutions to these problems is to help as many people as possible to develop meaningful relationships with nature.

The reality is that most people don’t spend much time in nature; and when we do, we are often distracted and don’t interact meaningfully with the other inhabitants of the forest. We agree with Jacques Cousteau that “people protect what they love.” Love of nature arises naturally when we come into a heartfelt, embodied relationship with it, a kind of relationship that is not characterized as much by “knowing the facts” as it is of our fundamental and innate kinship with all beings.

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