CLERMONT, Ky. (May 20, 2022) – Bernheim Arboretum and Research Forest is pleased to announce the opening of theMeditation Trail, which invites visitors to commune with nature in their own personal way.
The Meditation Trail, in honor and memory of Lily Banerjee, whose family chose to honor her with a donation to Bernheim for the installation of this special trail.
It is sited along Bernheim’s beloved Bent Twig trail and consists of six spurs, each with its own meditation prompt based on a positive attribute of a nearby tree. Signage provides engaging information about the tree itself and then offers a meditation prompt for focusing on that tree’s positive quality. Beautiful handmade wooden benches and decks – crafted by the skilled hands of Bernheim staff – offer a welcoming place to pause, contemplate, breathe and center oneself.
Themes for the meditation prompts include abundance (persimmon), generosity (tulip poplar), strength (red oak) and several others. Since specific trees along the path inspire the themes, Bernheim’s Meditation Trail offers a mindful experience in nature that is profoundly connected with this particular area of forest, according to Bernheim Executive Director Dr. Mark K. Wourms.
“Our hope is that visitors who follow the trail will feel a deep connection to the place and a powerful sense of the restorative power of nature — a mental and spiritual lift that they can take away with them,” Wourms said.
This past April brought a return visit from Murray, Kentucky artist, willow sculptor and 2019 Artist in Residence Justin Roberts. Roberts came back to Bernheim to create and install Traverse Divine, an entry archway portal into the Meditation Trail.
Traverse Divine taps into the sacred geometry that is all around us, such as the coil of a snail shell and the fan of a pinecone. The installation design is based on the shape of two circles intersecting.
Arts in Nature Curator Jenny Zeller described the area created by these transversal lines as Vesica Pisces, known as the mother of geometry and representation of the divine union from which everything else is born.
“Vesica Pisces symbolizes balance and harmony. It is where the mind, body, and earth meet,” Zeller said. “Its use and meaning weave in and out of all cultures and designs. As you set forth on the meditation trail, know that you are a part of this sacred design.”
The Meditation Trail is self-guided, free and available when Bernheim Arboretum and Research Forest is open to visitors.
About Bernheim Arboretum and Research Forest
Bernheim’s mission is to connect people with nature. Bernheim is the largest privately held contiguous forest block in the eastern United States dedicated to conservation and education. Bourbon maker Isaac Wolfe Bernheim established the arboretum and forest in 1929, as a gift to the people of Kentucky. A recent land acquisition brought the total acreage of land that Bernheim protects to 16,140. Fun, educational programs, diverse tree collections, 40 miles of hiking trails and varied landscapes are available every day except Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Year’s Day. $10 per car donation suggested for non-members.
Bernheim is in Clermont, Ky., about 20 minutes south of the Louisville airport. From I-65 take exit 112 and follow the signs. Bernheim is a non-profit organization that relies on memberships, grants and donations for support. Come visit and enjoy the beauty of nature. For more information, please visit bernheim.org.