Karina del Punta

I began my adult life as a scientist. Born and raised in Argentina, my passion for biology and the natural world led me to pursue a degree in Biology at the University of Buenos Aires. I continued my academic journey in New York, earning a PhD in Molecular Neuroscience from The Rockefeller University, where I stayed as a postdoctoral fellow and later became a Research Professor. For years, I delved deeply into the intricate workings of the brain, exploring how it processes sensory information to drive behavior.

As a researcher, I thrived in the pursuit of knowledge and the excitement of discovery. I published in top peer-reviewed scientific journals, received prestigious awards, including one for the best thesis in the biomedical field, and collaborated closely with Nobel laureates.

However, despite all the success and accolades, I couldn’t shake the feeling that something was missing. Deep inside, a sense of emptiness and a yearning for a connection beyond the boundaries of scientific exploration haunted me. This inner void prompted me to step away from academia and embark on a journey of self-discovery.

I delved into the world of art, finding solace in the strokes of my paintbrush. I danced, feeling the rhythm of life in every beat. I wrote, pouring my thoughts and feelings onto the blank canvas of a page. I read voraciously, seeking answers and insights in the wisdom of others.

This exploration led me to question the reality I had accepted for so long. The scientific worldview and the consensus reality I had been born and grown into suddenly seemed to be one of many perspectives, rather than the absolute and objective truth I had once believed it to be.

I became fascinated with the idea that worldviews—the assumptions, beliefs, and ideas through which we habitually and often unconsciously interpret our experiences—condition what and how we perceive. With this in mind, I asked myself, “If I immerse myself in the beliefs and practices of people who claim to have non-ordinary experiences, could I perceive the world differently too?” Driven by this question, I donned my lab coat once more, but this time, I became both the scientist and the subject of my own research. I spent time in Chile studying with shamans, training in energy healing, learning breathwork, and more. Each new experience ignited a spark of intellectual excitement, yet it also brought forth a wave of skepticism and resistance within me.

My search deepened into the realms of Jungian and depth psychology, shadow work, and archetypal astrology, expanding my understanding of psyche, purpose, and soul.

But ultimately, I didn’t find what I was looking for in any doctrine, philosophy, book, or spiritual teaching. It was in the simplicity of my daily walks among the lush vegetation of my neighborhood in Miami that I found the peace, wisdom, and deep connection I was craving. Wandering among the verdant foliage, contemplating the dance of leaves in the breeze, delighting in the play of light and shadows, visiting the same spots and getting to know its beings, feeling the air on my skin… These simple, playful, and sensory experiences with nature infused me with a profound sense of the sacred and transformed me from within.It was through this intimate, unassuming communion with the natural world that I cultivated a deep-rooted trust in life and discovered an authentic sense of belonging.

It is these simple, sensory, and relational experiences with nature that I aim to share with others. In Forest Bathing, through my training with the Association of Nature and Forest Therapy, I found a structured yet open way to do so.

And so, my journey continues. A journey that has taken me from the laboratories of Buenos Aires and New York to the lush “jungle” of Miami, from the microscopic examination of neurons to the expansive exploration of the soul. A journey of science, spirit, and the profound connection between us and the world we inhabit. My story is one of continuous discovery and a testament to the power of nature to heal, inspire, and enlighten.

Today, you’ll find me with a smile on my face, basking in the warm embrace of the sun, beside the tranquil sea, and amidst the native forest of Key Biscayne, the island I now call home. I paint, I create, I write, and I am passionate about guiding others into the wonders and magic of the natural world. Through this journey, I hope to awaken a profound ecological consciousness and nurture feelings of inclusion, respect, and reverence for all forms of existence.