The Sensuous Kinship of Body and Earth

 

In this article which appeared in the March 2017 issue of the Ecopsychology Journal, Sophia Reinders asks us a compelling question:

“How can we bring into being in ourselves and in our communities a consciousness that is earth-cherishing and aware of the planet as the living matrix in which all earth communities, including the human, are embedded and have their ground?”

The manner in which the author suggests that we go forward is poetically derived from her own experiences of oneness with nature as she beautifully recounts her embodiment of a coyote’s song and melding with the fragrance of the morning.  Using these examples, the author asks us to go beyond contemplation and gently invites us to act by “sensory reception” and “intuitive perception”.  She suggests that, as we re-awaken “our ancient capacity to be enchanted with the mystery that has given birth to us and surrounds us… we may begin to listen to the ancient dialogue of body and earth”.

Sophia’s full article may be found at http://online.liebertpub.com/doi/pdf/10.1089/eco.2016.0035

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This article first appeared in the March 2017 issue of the Ecopsychology Journal, which regularly features articles free of charge to the public for a limited period of time.

Acknowledgement for featured image: “Coyote Leaping” by John Nieto, 24″ x 30″ acrylic.  Available at Ventana Fine Art, 400 Canyon Road, Santa Fe, New Mexico 87501

Principles of Cultural Ecoresilience

Linda Buzzell and Craig Chalquist, co-editors of Ecotherapy: Healing with Nature in Mind, present principles of Ecoresilience as guidance for people adjusting to a world in the midst of change.  Their preamble speaks to the need for balance now and in the coming era if we hope, as persons and communities, to maintain a focused pace of working towards ecological restoration and to retain our individual and collective resilience despite the widespread effects of ecological imbalance:

“It’s pretty clear what isn’t working, but not so easy to envision the practicalities of a sustainable world that could really work. Craig Chalquist and I have been wrestling with this, and have developed 20 ecoresilience principles for personal and cultural adaptation to a changed planet. We’ve gathered wisdom from many sources, including the nature-based permaculture principles, ecopsychology, ecotherapy, ecospirituality, community building endeavors, indigenous wisdom, the arts, and depth psychology. Our hope is to provide at least the beginnings of an integral and hopefully inspirational view of how we and “all our relatives” might survive and even thrive on our Earth homeplace as environmental, political, economic and cultural conditions become ever more challenging.”

Click to view the paper:

2017 Buzzell – Handout The 20 Principles for Cultural Ecoresilience

REFERENCE

Buzzell, L. & Chalquist, C. (2017). 20 principles for ecoresilience. Communities Magazine, 176, Fall.

2018 Expressive Arts and Ecotherapy Program

Interested in learning about nature-focused therapies?

Sky Mountain Institute runs an annual 100-hour Certificate program in Expressive Arts and Ecotherapy from March to June.  Modalities include clay therapy, movement arts, ceremony, visual arts, poetry, sandtray, performance, language arts, and even collage!

To view the offering for 2018, please click here for the flyer.

For more information about Sky Mountain Institute, please visit their website at http://www.skymountain.org/

 

Positive effects of nature imagery on inmates

In a year-long study of 500 male prison inmates placed in restrictive housing, researchers found that watching videos of nature imagery were linked to lowered stress levels and a significant decrease in the number of disciplinary referrals due to violent infractions.

Inmates’ self-report on their emotional responses agree with the study’s overall findings.  A great majority of the participants reported feeling calmer and felt better for sustained periods.  They also stated that they enjoyed more positive relationships with prison staff.

This study adds to the growing literature on nature-based interventions and on nature exposure within urban spaces.

For details about this research, click here.

REFERENCE

Nadkarni, N, Schnacker, L, Hasbach, P., Thys, T., & Crockett, E. (2017). From Orange to Blue How Nature Imagery Affects Inmates in the Blue Room,  Corrections Today, Jan/Feb 2017, 36-40.

 

Shoal Sanctuary – Nature Retreat

Shoal Sanctuary is a 50-acre nature preserve in Florida that is open to the public for “retreats, civic-minded growth, and repose with nature”.  Individuals and groups from around the world are invited to immerse in nature, explore sculpture trails, and experience the peacemaking power of harmony with nature.

According to their website, you can:

“pitch a tent, bring a pop-up,
hop on a hammock,
rest in the “Little Green Mansion,”
or stay in the farm house.”

Find out more at www.ShoalSanctuary.com to learn about the Sanctuary’s history, its projects and activities, and accommodation information.  The Sanctuary also has a Facebook page here.

 

 

 

Experience Greenwave with Michael J. Cohen

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Dear Editor,

For revolutionary change that reverses disorders including climate change consider this:

“As exemplified by the sensation of thirst, on cellular and molecular levels, sensors (senses and their sensations) in an organism, large(Earth) or small(nanobe), are receptors that are attracted to detect stimuli. When the information that they register is out of balance, they become the main homeostatic driving force for change that promotes life in balance. Their detection process is a fundamental source that functions on mechanical, thermal and chemical levels as it promotes the survival of life. When they are not adulterated by nature-disconnecting stories the senses can be depended on as self-evident, recovery and balancing tools that are part of every space/time moment of Planet Earth.”

A new scientific tool that generates a natural genius way of thinking and feeling produces critical remedies. The art of this super-intelligence technology increases personal and global well-being in a balanced way. It is effective because it uniquely uses Nature’s healing and purifying energies to restore the wisdom of our 54 inherent natural senses We have learned to hurtfully suppress them so we “normally” suffer the pain and depression from our loss.

Ecotherapy: Nature Reconnection Workshop by Linda Buzzell

2016 April Buzzell Image for Workshop
When:  May 13 to May 15, 2016, Friday to Sunday
Where: Pacifica Graduate Institute’s Ladera Lane Campus

Exciting new research is revealing that various nature reconnection practices are powerful medicine for improved mental and physical health—in fact, many now qualify as “evidence-based medicine.” Yet little training has been available for those wanting to include the various ecotherapies in their professional healing practices or personal lives. On the beautiful Ladera campus of Pacifica Graduate Institute in Santa Barbara, nestled between the mountains and the ocean, our intensive weekend will cover the many different applied ecopsychology methods now being practiced in consulting rooms and outdoor spaces around the world. 

Continue Reading →

New Book – The Green Troubadour

Responding to the question of whether shamanic practice can be coupled with the performing arts, David Sparenberg promotes the concept of ecosophy as the integrative link between these seemingly distanced forms of embodiment.  In The Green Troubadour, he looks at ways in which ecosophy can be the common understanding — the value system — weaved into both the process and the outcome of performance.  In the actor, therefore, we find the eco-shaman performing, healing, and being healed. Continue Reading →

The Nature Kids Institute

The founder of Nature Kids Institute (NKI), Kenny Ballentine, adds to the growing voice of nature-based organizations whose raison d’etre is to strengthen children’s familiarity and bond with the environment.  Through his organization, the Nature Kids Institute, his simple message is — help children develop a relationship with nature by promoting the idea that children should spend more time in natural areas.

The premise behind NKI’s message is that people care more about those persons, places, or things with whom they have relationships.  And what better time to develop a relationship than in childhood!  Adults, as decision makers and guides, are called upon as pivotal agents in growing the relationship between kids and nature.  Thus, NKI’s tools are intended to help adults introduce and maintain nature in children’s lives. Continue Reading →

New publication: The Tao of Sustainability

George Ripley presents us with a timely and urgent message for this new year with his book, Tao of Sustainability.  Perhaps no more salient than now, this book will propose the Daoist way of being one with nature as a substitute to the nature-separation story, and its maladaptive effects, to which we have subscribed.

Published by Three Pines Press, a leading publisher of Taoist works.

Continue Reading →

PROBOSCIDEA – The Emotional Lives of Elephants

by Mary A. Hernandez

2015 Proboscidea Image1After a successful Kickstarter campaign, Hamish John Appleby is working on the publication of his book, Proboscidea – the Emotional Lives of Elephants.  This 190-page book will be sent to eligible Kickstarter funders in March 2016, according to the crowdfunding site.  Thereafter, the picturesque book will be available through the main website at www.proboscidea.org.

Proboscidea – The Emotional Lives of Elephants focuses on Asian elephants whose numbers, Appleby noted, are considered “critically endangered” at roughly 25,000-40,000 individuals.  In comparison, the larger African elephant, whose valued tusks leave it greatly vulnerable to ivory poachers, are 470,000 in number (World Wildlife Fund, n.d.).

Continue Reading →

The Arrowhead

by Pat Holland

2015 BetterArrowheadPix-Holland

Sometimes my winter walks across the farm were more like winter scrambles than rambles. Whenever the earth froze and hid under a thin layer of snow, footing was chancy. Even a clump of dried grass could cause a stumble.  Putting a foot down in mud often ended in a too-swift slide downhill.

Yesterday, I took the long path down to the creek. I heard wild turkeys gobbling down there—I supposed they were talking to each other about the weather and walking conditions. Birds walking? Yes, from previous trips down that path, I knew that the flock of turkeys rarely lifted off to fly more than a few feet above my head.  When I spotted them yesterday, they were keeping their heads down—probably looking for food—and good footing.

I was keeping my head down too, watching the obstacles in my path so I wouldn’t stumble. Then I saw it, an arrowhead gleaming in the sunlight.  Weather conditions were just right; the ground heaved it up into the light from deep below the frost line. I knew that during a hard freeze the ground would often swell upwards and bring buried treasures to the surface.

Continue Reading →

A New Psychology for Sustainability Leadership

Exploring themes in the personal development of sustainability leaders
A book review by Mary A. Hernandez

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A New Psychology of Sustainability Leadership:  The Hidden Power of Ecological Worldviews

by Steven Schein 2015 Greenleaf Publishing

Steven Shein is both a professor and a highly experienced entrepreneur with a Ph.D. in human development and organization systems.  Drawing on his own experiences with nature and his companionship with others who are likewise nature-oriented, his personal stories of communion and revelation in nature draws us into his own motivation to becoming curious about other leaders equally concerned about the environmental crisis.  His interests are inclusive and extend to eastern, aboriginal, and depth psychologies.  The author’s educational and occupational backgrounds and interests position him well to make recommendations related to the topics presented in the book.
Continue Reading →

I AM STANDING IN THIS PLACE

by David Sparenberg, author of Life in the Age of Extinctions

i am standing now
i am standing in this place:

i am standing at ocean shore
i am talking with water
with sand and water
(in mist
of betwixt and between)
i give myself to you
may my presence
be healing energy
do not abandon
the children of humanity

Continue Reading →

Home Life Could Be Simpler

Home Life Could Be Simpler:  
Perceptions of Home Among Married Couples While Staying at an Eco-lodge

Dr. Tal Litvak Hirsch, Ben Gurion University of the Negev, Israel
Dr. Alon Lazar, Independent scholar

Eco Lodge NegevAbstract
Individuals relate to their homes in a myriad of ways. The current study suggests that in order to expand our understanding of people’s perceptions of “home” it would be beneficial to also consider these perceptions when individuals are on vacation, and especially in locations in which living arrangements are very different from their homes. Inspection of the perceptions of married Jewish-Israeli couples who holidayed at an eco-lodge in the Israeli desert revealed that the disparity between the two abodes was generally positive and similar. The wives were more prone to point out that the stay at the eco-lodge, led them to consider the possibility of conducting their homes in a simpler manner. The results are discussed in light of social behavior , connectivity to nature and consumerism.

FOR MORE
Download a PDF of the full article – Home life could be simpler
Download a PDF of Tables – Home life could be simpler – Tables