Seven Days of Beauty

Regular contributor Jamie McHugh created Seven Days of Beauty, a series of seven short videos originally dedicated to the healing of post-election trauma and distress but just as relevant today. Thank you, Jamie, for sharing it with us here on Gatherings.

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/

 

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. 

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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.

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Nature’s Healing Touch for Dementia

tree_canopyAuthor, Ecotherapist, and ICE member Linda Buzzell runs a small but very active mailing list for eco-therapists, and there are often wonderful exchanges on it.

One conversation thread I thought was of particular interest started with a link Linda posted to an article citing research about the value of gardening and being outside for the mental and physical well-being of people with dementia.

Linda’s post was followed up with a lovely personal comment from one of the list members about how her mother had spent her last years in a hospital-connected care center with a wetlands park where they would spend many peaceful hours together bird-watching. That post, in turn, was followed by one from another member sharing two videos about Matthew Lysobey, a visionary director of the Arroyo Care Center whose philosophy places the natural world at the center of keeping elders healthy and full of life.

This series of exchanges was both inspirational and of practical value to me, so I thought I would share it here in case it would be of help to others, too.

Tomato Therapy, renamed “Studies of the Frog Tomato Relationship”

(“See, these red round things are MINE”)
from Robert Greenways’ Corona Farm in Port Townsend, Washington

frog-n-tomatoes“Applied Ecopsychology” (also known as “tomato therapy”)

How Ecology Informs Transpersonal Psychology

flowering_shooting_starsSan Francisco bay area psychotherapist Mark Johnson wrote a great post in his blog, Empathy and Essence: When Therapy Awakens Your Divine Nature, on “How Ecology Informs Transpersonal Psychology”.

Here’s an excerpt from Johnson’s psychologically and spiritually astute post, which quotes from a wide variety of spiritual, psychological and nature-based thinkers from Joanna Macy to Oscar Ichazo:

How we perceive the outer world and the way it works largely determines how we view our inner world and its movement and change. If we have been raised in the Western world, educated and enculturated in its scientific mindset, we will tend to see the Universe as mechanistic, random or accidental, infinitely complex but ultimately reducible to finite, material components and energies, and forever stressed between opposing and competing forces.

This prevailing view directly colors how the human psyche is perceived…

Read the rest of his post, here.

Introduction to Ecotherapy

from Beth Lapin

Because of its relative newness, many people are not aware of ecotherapy nor do they have an understanding of it. I have recently completed two outreach efforts to broaden the public’s understanding and appreciation of this emerging field. I’d welcome any feedback about either of them, available through the hotlinks below.

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