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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Tree Marriage

Submitted by Linda Buzzell-Salzman

Tree Marriage
by William Meredith

In Chota Nagpur and Bengal
the betrothed are tied with threads to
mango trees, they marry the trees
as well as one another, and
the two trees marry each other.

Could we do that some time with oaks
or beeches? This gossamer we
hold each other with, this web
of love and habit is not enough.
In mistrust of heavier ties,

I would like tree-siblings for us,
standing together somewhere, two
trees married with us, lightly, their
fingers barely touching in sleep,
our threads invisible but holding.

from Effort at Speech. © Northwestern University Press, 1997

Solomon Benatar’s Forward to “Billy Beaver: An Environmental Allegory”

photography by Amy Lenzo

photo by Amy Lenzo

Some years ago Michael Aleksiuk submitted a pdf of his book ‘Billy Beaver: An Environmental Allegory‘ to Gatherings.  Its premise is that the human striving for status is at the psychological roots of environmental degradation. This ‘children’s story’ has been heartily endorsed by academics and scholars worldwide as a breakthrough in understanding. It is still available in the Gatherings Archives of Jan 05 – December 05.

All those years ago Solomon Benatar was invited to write a foreword to ‘Billy Beaver’ and he tracked us down so that we can include his foreword here with the original story; download and read his work here: Billy Beaver Foreword.

New Quote, New Book

“If you are divided from your body, you are also divided from the body of the world which then appears to be other than you or separate from you rather than the living continuum to which you belong”
~ From New Self New World, by Philip Shepherd

The quote comes from Parisian Pierre Goirand, who sends out an always-brilliant weekly quote to his mailing list.

Recovering the Eco-Unconscious

Desert Flower

Photo by: Amy Lenzo

by Robin E. Gates

Abstract: Western culture has a history of union and subsequent separation from nature. This split between spirit and nature, psyche and soma, intellect and emotion, science, philosophy, and religion, manifests in our individual and collective consciousness creating crises that span the spectrum of human experience, from the psychological to the environmental. Since we have within our unconscious, memories of our being in union with nature, it is a matter of recovering them through what Carl Jung called the individuation process; whereby, a person develops one’s unique individuality from that which has been imposed on him or her from the environment. An expansion of consciousness and recovery of the eco-unconscious is achieved by the confrontation with and integration of unconscious material culminating in coniunctio, or union of the opposites….Read Article

A Winter Meditation on Pruning…

By Linda Buzzell-Saltzman, previously published in The Huffington Post as “The Zen of Pruning” , 1/16/12.

Winter and early spring are the seasons when many gardeners, orchardists and farmers — fancying themselves surgeons — approach their trees, shrubs and roses with knives, pruning shears and saws in hand, seemingly unaware that these plants are, as the Buddhists would say, sentient beings.

Most pruning is less a conversation between two of nature’s creatures and more an act of ruthless domination under the guise of necessity. Continue Reading →

New Ecopsychology Publications

A new ecopsychoanalysis blog.

And a new ecopsychology book, an anthology of writings from the UK: Vital Signs: Psychological Responses to Ecological Crisis by Mary-Jayne Rust & Nick Totton (Karnac, 2011).

From the Introduction:

“Vital signs’ are, of course, the basic physiological measures of functioning which health practitioners use to assess the gravity of a patient’s predicament. This anthology focuses not so much on our physical predicament, with so many of the Earth’s systems severely stressed and beginning to fail – there are plenty of other places to read about this. Instead we focus on our psychological predicament, as news of the situation slowly penetrates our defences and we struggle as individuals and as a society to find an adequate response.”

The Permaculture-Ecotherapy Dialogues

Santa Barbara psychotherapist/ecotherapist Linda Buzzell and John F. Kennedy University ecopsychology professor Dr. Craig Chalquist,  co-editors of Sierra Club Books’ “Ecotherapy: Healing with Nature in Mind” — both graduates of the Permaculture Design Course — explore the possibilities though this very preliminary dialogue that will hopefully open a much wider conversation about whether — or even if — the ecologically-based principles of permaculture can address the remediation of devastated psychological and social ecosystems as well as abused and neglected places.

Read Article

Comments are welcome and can be sent to lbuzzell@aol.com

Short Film by Mark Brennan

A short film by Mark Brennan from Nova Scotia about the Acadian Forest from a Deep Ecology Perspective.

EarthCare Global TV

EarthCare Global TV has an amazing archive of “Internet TV” titles, ranging from Agriculture to Transportation.

 

 

Reconnecting with Nature

“Mt Hood from Mt Tabor” by David Johnson

Abstract: In this article author Tatiana Casey explores her own symbiotic relationship with the earth, life, and Self through an ecopsychological lens. The definition of Ecopsychology is also explored and defined through varying perspectives which include information from research, personal interviews, and eco-therapeutic topics.
Download the full article (pdf)

Lessons from Kanab

John Lynch has been bringing outdoor leadership students to Kanab Creek Wilderness for over ten years. Each visit, however, offers the clear truth that the land is the real teacher. Kanab Creek, and presumably all wild places, have a knack for providing insight around the greater lessons of life. In this case, they are uniquely delivered to each individual through the voice of the earth as translated by the desert. The attached articles is a short reflection describing a day of communion and muse between a man and Kanab Creek: Lessons-from-Kandab

Let’s Go Outside

Cool video from the Let’s Go Outside Revolution, sent in by our keen web-watcher Chitola Utsanami.