Sacred Interconnections
Section Overview

Research into nature-based experiences show that nature has the power to move us, to enhance our well-being, enliven our spirits and encourage us to care for the earth. Connecting with nature engages our whole being – the mind, heart, body and spirit and it is these elements of the human-nature relationship that are explored in this section Sacred Interconnections. They examine the role nature plays in the lives of people who care for the earth and the role they play in protecting it.

Going into the wilderness has long been seen as a source of personal inspiration and transformation. Sylvie Shaw has interviewed several ‘nature carers’ who talk about their experiences on wilderness sojourns – about the lessons they learnt and the respect they gained. These sacred journeys are expressions of self-transcendence and bliss and are described in Connections to Nature’s Spirit.

Peter Carroll looks at how incremental waste generation is not just a waste or resources but a barometer of how disconnected we are becoming from natural processes. Current levels of waste are a manifestation of the loss of connection. He suggests that the more waste we produce the further we move from our attachment to the earth. He calls his article Waste of Country.

As part of the Social and Sacred Ecology course at Monash University, students spend time alone in the forest. Personal retreats and wilderness sojourns are part of many religious and indigenous traditions. In this article, Retreat to Return, Anna Clabburn and Mark Boulet review the notion of retreat for personal and spiritual transformation.

Michael Sheill is an environmental artist who explores art that arises from a thirsty land and the power of fire to reanimate. In Bone Fire, he discusses the process of creating art in response to nature through a photographic essay of the journey.