"In contemporary society, a readily available process for building environmentally responsible inner peace, social relationships and global unity has been absent. Now, research shows that a Natural Systems Thinking Process (NSTP) meets this need."
Participants' Comments and Reactions
Statements from men and women ages 14-67.
From Linda Copes,
We are a group of students and adults, collectively and informally known as Friends of Project NatureConnect, many who have taken the Applied Ecopsychology e-mail course in the recent past. Our experiences with the activities, the training manual, the instructor and each other have provided us with wonderful interpersonal feelings of Earth kinship, of friendship, support, trust, fun, peace, purpose, and a profoundly heightened sense of environmental awareness and responsibility.
Learning how to listen to our often hidden natural attractions, and then to follow them, has successfully allowed us to move from moment to moment in harmony with who we truly are, that being a vibrant and vital part of our global life community.
way to connect to a more peaceful, less stressful world as we sensed it to exist, and we were also looking to share these same feelings with others to establish trustable, fun and nurturing friendships. All of this and more is what we have found in taking this course.
Reactions From Participants
--Through this activity a singing bird induced me to say, "I like myself because I am cheerful." That felt uncomfortable, because I've always thought of myself as a fairly serious person. I shared this with several close friends, and they each looked at me bewildered, and each thought I WAS cheerful. I didn't think of myself that way, but nature, and my friends, did. I learned a part of me I hadn't known before. Nature within and nature without. It was a terrific experience for me. Nature can teach us about ourselves.
--I've just come back from my job's staff retreat in Long Island, New York. There were a lot of connections, and green-in-green communications, but also a lot of disconnecting people. I was aware of these disconnectors as people who said over and over and I got tired of hearing. "I want concrete results and solutions, no touchy-feely stuff please." "I don't want to hear about your pain..." I am so glad to come back and read all your posts, John, Mary Ann, Dave and Linda. Each message is a healing balm of integration, after so much disintegration. I'm buried under a pile of work that built up during my absence and also trying to write up a report after meeting a woman that just came back from El Salvador to investigate her sister's killing. What really helped me get through talking with her and looking at the official report and autopsy was what I have learned through this course. I keep sane by focusing on her nature, the strength of her voice and her manner, her beauty and the love apparent for her sister.
--I have found that the measure of me is in Nature and not the works of humans. Like Mike, it took me many years to realize that all I need to be whole is to be solidly connected (or reconnected) with nature. The natural world within and about us is real while the war zone created by some humans is an enervating, destructive artificiality.
--Amazing sunrise this morning, it just escaped from the horizon and hung red before slipping into the low cloud. We two were walking in the night, the only interruptions to our thoughts were far off lights along a pier. The evening star was bright and the water lapped up during a low tide. Hundreds of sandpipers were not yet asleep and they scurried after the slow waves enjoying their nighttime meal. We walked hand in hand, enjoying the scrunching of the sand beneath our feet and the occasional cry of a triumphant bird. I looked down and saw a feather. Picking it up, I saw it was a sea gull feather. He didn't need it anymore and had left it there for me to present to my partner. As I passed the feather to her, we could both feel the gulls freedom and joy in his flight. We could smell the sea and ride the air over the waves with him. We both experienced what she calls "nose stings". A nose sting is when you are so full of joy and feeling that your eyes well up and fill with the same water that fills the ocean. They do not spill over, but they sure do make your nose sting. A swift and vocal thank you was sent to the gull who left us the feather and we want that gull to know that his gift occupies a place of importance in our lives.
--At home, my toddler son consents for me to have a blind walk on him for a few moments. I close my eyes and gently explore his face. His skin is very soft, I feel the contours of his cheeks, nose, and chin. And even though I see his face everyday and know it well, this is a different way of knowing him. It is like knowing him again for the first time. I feel delight, joy, love. Consent is no longer there from him as he moves on. Writing this down, brought again those feelings that were there during those moments. I feel happy, energized, awake and alive.
--Earlier I went outside...the sun was shining in the west and the rain was very gently falling. As the rain fell on the redness of the berries, and the dark green of the leaves, and the bright yellow of the lemons, the sun spread a warm brilliant glow over all of it...and so it all became alive in me. And the rain fell on me, and it was soft, with a gentleness like love. Yes...a connection...many connections...the first in weeks. There it is, that inside ecstasy, that explosion of feeling, that profound sense of Being Alive!!
--I have had a wonderful connecting with all the other participants from around the globe. It is great that we can interact in this type of setting, rather than just some techno mumble jumble. I have met some really nice people with a lot of interesting lives. Vlad in Russia is one that I particularly like to communicate with. He has overcome quite some obstacles to be a member of this course.
Reactions and reviews of
Project NatureConnect methods and materials
University of Global Education
Portland, Oregon 97220
January 3, 1995
FROM: Dr. Robert Muller
VIA: Dr. Richard Schneider
Dear Friend of Planet Earth and its People,
In recognition of his 39 years as Assistant Secretary General of the United Nations, his establishment of the University for Peace and development of global education schools, books and curriculums, Dr. Robert Muller received the Albert Schweitzer Peace Prize and the UNESCO Prize for Peace. Today, as Chancellor of the University for Peace, United Nations, Dr. Muller says:
"We must not shy from new opportunities to relate more responsibly to each other, spirit and the environment. For this reason I urge people to become involved with the remarkable grassroots learning program of Project NatureConnect. It offers an environmentally sound, hands-on educational process whose sensory nature connecting activities reduce apathy, catalyze peace and promote mental health.
"My warmest congratulations to Dr. Michael Cohen, director of Project NatureConnect, for receiving his well-deserved Distinguished World Citizen Award. I perfectly understand what he advocates. All the basic laws of optimal living are right in front of us in nature but, to our cost, we are taken away from them. The natural senses that Dr. Cohen shows we inherit are wise, unspoken, non-material attraction forces that have no name, yet Nature within and about us principally lives with them all along.
"I am familiar with Dr. Cohen and his ecopsychology work. It fulfills our personal and economic needs, deeper ideals and spirit. His self-guiding materials and courses deserve the attention of every person who seeks to reverse our troubles."
Dr. F. Richard Schneider, Chancellor
University of Global Education
"It's great. He's s right to make the responsibility for living on good terms with Gaia a personal one." Dr. James Lovelock, Author, Gaia: A New Look at Life on Earth
"A pioneer in the environmental education movement. Participant's learn to learn, learn that all subjects are interrelated with one another and themselves. Most of all they develop an interest in themselves." The New York Times
"Delightful, illuminating communication at its best--contains stories and guidance for experiencing Nature in the full thrill of her presence. Playful, scientific, but not academic. Take it and read!" Dr. Thomas Berry, Founder and Director Riverdale Center of Religious Research
"Dr. Cohen's compelling application of ecopsychology connects us with the often ignored source of spirit and wellness found in nature. His deeply felt chapters catalyze conscious sensory contacts with the natural world and bind us to energies that heal our deeper being."
Dr. Larry Dossey, M.D.
Researcher and bestselling author of RecoveringThe Soul: A Scientific and Spiritual Search.
"A worthwhile, thought-provoking, hard look at our relationships with Planet Earth as a living organism."
Marshal Case, Director of Education, National Audubon Society
"Mike Cohen is a crackerjack teacher. What counts is that his words help us do what we must do to save ourselves and Gaia." Pete Seeger
"Valuable therapeutically and educationally. The reader get to feel that he or she has experienced the in-depth search for real answers. I cannot praise the book highly enough." Mrs. J. Watson Thomas, Psychotherapist
"This is not a reading experience, it's a hologram. It is communicating through talking leaves, something of what whales communicate to each other...you are there." Robin E. Lagemann, Indigenous People's activist
"A holistic paradigm of people and the planet that introduces remarkable new dimensions to environmental sciences, education and politics" State Senator Larry Brown, Ed.D.
"This is the course that every civilized person will be required to take if we are to reverse our runaway disorders." Charles Sierra, Counselor
"Presents an accessible, simple, enjoyable and extremely powerful way that love for all life may heal the deep wounds that we suffer." Elisabeth Ryland, Ph.D.
"Timely sound theory and well grounded experience. In our struggle to find connectedness and meaning it allows the natural world to nurture a responsible growing edge of culture." Bill Hammond, Director of Environmental Education, Lee County, FL
"Its impact lies in the fact that the author has lived its wisdom of these past twenty years...I have learned first hand that its theories prove themselves in the fruition that its education delivers. It offer the medicine that disillusioned humanity and the endangered environment needs." Herb Alf, Ed.D., President, Environment Talent Inquiry and Development Ltd.
"Important reading for everyone...Once I picked it up I didn't put it down until I read the last sentence. Its critical topic is interwoven with he author's first-person accounts. Mike uses down-to-earth language and humor to tell a vital story. As a professor, I'm tempted to assign this Book to all I meet." Dr. Clifford Knapp, Outdoor Education Faculty, Northern Illinois University
"This book possesses merit. It is about avant-garde environmental education and its fight to provide direct, hard-edged contact with the natural world while society fights it every inch of the way." The Los Angeles Times
"Contains a strong sense of commitment to bed rock values and to the human spirit...a willingness to live out beliefs, to experience life..a system of thinking that can be very very useful for many people who have never given much thought to their place in the cosmic order... a way to feel connected to the universe and strengthen a sense of personal identity." Maria West, M.S.W., Counselor
"I am glad that US Vice President Albert Gore includes Mike Cohen's work his book Earth in Balance. We adapt and survive; our desire to be is strong. I think our ways of living will undergo some significant changes in the near future; if we don't, we'll perish. I think NatureConnect should be a required course in every school! (no joke). As enough people realize the importance of connecting with nature, that our very survival depends upon it, we will change faster." Mark Brody, Ph.D., Counselor
"Getting out of the indoor world, for me 4 years ago, was scary, confusing, and painful. (Still is). I tried several paths out, including therapy, spirituality, and NatureConnect. All have their place, all are basically re-connecting with what has always been within me, but I do want to say that NatureConnect has been a role model independent of cultural input, and thus quite reliable." Steve Smith, R.N., Psychiatric Nurse
On April 14, 1998, the noted futurist Robert Theobald wrote to Dr. Michael Cohen:
"Let's think of the next hundred years as "The Healing Century" and live with honesty, responsibility, humility, love and a respect for mystery. Are you making a more specific suggestion which I'm not understanding?"
Yes, I suggest the web of life is already a globally intact, intercultural and interspecies, self-governing network. The network knows how to peacefully organize, preserve and regenerate itself. It intelligently produces an optimum of life, diversity, cooperation and beauty. It accomplishes this non-verbally, without producing garbage or pollution and with minimal violence and stress. Its process does not produce our most pressing problems.
We are part of nature, we can distinctly feel nature's non-verbal sensory process within us. Genetically and psychologically we are a continuum of earth's peaceful web and balance. Unlike nature connected people(s), it is our excessive separation from nature, within and around us, that leads to our runaway disorders.
Why don't we help people engage in a process that enables our thinking to consciously tap into the web of life and reap the rewards of thinking like nature works? That process has been discovered and shown excellent, documented results. It is practical, effective and readily available. It is controversial, too, for, unlike every other species, the hidden tenet of the story that governs us is to conquer, not embrace, nature within and without. Is conquest intelligent in light of today's knowledge of its destructive effects?
The reconnecting process and its benefits can be found at www.ecopsych.com
For Personal and Global Wellness,
I fully agree with your position.
What you can do:
The Orientation Course, below, responds to 32 critical life relationship questions. They are answered by enabling you to enjoy and then share online ten authentic, sensory, Nature connected attraction experiences over a 12 day to 5-week period.
THE BEST WAY TO ENJOY AND TEACH SELF-EVIDENT ATTRACTION EXPERIENCES IS THE NATURAL SYSTEMS THINKING PROCESS:
ORIENTATION COURSE: Psychological Elements of Global Citizenship
The Science of Connecting With the Web of Life
The Art of Thinking With Nature
An exciting, inexpensive ($35) blend of shared, online activity, information and training with credit optional. Learn by doing. Become a practitioner anywhere. This is a free course if it meets your needs, a transferable prerequisite for additional courses, degrees and participation. The course is our best, most complete and useful way to help nature restore the good nature of humanity in contemporary society. It opens new vistas in academics, counseling, careers, spirit and wellness, vistas that recycle and purify destructive thinking. Optional Credit $42.00
READ AND TEACH THIS ANTIDOTE FOR APATHY
Einstein's World: Natural Attractions, Intelligences and Sanity A non-fiction, metaphor, book and reading course. It helps you reverse nature disconnection disorders from your home. You can take it, teach it and be paid, too. Book $15.00, Course $20.00. Optional Credit $42.00
EXPLORE THE PROCESS
FREE: Our Exploratory Course online enables you to sample the Natural Systems Thinking Process to learn, first hand, its thrust and benefits.
INSTITUTE OF GLOBAL EDUCATION Special NGO consultant United Nations Economic and Social Council PROJECT NATURECONNECT Readily available online tools for the health of person, planet and spirit
P.O. Box 1605 Friday Harbor, WA 98250 360-378-6313 www.ecopsych.com
APPLIED ECOPSYCHOLOGY IN ACTION
The Natural Systems Thinking Process
Dr. Michael J. Cohen, Director
Nature Connected Education and Counseling Courses and Degrees Online
Too often we suffer and feel helpless because the deterioration of humanity and the environment hurts us and we are unaware of its cause.
Research demonstrates that the stress arising from our extreme sensory separation from our nurturing origins in Nature underlies most of our unsolvable personal, social, and global problems.
In a democracy, to reach our hopes and dreams the knowledge we discover must be accompanied by a readily available educational process that motivates and enables the public to apply the knowledge.
With respect to our destructive disconnection from nature, the web page links, below, empower you to use and teach an effective rehabilitating process that will help you improve most settings and relationships.
Experience first hand the benefits of the process via our Orientation Course
RATIONALE ORIENTATION DEGREES or
COURSES RESULTS ACTIVITIES FAQ WORKSHOPS ARTICLES ECO-IQ TEST BOOKS INTERNSHIPS JOB/CAREER EARTH DAY PEACE PLAN FREE COURSE WEBSITE HOME PAGE VALIDATION NEWSLETTER DISCUSSION EARTH DAY PETITION LINKS
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