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..TOPIC Environmental news and media: scientific health, learning, spirit
..and parenting breakthrough



Project NatureConnect

..March-December, 2005

..For immediate news and media release:

..By Mardi Jones, Ph.D.*


..CONTACT: Mike Cohen, 360-378-6313 nature@interisland.net


Dear Media Editor or Administrator,

I recognize that none of us, including yourself, is immune to the destructive relationships that undermine our society and happiness. However, even though you are a product of them and, at times, inadvertently engaged in them, surely you recognize that, as if insane, many parts of contemporary education and socialization destroy the well being of natural systems in us, systems that also support the well-being our living planet and its life community. The noted Ecological Psychologist, Dr. Michael J. Cohen, has identified a horrific cause for this deterioration, one that is easily fixable. Our major problem is an omission by the scientific community in the way it explains how the world works. This omission has us unnecessarily suffer many personal, social and environmental dysfunctions. I write you because anybody can easily correct this omission once they become aware of it. The wonderful benefits from doing this speak for themselves.

I respectfully request that you make an extremely important contribution to personal and global sanity by helping people recognize and correct this omission. A significant key to peace and wellness on Earth simply is to let people know that they inherently contain what is needed to implement peace and well being, and that a tool is readily available to bring this overlooked part of themselves into play.



If you slice off part of a ball, you make both the ball and the slice dysfunctional. Neither will roll with the same perfection as when the ball was whole. The same holds true for our excessively indoor lives and the way their side effects injure us and Earth. Our social rewards strongly condition us to stressfully slice our body mind and spirit from the natural systems that sustain our living planet and ourselves in a healthy balance. This makes us deny that this is a real problem and that it can be corrected.

A new, powerful tool is readily available that helps any caring person or institution address our global disconnection tragedy and its destructive results. Called the Natural Systems Thinking Process (NSTP), the tool helps us genuinely reconnect our thinking and our destiny with our planetary home and enjoy the benefits of greater wholeness, belonging and person/planet restoration. Via the Internet, NSTP increases our well being and our contribution to a healthier world, by enabling us to visit authentic natural areas, backyard or backcountry, and, in community, thoughtfully reconnect our more than 45 disconnected natural senses with their origins in the nurturing and recuperative powers of authentic nature. The sensory recovery, fulfillment and resilience this produces reverses the detrimental effects from us, on average, spending over 95 percent of our time and consciousness indoors, out of tune with the perfection of nature's sanity, beauty and regenerative ways. This is a practical, unifying contribution to solving many problems we suffer because NSTP is beneficially added on to any discipline, creed or endeavor.


In further explanation, please permit me to share with you the following microcosm of our nature-disconnected situation:

Each of us is born with the innate capability to experience the sense of thirst, yet scientific thinking has eliminated thirst from the description of how we and the world function. For example, if you search the literature that describes nature's water cycle or the web of life, you learn how the world works with regard to water. It says the sun evaporates water from the sea -> to form clouds -> that then rain water upon the land. There, water flows through life forms, -> nourishes and purifies them and itself, and then -> runs back to the sea to start the water cycle again through the further purification and evaporation.
Scientists recognize that as part of its natural system activities, water flows through people, nurturing our life and removing our waste products with which it feeds other life forms. But, deceptively, their description omits that the sense/sensation of thirst is part of how water's natural system works. If water did not exist, the sense of thirst would never have evolved. Thirst attracts water into us and the sense/sensation of excretion attracts water and waste products to leave us. However, to our great loss, our story about how the world works omits that our ability to sense and feel the sensations of thirst or excretion is part of the way that water flows and supports life in balance. Our thinking and consciousness learn to omit that our sensations and feelings with regard to thirst and excretion help water cooperatively serve us and the rest of nature, that what we sense and feel is part of the process.
In most descriptions of the water cycle, our society never identifies the important role of the sense of thirst or excretion. Instead, we learn to eliminate from our thinking our natural means to sensuously register in our consciousness how we are part of the water cycle and nature. This omission conditions our thinking to disregard that our senses and feelings are not only ours, that they are also part of the way the world supports life in a healthy and peaceful balance. We therefore don't exclusively own them, rather, we share them, along with most other things, with global natural systems.

What is frightening is that the illustration, above, is not an isolated case of sensory omission. Dr. Cohen demonstrates that this same omission occurs with respect to our natural ability to sense, feel and register over fifty additional senses and natural systems that are equally as important as "thirst" to the well being of life on earth, including our lives. The fifty natural sensitivities he identifies include the senses of community, place, beauty, trust, belonging, reason, temperature, compassion, wholeness, nurturing, respiration, consciousness and danger. Human thinking that includes most of our 53 natural senses helps nature sustain our mind and spirit as part of its perfection within and around us. But, we, including our scientists, "objectively" do not learn to nurture our natural sensory abilities and our major problems result. They are relatively unknown in natural systems and nature-centered societies.

Cohen shows that our thinking's omission of our many natural senses stressfully deteriorates our psyche, lives and ability to relate to reality sensitively and sensibly. For example, we live in the false belief that we think and know through only five senses while fully aware that none of the five is the senses of thirst or excretion. Being short changed and desensitized in this way, our thinking neglects to culture and nurture over 45 important natural callings that would ordinarily help us sustain our sanity and balance with natural systems within and around us. Instead, we learn to shut down and/or trespass these natural senses and systems while we applaud over 99 percent of our thinking being out of tune and contact with nature's sanity, beauty and restorative powers.

A monumental nature-connected thinking and learning process that Dr. Cohen has implemented, called the Natural Systems Thinking Process, helps us overcome our nature-disconnection disorder and come to our senses. This tool enables us to know and benefit from the web of life by going to authentic natural areas, backyard or backcountry and genuinely reconnecting our natural senses to their nurturing origins and recuperative powers in nature. This results in greater well being for people and the environment since NSTP can be easily added to any act or relationship.

NSTP deserves your attention and support as an inexpensive and easily learned means to overcome our disorders and dysfunction by coming to our senses. It reduces health care costs and many other social welfare and environmental budgets.

It takes extraordinary perception, thoughtfulness and courage to bring Cohen's counseling, educating and healing with nature tool to the attention of the public and our leadership. I have written you because that kind of courage seems to be your forte. I believe you can be of service and make a distinct contribution by sharing this information with the public and appropriate people you know who would welcome it.

Here's a scoop for you. On March 7, 2005 the NSTP program will be additionally funded as well as available for world-wide application via the Internet through West Coast University, a distance learning program internationally accredited by the International Council for Open & Distance Education (ICDE), an agency recognized by UNESCO & UNO. (see http://www.ecopsych.com/2005wcurelease.html

Dr. Cohen can be reached at 360-378-6313 nature@interisland.net

An article that encapsulates NSTP is located at http://www.ecopsych.com/insight2005.html


KEY: Online Information Guide for Application and Admission



1. Article:

2. Cohen:

3. Senses:

4. Outcomes:

5. Grants: http://www.ecopsych.com/2005grantapplic.html

6. Organic Learning:



Mardi Berkhouse Jones




Contact person:

Michael J. Cohen
Project NatureConnect


*Mardi Berkhouse Jones, Ph.D. is an environmental educator, writer and counselor who has pioneered the used of applied environmental psychology and the Natural Systems Thinking Process in her private practice in Western Washington State, USA. and as faculty for Project NatureConnect, and Akmai and West Coast University.


Recipient of the 1994 Distinguished World Citizen Award, Ecological Psychologist Michael J. Cohen, Ed.D. is a Director of the Institute of Global Education where he coordinates its Integrated Ecology Department and Project NatureConnect. He also serves on the faculty of Portland State University, West Coast University and Akamai University. Dr. Cohen has founded sensory environmental education programs independently and for the National Audubon Society and Lesley University (AEI), conceived the National Audubon Conference "Is the Earth a Living Organism," and is the award winning author of the Web of Life Imperative, Reconnecting With Nature and Einstein's World. He is an accomplished folk song artist and contra dancer who presents traditional music and ecology programs for the U.S. National Park Service and Elderhostel on San Juan Island, Washington.


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Special NGO consultant United Nations Economic and Social Council

Readily available, online, natural science tools
for the health of person, planet and spirit

P.O. Box 1605, Friday Harbor, WA 98250
360-378-6313 <email> www.ecopsych.com

The Natural Systems Thinking Process

Dr. Michael J. Cohen, Director

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All programs start with the Orientation Course contained in the book
The Web of Life Imperative.


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The Nature Of Nine Leg Knowing. How Do We Belong and Heal?


"Ishi, (the last hunter-gather Native American) was sure he knew the cause of our discontent. It stemmed from an excessive amount of indoor time. 'It is not a man's nature to be too much indoors.'"

- Theodora Kroeber

"It is quite clear to me after several years in the environmental movement that all physical problems of man's impact on the environment - pollution of the air and waters, the desecration of the land, the contamination of the food chain - all start within the environment of man's mind."

- Maurice Strong,
Founder or the United Nations Environment Program,
Co--chair of the Commission on Global Governance,

Because we live in a nature-separated society, we seldom learn that it is the personal and collective relationship of our mind with nature that determines our sanity, our future and the future of the earth. Much has been written about how we need to help the planet regenerate itself. Too often we overlook that restoring it is the lasting means to improve the environment of our mind, our wellness and our destiny.

How conscious are we about the interactions of our mentality with the natural world? How do we passionately incorporate nature's intrinsic health and recuperative powers into our sense of self, other and livelihood? Do we acknowledge this deep and penetrating partnership in a renewable path to sustainability that serves people, the environment and peace?

These are compelling questions for us as our society is in denial of our mentality's relationship with nature and we face a most precarious future.

We Lose What We Most Love
As nature's resources are diminished so is the quality of our lives as part of nature. As the quality of our lives diminish, we become desensitized and fearful. We further lose touch with our natural ability to connect to the web of life within which we are so intricately bound. It becomes a cycle of loss. The nurturing link between our human lives and our earthly home gets broken. We are driven to seek more and more satisfaction in the material world, which means we consume more and more of the resources we need to sustain natural world and our inborn love of it. We get further and further away from our innate sense of meaning and being. We lose what we most love-about ourselves, the world to which we belong and our sense of the sacred in everyday life.

Nature's Saving Grace
In these difficult times, we are virtually on the edge of losing our ability to save both ourselves-and our earthly home. Yet the saving grace is simple: We will save what we love. And when we learn how to stop long enough to genuinely reconnect to the nurturing sustenance of nature, we emotionally reconnect to what is most deeply satisfying in our human experience-belonging. We re-learn to love the very essence of who we are as living breathing perfect beings on a living breathing perfect planet. It is a generative partnership that happens when we reawaken and enliven all our senses with the awareness of nature's grace, intelligence and sustenance. We find and feel that we, too, are part of the very grace and intelligence we celebrate in nature. We belong. Because this reconnecting process is often foreign to contemporary life, an enabling tool has been devised to help us engage in the process.

Restoring Our Sensory Connections To Nature's Renewing Powers.
Project NatureConnect, a pioneering process in environmental psychology and education, has developed an ecopsychology program that is first of all committed to helping us-as individuals-restore our connection to our place in nature's transcending grace. Then, through its sensory nature-connecting, ecotherapy activities, we learn how to genuinely unite our thinking to the web of life that is always around us, always nurturing us, always waiting to help us wake up. We help ourselves bond to living in awareness and equilibrium with nature, in hope and in love. Living in that organic awareness we create a lasting future for our loved ones and for our extended human and ecological family.

The Organic Science of Nature's Regenerative Ways.
Backyard or back country, the idea and goal of Project NatureConnect is special because it is doable by choice. It offers a web of possibilities-for everything from personal growth, stress management and depression recovery to professional gain. It is based on the NatureConnect work developed by Michael J. Cohen over a span of 50 years of studying, teaching, writing about and experiencing the regenerative power of our natural experience in the natural world. His work is a science and an art, the result of decades of practice working with communities of people in natural areas, all culminating in a process that helps us recover what it is we have forgotten, what it is we love, what it is we can save. (www.ecopsych.com)

Healing Our Relationships
It is time for us to come out from behind the addictive socializing and economic forces that keep theenvironment of our mind disconnected from the Earth and each other. It is time to re-learn how to let the wisdom and renewing energies of nature transform our destructive patterns into balanced and loving relationships that can help restore both personal worth and global harmony.

  "The indescribable innocence and beneficence of Nature-of sun and wind and rain, of summer and winter-such health, such cheer, they afford forever!"
-Henry David Thoreau, Walden

- from Janet Thomas Author, The Battle in Seattle

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Mood Disorders: Are You Suffering from Denial of Your Separation from Nature?

  Excessive separation from nature produces the discomforts of fatigue, apathy, stress, anxiety, depression, hopelessness, anger, mood swings, mistrust, loneliness, broken relationships, destructive dependencies and sleep, eating, learning and attention disorders
1. Contemporary society and its citizens are in denial. We are aware that we are part of nature and that although we are disconnected from nature, we deny that this separation bears ill effects upon our physical or mental health and inner peace. We are also in denial if we know our separation from nature is producing destructive personal, social and environmental disorders but we don't use readily available nature-reconnecting tools to help us treat these disorders.

2. Because we are members of a nature-disconnected society in denial, we are psychologically bonded to our society's ways and we each suffer from and perpetuate the dysfunctions, insanity and discontents of our society.

3. Many people display mood disorder symptoms or other discontents that are not normally found in nature-connected people. These individuals are usually in denial that they suffer because they are, or have been, excessively separated from nature and its regenerative healing and restorative powers. The symptoms these individuals endure include the discomforts of fatigue, apathy, stress, anxiety, depression, hopelessness, anger, mood swings, mistrust, loneliness, broken relationships, destructive dependencies and sleep, eating, learning and attention disorders.

4. Contemporary society consciously and subconsciously socializes us to believe that nature is an enemy to overcome, conquer or develop.

  - We are in denial that we mistakenly consider it progress and economically sound to subdue natural systems within and around us and thereby lose the resilience and immunity provided by the recuperative powers of these systems.

- We deny that if disconnection from nature produces discontents, that authentic reconnecting with nature enables nature's renewing powers to help us transform our discontents into happier, more reasonable, ways of being and relating.

- We deny that nature-reconnecting tools are readily available to us and that we that can use them to help ourselves reverse our disorders.

5. An individual that only addresses their personal dysfunctions without addressing the nature-disconnected roots of these dysfunctions too often furthers their and our problems as time passes.

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Open Articles and Letters

Nature's Grace: A Nine-Leg Equation Provides an Answer to Hopes, Prayers and Dreams.

Dear Editor

The lack of finding inner peace, sustainable economics, trust, social justice and personal and environmental wellness had alarmed me. I sought and finally found a tool that transformed my depressing stress and anxiety into responsible stability. I thought I was stressed because the more I became aware of the destructive things happening to Earth and to people and places I loved, including myself, the greater became my lack of hope and feeling either mad, sad or depression. This divorced me from both my spirit and partner. I felt anger with God and beauty, a fear and disrespect of God for letting so much war, suffering and environmental deterioration occur that I was powerless to change. In time, I became aware that I was in denial. I denied that I, like many others, had an addiction to immediate rewards from my dysfunctions. They robbed me of the resilience to tolerate what I could not change. In fear, I came upon the description, on this page, of an amazing equation that combines the genius of Albert Einstein and Henry David Thoreau. Lost in depression, I only paid attention to it because it received super positive reviews from many conferences, spiritualities and publications that I respected, especially Psychology Today, Humanistic Psychology and the Journal of Environmental Education. In retrospect, it was a love answer from nature's grace and beauty to my hopes, prayers and dreams.

Mr. Editor, Does writing about this make sense to you? Isn't it something your readers can benefit from?

Charles Drew, Acton

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Act now: student grants, scholarships loans for college .......................................................................................................

.The Equation for Personal Growth and Self-Improvement

A Sensory Education and Counseling Tool Strengthens Holistic Health, Inner Peace and Sustainability

Although we are part of nature, we are normally educated to spend, on average, over 95 percent of our time and 99 percent of our lives thinking and feeling while separated from nature's grace, beauty, and restorative powers. Our mentality's profound loss of nature divorces us into apathy through denial. We deny that we are rewarded for fearing and exploiting, rather than embracing, the supportive ways of our planetary mother and her kingdoms. We deny that we are psychologically addicted to nature-disconnected thinking that creates our personal, social and environmental dysfunctions.

Contemporary society has taught us to be experts in conquering nature, including the balanced ways of our natural self and its love of nature. The result: because we don't protect what we don't love, nature, our collective sustainability and our personal wellness suffer. To stop this insanity the Einstein-Thoreau Equation makes readily available the means to genuinely connect our thinking and feeling to Mother Nature's recuperative powers, perfection and love of us as her children. Using the Internet as a learning tool, we tap our psyche into nature's beautiful sane and balanced web of life that produces an optimum of diversity and benefits without producing garbage, a web some people call God (www.ecopsych.com).

Through easily learned, nature-connected Organic Psychology methods and materials, the Internet makes it possible for any individual, or 600 million people, to think in ways that invigorate resiliency and spirit and that reduce our addictive trespasses, denial and apathy. By genuinely reconnecting our thinking to natural systems we restore and trust more than forty-five natural senses that have been numbed out of our consciousness by our extreme disconnection from nature. The self-improvement renewal of these senses increases our sensitivity, sensibility and love energies. This ecopsychology helps unbalanced parts of our minds and hearts benefit from nature's ability to rejuvenate and balance itself, including us, for we are part of nature. We reduce our stress, depression and abusiveness. We transform our apathy into constructive participation. Backyard to back country,-we strengthen our life, our organizations and global society.

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An Equation Helps Us Meet Our Great Challenge

"Our body, mind, spirit and ability to love come into the world through nature. They are part of nature's beautiful perfection, wisdom and restorative powers. However, the extreme disconnection of our thinking from nature injures these attributes. Like tearing a leg from a live rabbit, we wound and damage our ability to think clearly. Its dysfunction deteriorates our wellness, our inner peace and the environment.

Our bonding and denial present us with great challenges. To replace our lost gratifications from nature, our socialization rewards our disturbed psyche to attach or addict to contemporary ways along with their destructive side effects. Our greatest challenge is that we learn to deny that the self-improvement means is available to reconnect our thinking with nature's regenerative powers and thereby co-create ourselves and the world in a peaceful balance that eliminates these side effects."

- Michael J. Cohen

"I find that being stupid makes me really feel left out and different all the time. I just can't register all the wonderful things that technology and the media provide for the normal person. For example, I'm so retarded that I couldn't even understand that E.T. was an extraterrestrial like Spielberg and the movie and the stories said. To me, the powers E.T. had were the same as those of Earth, he was just like the plant animal and mineral community. Llike them, he was very vulnerable to technology. But I'm so dumb that I thought then, and I still think today, that E.T. was a terrestrial; he was Planet Earth. He was in no way so special as to become a movie star. After all, doesn't Earth all the time do what he did if we let it? Nine leg thinking lets us do that, too.
- Alfred E. Newman.


QUESTION: What is so important about nine-leg thinking?

ANSWER: Nine-leg thinking is a supportive, therapeutic key to creating personal happiness through a rewarding and sustainable future for all people and the planet.

To understand the momentous significance of nine-leg thinking, consider this intelligence test question regarding mathematical aptitude:

"If you count a normal dog's tail as one of its legs, how many legs does a dog have?"

"Five," of course, is the correct answer.

Intelligent people answer "five" because it is valid in mathematical and scientific reasoning. Society applauds and economically rewards us for giving correct mathematical or technological answers. But something is radically wrong with this answer; something is missing. Because, somehow, even a dog knows that a dog has four legs.

Our sense of reason recognizes five as correct only until we are greeted by our friendly family dog, or the mean mutt down the street. Five legs only works in theory. When we experience a real dog, or a wolf, or a centipede, or any other natural being, many of our inherent natural senses come into play: our senses of sight, touch, motion, color, texture, language, sound, smell, fear, consciousness, community, trust, contrast, love, reason and recognition. Are you aware we have 53 natural senses?

No matter how conceptually clever we are with our five-legged thinking, it is our four-legged sensory awareness that grounds our experience in the true nature of reality. That reality knows any normal dog has no more than four legs and no matter how you look at it, a tail is not one of them.

When it comes to supportively relating in balance to nature and its systems around and within us, we rarely think in 9-leg (4-leg plus 5-leg) ways. We can kill or hurtfully stress a dog if we make it run too fast or too far because we think that it has five legs. Isn't that what we are doing to ourselves and the environment?

Nine-leg thinking and relating helps us come back into personal and environmental balance by revitalizing our multitude of natural senses through genuine contact with authentic nature.

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The Essence of the Nine-Leg Equation

This tool offers a powerful process that deals with the problems of inspiration hope and integrity through books degrees and courses online

It is a health improvement formula that strengthens your vote, conflict resolution and nature healing as well as restores balanced relationships free of stress and dysfunction to earth, peace and environment workers.

This power equation contains the genius and support of Albert Einstein and Henry David Thoreau for use in self-help and supporting hope, cooperation, research psychologists, naturalists and good government,

It acts as a health and life experience intelligence that increases resilience, friendships, love wellness ethics education awareness counseling citizenship transformation and constructive bonding.

It rejuvenates anxiety burnout suffering disorder abnormalities that deteriorate mental health social justice peace community trust economics and cooperation.

en furthers their and our problems as time passes.

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How does the Nine-Leg Balance of Life Equation help you improve the quality of your life and all life?

-Enjoy 53 sensory parts of nature, like thirst, each a distinct way of knowing and relating that, when intact, helps us sustain the wellness, balance and resilience of natural systems in us and the environment.
-Transform the abnormal, desensitized corporation economics and other omissions in the way our nature-disconnected society teaches us to think.
-Rejuvenate natural life sensitivities and Earth-integrated, whole ways of knowing
-Master how to reconnect your mentality to its nurturing origins, to the regenerative vigor, sustainability and integrity of nature.
-Help yourself, and those close to you, benefit from the renewal that lies in the magnificence of a beautiful day, the wisdom of an ancient tree and the fortitude of a weed.
-Through life experience discover how to let the "higher power" in nature's healing energies help your thinking transform your stress, disorders, suffering and harmful bonds into constructive personal, social and environmental rewards.
Strengthen your inborn natural genius.
-Use powerful tool and process books, degrees and courses to tap into potent self-help healing and conflict resolution powers of nature.
-Research and restore forty-eight inherent sensory intelligences into your awareness that we normally learn to deny and subdue so they deteriorate.
-Enjoy community ways of knowing and relating that, when intact, sustain the wellness, peace, balance. health and resilience of natural systems within and around us.
-Quadruple the power of your vote.
-Realize more completely your hopes and values.
Increase your resilience, support, social justice and friendships.
-Reduce stress, anxiety, burnout, dysfunction and loneliness.
-Improve your ability to think clearly and implement the power of love.
-Strengthen personal, environmental, coaching and government wellness.
-Produce cooperation and responsible professional opportunities and ethics.
-Discover environmentally sound directions goals and satisfactions
-Enjoy nature-connected education, psychology and healing courses and degree programs
-Increase personal and global peace and inspiration while reducing dysfunction.
Add important new self-improvement dimensions to counseling, healing and citizenship relationships.

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