......PROGRAM OUTCOME REPORT: participant observations from field study activities.
Project NatureConnect offers distant learning that enables you to add nature-connecting methods and credentials to your skills interests and/or hobbies. We honor your prior training and life experience by providing grants and equivalent credit for it.
You may take accredited coursework and/or obtain a Nature-Connected Degree or Certificate in most subjects or personal interests. A partial subject list is located at the end of this page.
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Institute of Global Education Organic Psychology
Special NGO Consultant, United Nations Economic and Social Council
Practical distance learning to increase person/planet well being.
Project NatureConnect: accredited ecology, environmental and social science courses, organic learning degrees and alternatives for sustainable education career training, distance learning jobs and graduate schools.
PROGRAM OUTCOMES: Sally R., an online program participant, shares her results from a nature-connecting activity.
The Organic Solution to Debt and Disorders
Natural systems in the biosphere flow through and nurture all forms of life including the life of our psyche, of how we think and feel.
To our loss, our excessive disconnection from nature separates our consciousness from registering natural systems along with their self-correcting and purifying ways.
Blithely, we spend, on average, 98 percent of our life thinking and feeling while estranged from the satisfying, renewing and regenerative powers of natural systems within and around us.
Because, through our disconnection, we stop the flow natural systems in our psyche, we lose their capacity of to recycle industrial society's contamination of how we think and feel. We, accordingly, suffer great personal and environmental troubles for which society sells us expensive remedies while free antidotes are readily available by reconnecting with nature.
Nature connecting activities offer organic learning and relating that empowers us to remedy our hurtful and expensive disconnection from our natural origins. The activities are advanced social tools that help us make conscious sensory contact with natural systems within and about us. Our thinking and feeling benefit from the cost-free flow of their renewing and regenerative powers.
The report, below, is just one example of nature-connected fullment in action and its results
LEARNING WITH NATURE TO COME TO MY SENSES: ADDED VALUE FOR MONTESSORI OR WALDORF EDUCATION
An Organic Psychology Report from an Online Course Participant
Synopsis: The value of this course for me as a Montessori teacher is that I've learned that it is my choice to spend time in nature and look for attractions that give me good feelings. I learned that when I ask permission, gain consent and give thanks to nature, my senses become sharp and I feel more alive. I learned that nature attractions are intelligent and that by verbalizing what I love about nature I realize and validate what I appreciate about myself. The course helped me enhance and trust my self worth, increase my trustfulness in nature, and helped me feel more relaxed and balanced. It would be an excellent addition to Waldorf education.
Engaging in process: Participating in this course started a strong and gradual process in me. I have a feeling that this process is reaching deep parts of me. I also feel that doing this course now is only a beginning, and that there are many more steps to walk on the path of NSTP (Natural Systems Thinking Process) or the path of learning to "think like nature". I find it not easy to express the process that is happening to me through the participation in this orientation course. However, words that come up when I think about it are: change, shift, learning, remembering, pain, awareness, everything is OK, sensitivity, beauty, oneness and connection. In the following paragraphs I review the main experiences and insights that I gained during the course.
A special type of learning: The learning in this course is a very special kind of learning for me as a Montessori teacher. It's very personal and experiential, not about memorizing new information, but delving into myself and creating new ways of thinking and relating. Reviewing my score on the course questions brought up two observations: 1) All scores of "after" were higher than the "before". 2) I still don't know many of the answers to the questions or I'm not confident with the answers I know. This means that I learned a lot during this course, but could repeat the course again, and have a lot more to learn.
A protected storage room: The advice to place our reasonable experiences in a protected room of our mentality was a great one. I now feel safe to open up this room and use the knowledge and wisdom with integrity. Many experiences placed there during the course are actually wisdom that I already had inside me from my Waldorf schooling, but could not use it or locate it before because of disconnection and negative conditioning. Now, this natural wisdom is protected and is accessible for me.
Webstrings: The main thing I learned during the course is to relate to attractions in nature as webstrings. This means that I'm actually sensing (with at least 53 senses) the "unseen" strands of the web of life that connect me and a natural attraction. This gives me a feeling of a real connection. Being aware of webstrings helped me feel the various connections between natural things, myself and other people, and to know that all is held together in balance to form the web of life.
Different ways of knowing: I learned the differences between the three ways of thinking and knowing (a metaphor based on a 4 legged dog and a 5 legged dog when you count its tail as a leg. 4 leg thinking is actually the natural way of relating, which involves all of our many senses. It is a language of webstrings, without words, names or labels. 5 leg thinking is a language based on stories, labels and names that is not necessarily based on the way nature works. 5 leg usually follows the truth of mathematics, science, technology and contemporary culture. 9 leg thinking is an integrated way of thinking that involves both 4 leg and 5 leg knowing and perception. It is based on nature and the webstrings that attach and connect people to nature, together with the sense of spoken or written language and reasoning that validate nature's reality. As Maria Montessori said, "The senses, being the explorers of the world, open the way to knowledge."
Pain from disconnection: Through going out to nature and letting Earth teach me I experienced the pain of my disconnected webstrings and dormant senses. I understood that for many years, while living according to society rules and norms I related to life using 5 leg stories, labels and reasoning. I was dependent on rewards for scientific and mathematical thinking, for staying hours indoors (in school, university, office), and for burying some of my natural inner senses. I was brainwashed by society that nature is a resource to conquer and manage, as man is "above" nature. By letting Earth teach me, following natural attractions, while at the Waldorf school, I started a process of opening up to unconscious parts of me and nature. I started a process of recovering my 4 leg thinking and integrating it to 9 leg thinking.
Discovering my sensory self: The more I went out to nature and used many of my 53 senses to feel the natural attractions in a non verbal way, the more good feelings that I felt. I felt that I can feel my true self, that I'm relaxed, expanded, and wise. I felt that I'm communicative, supportive and loving. In some cases, I needed to quite down the language, labeling and naming habit to relate the world. Saying "connection" every time I saw an attraction helped me clearly feel the webstrings within and around me. Communicating my contact with natural attractions helped me form 9 leg stories that I placed in my protected room of trustable experiences.
Consensus and respect: A new experience that felt a little strange in the beginning, but became very reasonable and rewarding afterwards is the -permission, consent, thanks activity. Through this process of seeking permission from a natural area to get involved with it, sensing if consent was given, promising to treat nature respectfully, and thanking I was rewarded with feelings of peace, sharper senses, welcoming, safety and integrity. I'm now reminding myself to use the practice of permission/ consent/appreciation every time I'm going out to nature, as well as when I relate to other people. This process radiates respect and healthy relationships to Earth, other people, and our own being. I will introduce this activity to the Montessori Education class I teach.
We and Nature are intelligent: By identifying natural attraction intelligence and imagining the web of life connected to this attraction and to me, I greatly enhanced my trustfulness of my self worth. I could identify the same intelligence I recognized in nature also in me and in other people. Recognizing that nature is intelligent helped me feel connected, and an integral part of life.
I'm a reflection of nature: By describing why I love an attraction and then literally turning the sentence to describe why I love myself, I gained a powerful validation of my qualities. Also, it helped me be aware that I'm always part of nature, connected to nature, belonging to life, and essential. Doing this activity at nature with a friend helped this activity be very powerful, deep and rewarding.
Imagining and visualizing my webstrings attractions similar to the image of the Mimbres pottery design helped me trust and remember the essence of my natural webstring connection. Again it validated to me that I'm inseparable of nature, that I'm part of it and it is part of me. This truly gives me a peaceful perspective. Also, this activity showed me that my connection to nature is "old" and timeless.
Aliveness and death: The more I went out to nature and used my many senses I felt more alive. My senses became sharper and I was more aware of beauty and growth. Contrary to the feeling of aliveness, many in the group noticed "death" in nature, like dead wood or a dead bush. Even though it puzzled me to face the "death" and its meaning, we then learned that "A dead tree becomes home for myriad living organisms and so is not really "dead. But it, like every entity that "dies, becomes part of something greater and still supports life." (Larry's response to chapter 2). Another answer to "death" in nature is "everything alive or dead has value in its natural state and makes a contribution to the betterment of all" (from Mike's experience in www.ecopsych.com/guestbook).
NSTP and me: Even though I know that NSTP helps us both on a personal and a global level, I feel that I'm still in the "personal" stage. I know that I'll be ready sometime (hopefully) soon to get into the "global" stage. However, I'm a great believer in "walk your talk". Thus, presently I'm working on shifting my daily thinking and behavior, being aware that I'm connected to nature from the core, and relating in a responsible and rewarding way to myself, others, and Earth.
Conclusion: My experiences with nature, with myself and with the participants in the course, were rewarding and fulfilling. The course helped me remember that nature is always here, connected to me, to help me "come to my senses" and keep a positive and respectful attitude to life as is the way of Waldorf Anthroposophists. Sharing the experiences with the group helped me with integrating the new experiences into a "reasonable story" that my mentality could grasp. I learned from each one of the group and grateful for the respect and love that you shared with me. Thank you all.
Online reading: useful online articles and activities
Achieve a Degree or Certificate for connecting your professional interests, or your hobbies or pastimes with nature. Increase the value of your greatest passions as you increase personal and global well being.
Topics,subjects or leisure pursuits can include those listed below or other areas of interest:
Earth Day Activities
Dog Cat Pet Care
Jesus & Wilderness
Hope & Life Relationships
Stress Relief Management
Natural Health and Wellness
Parenting & Child Development
Spirit & Spiritual Development
Native American Indian Ways
War On Terrorism
Attention Deficit Disorders
Nature Deficit Disorders
Abuse, Addiction, Loneliness
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INSTITUTE OF GLOBAL EDUCATION Special NGO consultant United Nations Economic and Social Council
Accredited nature career holistic education and job courses, organic learning degrees and alternatives; earn extra income money and increase wellness, spirit and hope.
P.O. Box 1605, Friday Harbor, WA 98250
ORGANIC, ACCREDITED, APPLIED ECOPSYCHOLOGY IN ACTION
The Natural Systems Thinking Process
Dr. Michael J. Cohen, Director
All organization programs start with the Orientation Course contained in the books
The Web of Life Imperative and Reconnecting With Nature
Well-being at risk
Help turn the tide!
"Human behavior is rooted most deeply in nature's intentions and desire. The rhythms of nature underlie all of human interaction: religious traditions, economic systems, cultural and political organization. When these human forms betray the natural psychic pulse, people and societies get sick, nature is exploited and entire species are threatened."
In industrial society our excessively nature-separated lives mold us to betray the natural psychic pulse. We learn to block from our thinking over 98 percent of the wise sensory callings and fulfillments we normally receive from natural systems and their eons of experience. Our subconscious hurt and frustration from the severed disconnection of these senses underlies our greatest troubles.
-Michael J. Cohen
Benefit from learning to repair the natural psychic pulse within and around us. Add the sensory ecoscience of Organic Psychology to your life and livelihood.
Organic Psychology Search Engine
Grant-funded, social and environemntal science accredited courses, career training and holistic organic learning degrees: alternative adult education and sustainable career training jobs online for personal and global health.
"Scientific research is based on the idea that everything that takes place is determined by laws of nature, and therefore this holds for the action of people."
"Truth is what stands the test of experience."
- Albert Einstein.