Project NatureConnect
Outcomes 4
Natural life quotes that support in our lives the surreal,
simple meanings of the good life and simple life styles.



A Survey of Participants continued


Life quotes about the effects of webstring attraction activities in a grant-funded, alternative and holistic courses, training and degree programs online; a sensory science for sustainable personal and environmental well-being.


 SPECIAL INSTRUCTIONS: for individuals who want to get the most from these Survey pages including applicants to courses and/or Friends of Natural Systems

Select what you think are the two most important subject areas identified in the questions and statements found in parts two through six of the survey (select the statements as you read through parts 2-6 , select two statements from each part, 10 statements total.) Write a paragraph that integrates these statements with respect to them being a reflection of some of your desires, beliefs and values. Include the paragraph in your application.




Participants were asked to write a life quote statement that gave specific examples from their life, or their observations, of any of the points in Section 2 or of any other meaning of life areas where PNC had proven valuable. A representative sampling of the wide-ranging, freely made life quotes appears below:


"The value of PNC to me is that it has led me to a direct personal relationship with all my life. For the first time I have the sense of being connected to the flow of living. Many people talk about being in the here and now but PNC has enabled me to DO it."

Chuck M.


"Since completing the PNC activities, I find that I tend to emphasize my similarities with others rather than differences. I tend to be less cynical about society and our future. I find myself picking up any trash I might find while hiking and have become more outspoken on issues relation to protection of the environment. I contribute more or my time and money to causes which promote social welfare and environmental sensitivity. I found in my life the PNC process to be truly surreal life-changing. My daily behaviors and attitudes now reflect a larger faith and understanding, that I am not separate from the world around me but an integral part of it. My life quotes reflect that I have a unshakable faith in the process of the good life and all its manifestations. The PNC activities have helped me realize that I am a whole made up of many parts which are themselves whole. They have helped me realize that I, too, am a part of a whole greater than myself."

Bob H.


"With both the PNC list and two of the PNC courses, my life has been greatly enriched. Where I was very depressed in regards to the future of our planet and all life on it, I am now convinced that with encouraging people to participate in the exercises of Reconnecting With Nature....there is a very good chance we can heal the wounds of abuse and neglect we have thrust upon the Great Mother. Both my personal and professional lives have benefited from PNC...My interactions with employees, family and friends have improved greatly..My stress levels have dropped tremendously, migraines have been non-existent for about 2 months and I am sleeping through the night instead of waking 4 and 5 times.

The most important meaning of life gift I was given with the list and the courses, has been the ability to interact with nature on a personal level....my inner child is being allowed to grow and emerge as a valid and needed part of myself."

Patricia A.


"PNC has provided a number of important simple life experiences for me, most of which I not only remember but also bear fruit for me on a continual basis. It provides a life style tool for almost immediate grounding and centering of my self, which is important to me and enables me to be part of my social and professional community; a participant in surreal life and the human web of life.

PNC has value to the business world in that it can provide centering or grounding of a business team in pursuit of its goals. In my life it has value to the larger community in that PNC teaches/develops realization of the web and interconnectedness of our social structures, and as such can stimulate sustainability by organizations learning and subsequently feeling in supporting their community over the individual; cooperation over survival of the fittest.

What I am trying to say is that to exist as an individual, family, community or nation, in my life I need to connect with integrity with the larger picture. PNC activities enables me to do that.

Putting aside academic life quote rhetoric, I have taught PNC activities in a business class with good results - students responding positively to the outcome and coming back for more, similar experiences."

Rick R.


The PNC course has given me a very important simple life tool to work with environmental problems; an effective practical link between feelings and rational explanations of interactions with nature and people. It gave me the necessary inspiration, the will to share as an individual and a teacher my profound love and respect for the good life. As a scientist I use it for a more ecological aspect in my research. It has improved my health in ways I could not have foreseen. It is easier, simpler and more effective than meditation for me. Most important I have gained a very valuable gift from Michael Cohen's ecopsychology course, one that I had lost a long time ago about the tragic global planetary situation: HOPE...

"I was in a supervisory role with a young woman, in a "back to work" job training program. She was in continual conflict with her peers and had just had a verbal match with a community member. This had come to the attention of the top administrator, who had full intentions of " firing" this young woman. I requested 30 minutes with the woman in order to prepare her. ( I anticipated the result of the meeting with the administrator, would leave this young woman with "nothing to loose" and would then reinforce her unworthiness." I was given only 10 minutes. I wondered what I could tell her that would help her through what was to be a challenging meeting. My objective was to get her to stay calm and leave with dignity. I had ten minutes and not enough time. Instead of using words I decided to try an exercise from Michael Cohen's course. In that very short time the young women was able to receive some guidance through her connection to a rock.Her awareness of he own nature and her choices. I introduced the activity and we did it together.. Then she went in to face the "fire" and came out smiling and still holding her job. I asked her how she managed to keep her temper and her job. She pulled the rock from her pocket showing me, one side was rough the other smooth. She told me "I kept the rough side hidden."

"I was moving a great distance from my 15 year old son. I was very concerned that I was mistaken in my decision to leave him with his father (we were separated some years before) I did an activity to determine where my son was "at", with this circumstance. I discovered so much in the 1/2 hour we shared. It was about me as a mother. I became aware as we progressed through the activity, how ready he was for this separation and how tightly I clung to my role of mother. My son was ready for the next phase, a phase his father was ready and able to provide. I had to let go. I am glad I did."

Judy M.


Organizing workshops has allowed my 13 year old son to be part of a community of people who actively care about and value the natural world. Through PNC workshop monies, he got to help raise money for a wildlife crisis center which I feel was empowering for him. Similarly, through organizing these RWN workshops I became closer to my own family and made new friends who live nearby me but I had never met before. Many of us stay in contact now on a semi-weekly basis, continuing that feeling of community and further modeling community building and nature-connecting life style for my son. Additionally, I felt a feeling of happiness that I could be giving back to Nature and supporting the Earth in by making PNC methods available to others. This gives me good feelings because the Earth is so generous with me all the time (for example by providing air, water, sunlight, food as well as unconditional acceptance, etc.). These meaning of life methods allow people to receive and to give back to Nature and thus reestablish the web of connections we were designed to function optimally within.

Sea G.


"I have been using PNC in my personal and surreal life as well as with students at risk in an alternative high school for over 5 years. I have obtained over $30,000 in grants and have obtained very positive and sound results using PNC with these students.

I have just completed an exhaustive review of the literature in the ecology, environmental science and ecopsychology fields. I am dismayed by the fact that so few writers have any concept of specific solutions to our societies' disconnection from nature and the resultant destruction of our biosphere. Michael Cohen is one of the few who has a simple life model that works. It appears simple, but it is not. It requires some major shifts in perception. I have spent over a year studying with Michael in an in person small group structure and I have taken and continue to take Michael's internet PNC courses. Both have been invaluable. Although the internet course is in a individual and written format, my group members have also become my teachers. Michael answers all calls and is always available if we stray or need help.
As shown by life quotes from his students, the NatureConnect model is revolutionary and what the planet needs. Michael also walks his talk. He continually opens his 53 senses as he sleeps outside year-round surrounded by the natural sounds and senses of the night."

Kurt D.


PNC has helped me take responsibility for my all my life and the choices I make in a way the makes sense. I experience profound well-being and security I never thought would be available to me. It quite literally has changed my life by bringing me to the good life.

Vicki S.


"I have shared many of the points and experiences with others. I believe that as this world grows towards a total technological world there must be a counter balance. A natural world that is not forgotten. With the many moves towards interactive TV., computers and soft ware, Mother Nature is the greatest interactive life style action we will ever take.

Something I learned is that, Balance and Harmony are not only a place to be, but also an action to take."

Rick D.


I have been a Type 1 insulin dependent diabetic for 38 years. Every 3 months I have an A1C test which tells me what my overall diabetic control has been like for the previous 3 to 4 months. During the period between March and June 1994, I was very much involved in doing the activities created by Mike Cohen to help us re-connect with nature, and I was also working hard to co-ordinate an Ecopsychology workshop in the San Francisco area. Although organizing the workshop was stressful, each day I would go to a park, or just into my little backyard, and for a short time I would just connect with the trees, birds, clouds, flowers, and my own internal peace, and I would end up giggling, or singing, or relaxing,. and definitely feeling refreshed and wonderfully alive. Because I was not doing my normal diabetic routine of exercising as much as I should, I was worried about the A1C test results in July. To my delight, the test results showed a significant drop in my overall blood sugar levels over the previous 3 months!! I attribute this to the major increase in my sense of peace, relaxation, well-being, and even support that I get from connecting with the natural world.

Presently, in my life I combine exercise, healthy eating, and most importantly, daily reconnecting with nature to keep my diabetes in very good control, and thereby greatly reducing my risks for serious complications in the future.

The other major thing that my connection with nature has done, over the past 2 years, is completely alleviate my use of drugs for the control of anxiety disorder. I am forwarding here a copy of part of a letter I wrote in regards to this.

"In 1983 I was diagnosed with panic disorder, a severe form of endogenous anxiety. For 2 years I suffered extremely bizarre and disconcerting physical and emotional symptoms, including depersonalization, agoraphobia, nausea, dizziness, headaches, and a disabling fear of impending death. My treatment consisted of addictive medication, psychotherapy, and a hard-line approach called voice fighting. While I no longer suffer from constant attacks, I am occasionally bothered by some of these same unpleasant feelings. In the nature connecting activities offered through Applied Ecopsychology, I have made an astounding discovery. For me, connecting with nature within and around me definitely dissolves the more mild forms of panic/anxiety attack symptoms and fears. By enabling me to fully sense my natural affinities toward stability and peace, the connecting experience endows me with feelings of wholeness, wisdom, and a sense of my rightful flow towards profound well-being.

Statistics indicate that 10 million Americans suffer from some form of endogenous anxiety, with recent studies revealing that more children in the teenage years are now affected by this disease. 100,000 of these people are severely disabled, unable to leave their homes, unable to walk to their mailboxes, unable to fully live. In my experience, panic/anxiety attacks disconnect me from support, safety, love, and peace; using the Applied Ecopsychology nature connecting activities positively reconnects me with these senses and feelings, as well as the senses of nurturing calmness, emotional stability and well-being, trust, empowerment, and self-esteem. The very senses and feelings that are stripped from panic attack sufferers are re-awakened and re-inforced by using these nature connecting activities."

In addition to the above, my connections with nature have also given me 2 very precious gifts: The gift of trustable supportive friendships, and the simple life gift of laughter!!! My sense of fun and playfulness has increased tenfold, and I have discovered what many have said before, that laughter is a most powerful tool for healing just about anything. Reconnecting with nature has awakened in me the feelings of fun, peace, love, joy, support, and vibrant good life that I believe we all deserve."

Linda C.


My involvement with PNC has brought meaning of life hope that something (The exercises in PNC) CAN be done by ordinary people, in ordinary circumstances that can and will help turn around our behavior toward the ecological sustainability issue that we are facing. It is a way to sensitize without criticizing people's relationships with themselves, each other, and all life forms with which we share the resources on this planet. I believe that as we let down more of our barriers to feeling how we feel in regard to the current ecological situation, we will make the changes we need to make. PNC activities enable a person to allow those barriers to gently dissolve as they connect with the forms of nature around them.

Johanna J.


"The most important help I have received in my life is in my practice of quieting my mind enough when I am outdoors to be receptive to what in nature is calling to me at that moment. As I follow the attraction and attune myself to the energy, the energy within my body becomes more balanced, my emotions become more tranquil, and a feeling of thankfulness flows from my heart. This practice has become an essential ingredient in my meditation practices that put me in touch with the consciousness of healing and wholeness."

Mark B.


PNC activities have influenced every aspect of all my life in a very postive way. I feel more confident, more relaxed, more healthy and happy. I feel I have found a greater capacity to love myself and others. In the past I was often very pessimistic and depressed and fond of complaining. Now, I feel more empowered and optimistic. I find joy and many simple attractive life style pleasures each day. I have let go of a dismal, materialistic downward spiral, and have spread my wings to fly up on a wonderfully positive natural thermal. I feel high on life. I gain new insights and challenges as I climb. I am now able to let nature's infinite wisdom flow through me to share with others who are attracted to it.

Heidi W.


"Reading about others' experiences reinforces my view that the environment has a strong influence on defining who we are as individuals and as a people. Positive environmental experiences produce positive-minded people. PNC appears to bring individuals into positive relationships. Research printed in environmental education journals I have read indicate that programs like PNC are the best way for individuals to adopt good life styles that reduce our impact on the environment."

David G.


PNC is unique in that it offers guidelines to live by that have not been interpreted (or mis-interpreted) by humankind. What I see in nature is also within me, and I KNOW and TRUST that totally.

I am a ministerial student, and PNC has become such a deeply ingrained part of me that in my life it will surely be a large part of my ministry. PNC teaches that all of nature is based upon attraction (love); it teaches there is no judgment in nature; it teaches connections with the total of our senses rather than in some limited intellectual way; it teaches that nature exists in the moment; and it teaches that there are no negatives in nature. These, and many more simple life facts, are parallel to spiritual principles, and I trust them.

I recommend PNC for anyone, and I will be sharing it with others throughout my life.

Jim S.

"PNC causes me to pause and reflect on the world around me. To slow down,listen and feel when before I would only look. It solidified certain ideas I had learned intellectually about interconnectedness of all life. I feel I have become more sensitive to certain practical things around the house,like recycling, water usage, habitat destruction on my own property and use of electricity.. I had done much personal self-work before doing PNC so I felt good about myself already -- but not as connected to nature. I can see how this would help others to do the same work, especially in groups. I also have more desire to be outside and enjoy the outdoors than ever, particularly at night -- which seems to be prohibited by many things in our culture.

Maggie S.


My initial interest was kindled by both a professional interest in nature-based therapeutic methods but more importantly by my personal interest in spiritual matters particularly those related to nature and the spirit of nature.

Personally my interest was driven by a crisis in my personal recovery from the addictive use of various chemical substances. As a direct result of my application of PNC methods to my daily life, I find my personal recovery has become significantly more stable. Also my recovery is more sustainable now because it is less dependent on any particular model of recovery. In essense my ongoing recovery was made possible through the reliable and trustable methods of PNC that on a moment-to-moment basis allowed me to be in conscious contact with the nameless intelligence and wisdom of nature.

Professionally I have used variants of these methods in my work as a mental health nurse with people of all ages to focus more on the here and now of the moment and less on often destructive stories that reside in their minds. It helps these people to become aware that these stories are not actually present in nature unless they decide to actualize those stories by acting them out. I also use PNC methods in the marketing of my professional services. I often talk of my marketing efforts as "growth through natural attractions."

Steve S.


"Taking the course validated my precious experiences of connection with nature which has helped to make them a more frequent and influential part of my life. I also learned a lot about people, both good news and bad news, and how to relate to them and which ones to avoid. This latter was learned through the correspondence. One can learn something useful about the meaning of life even from negative people.

My strong positive connection with nature helped me turn sarcasm into a learning experience, i.e. turn it into a G-G. experience: How to spot non-G.G. people on line early and avoid/defuse them.

Emmon B.


The PNC experience helped me improve:
-my personal
good life by being conscious of my personal sensory functioning
-my relationship with the environment.by being aware of it as a community not as a resource
-my professional life by specifically looking for natural area to practice my job.

The PNC experience motivated me to help others build responsible relationships and life styles because it's a pleasant, constructive and peaceful experience. It enabled me to bring environmental concepts into my consciousness that I have always felt but could not verbalize by learning first to love Nature. I had a a true and personal experience that helped me to be aware of my true deep and fundamental nature. It's a way of living and thinking that brings wellness and peace. Now I know what I want and I don't feel aggravated by people anymore. Nature is now my personal guide. When I want to take a decision I go into nature and it helps me to find the best. New respect for the living global community is a by-product of the PNC program.

Frank B.


I've gotten myself so messed up by being disconnected from something I never even knew I was supposed to be connected to. I literally almost died twice from buying into the world's stories. I truly feel that PNC is my road back to health, sanity and living a life of joy. I was filling the nature-separated void in my life with all the wrong fixes, but PNC has given me the key to real life again.

Theresa K.


The awakened consciousness interacts with surroundings in a responsible
way---from the heart--and always with Hope. In moving (through PNC) to a deeper understanding of the pure potential we can create for others in a world clearly in need of an understanding of responsible action, we can become catalysts, through education, for the support and nurturance of Nature, the living global community and Earth Mother herself. With even just a thimbleful of courage we can reconnect with our innate capacity to heal ourselves and honor life and 'all of our relations' including the great forests the rivers and seas: the mountains and eagles and whales and deer and little lichens and four-leaf clover... and rejoice in rainbows and dance in moonlight and sing together by campfires as we seep out under the stars and as a human species finally come into our wisdom phase---"

Jane-Anne N.


PNC is awesome!! You have totally changed my life, as I think there may be a place for me in this Universe now. Before I learned of your project, I thought my life was doomed to bureaucratic meanderings...looking for something real. Well, it is real, and I have found it. I have always been very connected to the earth and nature, and now know that this is a simple life gift, and that I can teach others about this incredible relationship. Thank you, thank you , thank you , thank you!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Shelly B.


I have struggled for years with the apparent arbitrary baseline I've found in most helping disciplines. PNC offers a dependable counselor, Nature, which applies the same qualitative perspective at all times, and is always available.

Will G.

"Nine years ago I had a roller-skating accident which left me with daily headaches. I had to give up my (well paid) job since I could no longer concentrate for longer periods of time. In addition I have short term memory problems. The final diagnoses was whiplash/ nerve damage in the neck. I have had several operations to severe (?) blocked nerves. (the nerves are heated with a long needle to about 90 degrees (Celsius) which kills them) The operation was somewhat successful, the pain became bearable. The years following the operation I found it difficult to cope with pain and my limitations. Work had always given me a sense of fulfillment and self-esteem, without it, I felt disoriented.

There's a saying among people with frequent pain that states: one third of the pain is real pain, one third is the fear of tomorrow's pain one third is depression caused by your new limitations and loss of dreams.

Losing your dreams is something that happens to everyone at one time or another. You have to give up you dream of becoming a pop star if you over thirty. The same with becoming a top athlete. When you suffer from chronic pain you have to go through this process in just a few years. You become aware of a pile of dreams you had stashed away in you subconscious. The same with me, in my life I became or made myself socially isolated, because I felt no longer part of "the healthy world".

Connecting to Nature has pulled me out of this negative spiral. It didn't make any sense to me at first, but somehow I kept rereading it. I decided to partake in the course and became very involved. After several weeks of doing PNC activities I noticed that my headaches were becoming less intense.

The exercises of Connecting to Nature came as a great relief after reading dozens of self improvement books. Somehow all of these books left me dissatisfied. The insights you get from reading alone do not create a lasting change. Reading and doing exercises simultaneously is much more effective for me. I now have a storehouse of wonderful memories to go back to. Being an indoor person I experienced the beauty of nature almost as a shock. I had spend time in nature before but had never before communicated with its beauty and variety. I now have great fun discovering new life style ways to perceive new aspects of what I see. I have learned that there hundreds of ways to recognize and appreciate my natural origins.

Connecting to nature has a profound simple life healing effect on me in my life . The PNC activities have taught me that I do not have to hold a prestigious job to be a person of value. Value is something that life created in me, I don't have to earn it. All I have to do is perceive it, connect to it and celebrate it. Breath is an exchange of internal and external value. Walking is an encounter with my origin and home. Seeing is perceiving and reflecting what created me.

Connecting to nature also made me aware of how fragile my life is and how important it is to nurture my environment; my family, my friends and how everything I do for them reflects back on myself. The more I learn, the stronger the feeling that all life is one becomes a tangible reality.

Thanks to the nature connect exercises I have developed a stronger sense of responsibility for my own health. The inter relatedness of all life outside myself has made very clear to me that a loving and nuturing attitude towards my own body is vital. To put it less abstract; it feels good to take care of myself and my body responds with vitality to the attention I give it.

Nature also taught me how relatively unimportant my place is in the whole of life. My education has equipped me with an over inflated ego. I am supposed to be superior to other life forms, I am not. Spending time in nature has taught me that I am relatively unimportant and that I have every reason to be modest. I can only live in very protected circumstances: 21% oxygen, a limited temperature range, enough sunlight, regular food intake with just the right amount of minerals and vitamins, not to much noise, etc. If you add the psychological requirement like safety, a feeling of belonging identity then the list would easily become two pages long. Much of the pain in my relationships to other people starts when I forget how fragile the other person really is. Much of the pain in our culture is the result of acting as if we, as a species, are independent and all important.

I enjoy doing the exercises with my son. I remember an early spring morning we spend in the woods together: I asked him to find a tree that attracted him. After a few moments he came back all excited: "Look daddy I found two trees that are just like you and me". He had found a small tree his size and a bigger tree my size. I then suggested we should imitate the trees to see what it would be like to be a tree. So together we stood there with our arms outstretched enjoyed the warm sun. At first only the two of us were there but very soon somehow the trees joined in and the four of us enjoyed being alive and being nurtured by the sun. This and other memories have become very precious to me. Most everything outdoors has a strong living presence, a meaning of life that's very contagious.

The living indoors life style mutes my senses; habits take the fun and challenge out of life. Outdoors everything changes continually with amazing grace and strength. That is something that inspires me deeply. It's much like befriending a very enthusiastic person. The friendship intensifies your own aliveness and communication skills. Befriending nature to me is an even more rewarding experience, it also creates a feeling of belonging and a new sense of knowledge about my origins: my eyes developed as a response to the existence of light, my lungs respond to the oxygen the trees and plant synthesize.

Inspiration to me is a dance for two. Music means nothing when I am unable to open up to it. If I I'm blind, colors don't exist. As my senses open up wider to nature, the scoop of what I see and feel widens, the intensity of life outside infuses my own aliveness.

I think it is a miracle that a development process of 5 billion years has equipped me with all the senses I need to perceive this world and a strong sense of survival that enables me to have children that will be able to enjoy our world in the future. That is , if I leave them something to live in.

I've feel I just started on a long an very interesting simple life journey. I think the insight that connecting to nature has to offer are of great importance to many people. I also understand that the ideas of PNC will be difficult to understand for many people as they point in a direction which is radically different from the mainstream thinking in our society. But to quote Victor Hugo; "Nothing is stronger than an idea who's time has come".

Gert B.


In March 1997 seventeen NatureConnectors met at Friday Harbor, San Juan Island, Washington. Though some had met in person previously, I had met most of the people only by correspondence on-line in PNC courses. The attractions among us were instantaneous. Not only did we think beautifully, we were physically beautiful as well. The instantaneous connection we made was a memorable occasion I will never forget.

Kini Jane J.


Basically, I have changed from a victim to, not only a survivor, but to fullness. I don't know how to put this exactly. This fullness is a feeling of connectedness with all, which brings contentment.

Whereas before I was so unsure of who I was, I now feel a confidence in my being that I have been through psychotherapy for years trying to find.

Whereas before I was fearful of many, many things, but people more than anything else, in my life I now am able to feel a more solid, yet joyful pleasure in the community I find myself a part of. Not that I never fear anymore, but, I am able to hold fear rather than having it engulf me.

Whereas my marriage was unsteady, I now can deal with the differences between us with trust and love, and I find that my husband has been able to express himself in more insightful ways to this "new" partner I've become.

Whereas before I was a reclusive personality when not at work, I now am more interested in the world around me. I am more able to see the good that I thought was nonexistent.

Whereas before I had meager trust issues, I now seem to be more able to trust my attractions and repulsions as basic sense awareness. Leaving judgment of others and myself out of my decision-making process sure lightens the load.

This may sound too good to be true. I can hardly believe what has happened in my life in only a few short weeks. Not that I have become "that perfection" I have so exhaustingly striven for, because I have much more to learn and, even more, to apply, but my life style and living is just easier and more fun when I don't feel the pressures I once put on myself and everyone around me. Besides that, I am now more aware of my perfection in the flow of what is.

Judi M.


"The basic concept of helping people connect with nature within and around themselves is beyond monetary value. A conscious connection with all creation will change the world. PNC is one way to do that."

Linda and Jake K.


I think our society's disconnection is both in people's personal relationships and how they react to the environment is devastating. PNC acts as a tool to mend both. It is unique in that it addresses human psychology as a part of nature that needs mending. It has helped me release stress and I find that it teaches me much that helps me in my dealings with other people and understanding aspects of myself. It is very powerful work and I have seen it help people appreciate more. We can't do enough of this kind of work, it is is so badly needed. We need to teach it to people in all disciplines to effect social change through personal change.

Mira F.


"I find that I apply may of the things I have learned from Dr. Cohen's Reconnecting With Nature program on a daily basis with my wife, children, friends, associates, clients public and private organizations; not to mention how often I use what I have learned to maintain my own health.

It is a given among leading environmental educators, sociologists and anthropologists that many, if not most, of our personal, social and environmental problems are directly related to modern society's disconnection from nature. Virtually all agree that Reconnecting With Nature is fundamental, if not critical, to correcting the problems that seriously threaten our very survival.

Dr. Steve Van Metre and many other prominent environmental educators have eloquently pointed out that most environmental programs are not accomplishing what is needed because they lack the fundamental elements to achieve this critical objective. While other programs may recognize the need for man: to reconnect with nature, ' Dr. Cohen's program is the only one I have found in 10 years of searching that actually show you how. It is not something schools and universities should be thinking about offering...it should be an absolute requirement."

Bill B.


"I have always in my life had hope because I have never lost my natural connections. PNC has allowed me to refine the concepts, communicate them to others and commune with others who share my feelings.

My feelings that natural connections were the sustaining forces of all my life led me to leave a career as a practicing psychologist over 10 years ago and become a landscape contractor. This allows me the simple life freedom to work and live out of doors."

Jan G.


"Going outside and touching a tree or plant relieves anxiety. Touching the oak outside my house gives me an astonishing feeling of friendship. Being outside in a lovely spot (my back yard) helped me overcome along-seated caffeine addiction."

Elisabeth R.


"I was at a time in my personal and surreal life where I was totally stressed out, unhappy, depressed and basically "sick and tired of being sick and tired". Being involved in PNC and the exercises allowed me the opportunity to be out in nature and renew-new my interest in a good life. I became and remained calm, balanced and happy once more. I was able to deal with problematic situations much more effectively than previously. This was no small feat as I also was diagnosed as having moderately severe pulmonary emphysema at that time. I highly endorse and encourage everyone to learn these meaning of life techniques."

Sherri V.


"When I first found PNC I was suffering from a stress related disorder. It has been the motivation behind my finding peace. Everyday now I wake up and notice things in the world I had been blind to. I say good morning to the trees and bird.

I also find that I am much more responsible in the way that I use the earth. I am more focused on recycling, reusing and watching the way I walk on the earth. As a teacher I am motivated to use these life style principles in my teaching. My long term goal is to complete more course and eventually open an elementary school based primarily on the ideas of PNC.

Shannon W.


I used some PNC activities racing this summer and it truly helped me. I could see that as a great tool in Sport Psychology. ...It gives me emotional support to continue my own efforts in increasing people's awareness of the existing environmental crisis in our society. PNC has made me more aware of my self as a consumer and how I spend my leisure time.

"I was never motivated to continue graduate studies because I never liked the approach the programs had, (psychology & sociology) because it never took in consideration our severe alienation with the natural world."

"PNC has guts! It takes a stand and I do believe that is what our society needs...a wake up call...PNC truly gave me the courage to move ahead. I am a two time National Team Member (mountain biking & in-lining) and I am far than being a new-ager. I truly believe it is time to moved BEYOND the new age movement and support programs like PNC."

Dominique L.


"PNC is practical...you go out there and you connect with nature. So many of my clients feel uncomfortable connecting with nature which emphasizes the importance of programs like PNC. PNC is a tool that you can use anywhere...even when stuck in a shopping center."

"PNC gave me a way to verbalize and conceptualize something that I'd felt in Nature for some time. Unfortunately, given the "norms" of most of our society, I was afraid to share those experiences... thinking I must be absolutely crazy. Knowing that connecting with Nature was not only NOT crazy but actually BENEFICIAL changed my view of myself and the world around me."

Ruth K.


PNC had and continues to have an impact on my life. Although I did complete the course I have continued to pursue the concepts thru the independent training materials. I am now in the process of looking for a career in something that integrates the principles unity and sacredness of all life and living in a green/green mode. I don't feel qualified to teach anyone else but whenever the opportunity presents itself I try to promote PNC. I intend to continue to practice and live thses concepts to the best of my abiltiyfor the rest of my life.

Charles H.


"My experience with PNC was extremely valuable to me. The exercises and areas that we examined gave me an increased sense of our place in the natural world, as an integral part of it, rather than separate from it or dominant over it. My sense of the world as an intricately connected organism, in which the various aspects must all work together was strengthened and my desire to live accordingly as well. The power of the natural world to heal the individual was very well demonstrated by the exercises. On a more experiential level, they just made me feel wonderful, in a way that nothing else ever has. I believe that in our culture our life style traumatically separates us from nature in our early years, because of societal emphasis on individuality, the intellect and technology. The reconnection effected by the PNC experience heals that breach, brings our missing world back to us. "

Iris W.


Practicing PNC activities expands my perceptions allowing me to be more aware of my outer (nature) and inner (thoughts, feelings and senses) environments. This increased simple life awareness allows me to be more reasonable, creative and confident in conflict resolution.

Ernie D.

"PNC has proven valuable for reducing the stress that occurs during my working day. Since I discovered PNC, I go every day in Paris, at lunch time, in the woods , and connect with the natural elements. It gives sense to my everyday life and helps to clear my mind. The more I connect, the more I want to go further into involvement with nature. It's such an exciting goal and such and adventure. It's now a whole life project for me."

Alaine R.


"My class mate's online life quotes allowed a much greater awareness/appreciation/knowledge of the interactions between humans, the species, and the natural environment of which we humans are a member. It also helped me through healing as a part of professional therapy that I have been receiving."

Tommy L.


"By utilizing PNC techniques, I've been able to verbally express my emotions that I may not have been able to in the past. Theses techniques provide positive reinforcement and have provided insight to my inner being. when I use connecting with nature activities, I have a real sense of empowerment."

Teresa W.


The learnings I experienced while participating in this course resulted in an extremely significant improvement in my self-esteem and in my coping skills. My self-esteem continues to deepen and my practice of PNC skills continues to improve the quality of my life on a daily basis. During this course, I began to experience the meaning of the words "trustable and responsible relationships produce a good life."

The second course I completed in 1996-97 was Educating and Counseling With Nature, in which we used the book Reconnecting With Nature. During this course, I found my "self work" continued to be enhanced and supported. I also delved deeper into the subject of relationships, to myself, to other people, and to nature. I experienced many learnings which have made my relationship with nature (by that I mean all of planet earth - all creatures, all plant life, the mountains, prairies, and waters, the wind and sun and weather, all my life, etc.) strong, enjoyable and a constant source of support, inspiration, comfort and wisdom. I experienced my own ability to relate to people in a safe, trustable, responsible way. This occurred in the beginning within our e-mail course group, and extended into my inner nature so that I began to apply my skills in my relationship to myself, to my family, to my classmates and teachers, and to my co-workers in my workplace.

The title of my thesis is "Connecting With Nature As A Method For Counseling: A Participant Observation Study of Project NatureConnect" My research questions were: 1) What is the impact upon participants of these Project NatureConnect concepts and activities; 2) how does Cohen's definition of the human-nature relationship function in these activities and what impact does this have on participants, and 3) what can be learned about the relationship between this method of "connecting with nature" and counseling.

The results led to the following conclusions (briefly summarized here, delineated in the thesis itself): 1) participants reacted to the verbal explanations of the concepts and ideas, to sharing their experiences with the group, and to their experiences with the activities themselves.2) Cohen's definition of the human-nature relationship was an integral part of the information and activities presented and that it was largely responsible for the impact upon participants. This is discussed by pointing out how the results illustrate the process of "connecting with nature" and how the role that nature plays in this process is specific and essential. It was found that the role that language plays is also significant, and it is the interaction between the role of nature and the role of language in these particular activities that results in a experience of connection with nature. 3) A viable and significant relationship between "connecting with nature" and counseling was revealed in two ways. One, with respect to the subject of coping skills, activities designed to improve self-esteem and to release and manage feelings were presented and positive an potential effects upon the participants were noted. Second, "connecting with nature" activities demonstrated a means to bring deep issues of concern into participants' consciousness and offered a comfortable and supportive way for people to work toward resolution of their concerns.

I believe that it is absolutely essential to provide PNC learnings and skills to the teachers and students in the fields of education and of counseling. An essential way to accomplish this is to insert this program as part of all teacher and counselor education at the university level. I am working within the educational system to further this objective.

I also believe that PNC provides a unique and essential means for improving the quality of personal and surreal life for all life on our planet and that all ways of making it available to all ages of the general public are valuable. I am working in my life to further this objective."

Jane A.




PART FIVE: Results of other studies and educational programs

PART SIX: Results of education programs based on reconnecting with nature.



Special NGO consultant United Nations Economic and Social Council

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The Natural Systems Thinking Process

Dr. Michael J. Cohen, Director

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