of education based on reconnecting with nature.
In 1959, Dr.
Michael J. Cohen founded a program and school based on reconnecting
with nature. The National Audubon Society and many others called
it the most revolutionary school in America saying, 'It is on
the side of the angels.' School participants traveled and thrived
in 83 different natural habitats by keeping their commitments
to having open, honest relationships with the natural environment,
each other and with indigenous people(s), researchers, ecologists,
the Amish, organic farmers, anthropologists, folk musicians,
naturalists, shamans, administrators, historians and many others.
The health and wellness experience deeply reconnected their inner
nature to the whole of nature.
As a result of the participants'
romance with educating themselves this personal or self-planetary
transformation way, in the school community:
Chemical dependencies, including
alcohol and tobacco, disappeared as did destructive social relationships.
Personality and eating disorders
Violence, crime and prejudice
were unknown in the group.
Academics improved because
they were applicable, hands-on and fun.
Loneliness, hostility and depression
subsided. Group interactions allowed for stress release and management;
each day was fulfilling and relatively peaceful.
Students using meditation found
they no longer needed to use it. They had learned how to sustain
a nature-connected community that helped them improve their resiliency.
Participants knew each other
better than they knew their families or best friends.
Participants felt safe. They
risked expressing and acting from their deeper thoughts and feelings.
A profound sense of social and environmental responsibility guided
When vacation periods arrived,
neither staff nor student wanted to go home. Each person enjoyably
worked to build this supportive, balanced living and learning
utopia. They were home.
Students sought and entered
right livelihood professions upon graduation.
All this occurred simply because
every community member met their commitment to make sense of
their lives by establishing and sustaining health and wellness
sensory relationships that supported and helped restore the natural
world within and around them. Students and staff hunted, gathered
and practiced such relationships; they organized and preserved
group living processes that reawakened their natural wisdoms.
They learned how to let self or personal-planetary transformation
in nature regenerate responsible relationships when they decayed.
The secret to the group's success
was to learn how to learn directly from the natural world, the
living Earth within and about them. Through natural sensations
and feelings that arose through their newly grown sensory roots
in Earth, the global life community taught them how to trust
it, how to validate and incorporate its wisdom in their thinking.
From 30 years of all-season
travel and study in over 260 national parks, forests and subcultures,
Dr. Cohen developed a repeatable learning process and psychology
that unleashes our natural attraction to grow and survive responsibly.
By documenting that the self and planetary transformation process
works and can be taught, he earned his doctoral degree and the
school became a small graduate and underegraduate degree program
sponsored by a leading conservation organization and several
university degree programs.
From1985-92, Cohen translated
the school's operants into a publically available Natural Systems
Thinking Process (NSTP). Today, backyard or backcountry, people
gain health and wellness from its personal or self -planetary
transformation readings and activities at home, work or school
via the internet.
life experience results
may be found on these pages
Reports From 287 Participants
Field Study Reports
as well as quotes in Einstein's