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An Easily Accessible Source for Personal and Environmental Balance

 

A Lesson In Belonging

Michael J. Cohen

Indigenous Elders and healers are deeply rooted in their spiritual ways and tribal protocol. For this reason, a conflicting mixture of trepidation and honor filled me when I accepted an invitation to participate in the Belonging to Mother Earth Indigenous People's Conference in Virginia Beach, VA, October, 1998.

The purpose for this gathering of nature connected spiritual people from remote parts of the world was to help them teach their wisdom and healing powers to the 600 members of the public in attendance. My role was to show them and the attendees how to use the Natural Systems Thinking Process as a means to close the destructive gap that exists between people of different cultures and that separates modern humanity from nature, too.

Although most people acknowledge that we are psychologically bonded to a way of thinking that produces the noxious personal and environmental effects of our schisms, few have the motivation to risk their emotional safety to produce greater interspecies and intercultural connectedness. My goal was to introduce an Earth connected interaction process that dependably, without pain, reconnected communities, as of old. This proved to be highly successful for those who were open to the process. However, it was my expertise as a traditional musician that identified where we have to go and how we may get there.

Many of the attending shamans and medicine people use music as part of their rituals. Their music and dance were performed, intact, as evening programs throughout the week. As did the others, I, too, volunteered my services as a veteran Anglo American folk song artist. They turned me down, "I was not an indigenous person," they said. Many members of the gathering disagreed with this decision and urged me to make efforts to correct it. "If we are here to heal the Earth in a good way, we must accept contributions from all members of the Earth community, including citizens of Western Society." they argued. With this rationale, I made further efforts to be included in the program. Finally its producer, a member of the Sioux Nation, somehow included me by the third evening of the five-day conference.

The challenge for the world, the conference and every citizen of Earth became obvious in the evenings that followed. The performers had their special time needs to properly present their sacred art, yet they also knew time was limited and other participants needed to be accommodated. A discomforting form of chaos followed. While performers would be on stage explaining to the audience the time pressure, and preaching how their heart-felt Earth rituals produced trust and unity, they necessarily ran well over their allotted time on-stage thereby eliminating the participation of others and causing mistrust, irritation and dissunity. The producer pleaded helplessness, it would be unconscionable for him to interrupt anybody's sacred presentation. He held a meeting of all the performers the following day. They pledged to each other and him to present their programs within a time frame they consented to. Within eight hours they again broke their pledges by surpassing their consensual time allotments in order to meet the spiritual parameters of their performance. The trust and unity they were dedicated to building became a sham, yet the delighted audience was never aware of the situation.

On the final evening, the producer solved the problem by prohibiting ceremonial performances. Instead, he requested that music only be presented in celebration of this moment: of the conference and its amazing participants. He personally orchestrated the evening and performers, minute by minute, nobody was left out, all belonged. A special spirit of elation bound together by music and dance came into being and we created a unifying occasion of extraordinary proportions. The drums beat together from the Congo, rain forests and Siberia for most of the night.

The producer had become a catalyst that helped this unifying spiritual moment occur. He acted out the same role that is played by the Natural Systems Thinking Process when it is used in our daily lives. The Process introduces Earth's web of life, the interconnected animal, plant and mineral kingdom, into our consciousness and immediate relationships. Like the producer, and as throughout the eons, the web embraces all. It becomes the story to heed for living in the moment. This orchestrates individual and global unity without producing garbage, nothing is left out. When engaged in the process, everything senses it belongs.

 

FURTHER INFORMATION:

Access to the Natural Systems Thinking Process .

A survey of beneficial outcomes from use of the process.

Articles from different sources that you may review or reprint..


A Free Online Course that is accredited and transferable for academic or professional purposes. A short version of this course is also available

Training or Degree Programs on line Self-help or professional programs with financial assistance.

An application used for all programs.

 

 

 
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INSTITUTE OF GLOBAL EDUCATION

Special NGO consultant United Nations Economic and Social Council


PROJECT NATURECONNECT
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


ORGANIC ADVANCED ECOPSYCHOLOGY IN ACTION
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 the environment 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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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.

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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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 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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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

 

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.

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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.

Act now: courses, degrees, grants, recovery self-help ............................................................................