An Easily Accessible Source
for Personal and Environmental Balance
A Lesson In Belonging
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
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
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 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.
Access to the Natural
Systems Thinking Process .
of beneficial outcomes from use of the process.
different sources that you may review or reprint..
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.
Share this website with a friend:
to top of page
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
- 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
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
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.
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.
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
now: courses, degrees, grants, recovery coaching
The Essence of the Nine-Leg
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.
now: courses, degrees, grants, recovery self-help
How does the Nine-Leg Balance
of Life Equation help you improve the quality of your life and
-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
-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
-Strengthen personal, environmental, coaching and government
-Produce cooperation and responsible professional opportunities
-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
Add important new self-improvement dimensions to counseling,
healing and citizenship relationships.
Act now: courses, degrees, grants, recovery
Open Articles and Letters
Nature's Grace: A Nine-Leg
Equation Provides an Answer to Hopes, Prayers and Dreams.
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
Charles Drew, Acton
now: courses, degrees, grants, recovery self-help
The Equation for Personal Growth and
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
now: courses, degrees, grants, recovery coaching
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
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?
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.
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
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
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
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.
now: courses, degrees, grants, recovery self-help ............................................................................