living in dynamic harmony with nature

Just published a blog on this topic for The Nature of Business, in preparation for an experiential workshop on ‘Daoism, mindfulness and connecting with nature through physical practice’ that I am running this weekend at Edge of The Wild annual UK gathering of ecopsychologists. A revised version of the blog will be included in Giles Hutchins forthcoming book.

In this piece I discuss how just as a muscle needs exercising, living in harmonious relationship with nature in contemporary industrial culture requires attending to. Harmony comes from following our own inner nature and tuning into the inner nature of things. It is an art, a discipline, to be practiced and cultivated, and in this way we can flourish and fulfil our potential, just as the acorn follows its inner nature to grow into an oak tree.

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With an emphasis on the dynamic nature of life and the yinyang principle of the interplay of opposites, I explain the philosophy underpinning my work in teaching practices to heighten awareness and sensory acuity, and to develop the skill of close observation of one’s inner and outer worlds. Through attending, we create connection with our selves and with others. These connections enable us to detect feedback signals alerting us to changes in dynamics, and it is through this feedback that we can self-regulate our actions creating order and balance for the wellbeing of ourselves and of other living things.

Included is a taster of practical exercises I teach and the key points they illustrate. I will elaborate on these in my section of Giles Hutchins’ book.

exercise demonstrating how softness is stronger than hardness

‘unbending arm’ exercise demonstrating how softness is stronger than hardness

I end the blog showing how paradox at the heart of Daoist thinking is also present in western traditions, as evidenced in many of our proverbs, and relate Daoist philosophy about not acting from ego-driven will to social psychology research on the relationship between pro-environmental behaviour and intrinsic and extrinsic values and goals.

You can read the blog here, I’d be very interested to know what you think.

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