Deep Nature Journey – Connecting with Nature

Deep Nature Journey CU BoulderDeep Nature Journey

Yesterday I had the privilege of taking my Environmental Studies students from the University of Colorado,‪ Boulder‬ on a nature solo with Bud Wilson, the Founder of Deep Nature Journeys. The students are members of the Sustainability and Social Innovation Residential Academic Program at ‪‎CUBoulder‬.

Throughout the course of the semester, students have spent their time and energy focused on the environmental science behind evolution, climate change, biodiversity loss, biogeochemical cycles, and a range of other topics. The nature expedition and solo was designed to complement their understanding of science with an experience based activity that followed their readings on environmental ethics and values.

The goal, following Earth Day, was to provide opportunities for students to spend time alone in nature with nothing but themselves and the natural world to reflect upon his/her place in it and their relationship with self and others, while emphasizing the discovery of our primordial connection to nature.

As a part of the process, students were required to leave their virtual reality behind, including technologies, such as mobile phones, computers, watches, etc. so as to engage the true nature of reality in a thoughtful and unobstructed way.

Students were introduced to mindfulness-based practices, processes of self-inquiry, deep listening and awareness training in the wild before being sent to their solo site. They were engaged in experiential—nature sensing—activities, with the goal of activating and exploring the nine perceptual fields of awareness.

For me, it was a joy to see students begin the process of cutting through obscurations of perception, while being trained in basic meditation techniques, instruction in Qi Gong energy cultivation and Gaia Flow*, a unique style of body movement that incorporates the principles of Tai Chi. I had an incredible experience, and I’m truly grateful to have been able to work with Bud Wilson and engage America’s future in learning more about what’s real and what isn’t in relation to the grand materialist delusion we know as modernity.

You can learn more about Deep Nature Journeys and the work of Bud Wilson here: http://deepnaturejourneys.com/

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Matthew King

I have over 15 years of experience leading projects, R&D, and strategy in the fields of environment and sustainable development. I’ve worked for government, academia, non-profits, and the private sector. I consult and advise leaders worldwide. I’ve been to every Continent on Earth with the exception of Antarctica, completed learning expeditions to over 30 countries, lived in five, and studied and conducted extensive research in four - completing my PhD at the University of Cambridge (UK). I’ve searched relentlessly for my place in the world through travel, philosophy, spirituality, and literature, but I found it inside. I spent the first five years of my life living in a girl’s home administered by my father in north Tulsa, Oklahoma, eventually moving to the west side of town; the setting of S.E. Hinton’s book, “The Outsiders.” Truth is, I’ve always been as much an Outsider, as a pragmatist. I've met death as cancer ravaged my body, and I’m still alive. I’ve traveled the Atlantic, Pacific, and Indian Oceans. I’ve dived the largest barrier reef systems and I’ve spent time on many seas: Celtic, Mediterranean, Caribbean, Aegean, Adriatic, Sargasso, North, Andaman, Bering, and the Coral Sea. I’ve hiked major mountain ranges: the Rockies, the Alps, Andes, Great Dividing Range, Appalachian and the Cascades. I speak English, Spanish, and some French. I act on stage, paint, photograph, draw, and I’ve produced and directed film. I’ve volunteered with dozens of organizations, committing thousands of hours for the benefit of people and the planet. I practice yoga and meditation. I’ve published academic and popular literature, given talks around the world. The burning question I’m trying to answer: “How can humanity overcome its evolutionary limitations as a species to address long-term global challenges?" My biggest journey, thus far, has been my current one, from head to heart, and I’m still on that journey.