Nature as Teacher 

Meditations for inner awareness

The program, in brief:

We all came onto the planet alive, awake and connected to the splendor of the natural world. Unfortunately, over time, the pressures and conditioning of modern life dulls our senses and we “brush against the tree of forgetfulness” forgetting that inherent, inborn connection that we once knew. Finding time to connect with nature is an important aspect of self-care.

Furthermore, science correlates connecting to the natural world with positive psychological health and wellbeing (Mayer & Frantz, 2004).

This meditation draws from principles and practices from ecopsychology, mindfulness, ontology, Chinese 5-element theory, sensory awareness training, and nature-centered contemplative practices such as Shinrin-yoku (Japanese forest bathing). Here, you will be gently led through exercises intended to connect you more deeply to the profound wisdom of the natural world, deepening your sense of oneness with all of life.

These short (~12 minute) videos are part of the “Nature as Teacher” series created by The Center for Art, Design and Visual Culture at UMBC, in a partnership with us at Nature Sacred. It leverages imagery and inspiration from the nearby Joseph Beuys Sculpture Park — home of a unique and much-loved Sacred Place.

Over the course of this program, participants will experience:

  • Mindful breathing techniques to help you center and become present,
  • Mindful walking techniques to ground you on the earth,
  • Sensory awareness practices to connect you to nature,
  • Stillness and reflection exercises to increase your awareness and appreciation of your connectedness to the natural world.

About Jill

Jill Wardell, of Wardell Development Group, LLC is a mindfulness teacher and coach. Those from the UMBC community also know her as HR’s Director of Workplace Learning, Organizational Development, and Wellness.


About Lee Boot

Each mindfulness meditation video was filmed by Research Associate Professor, Director of UMBC’s Imaging Research Center @ircumbc and award-winning filmmaker Lee Boot.
Learn more about Lee’s work here.