Nature Mindfulness: Meditation Practice for Animal Activists, Rescue, and Care

Gay Bradshaw · February 24, 2021

Instructors

Gay Bradshaw has been studying mindfulness and meditation since 2002 after leaving a tenured job as a research mathematician to devote her work to Nature. Her founding of The Kerulos Center for Nonviolence non-profit was catalyzed by her discovery of Elephant Post-traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). Her work and the Center are dedicated to supporting humans on their paths to Nature consciousness and the reinstatement of Animal dignity and self-determination. Gay is the author of Pulitzer Prize-nominated Elephants on the Edge: What Animals Teach Us about Humanity, and Carnivore Minds: Who These Fearsome Beings Really Are (Yale, 2009; 2017) and Talking with Bears: Conversations with Charlie Russell (Rocky Mountain Books, 2020). Gay holds doctorates in ecology and psychology and cares for over fifty Faculty Residents at The Tortoise and the Hare Sanctuary and neighboring Wildlife with whom she practices in seshin.

Contact: bradshaw@kerulos.org

Lauren Bailey completed her bachelor’s degree in Animal Behavior at the University of Exeter, United Kingdom in 2018. Here, she describes her philosophy and path. “I was drawn to the Kerulos internship after becoming by disheartened by the academic scientific world that objectifies Animals and sees them purely from a behavioral viewpoint. During the internship and practicum at Boon Lott’s Elephant Sanctuary in Thailand (BLES), I learned to take the time to see beyond outer form and behavior and understand that all other Animals think and feel like us and are their own individual person.” Lauren has been a vegan since childhood. She has completed her Reiki Practitioner course and will be continuing to obtain Reiki Master certification while obtaining her primary school teaching certificate. Lauren is also the host and guide for the Kerulos podcast Series Being Sanctuary.

Contact: laurenkate_13@hotmail.com

Music

Siddhartha Corsus is a musician, producer and composer whose music spans between many different styles and genres with a strong world music influence. Siddhartha lives in rural Portugal at Monte Sahaja, a center for self-realisation based on the spiritual teachings of Mooji, a well-known contemporary spiritual Master. Alongside his daily responsibilities at the center, he finds great joy in creating this music which he hopes carries and transmits the qualities of peace, mindfulness, contemplation, and awakening which he is discovering in his spiritual pursuit.

Siddhartha’s music is available on most online music platforms, but gets the most support when his albums are purchased on Bandcamp.

Course Description

Nature Mindfulness introduces you to the foundations of mindfulness and meditation to provide you with tools and skills you need for engaging positively and healthfully in difficult situations and emotions. This is often the case in Animal-related settings, whether in direct contact with Animals (e.g., Animal suffering and death), or indirectly through interactions with humans (e.g., interpersonal and organizational tensions). We will show how practices of mindfulness and meditation can enhance your ability to self-care, develop deeper insights into the needs and experiences of Animals, and increase the efficacy of your work for the Earth.
These methods and ideas we are passing along to you are thousands of years old. They have lasted so long because they work. They work because they are based in truth and love. Nature Mindfulness differs from other meditation courses because it explicitly embeds mindfulness in Nature consciousness. Nature consciousness means shaping your thinking and actions to align with ethics of the wild. These principles give rise to Nature’s coherence, resilience, and beauty. Through mindfulness and meditation, we learn to adopt and mirror Nature’s qualities of lovingkindness, honesty, equanimity, and compassion.

Learning Objectives

In this course, you will learn the foundations of mindfulness and meditation and how to integrate them into your daily life. You will learn how to:
  • Develop fresh perspectives that reveal new, constructive pathways of understanding and response
  • Cultivate mindfulness meditation practices to help navigate difficult situations, strong emotions, and overwhelm
  • Obtain the tools you need to cultivate compassion for yourself and others
  • Work with the challenge of being human in a transspecies world
  • Bring greater clarity, authenticity, and deeper understanding to your relationships with Animals and humans.

Course Structure

The content of this self-paced, twelve-session course has been divided into six classes; each class is comprised of two sessions. Since Nature Mindfulness is recorded and online, you can take more time or re-visit sessions to process the material more fully. Classes build on prior material and practices and can be integrated as you progress through the course. The pace is up to you. 
In the first session of each class (Session I), you are provided with a recorded presentation, guided meditations, and readings and resources which center on a particular theme or topic. During the second session of each class (Session II), you are asked to engage with the material that has been presented by working with questions for reflections and journaling. This second session provides time and space to sit with the presented material, and, importantly, put this learning into practice. You are invited to connect with other learners on the Kerulos Learning Institute (KLI) platform in the Nature Mindfulness group and join the Kerulos Constellation Facebook group to meet, discuss, and share. You may also schedule a private mentoring session.

Course Topics

Class One: Introduction
We begin with reflections on the importance of mindfulness, and why grounding mindfulness and meditation in Nature is vital for a revolution in human consciousness to heal the planet.
Class Two: Animals and Mindfulness
This class explores mindfulness and how it relates to our relationships with Animals and each other.
Class Three: Becoming Whole
How do we reconcile the damaging ways our species lives with reuniting with Nature? The First step is to heal and anneal the pieces inside.
Class Four: Cultivating Patience
We discuss how a practice of patience provides you with a powerful way to deal with overwhelming stress, anger, resentment, and other destructive emotions.
Class Five: Compassion and Forgiveness 
We explore how committed practices of compassion and forgiveness, even in the face of atrocities, are steps toward ending the cycle of violence.
Class Six: Grounding Your Life in Mindfulness
This class brings together learning from previous sessions and talks about how to practically craft an everyday life based on the values and qualities which Animals embody.

About Instructor

Gay Bradshaw

Dr. Bradshaw holds doctorate degrees in ecology and psychology, and has published, taught, and lectured widely in these fields both in the U.S. and internationally. She is the author of Pulitzer Prize-nominated Elephants on the Edge: What Animals Teach Us about Humanity, published by Yale University Press, an in-depth psychological portrait of Elephants in captivity and in the wild. Dr. Bradshaw’s work focuses on trans-species psychology, the theory and methods for the study and care of Animal psychological well-being and multi-species cultures. Her research expertise includes the effects of violence on and trauma recovery Elephants, Grizzly Bears, Chimpanzees, and Parrots, and other species in captivity.

10 Courses

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Course Includes

  • 6 Lessons