The Art of Mindfulness

Exploring the Awe & Wonder of our inner and outer world

  • Earth

Mindfulness + Photography + Nature

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Nature Meditations

The Art of Mindfulness

As the lead teacher at Nature Meditations, I am exploring the intersection of art and mindfulness as a way to develop a deep connection and appreciation for the natural world. I have designed and led public programs about ecology, conservation, nature photography, and nature-based mindfulness practices for over 20 years with the National Park Service, California Academy of Sciences, and major meditation centers across the United States. In 2018, I decided to undertake further personal training with the intention of designing new experiences for people to connect deeply with nature through the combination of mindfulness and photography.  My underlying mission is to share these wonderful experiences that enhance one’s quality of life while helping people to develop their own understanding and appreciation for this intersection of experiences. Read on to see how I approach each of these components of my programs as well as to read about some of the past projects this set of interests has inspired.

~ Gary Sharlow

Nature-based Mindfulness

Nature-based mindfulness practice is unique in that you can attune to all of your senses with an open quality of awareness. This allows the meditator to connect more deeply with the inner workings of the mind while simultaneously developing a deeper sense of appreciation for the benefits of being quietly and contemplatively immersed in nature. Nature-based practice offers a unique opportunity to strengthen awareness of one’s present-moment experience without all the distractions of modern-day life. In this way, it is much easier to develop a sense of awe and wonder of life on Earth and a desire and inspiration for ways to live in greater harmony with the planet.


Conservation Photography

Conservation photography is all about the art of storytelling. This kind of nature photography is unique in that it is about giving voice to the natural world. We tell stories about the natural world for the natural world. For the conservation photographer, it is not about the process that leads up to making a photograph as much as it is about what happens after you click the shutter. It is what you do with these images that really matters. Through the art of storytelling, a conservation photographer has the opportunity to affect change that benefits the planet and all living beings that call Earth home.

Deepening Connection

“The best way to rekindle a lost love is not to talk about what went wrong — extinction, habitat loss, or resource scarcity. It’s to remember what we loved in the first place.” The social psychology research behind the Love-not-loss campaign on environmental communication from the IUCN supports a rationale for promoting a positive, rather than negating a negative, in messaging to change behaviors related to biodiversity. The research shows that we are most motivated by a sense of wonder, love, awe, and appreciation for nature. By deeply connecting with the things we love about nature, we develop a sincere devotion to protecting the natural world. ~From the IUCN

Programs and teachings at Nature Meditations are designed to deepen our connection to ourselves and to the natural world while helping to develop a means for communicating that understanding. Mindfulness practice in nature can lead to a deep connection to all of nature’s gifts while conservation photography provides a form of communication to share about this love and our experiences. Let nature guide the way.

Inspired by Awe and Wonder

Some examples of projects inspired by the Art of Mindfulness and the intersection of nature photography, environmental stewardship and a deep emotinal connection to the natural world. These projects share the common thread that they were designed to inspire others to connect with and care about people and the planet.

Featured Projects