With a dedication to the natural world, contemplative practice in nature, and conservation photography, Gary has begun to unite his passions through his work with Nature Meditations: The Art of Mindfulness. Gary is the lead teacher at Nature Meditations offering programs aimed at helping his students deepen their relationship with nature through meditation and photographic expression. He brings over 20 years of experience in the fields of informal learning, conservation messaging, program management, and mindfulness practice to his guidance for those who are dedicated to deepening their connection to themselves and the natural world.
Meet Gary Sharlow
While serving as a manager in the education division at the California Academy of Science in San Francisco, Gary created a number of successful programs focused on exploring people’s passion for the natural world. His conservation photography program was very popular and led to the launch of several successful programs including an annual international nature photography competition that is recognized as one of the most prestigious competitions of any genre anywhere in the world. This project also seeded a popular online magazine that features the work of these photographers and their subjects while also raising awareness of the research conducted by the Academy’s robust research division. He also piloted a community-based program that led to the creation of a robust citizen science program based on data collection through photography. This project led the Academy to purchase iNaturalist, a very popular photography-based citizen science app that provides research-quality data to scientists and governments around the world.
In addition to leading programs through Nature Meditations, Gary serves as the director of programs for Awake in the Wild where he is also part of a teaching sangha (community) dedicated to teaching people about nature-based mindfulness practices. He has worked as a professional photographer and taught photography since 2004. You can join him out on the trails to learn more about how you can combine your passion for mindfulness and photography to give voice to the natural world. Gary spends most of his time venturing around outside his home in northern New Mexico where he also serves as a manager at a deep forest meditation center grounded in Theravada Buddhism for part of the year.
AitW Teaching Sangha
In addition to the programs Gary leads at Nature Meditations, he is part of a very dedicated sangha of teachers who have all trained under the mentorship of Mark Coleman through his teacher training program at Awake in the Wild. Together they hold the Daily Meditation Sit that meets online every weekday morning at 7:30 AM (pacific time.) AitW teachers all care deeply about the earth, have a strong meditation practice, and feel called to share the power of contemplative practice in the outdoors with others. Learn more about this cohort of teachers below.