Saturday, July 18, 2015


(left-right) Munir, Oxana, Gary, Aatiqa
Such a committed staff! Meet the mentors and leaders of Tutored by Nature. Where's Catherine? Tasnim is in Australia. Tutored by Nature Inc developed and led local outdoor excursions for Fallingbrook M.S. (gr. 7's, Spr- 2015) and Rick Hansen S.S. (gr.9's, Fall-2014). Focus activity? Blindfold saunters, logging experience (pencil/water-colour sketch and photography), Mandala, Talk Circle and Eco-stewardship locally on the Creditview  Wetland and Carolyn Creek riparian.

Sauntering Carolyn Creek - impacting Aesthetic Sensibilities
Sauntering Carolyn Creek - paying attention with all senses. The Fallingbrook gr. 7 students could sense both the beauty and ugly of their community's subwatershed.

Their logbooks and circle talk communicated a great concern and awareness of local human impact on the ecology here - their home and habitat.

Connections with the Cardinals, Brown Cowbirds, Red-winged Blackbirds, various butterflies, snakes, mammals and that family of Mallards impacted the participants sense of awe, wonder and aesthetic sensibility.

The water course itself was devoid of fish, crayfish, benthics, etc. Wonder if it has anything to do with the concrete slabs? Just how unhealthy - how polluted is this water-course?

Creating an image of Mandala while sauntering the Wetland
Fallingbrook student creates a visual image - a water-colour sketch to communicate their chosen Mandala in Nature.

What is Mandala? The word Mandala is ancient Sanskrit for 'circle'. Another translation for Mandala is simply 'Community'.

It has been practiced for thousands of years by cultures such as the aboriginal people of North America (e.g., Anishenaabek people), Hinduism, Buddhists - the Tibetan Monks.

Mandala is always based on Circle and is understood as 'revelation of the cosmos'. It's not 'art as object' - rather, art as process. Medicine Wheel and dream catchers are also forms of Native American Mandala.

Mandala is highly valued as 'sacred practice' - symbolic representation of the universe. This is not told to the participants.Tutored by Nature staff and teachers who participate try to follow Rachel Carson's advice - to see Nature through the 'child's eyes' and leave teaching back in the classroom. Mandala is an experietial that helps the participant to focus on local Nature relationship, be awed, have fun and usually facilitates sensing Her unity. We shared Mandala experience in 'Talk Circle'.

Creating the water-colour or photo is representative of the eco-connection process as is the Buddhist and Aboriginal coloured sand drawings. Mandala is understood by Tibetan monks as a revelation of the cosmos and is highly valued as sacred practice -a symbolic representation of the universe 

This participant's Mandala experience was in the North Cultural Meadow - one of the nine ecosites that make up the Creditview Wetland - a cultural swamp ecosystem. What is the relationship between sauntering local 'urban wilderness'  and 'Eco-Aesthetic knowledge'?

Stewarding the North Cultural Meadow
Paying Attention (Sketch, Paint, Shoot)
* How can a child - an adolescent access Nature's tutorials?

* What does it mean to Saunter Nature?

* Where does Nature actually hold her Tutorials?

* How does viewing the Ecosystem as a communication - information system benefit our ecological understanding of Her?

* What is the role of a teacher-a parent when taking children into Nature?

* How do we expect our children to accept and know their relationship with Nature ecologically, if they learn about Her indoors? Sauntering Nature requires paying attention to Her with all of the senses.


No comments:

Post a Comment

Note: Only a member of this blog may post a comment.