Mindfulness and Nature Education Summit 2020

Speakers Info

Dr. Helen Maffini •  https://www.facebook.com/groups/mindBE/



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Helen is the Director of MindBE Education and the creator of the MindBE Curriculum and the Thriving Kids Program, She is the host of the 2018 Preschool Mindfulness Summit and Co-Author of Developing Children´s Emotional Intelligence and Sammy´s Next Move.

Books: Developing Children’s Emotional Intelligence (Bloomsbury Education)

Sammy’s Next Move: Sammy the snail is a travelling snail who lives in different countries

Hazel Farrerwww.hazeltreecoaching.comhttps://www.mindful-natureconnection.com/

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Join me for a 9-week online mindful nature connection course for parents and teachers at https://mindful-natureconnection.com There’s a special discount if you have attended this summit. For all other information contact me at  hazel@mindful-natureconnection.com

Hazel Farrer is a co-host of the 2020 Mindfulness and Nature Education Summit. She is a soft skills trainer, life coach, wellness practitioner, and mindfulness teacher and specializes in nature-based mindfulness. She worked in the UK in parks,  events management, and community recreation development, specialized in children’s play development, and was a presenter on regional TV and radio.
She moved into the holistic health field and ran a coaching and wellness company in South Africa, training and presenting soft skills in corporate organizations, conferences, and schools incorporating mindfulness and nature-based retreats. She lives in Portugal, is completing her masters in Mindfulness-based approaches, leads mindfulness walks in Europe, runs nature-based mindfulness courses, and coordinates mindfulness in International schools.

Professor Thakur S Powdyel • https://hodactuc.wordpress.com/2018/05/07/conversation-with-thakur-singh-powdyel-author-of-my-green-school/

Professor Thakur S Powdyel is Bhutan’s former Minister of Education, and an educator by choice, conviction, and passion. As the country’s first democratically elected education minister, he led Bhutan towards fulfilling the Millenium Developmental Goals and the country’s constitutional mandate for education. His major interests include Gross National Happiness in education, moral literacy, institutional integrity, and national self-respect. He is the author of Right of Vision and My Green School, where he expresses his vision of holistic education. He is a recipient of several international awards for his work in the Noble Sector as well as the Coronation Gold Medal 2008 and the Institutional Award: The Honour of Druk Thuksey 2012.

Free Learning Resources: My Green School, The Post, Revolution 0 

Session Title: Green Schools: The Story of Bhutan

Book: Right of Vision  My Green School

Nicole Albrecht • https://rmit.academia.edu/NicoleAlbrecht 


Nicole (Nikki) teaches a range of wellness subjects at RMIT University in Victoria and Flinders University, South Australia in the Master of Wellbeing and Positive Mental Health Program.

Session Title: Mindfulness and Nature- What the Research shows?

Ian Banyard • https://www.ianbanyard.comhttps://www.natureconnection.world

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Ian Banyard is a Nature Connection Guide, Guide Trainer, and author of Natural Mindfulness – your personal guide to the healing power of nature connection. He is part of a global movement of Forest Friends that includes scientists, authors, medical practitioners, and Nature practitioners who all share a passion for reconnecting humanity to nature and their true nature. Ian has been guiding natural mindfulness walks since 2014 and has trained over 200 guides in 22 countries. Ian believes that when we connect, we care and what we care about we nurture. He lives in the Cotswolds a beautiful part of the English countryside.

What we will learn in this presentation or interview
Developing connectedness with nature has a profound impact on restoring and repairing our over-stimulated mind and body. Scientific research is now proving what many of us have instinctively felt and intuitively known, that investing mindful time in nature heals our body, mind, and spirit. In this interview, Ian Banyard will share some of the new science supporting Mindfulness and nature connectedness and show how easy it is to integrate Natural Mindfulness practice in your own life for better health & wellbeing. Ian will also share why he feels it’s crucial we encourage future generations to develop a deeper more mindful connection with nature.

Session Title: Natural Mindfulness & the Healing Power of Nature Connectedness

Free Learning Resources: Natural Mindfulness Free Introductory Video Course

Book: Natural Mindfulness – your personal guide to the healing power of Nature Connection

Kathy Ward • www.mindfulacademyint.com

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Kathy Ward is a senior International MBSR, MBCT, and MBA Trainer, Supervisor, and Teacher. Kathy also develops and delivers corporate mindfulness training programs, and gives keynote talks on mindfulness and workplace safety.

What we will learn in this presentation or interview 
All around the world, we are living in uncertain times with brains hardwired over millions of years to react in about 14 milliseconds to anything it perceives as a harmful – real or imagined, and to keep searching for solutions, even when it is something we cannot change. You may have noticed your own mind going around and around, it can often drive us crazy! This is a great evolutionary strategy for real danger, not so great in the absence of a real threat. Why? Because it limits our capacity to fully live our lives and notice moments of joy and happiness, changes or cessation in pain and suffering. Things that are always there, but due to our survival instincts often called the negativity bias, we often don't see them.
The good news is that we can train our brains in the same way as we train our muscles and
even better, & what we practice gets stronger. 
In this talk, we will discover the key to living in the present moment, rather than in a sort of virtual reality in our minds, is our senses. We can learn to drop into the sights, sounds, and smells around us. To feel our feet on the floor, the air moving in and out of our lungs. And if we can practice this in nature, it is the tonic our over-stimulated brains are craving.

Session Title: Mindfulness and Kindness – The Keys to Increasing Happiness

Free Learning Resources: TED talk –  Mindfulness and Kindness


Sarah Hewitt • 

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I was born and raised in Zimbabwe and discovered my passion for horses at the age of 4, despite having no immediate exposure to them. I started riding at 5 and nearly 5 decades later, I’m never far from a horse. I was introduced to Equine therapy about 14 years ago and after completing a course on equine psychotherapy, I explored the numerous benefits for humans of interacting with horses. Together with life coaches and therapists, we developed programs focussing on communication, leadership, neuroscience, etc for groups, families, and individuals. During the past 5 years, I have worked specifically with special needs individuals including medically diagnosed anxiety, ASD, eating disorders, chronic fatigue, suspected Lyme disease, etc. Most of the clients began their equine interaction around the age of 9 or 10 and are still passionate about horses and riding despite being in their mid-teens. It has been the most fascinating and rewarding experience witnessing their remarkable transformation.
What we will learn in this presentation or interview 
To quote Winston-Churchill, “there is something about the outside of a horse that is good for the
inside of man” and in the case of special needs individuals, I believe there is something about the
inside and the outside of a horse that is most beneficial for special needs individuals on all levels.
Horses are highly intuitive, perceptive, and responsive, fright-and-flight animals. Their finely-tuned
awareness enables them to quickly assess our body language and non-verbal expression, and
respond accordingly. Interaction with horses has proved very successful from hippotherapy for
physically challenged individuals through to occupational and psychotherapy for ADD, ADHD, ASD,
anxiety, eating disorders, addiction, abuse, low self-esteem, setting boundaries and so much more.
Why Horses:
In the herd environment, horses have a strong social hierarchy, very similar to that of humans. They
are specialists in the field of non-verbal communication as their body language clearly displays their
intentions, be it in their eye contact, body positioning, leg or ear movements. Horses by their very
nature are gregarious creatures and would rather be with their peers than alone. When ousted, they
seek immediate acceptance by displaying non-verbal signs of submission. Similar to humans, they
have their personalities and attitudes. They will challenge, try to dominate, submit, or withdraw. Often
one approach will work for one horse and yet not for another. Some horses are very playful, while
others have a quieter disposition.

Benefits of Equi-Talk Sessions:
Interacting with horses has numerous physical, emotional, and mental benefits including:
● Boost balance, body awareness, muscle strength, coordination, sequencing, joint mobility,
increase trunk strength and postural control which builds overall postural strength and

● The gait of a horse provides sensory, vestibular, proprioceptive, visual, and tactile input
(rhythmic, variable and repetitive) which promotes sensory regulation.
● Enhancement of social and interpersonal skills including setting healthy boundaries,
managing bullying etc.
● An emotional bond is created with the horse where the child wants to touch and hug the
horse. This can reduce tactile defensiveness and enhances self-regulation as horses
respond acutely to body language and energy
● Safety around horses promotes awareness, attention, concentration, and focus.
● Participants observe and understand the language of animals without judgment or labeling.
They feel safer and less threatened as the horse reflects their body language and they can
use this response to assess their own feelings, energy, etc.
Further benefits include the following:
● Horses are very aware of their immediate surroundings and the activities going on around
them. They live in the present moment and respond accordingly. Humans tend to think back
and relive memories or moments or they look into the future and are concerned with what
could be. Through interacting with horses, participants learn the importance of remaining
aware and in the present moment.
● Horses represent power and strength yet gentleness and kindness. They quickly assess
human energy and are incredibly compassionate when they sense distress, hurt, or sadness.
They demonstrate their concern by standing close, nuzzling, or simply being present. They
respond quite differently if they sense anger, aggression, or heightened energy and often
walk away until they feel safe.
● Most people are taught to fear horses and are fearful when they first interact with the horse.
Equi-Talk sessions teach participants to observe and understand horse behavior and
non-verbal communication. This greatly assists participants to overcome their fear while
remaining respectful and trusting.
● Repeated interaction with horses and sometimes with one particular horse that the
the participant feels connected to, provides a powerful platform to reinforce many soft skills
including set personal boundaries, enhance self-confidence, build trust, earn respect,
communicate effectively, the importance of honesty, etc.
● As horses are fright and flight animals, they will respond to a situation where they feel unsafe
and respond accordingly. Once they feel safe again, they put their heads down and go back
to grazing. Humans tend to ‘hold on’ and find it quite challenging to let things go. Observing
and interacting with horses can greatly assist with “going back to grazing”.

Session Title: Equine Interaction & Individuals with Special Needs

Daisy Maewww.ceratoniagardens.com


Free Learning Resources: BlogYouTube 

Session Title: Discussing the Importance of Connecting with the Plants and Trees that Grow Around Us

My life has always been about understanding the Wisdom of the natural world and our connection within it. I qualified as a medical herbalist in 2004 and have been working as a full-time clinician and facilitator of learning ever since. I am the founder of Ceratonia Gardens which is a center for healing and education in the Algarve, Portugal. I am a gardener, meditator, and am passionate about the Spirit of Plants and Trees.
In this interview, we will learn about what is an herb and why it is important to connect with the plants and trees. I will discuss ways in which we can connect and learn more about them: such as Heart connection, the Green breath, a discussion on five favorite herbs for children’s health and wellbeing, and working with all our senses when having a cup of herbal tea! Learning these techniques will help you to explore and enrich your relationship with Nature and learn more about plant wisdom.

Company: Ceratonia Gardens


Catherine Brannanhttp://www.yesyourentireself.com/


Session Title: Your Unique Nature and Mother Nature

Cath is a Mindfulness and Meditation Teacher, Nature Connection Facilitator, and Life Transformation Coach. Working worldwide for many years, she returned to the UK gaining experience in the Private, Public, Charity Sectors and Fostering as well as studying at University in Glasgow. Cath merged her life experience and academic studies for the benefit of others, setting up YES Your Entire Self; Bespoke Self Empowerment and Self Discovery Retreats. Cath’s other passion is Taoism. During COVID, my personal situation has changed, allowing greater freedom to travel so I'm viewing that as a positive.

What we will learn in this presentation or interview
Nature takes care of itself without interference; once we stop interfering with our own nature and that of others, we grow organically. Mindfulness helps us to understand and let go of that which we can’t control. Mindfulness and nature together can demonstrate the strength in flowing with the constant of change.

Once we stop seeking an external solution to an internal problem, our increased awareness highlights that our own ability to resolve our problems lies within. Nature supports us to deepen our connection with ourselves at a conscious level.
 Learn why Mindfulness and Nature Connection go hand in hand, complementing each other with theory and reality.
 Seek the evidence all around that we are not apart from nature but a part of nature.
 Learn easy ways to bring nature into your daily life, merging it with mindful daily living.

Free Resources: One poem about nature connection. One poem about authenticity. Nature Mindfulness Practice.


Cathy Daly • https://www.play-therapy.ie

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Free Learning Resources: Resources for the summit 

Cathy Daly a Non-Directive Play Therapist and Children’s Creative mindfulness teacher, facilitator of
Circle of Security program, trained in Filial Therapy and Nature Based Play Therapy. Cathy lives in
Ireland with her husband and three girls. During this period of motherhood, she reignited her passion
for the world of the woodland. She facilitates Nature-Based Parent/Child Mindfulness workshops
with an added focus on nature connection and parent-child connection.

What we will learn in this presentation or interview 
The participant will learn nature-based ways to support creative awareness practices and gratitude
1.How to adapt the Mind Jar (moving from glitter to using materials that are nature-based to
support our connection to the environment)
2.Why stories are useful to use for children and Cathy will share her top favorite stories
3.What way to engage senses in the here and now in nature
4.What nature-based gratitude practices Cathy uses in the woodland

Session Title: Nature-Based Mindful Experiences Westmeath



Julia Plevin • www.juliaplevin.comwww.forestbathing.club 

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As the author of The Healing Magic of Forest Bathing (Ten Speed Press, 2019) and the founder of the Forest Bathing Club, Julia Plevin is an expert and thought leader when it comes to forest bathing and connecting to Nature as a way to heal. She is also a strategist and designer with a BA in History from Dartmouth College and an MFA in Products of Design from The School of Visual Arts. She lives in the Cascade Siskiyou National Monument in Southern Oregon, traditional land of the Shasta people.

What we will learn in this presentation or interview 
How to forest bathe, why everyone is talking about forest bathing, and what is missing from the current conversation.

Session Title: Forest Bathing is Just the Beginning

Book: The Healing Magic of Forest Bathing


Dee DiGioia • MindfulKindfulYOUniversity.com

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Dee DiGioia (NOTE: pronounced di JOY uh) is a Mindfulness, Movement, and Life Skills Coach. After working with youth for over 35 years (including special education and as a preschool director), Dee founded “Mindful Kindful YOUniversity” (NOTE: pronounced University) which offers trauma-informed mindfulness programs to support mental health and well-being through in schools and community classes in San Luis Obispo County, CA. In response to the pandemic, Dee recently launched an online membership program called “Mindful Explorers” to make this learning accessible to kids and their grown-ups anywhere. This unique self-paced program offers nature-based mindfulness and social-emotional learning lessons to help children understand their own true nature by bridging the natural benefits of being in nature with the practices of mindfulness and connecting to life's metaphors, mysteries, and magic on a journey of self-discovery.

What we will learn in this presentation or interview

Too often we miss the signs and symptoms of our children being “ungrounded” and the consequences can impact them emotionally, socially, and academically. Sometimes it could lead to those familiar words from parents “You’re grounded!” What if there was a better way? There is! Explore what being “Ungrounded” and being “grounded” looks like. When we know what the problem is then we can look at solutions. I’ll show you how I bridge the natural benefits of being in nature with the practices of nature-based mindfulness with fun and accessible grounding activities to learn about your inner and outer resources to promote emotional regulation, balance, mental alertness, confidence, connectedness, and resilience! William Wadsworth says, “Let Nature be your teacher!” Let’s plug in! Let’s get grounded!

Company: Mindful Kindful YOUniversity

Free Resources: Live Open House Tour + Playshop: October 10, 2020 Sign up, Recording of guided meditation for kids and their grown-ups: Look ~ Listen ~ Feel, Grounding Rocks Activity Sheet

Session Title: Plugging Into Nature ~ Why Grounding our Kids is a Good Thing!

Elizabeth Jenkins • https://www.elizabethbjenkins.com/

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Spiritual teacher of the Inka Nature Wisdom Tradition and international bestselling author, Elizabeth B. Jenkins, MA, MFT, is an American writer of popular spiritual books.  She is a licensed psychotherapist, cultural investigator, and organic farmer.

Free Resources: Guided Meditations

Session Title:  Connecting With Nature Wisdom- Mindfulness Lessons From the Inkan Tradition


Crystal Jensen • www.mindfulexpressions.net


Free Learning Resources: Mindful Play Activity Map

Session Title:  Integrate Mindful Practices Into Your Day, Turn the Crazy to Calm and Reduce Caregiver Burnout

Mindful Expressions – Mindfulness and Nature focused Preschool.
Crystal Jensen is widely known for her sing-along songs and random dance moments with a large heart that creates space for every person she meets. She is not only a busy mother of three but a passionate Early Childhood Educator eager to make an impact in the world – one experience at a time. Through her program at Mindful Expressions Inc, Crystal guides children through learning to connect with their mind-body promoting a positive foundation for the future.

By focusing on learning through play, teaching mindfulness, meditation, self-regulation, and self-love activation to children, parents, and caregivers; Crystal provides a cohesive and supportive space to foster growth in all areas of a family’s life, starting with the children.
What we will learn in this presentation or interview
A natural, engaging story-teller, Crystal shares with us her personal story of educator burnout and the holistic changes she implemented in her childcare centre. You will learn how fostering an environment encompassed on Mindfulness & Nature not only benefited the atmosphere at her childcare centre, but life as a whole. Crystal will leave you with a fresh, new outlook on shifting the mindset and how beneficial regulating while educating can be!

Company: Mindful Expressions Inc


Mark Coleman • www.markcoleman.org


Mark is an inner and outer explorer, who has devotedly studied mindfulness meditation practices for three decades. He is passionate about sharing the power of meditation and has taught mindfulness workshops and meditation retreats in six continents for the past twenty years.  Mark is a senior meditation teacher at Spirit Rock Meditation Center and has taught there since 2000. Mark holds a MA in Clinical Psychology and draws on his extensive experience in working with people as a therapist and coach.

Through the Mindfulness Training Institute Mark leads Professional Mindfulness Teacher Trainings in the US and UK annually.  Mark likes to share the fruits of meditation to wider audiences and founded The Mindfulness Institute, where he has brought mindfulness training programs to companies and the nonprofit sector across North America and Europe. Mark is a trainer for  the Search Inside Yourself Leadership Institute, developed at Google and teaches on their teacher trainings.

Mark is an unabashed nature lover and, through his organization Awake in the Wild, he shares his passion for integrating meditation and nature. He leads wilderness meditation retreats from Alaska to Peru, taking people on inner and outdoor adventures. Through Awake in the Wild, Mark also leads year-long meditation-in-nature teacher trainings in the US.

Mark is the author of From Suffering to Peace: The True Promise of Mindfulness, Make Peace with Your Mind: How Mindfulness and Compassion Can Help Free You from the Inner Critic and Awake in the Wild: Mindfulness in Nature as a Path of Self-Discovery. 

Session Title: Awake in the Wild

Cheryl Fisher, Ph.D. NCC LCPC ACS • https://www.cfisherandassociates.com/

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Director of the Online Master’s in Clinical Counseling program
Alliant International University

Dr. Cheryl Fisher is a certified trauma specialist with over 20 years of clinical experience and has
deployed locally and nationally with the American Red Cross Disaster Mental Health Team and
Maryland Responds Medical Corp. Her research interests include the role of spirituality in overall well
being, and the therapeutic benefits of engaging in nature.  She is an international speaker, columnist
for Counseling Today Online and author of Mindfulness and Nature-Based Therapeutic Techniques for

Children are wired to take in a variety of stimuli through their sensory systems. Restriction of experiences leads to undeveloped systems, resulting in a chronic state of sensory overload, causing fidgety, restless, aggressive behavior, and tactile intolerance. Being in nature helps children return to a state of sensory integration and organization through a plethora of sensory-rich opportunities.
Join Dr. Fisher as she examines Nature-Based tools that promote sensory integration and calm and alert children.

What we will learn in this presentation or interview

1. Describe the role of vestibular and kinesthetic development in behavioral and mental health.
2. Identify 3 behaviors associated with sensory disintegration and disorganization.
3. Identify three manifestations of Sensory Processing Disorder.
4. Describe three Nature-Based activities that promote sensory integration.
5. Apply Nature-Based Sensory activities to a case study.

Session Title: Unplugged: Nature-Based Interventions for ADHD and Sensory Processing Disorder

Book: Mindfulness and Nature-Based Therapeutic Techniques for Children


Nitin Das • https://healingforest.org/

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I am a forest filmmaker, creating stories and films from enchanting places. I run a project called Healing Forest that uses, films, articles, and stories to bring people and forests closer to each other.

What we will learn in this presentation or interview 
Forest play is a set of creative exercises and mindfulness-based games to reconnect with nature and with yourself. The ideas have been carefully selected to suit all age-groups. It is a wonderful way to bring people of different ages together and experience the healing effects of nature.

Free Learning Resources: Forest Games for Calm, Creativity, Clarity

Session Title: Forest Games, Mindful Play in Nature


Paddy Jansen • https://www.globeducate.com

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Paddy Jansen
Chief Operating Officer & Chief Marketing Officer at Globeducate
Paddy joined Globeducate as the Chief Operating and Marketing Officer in 2018. With 15 years’ experience in the education industry, Paddy has held many strategic leadership positions. Prior to joining Globeducate, he led sales, growth, and development for Laureate International Universities, a private university group with operations in more than 30 countries and 1 million students, and had postings in Italy, Switzerland, and the USA. Paddy is fluent in five languages and is passionate about Globeducate´s vision to prepare students to be global citizens who can shape the world.
About Globeducate:
Globeducate is a network of more than 50 premium international schools and online programmes educating more than 25,000 students in nine countries and on three continents. Our mission is to prepare each student to become a global citizen who can shape the world.  At Globeducate, we believe that our students will only succeed in the world of tomorrow if they are prepared for the challenges they will face. In addition to providing an excellent education, we ensure that our students build character, learn skills, and develop abilities beyond the purely academic. Our students have a voice, and we give them the power to act and help build a more equal, fair, and sustainable world.

Global network with more than 50 premium schools and online programmes educating over 25,000 students. We prepare each student to become a global citizen who can shape the world.
World Wildlife Fund (WWF)
Connecting educators and parents with the tools and resources they need to help kids explore and understand the world around them. Together we can inspire the next generation to build a future where people and nature thrive!
Eco-Schools is the largest global sustainable schools programme – it starts in the classroom and expands to the community by engaging the next generation in action-based learning.

Session Title: Preparing Students to Shape the World

Jessica Morey • https://ibme.com/https://jessicamorey.org/https://mindfulnessdirector.org/

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Free Learning Resources: Session 1 of 10 session course: Master The Basics of Mindfulness for Teens

Jessica Morey, MA is the co-founder, lead teacher, and former executive director of Inward Bound Mindfulness Education (iBme), an international non-profit that offers in-depth mindfulness training for young adults, and the parents and professionals who support them. She is also an advisor to the Mindfulness Directors Initiative which brings full time, highly qualified mindfulness teachers into schools across the United States. Jessica began practicing meditation at 14 on teen meditation retreats, over the past 25 years she has attended months of silent retreat, trained with leading Insight meditation teachers, and taught thousands of teens and adults. Before founding iBme, she worked in international climate and clean energy policy. She has degrees in Environmental Engineering and Sustainable Development.

What we will learn in this presentation or interview

In this interview, Jessica shares about her work teaching mindfulness to adolescents for more than a decade, including published research on the benefits of in-depth mindfulness programs. She highlights why contemplative skills and practices are invaluable during the teenage years and especially give current global trends of technology, social media, environmental crisis, and social uprising. All topics that are particularly important for teenagers. Her teaching and programs emphasize ethics, identity, values, and purpose along with a connection to nature, community, and creative expression.

Session Title: Nature + Mindfulness with Youth


Tara Wosiski • mindfulnesscreative.com

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Free Learning Resources: Nature Challenge Printable, Watercolor imprints

Tara Wosiski is an artist and art educator for grades preschool through fifth grade in a Quaker school.  She holds a master’s degree in teaching visual art from The University of the Arts. With over a decade of experience teaching, Tara is deeply committed to the social and emotional growth of her students. Tara also teaches mindfulness to children and adults. Motivated by her knowledge and training in mindfulness, Tara’s pedagogical approach integrates mindfulness and an appreciation for nature with creativity through a wide variety of projects and media. She leads annual large scale community works rooted in Quaker values and is energized by her student’s creativity. Tara lives in NJ, loves spending time with her family, in her garden, and enjoys working on many types of creative projects.

What we will learn in this presentation or interview

Participants will learn creative ways to incorporate nature into their mindfulness practice as well as how to share these creative practices with children.  Tara will share a mindful creative process that uses watercolor and leaves as well as discussing teaching remotely and keeping students mindfully connected to nature and creativity.

Session Title: Mindfulness, Creativity and Nature – Staying Connected

Briony Morgan • 


I am an active and curious Health, PE, and Inclusion educator and small business owner with a passion for wellness, wellbeing, mindfulness, and the environment. I love the outdoors with the beach and water environments being particular favorites. I am passionate about modeling positive behaviors/actions and motivating others to live in more sustainable ways that reflect the multidimensional and interdependent nature of human existence with the natural environment.

I am a secondary school teacher who finished a Masters of Wellness through RMIT in 2018. My
major project for the Masters was based on Environmental Mindfulness Lessons for Children: A Content Analysis. I presented this paper at the International Mindfulness Conference in Auckland New Zealand in February 2019.

What we will learn in this presentation or interview
“What is the nature and content of child-centric environmental mindfulness lessons?”
This research question was the product of a combined passion for the environment, formal and informal mindfulness practices, and education that resulted in us writing the paper, ”Environmental Mindfulness Lessons for Children: A Content Analysis”.

As respectful human beings and certainly as schoolteachers, we have a responsibility to educate and instill actions that address the concepts of sustainability and respect for the natural environment. The first step in moving forward in this process required an analysis of the freely available mindfulness resources and materials that explicitly made connections to the natural environment; the focus of this research.

The world in which we live in is crying out for humans to recognize the interdependence that exists between all life forms. Growing human consumption demands are playing a primary role in the demise of the environment, suggesting a disconnect between human society and its life support systems. A need to create respectful change in our ways is evident, in order to reverse the ecological devastation that humans have imposed on the planet.

The Environmental Mindfulness Lessons for Children: A Content Analysis research we completed outlines the nature and content of child-centric environmental mindfulness lessons, with suggestions for future research and the implications for teacher training and practice to effect quality program delivery and student engagement in environmental mindfulness and pro-environmental action.

Session Title:  Environmental & Nature-based Mindfulness in Education- Lessons for Children

Deborah Mendes • 

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Free Learning Resources: 3 Steps Through the GreenGateway to a Conscious Nature Connection Practic

Deborah Mendes is a Conscious Nature Connector. Deborah helps business owners and purpose-led people to step into their full expression of themselves. Deborah is a trained FTI Forest Bathing Guide and Natural Mindfulness Facilitator and teacher in post 16 education. She has experienced physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual burn out, which started her off on a journey that has led to living a life with awe and wonder. She is passionate about sharing and teaching what she has discovered within her Conscious Nature Connection Academy where she bridges the gap between living a life with purpose and nature connection to help people discover and embody a life-transforming practice.  

What we will learn in this presentation or interview 

-What is forest bathing, and a conscious nature connection practice, and how it relates to a mindfulness practice

– Why the outcomes of mindfulness in nature (specifically self-awareness and enjoying life to the full) is both keys to living a purposeful life

– Why is this such an important time right now and who is this message for?

Session Title: Working with Nature as a Partner in Life and Business

Lyndi Smith • www.mindwithheart.org

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Free Learning Resources: Guided nature-based mindfulness audio

Lyndi Smith is a senior trainer of charity Mind With Heart Australia, who has worked with thousands of teachers and students and helped four schools in Europe and Australia integrate mindfulness over 3-4 years as a whole-school approach to wellbeing. Research shows that their programmes reduce stress, increase mindfulness and self-compassion, and improve sleep and overall wellbeing. Lyndi loves practicing outdoors herself and is delighted to share the findings emerging from nature-based mindfulness for staff and student wellbeing.

What we will learn in this presentation or interview 
We will enjoy a short guided mindfulness practice in nature ourselves, and learn:
—how nature-based mindfulness is innate and intrinsically human
—why mindfulness desperately needs to go outdoors
—how to have a wellbeing “holiday” every day with this kind of practice
—how mindfulness invites us to explore “the nature inside” of thoughts, emotions and sensations
—what staff and students are discovering as they practice outdoors

Session Title: Nature-Based Mindfulness and Schools

Merryl Simpson • www.pullenvaeec.eq.edu.au

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A heart-centered Environmental Educator and Yogi focused on sharing deep reverence for the ancient wisdom teachings of this land we now call Australia. Creating authentic and respectful spaces in natural places for children and adults to slow down and listen deeply to the environment, to others, and to themselves. Senior Teacher at Pullenvale Environmental Education Centre and Manager/Creator of Heart Earth Radiance. The word, concept, and spiritual practice that is dadirri (da-did-ee) is from the Ngan’gikurunggurr and Ngen’giwumirri languages of the Aboriginal peoples of the Daly River region (Northern Territory, Australia).
Merryl has been gifted permission to share dadirri from Miriam-Rose Ungunmerr.
Please refer to the Miriam Rose Foundation for more information at
And watch this beautiful youtube clip for an introduction to dadirri from Miriam-Rose herself

What we will learn in this presentation or interview 
Inspirational reflections from spending time on Country with esteemed Elder of the Nauiyu Community, Miriam Rose, and her teachings on deep listening. Honoring the wisdom teachings of Miriam Rose and other elders of this land we now call Australia, I will share powerful ways o hooking 11-year-olds into a way of being in nature that grows their respect for self, others and the Environment.

Free Learning Resources: Creating a Deep Listening Reflection

Session Title: Slow Down, Listen Deeply, and Connect; Place Responsiveness With 11 Year Olds in Nature



Matthew Harris • 


What we will learn in this presentation or interview
In this interview, we will be looking at how to turn something with intrinsic value, such as time spent in the outdoors, into something profound that facilitates instant and long-lasting change.

Session Title: Holiday or Holy Day?


Dr. Christopher Willard • http://drchristopherwillard.com/


Dr. Christopher Willard (PsyD) is a psychologist and educational consultant based in Boston specializing in mindfulness.  He has been practicing meditation for 20 years, and has led hundreds of workshops around the world, with invitations to more than two dozen countries. He has presented at TEDx conferences and his thoughts have appeared in the New York Times, The Washington Post, mindful.org, and elsewhere. He is the author of Alphabreaths, Growing Up Mindful (2016) Raising Resilience (2017) and eight other books for parents, professionals and children, available in more than ten languages. He teaches at Harvard Medical School.  

What you will learn: Simple mind-body practices to boost concentration, compassion, creativity and more.  

 Freebie: Animated Gifs and Videos


Alphabreaths: The ABCs of Mindful Breathing

 Raising Resilience: The Wisdom and Science of Happy Families and Thriving Children

Growing Up Mindful: Essential Practices to Help Children, Teens, and Families Find Balance, Calm, and Resilience

Alexandra Koster • https://www.rootsandwings.pub/


My name is Alex Koster, I am a mum, teacher, author, mindfulness practitioner, and holistic health and nature enthusiast. Due to my own mental and physical health struggles, I have spent the last 20 years studying and practicing various modalities including mindfulness, integrative health, and nutrition, Reiki, herbalism, crystal healing, nature-based approaches, etc. I grew up on the edge of a small village in Germany right beside the forest and nature was a big part of everyday life. We were outdoors most of the time, sun, rain or snow, much of our meals were substituted with foraged foods and homegrown fruit and vegetables. My mum used to make her own teas, tinctures, and other herbal remedies and from childhood, we learned a lot about nature, plants, animals and the need to love and protect them. Outdoor learning was a big part of education as well and instead of “school tours” we had “Wandertag” when instead of lessons we would bring a rucksack and went for long nature walks. I believe much of this nature connection is lacking in our modern days on more than one level (ie spending time in nature, eating ethically produced, wholesome foods, treating minor illnesses with natural remedies instead of chemicals, etc.) and I believe it is essential that we bring it back, not as an option but as a necessary part of a healthy and happy life.

Free Learning Resource: Meditation Wheel Download with code wheel2020

Session Title: Nature is Not Optional, Not an Add-On – Humans Need Nature Because They are Part of it

Book: Roots and Wings – Childhood needs a Revolution Mindful Games


Janet Etty-Leal • www.meditationcapsules.com

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Janet Etty-Leal is an author, speaker, and pioneer of mindful education for children. Her creative programs, combining a fusion of mindfulness, positive education tenets and have enhanced curriculum for thousands of students for over 20 years. Janet provides staff training and classes for students in all school sectors. Studies based on her programs have been undertaken by Masters and Ph.D. students in Universities in Australia and internationally.

What we will learn in this presentation or interview 
Mindfulness is a skill to be in touch with what really matters – for the self, others, and the world. Being in touch with the wonders and wisdom of the natural world brings a host of benefits for the body, mind, and spirit of children. And the need for children to open their minds and hearts to the natural world, with a deep sense of responsibility and compassion, is urgent. Boundless opportunities exist for parents and educators to share imaginative, fun-filled nature- based experiences to heighten awareness of nature for children!

Session Title: Expanding Nature Awareness for Children

Book: A Head-Heart Start for Life: Creative Mindful Discoveries for Young Children

Dr. Sue Thomas • https://suethomasnet.wordpress.com/

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Sue Thomas writes about life, nature and technology, Her books include Nature and Wellbeing in the Digital Age (2017), Technobiophilia: nature and cyberspace (2013), and Hello World: travels in virtuality (2004). Until 2013 she was Professor of New Media at De Montfort University, She is now a Visiting Fellow at Bournemouth University and is currently writing her third novel ‘The Fault in Reality’. She lives in Bournemouth, UK.
What we will learn in this presentation or interview 
The notion of digital nature may seem to contradict our desire to bring children closer to the real world, but that need not be the case. There are benefits to experiencing nature via technology, as many have found out during the Covid-19 lockdowns. We discuss what digital nature is, why it can be beneficial, and look at some practical experiments you might like to try.

Free Learning Resources: Gift Excerpt from ‘Nature and Wellbeing in the Digital Age’ by Sue Thomas Password: wellbeing

Session Title: Digital Nature and Mindfulness

Book: Nature and Wellbeing in the Digital Age

Philip Snow Gang • www.ties-edu.orgwww.philipsnowgang.net


Philip Snow Gang, Ph.D. is the Founder of The Institute for Educational Studies (TIES) and its graduate programs in Integrative Learning and Montessori Integrative Learning. He is a pioneer in the field of integrative, systemic, and transformative approaches to education. He is the author of Rethinking Education, co-author of Conscious Education: The Bridge to Freedom, and developer of the mobile mind-mapping simulation, Our Planet, Our Home.

What we will learn in this session: Montessori for children and adult learners is mindful education

Session Title: Montessori as Mindful Education

Free Learning Resources: https://www.ties-edu.org/

Book: Educating for Right-Action and Love: Extending and Expanding the Montessori Vision

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