The 8 Instructions

INSTRUCTION NO. 1

CONNECTION

No lifeform can exist by itself. The natural world is a finely tuned, dynamic and interdependent community.

INSTRUCTION NO. 2

VARIETY

Diversity in nature is the number one predictor of a system’s health and resilience.

INSTRUCTION NO. 3

BALANCE

In a time when technology has outpaced relational skill, nature shows us how balancing agency (masculine) and care (feminine) is key to human procession.

INSTRUCTION NO. 4

RELATIVES

Over millions of years, many animals and humans have employed similar strategies for being healthy and content.

INSTRUCTION NO. 5

EFFICIENCY

Efficiency is the evidence of natural expression. Unfussed, unscripted. As usual and uncanny as breathing in and out.

INSTRUCTION NO. 6

RESILIENCE

All of nature is inclined toward recovery. Not just to survive, but to thrive

INSTRUCTION NO. 7

ELDERHOOD

In nature, healing from trauma creates genetic benefits that can be passed on to future generations.

INSTRUCTION NO. 8

UNCERTAINTY

To the extent we are able to embrace mystery, humans are able to live creatively and well with each other.

Guest Blog: Paula MacKay on Full Ecology

Guest Blog: Paula MacKay on Full Ecology

Paula MacKay is a terrestrial carnivore biologist, a conservation scientist and a wilderness writer.  She and Gary met when Paula was a student in the Ranier Writing Institute, completing her MFA and among Gary's advisees. Paula has read the Full Ecology book and...

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Restoring Land and Soul

Restoring Land and Soul

There’s a place in the southwestern corner of Montana where the river weaves a fine Spiga chain through the wetland and willowed prairies at the ankles of a soaring stretch of Rocky Mountains. The mountains run east to west – an orientation adopted by precious few...

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Wolf Stories

Wolf Stories

Yesterday, we went to a place in Yellowstone National Park where wolves live. We weren’t right there with them, but close enough to stand with other people with high powered spotting scopes to watch from afar. The Junction Butte pack has a good batch of new pups....

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Earth Day on the Cusp of COVID

Earth Day on the Cusp of COVID

Thinking on it, I find it hard to see how one can love the earth but not fellow human beings. And also, it seems incongruous that one could love humanity and exact sins of degradation against nature. Whether wings and feathers or hands and fingers, we share the same...

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Equinox – The Balance Point

Equinox – The Balance Point

In the Reiki tradition, there’s a graphic symbol for harmony – for balance. Sei hei ki. To me, it looks like a dancer, or maybe something winged, and I’ve heard that to draw it well requires open, relaxed and sweeping gestures. People who know and practice Reiki use...

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Weariness & Renewal

Weariness & Renewal

Today the temperature around our home hovers near 0°. "Can super cold weather make me tired?" I ask. We talk about it. It can. Sometimes. That's why it's good to sleep in a cool room. It’s also why trees and fields and waterways need winter. To rest well. Whatever the...

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Look to the Tops of Trees – a Solstice Offering

Look to the Tops of Trees – a Solstice Offering

These are not easy days. Here in the northern hemisphere, nearing winter solstice, we’re deep in the cold and dark. Add to that the count – ten months of COVID-19. Like the dark, the pandemic is here with us. So are other circumstances – embers of rumination and...

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COVID in the House

COVID in the House

Well. We’ve got it. We who, since mid-March, have essentially cloistered – masked, sanitized, distanced. We even disinfect our keys and doorknobs. How in the world did this virus find us? It did. Our symptoms are quite light. We’ll make it fine. But, like you, we have...

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Call & Response

Call & Response

In a functioning ecology, the dialogue between wound and medicine is ongoing; there is a call and response always happening.  Francis Weller Do chickens or the eggs come first? They do.   Am I living or dying? You are.  So, it goes and goes. Call and response. The...

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