Ecopsychology blends contemplative practice and transpersonal psychology to access the intimate connection between humans and all of existence: oneness. Ecopsychology places psychology and mental health in an ecological context to recognize the interdependency between human health, culture, and the natural environment. There is a reason that the essence of being human is called “human nature”.
Nondual transpersonal states are found to be at the core of both ecopsychology and transpersonal psychology. These nondual states can include peak and ecstatic experiences (Maslow, 1962, 1968); wilderness experiences or experience of wildness (Brown, 1989); and "flow" or "optimal experience" (Csikzentmihalyi, 1990). Deborah Winter observes in her textbook Ecological Psychology (1996) that “our ordinary experience of ourselves as separate autonomous beings is incomplete and inaccurate. [Recognizing this] will require...a shift in consciousness (the transpersonal emphasis) from the smaller, autonomous, ego-oriented self to the wider and deeper ecological self. Transpersonal psychologists, eco-psychologists, and transpersonal ecologists argue that such a shift is more than a cognitive event--it is also a directly perceptual and/or spiritual event. [This shift in consciousness entails] an expanded, more gracious, more spacious sense of self” (p. 264).
Brown, M. (1989). Transpersonal psychology: Facilitating transformation in outdoor experiential education. Journal of Experiential Education . 12 , 14-21.
Csikszentimihalyi, M. (1990). Flow: The psychology of optimal experience . New York: HarperCollins. Maslow, A. (1962). Lessons from the peak-experiences. Journal of Humanistic Psychology , 2 (1), 9-18 Maslow, A. (1968). Toward a psychology of being (2nd ed.). New York: Harper & Row.
Winter, D. (1996). Ecological psychology: Healing the split between planet and self . New York: HarperCollins.
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