Welcome to the Integral Ecology Center

By: Carissa Wieler

Hello and Welcome!  You may be wondering what the Integral Ecology Center is all about. What is it really about, behind the listserv, blogs, pages of content – what is this virtual center trying to accomplish? As the Director of the Integral Ecology Center, this is something I get to contemplate and discuss with my peers in MetaIntegral, as well as with the Integral Ecology steering committee.

In developing a vision for the Center, my friends at MetaIntegral suggest I reflect first on what is most important to me. I deeply value this request because it allows me to presence my unique emerging interests in the context of Integral Ecology. What I hear inwardly and in the world is a call for more inclusive, integrative approaches to understand and engage with ‘nature’. The way I hear this call is unique to me, and this Center will reflect that. Yet my hope is that this Center will also reflect the unique ways the call for Integral Ecology also appears to you.

Since first encountering Integral Ecology in 2006 at a seminar in Boulder, CO, USA, I have worked in my professional, academic and personal life towards bridging my passion for the natural world with my keen interest in the inner landscapes of consciousness. While this path has taken many turns, it now appears once again through my current doctoral research. My focus is on understanding cultural perspectives on nature in the urban context. More specifically I am looking at immigrant perspectives on neighbourhood parks in Vancouver, British Columbia through lenses of scenic beauty preference, behaviour, cultural meaning, and social equity.

As you can see, I am in a phase of developing an integral ecology application through my research. Linking to applications related to Integral Ecology is a cornerstone of the Center – these may occur in any sphere, and may or may not be explicitly “Integral”. This enables an expanded knowledge base for current and future researchers and practitioners.

If you are interested in how to include more in your experience or perception of nature, you may also find a natural fit with the Integral Ecology Center. One of my goals is for a “center of excellence” in integral natural awareness practice with nodes spanning cultures and geographic locations. Why practice? Well, one could see it as a way of expanding our awareness to include more, take more perspectives, and become more intimate with reality. If that doesn’t sound juicy, and if you feel interested in learning more, then we can also go with what interests you.

My invitation to you is to spend a moment reflecting on what brings you here today. Is it your passion for integrating the many ways you love and care about nature? Is it your keen curiosity and interest in a deeper, more inclusive approach to addressing core needs on the planet? Or maybe it’s a desire to connect with others of like hearts and minds to exchange in an open and inclusive atmosphere. I invite you to bring all of your “why” with you as you explore what integral ecology means to you. And if you feel inspired, come again!

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