The intricate bond between nature and the human psyche plays a pivotal role in shaping human well-being and environmental health. Disconnection from nature poses substantial risks to both. Urgent global challenges, such as the climate emergency and biodiversity loss, underscore the need to restore this relationship. This research aims to investigate if integrating contemplative wisdom from traditions like Buddhism and Latin American indigenous visions can synergically enhance individuals’ sense of nature-connectedness during natural-world interactions. The study also aims to determine if this heightened interconnection with nature promotes pro-ecological behavior and psychological well-being.

To start, we’ll explore new paths to nature-connectedness through micro-phenomenological interviews with indigenous contemplatives. Subsequently, we’ll develop a contemplative-based intervention merging mindfulness-compassion with established pathways to nature- connectedness from modern psychology and our interview findings. This intervention will be compared to a standard environmental education program using self-reports, EEG-recorded tasks for implicit nature-helping behaviors, and interviews.

This research seeks to deepen our understanding of nature-connectedness and provides a strategy to rekindle the human-nature relationship, crucial to optimize for urban populations with limited nature access. This initiative seeks to promote pro-ecological behaviors and foster well-being, aligning with the call for a sustainable world that acknowledges our interconnected reality.

Constanza Baquedano, PhD

Universidad Adolfo Ibanez