Course Description

September 9, 2024 - November 4, 2024

Group Calls on Mondays at 5:00 pm PST.

In this world, we are taught that we should strive to be someone special. As a result, we tend to think of our lives as journeys toward self-improvement and self-realization. Through this conditioning, we become fixated on the story of who we are, of how the world sees us, and whether we are enough. Yet with every attempt to become someone heroic, we become more estranged from the inner nature and the ordinary beauty of simply being alive. We are thirsty for definition because we have been taught to crave acceptance from the world of humanity, but what if we were worthy of belongingness just as we are in each moment? What if nature was waiting for us to remember what we are?

In this 8-week course, we’ll be exploring how to experience ourselves as nature experiences itself. Beyond separateness and specialness and egoic stories of who we think we are, this is a journey towards the most essential self, an ecological identity that is given to us even before we are born. It is something emergent, spontaneous, and beautiful in its ordinariness. We don't need to earn it or prove ourselves worthy of it; it comes naturally when we relax into being what we are.

This course is open to anyone who is curious about exploring the ecological self, the inner nature that connects all beings. For those who have trained as Forest Therapy Guides, this course may also offer a subtle exploration of the philosophy and embodiment of the Way of the Guide, focusing on principles of authenticity, spontaneity, unconditional acceptance, non-doing, playfulness, and paradox. The course is not designed to teach the Way of the Guide, but to explore the inner nature; however, you may find that these experiences inform one another at a fundamental level.

In this course, you will learn and experience:

1.     Storytelling practices and expressive arts to represent and create distance between the ego self and natural consciousness

2.     Nature Immersion practices to investigate how the more-than-human-world can act as a mirror to our inner nature

3.     Contemplative Journaling with Sit Spot Scrolls 

4.     Embodiment techniques to cultivate ecological awareness

5.     A subtle exploration into ‘Way of the Guide,’ a core philosophical concept in the practice of Forest Therapy Guiding

6.     Supportive group calls to cultivate a learning community

7.     Much more.

IMPORTANT: This course requires a minimum of 10 participants


Nature was waiting for me

Karen Florek

Ben has a broad knowledge base in matters of nature's energies, and our alignment with these sources. His leadership style is inclusive, encouraging, fun and uncomplicated. Every week is another glass of cool water, sipped slowly, quenching that thirst we all have to belong, to relax, and to trust. This gentle invitation to experience what is right in front of us, is a gift. I dropped all my expectations and goals, and simply showed up, practicing how to be. Nature was waiting for me. I am so glad I did this!

Awakened in me in a safe container

Serena Vogel

This course was a meaningful way to spend the last two months. I looked forward to each week with great anticipation. New connections within and with each other were made that will last my lifetime. So awakened in me in a safe container of sharing, vulnerability and connecting. Ben is gifted in his delivery of stimulating material that not only gets us thinking more deeply, but equally important getting us into our bodies to feel more deeply. I highly recommend this course.

I feel like a different person

Allison Kitzerow

Ben’s “Find Yourself in Nature” course was a wonderful way to spend a summer. Story weaving is such an interesting and fun practice that really ignited some dormant creativity within me, and it was great to get to know the other people in the class on a deeper level through our weekly weaving sessions. I feel like a different person after these past two months, and I think I will return to the course material again and again.


  • How much time should I expect to put in to this experience?

    This course is designed in such a way that you can really put as little or as much time in as you want. It's really about process more than product, so there's nothing that you "must do" in order to move ahead each week. You might expect an average of about 90 minutes of self-directed experiences, plus one 90-minute phone call each week.

  • Do I have to be a Forest Therapy Guide to take this course?

    No, this course is designed for anyone with an interest in exploring inner nature. While it is not the focus of this course, those who have trained as Forest Therapy guides, may recognize that becoming intimate with inner nature is a parallel experience to exploring the "Way of the Guide," which is a leadership model that emphasizes spontaneity, authenticity and selflessness. If, after this course, you want to learn how that philosophy applies to the art and practice of Forest Therapy guiding, you might consider taking the ANFT guide training and certification program.

  • Do I have to attend all the calls?

    It is OK to miss calls. This course is not designed in such a way that you would feel lost if you missed a week.


Ben Page

Ben Page is a Forest Therapy Guide, global advocate for the practice and the author of Healing Trees: A Pocket Guide to Forest Bathing. He is the founder of Shinrin Yoku LA and Integral Forest Bathing and has been guiding Forest Therapy walks since 2015. During his tenure as a trainer and mentor of guides, Ben has trained hundreds of guides around the world. From 2017-2020, he also served as the Director of Training for the Association of Nature and Forest Therapy Guides and Programs, specializing in curriculum and pedagogical design and was the main designer of the ANFT Forest Therapy Guide Training on Thinkific. Since his practice began, Ben has been featured in such publications as Women’s Health, USA TODAY, Good Morning America, The Washington Post, and WebMD. Ben is also a co-founder of The Open School, Southern California’s only free democratic school. He holds a B.A. in religious studies from Carleton College and an M.A. in human development and social change from Pacific Oaks College.

Pricing Options

Choose from a one-time payment or a two-time installment plan

Course curriculum

  • 1

    Welcome & Introduction

  • 2

    Chapter 1: Observing Ego & Nature

    • Chapter Reminders

    • Reading: Chapter 1

    • End of Chapter Harvest

  • 3

    Chapter 2: Confronting Spiritual Narcissism

    • Chapter Reminders

    • Reading: Chapter 2

    • End of Chapter Harvest

  • 4

    Chapter 3: Reclaiming Innocence and Playfulness

    • Chapter Reminders

    • Reading: Chapter 3

    • End of Chapter Harvest

  • 5

    Chapter 4: Remembering Our Bodies

    • Chapter Reminders

    • Reading: Chapter 4

    • End of Chapter Harvest

  • 6

    Chapter 5: Glorifying the Mystery

    • Chapter Reminders

    • Reading: Chapter 5

    • End of Chapter Harvest

  • 7

    Chapter 6: Honoring Purposelessness

    • Chapter Reminders

    • Reading: Chapter 6

    • End of Chapter Harvest

  • 8

    Chapter 7: Embracing Unconditional Acceptance

    • Chapter Reminders

    • Reading: Chapter 7

    • End of Chapter Harvest

    • Preparing for Final Chapter: Integration

  • 9

    Chapter 8: Integration

    • Introduction to Final Chapter

    • Reading: Chapter 8

    • Solo Wander

    • End of Course Harvest

    • Caching and Integration

    • Optional: Write a testimonial of this course

    • Story Weaving Club

    • Stay tuned for more...

    • Reflections on the Journey: A Course Evaluation

    • Invitation: share your contact information