O Books, 2011, 238 pp
Reviewed by Marian Van Eyk McCain
In the summer of 2010, Caroline Brazier co-led a week-long eco-therapy group in her Buddhist community’s retreat centre in the French countryside. At the conclusion of the week, she began to write down her thoughts and reflections. In her words, “This book is the result. An account of a group and of a summer, interwoven with the ideas and therapeutic theory which framed our work, it is an invitation to share, to join the exploration and to experience the process of engagement in a healing relationship with nature.”
Expertly structured and beautifully written, her book brings us close enough to that summer’s experience to see and feel, along with the group, the shapes and textures of the piece of land she so lovingly describes, to study its creatures, especially the ants, to smell its air, hear its sounds and feel its showers and breezes against our skin. And as we move with her through the landscape, with senses wide open, she speaks to us also of the connections between inner and outer and the metaphors and teachings—free gifts from the environment—that bring clarity to her mind and resolution to her own dilemmas.
There is something for everyone in this little gem of a book. But I especially hope it will find its way into the hands of everyone, whether eco-therapist, ecopsychologist, group leader or parent, who has occasion to lead others into closer communion with the surrounding Earth.