Ellen’s focus is creating opportunities for people to experience their true nature through exploration and contemplation in the wild. Her teaching is informed by her own firsthand experiences of awakening in nature, as well as from her work with teachers Jonathan Foust, Alan Chapman, Tara Brach and others. She has been profoundly influenced by the writings of Gary Snyder and Joseph Campbell.
With a natural curiosity for meditation Ellen began exploring Zen and Tibetan Buddhism at a young age. For the past 10 years she has practiced Vipassana, or Insight, meditation. Ellen also teaches with the Insight Meditation Community of Washington DC.
For nearly 20 years, Ellen worked with the World Bank to guide developing countries in protecting the environment and preserving their natural resources. A published photographer, her current project documents traditional boats and boatbuilders from across the globe. While traveling for this project, she had the honor of sailing with traditional peoples from many countries, including New Zealand, Egypt and British Columbia. Ellen also practices contemplative Miksang photography (part of the Dharma Art teachings of Chogyam Trungpa) which focuses on revealing a pure perception of the world around us.
Ellen holds an M.A. from Yale University, an A.B. from Vassar College, and a certificate in Marine Conservation from Duke University’s Nicholas School of the Environment. She trained in tracking, traditional skills and awareness at the Roots School in northern Vermont, is a certified Wilderness First Responder and a licensed river guide in the state of Utah. Ellen is also an avid rock climber and practices yoga and a variety of Chinese martial arts.
Contributions to Humans & Nature:
- Waking up in the City
A City Creatures blog post.