About Wild Nature Heart

Wild Nature Heart supports you to connect with the wisdom of inner and outer wild nature, to embody your wholeness, and to live your wild purpose into the world.

My name is Ryan Van Lenning and I am an inner and outer wilderness guide, ecotherapist, and writer. I am passionate about facilitating re-connections with wild nature and our most authentic selves to assist in the work of repairing broken belonging in this time of the intersecting ecological and social challenges.

I believe in catalyzing human wholeness and that our world fiercely needs each person being present to what is, becoming more fully themselves and offering their unique gifts back to the community and the more-than-human world.

I offer 1-on-1 ecotherapy/earth-rooted mentoring, custom wilderness rite-of-passage ceremonies, various Deep Belonging courses and other ecospiritual workshops, and Wild Nature Heart Circles of the Great Turning. 

My first wilderness fast with the School of Lost Borders launched me on a journey that I am still unfurling to this day. I became convinced that wilderness ceremony/rite-of-passage is a powerful and needed container for the necessary conversations to occur between our vulnerable and whole selves and wild nature. I subsequently trained as a wilderness rite-of-passage guide with the School of Lost Borders (with Ruth Wharton and Larry Hobbs) and am eager to make wilderness ceremony ever-more accessible to more people and in more forms.

I am a certified Ecotherapist through The Earthbody Institute, where I teach the Level 1 Ecotherapy course for non-clinical orientations and Level 3 Advanced Ecotherapy, and a certified Wilderness First Responder through Foster Calm. I previously taught Philosophy, Comparative Religions, and Environmental Ethics in the Humanities Department at Sinclair College in Ohio.

I am also a poet, and published my debut collections of earth poetry, Re-Membering: Poems of Earth & Soul, and High-Cooing Through the Seasons: Haiku From the Forest. in 2018. The 2019 Jodi Stutz Poetry Award by Toyon Literary Magazine was awarded to my poem ‘And All the Walls Between Them’ responding to current immigration policies and social injustices.

I have published articles, essays, and poetry in Earth Island Journal, Deep Time: The Journal of the Work That Reconnects, Truthout, various poetry journals, and the newly released books Behind the Mask: 40 Quarantine Poems from Humboldt County and A Walk with Nature: Poetic Encounters that Nourish the Soul. My newest collections, One Bright and Real Caress, Riverever, and Within the Cave Something Pulses, will be available in 2023.

I work primarily in Humboldt and Trinity Counties, and live among the diverse forests and rivers of so-called Humboldt County, ancestral Wiyot and Yurok territory. Group wilderness programs are in Inyo County in the Eastern Sierra region.

Contact me for how you want to reconnect or if you would like me to offer a program in your area.

I’d love to hear from you:  ryan@wildnatureheart.com

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