Note from Rod: What's the idea of this Website?

First I'd like to thank the inspiring example given by the North American biologist Jim Conrad, who considers himself to be a hermit with a social conscience. After asking himself years ago how he could help the world and at the same time maintain his independence and spiritual freedom, Jim decided to create an artisan website, that could be shared by all those people who are inspired by nature but live in the city. The result is the wonderful website called It's well worth visiting. Thank you, Jim!

This Tocatierra website is much more rudimentary, but has a similar purpose ... to act as a resource to help those interested in experiential outdoor environmental education. It aims to help widen and deepen our planetary awareness by providing sensitising writings that highlight the essential ecological identity we share with all the natural systems that keep us alive.

Among other works, it includes links to the complete text of 'Thinking Like a Mountain', the Council of All Beings workshop process, James Lovelock's 'Gaia' theory and his authoritative vision of climate change, and the Ministry of Education Teachers' Manual, 'Out of Doors - Parks and Trees'.


The website's name was born in 1999 because of the training workshops we carried out with teachers in Argentine Patagonia. When organising them, it became necessary to find a short name that would encapsulate the essence of experiential outdoor education, and 'Tocatierra' was the result. It symbolises the awareness of oneness and enveloping unity that arises when people connect directly with the Earth, the Nature of life - both externally and internally. People understood it, and many teachers came together at a difficult time of professional unrest and strikes. The inspiration of the name, which came from years of walking the luminous foothills of Chile's central Andes, reflects the expressions in the beautiful poem of Vietnamese Zen Master Thich Nhat Hanh:


That path is you.
That is why it will never tire of waiting.
Whether it is covered with red dust,
autumn leaves,
or icy snow,
come back to the path.
You will be like the tree of life.
Your leaves, trunk, branches,
and the blossoms of your soul
will be fresh and beautiful,
once you enter the practice of Earth Touching.