Keynote

Finding the Heart of the Forest

M. Amos Clifford
Founder and CEO
Association of Nature and Forest Therapy Guides and Programs

Forest therapy is a practice that profoundly touches our heart. Over decades of experience in wild and natural settings, Amos has noticed an increasing vividness in how we can experience the intelligence of our hearts. Is there a "heart" in the forest that our own hearts resonate with? Are forests a place where lost parts of ourselves wake up and are remembered? What is it in forests that we resonate with? Join Amos at this keynote as he leads us on an exploration in search of the heart of the forest.

Amos Clifford is the founder of the Association of Nature and Forest Therapy Guides and Programs. His career as a guide began in 1973, when he worked as a mountaineering instructor in the Sierra Nevada, guiding groups of at-risk youth on ascents of major peaks. He began is inquiry into "The Way of the Guide" in the 1970s and began teaching other guides in the early 1980s. A student of Buddhist philosophy for over 20 years, Amos founded Sky Creek Dharma Center in Chico, California, where he emphasized the importance of meditation practice in wild places. Amos is also widely known for his work in restorative justice. He is founder of the Center for Restorative Process, where he has led the inquiry into how the principles of restorative justice can inform ways to heal the broken relationships between humans and the more-than-human world of nature. He worked for a decade as a psychotherapist, with special interest in the intersection of nature connection, systems theory, and Jungian Depth Psychology. Amos holds a BS in Organization Development and an MA in Counseling from the University of San Francisco. Amos is author of "Your Guide to Forest Bathing" and of the upcoming book "Way of the Guide."