Gary W. Sharlow

At the intersection of nature, photography, mindfulness, education and community building, I’ve found an outlet for my passions through teaching on topics of nature-based mindfulness and the art of photographic storytelling.

Gary Sharlow

Meet Gary Sharlow

With a dedication to the natural world, contemplative practice in nature, and conservation photography, I’ve begun to unite my passions through my work with “Nature Meditations: The Art of Mindfulness” where I am the lead teacher offering programs aimed at helping my students deepen their relationship with nature through meditation and photographic expression. I bring over 20 years of experience in the fields of informal learning, conservation messaging, program management, and mindfulness practice to my guidance for those who are dedicated to deepening their connection to themselves and the natural world.

While serving as a manager in the education division at the California Academy of Science in San Francisco, I created several successful programs focused on exploring people’s passion for the natural world. My conservation photography program was very popular and led to the launch of several successful programs including an annual international nature photography competition that is recognized as one of the most prestigious competitions of any genre anywhere in the world. This project also seeded a popular online magazine featuring the work of these photographers and their subjects while raising awareness of the research conducted by the Academy’s robust research division. I also piloted a community-based program that led to the creation of a robust citizen science program based on data collection through photography. This project led the Academy to purchase iNaturalist, a top-rated photography-based citizen science app that provides research-quality data to scientists and governments around the world.

In addition to leading programs through Nature Meditations, I serve as the director of programs for Awake in the Wild where I am also part of a teaching sangha (community) dedicated to teaching people about nature-based mindfulness practices. I’ve worked as a professional photographer and taught photography since 2004. You can join me out on the trails to learn more about how you can combine your passion for mindfulness and photography to give voice to the natural world. I spend most of my time venturing around outside my home in northern New Mexico where I also serve as a manager at a deep forest meditation center grounded in Theravada Buddhism for part of the year.

AitW Teaching Sangha

In addition to the programs I lead at Nature Meditations, I am part of a very dedicated sangha of teachers who have all trained under the mentorship of Mark Coleman through his teacher training program at Awake in the Wild. Together we hold the Daily Meditation Sit that meets online every weekday morning at 7:30 AM (pacific time.) AitW teachers all care deeply about the earth, have a strong meditation practice, and feel called to share the power of contemplative practice in the outdoors with others. Learn more about this cohort of teachers below.