Ecological Imagination: Listening to the Heart of the Earth (Audio)

By Leslie Davenport, who will be presenting Deepening Climate Advocacy at Hollyhock on June 19-23.

Imagination is often misunderstood, defined as a fanciful flight away from reality – and sometimes it is. But there is another kind of imagination, one that is based on deep inner listening with a quality of calm presence, and a curious, open-minded focus. When images arise into that kind of spacious awareness, imagination is tapping into a source of wisdom, a type of intuition, that puts us in touch with more of reality, not less.

With deep listening, we bring our ourselves into relationship with the unknown. This is similar to the creative process, whether we are facing a blank canvas with a handful of paints, jotting notes for a speech on a napkin at the café, or in the scientific crowd, pondering how quantum gravity helps explain the origin of the universe. We step outside what we already know, send our inner critic on vacation, and make room for messy, confusing bits and pieces of insight to swirl and shift before connecting in new and meaningful ways.

Cultivating creative imagination has a powerful role to play at this pivotal time in human history as scientists around the world are reporting that the impacts of climate change on civilization and the natural world are accelerating. We need to cultivate a pragmatic form of hope by discovering clarity followed by empowering actions, resilient individual and systemic support with effective methods that support eco-harmonious change.

Continue reading Ecological Imagination: Listening to the Heart of the Earth (Audio)

Become A Better Leader Through Self-Empathy

Published in Forbes Magazine in Jan 2017, by Fleet Maull. Fleet will be presenting Seven Keys to Mindful Leadership for Social Transformation at Hollyhock on June 28 – July 2, 2017.

There are many different leadership styles and qualities that make a good leader, but people tend to be most attracted to and influenced by leaders who are empathetic.

A study by BI Norwegian Business School found that employees were more committed and efficient on the job when their employers displayed increased self-awareness and insight. As leaders, listening is one of the key skills we use to give people the experience of our empathic presence and make them feel heard. But to give others our full attention and become an empathetic leader, we first need to be empathetic with ourselves.

Continue reading Become A Better Leader Through Self-Empathy

Our Place in the Web of Life

By Leslie Davenport, who will be presenting Deepening Climate Advocacy at Hollyhock on June 19-23, 2017.

Let an image form in your mind’s eye of a web, the delicate filaments intricately connected, each one vibrating in response to the smallest movement on any part of the net. We know this image from the wisdom traditions, like the Buddhist sutra that describes Indra’s Net as a vast, jeweled web suspended in the heavenly abode, the essential structure that supports all of life. Quantum physics mirrors this ancient teaching in scientific terms, revealing that the universe is interconnected in much more subtle ways than previously realized. And perhaps when we wander deep into nature and see the roots of trees growing into a stream and the leaves tipping upward to be nurtured by the sun, it is easy to recognize the way that life self-organizes into a functional, interdependent whole. When we are quiet and open, some part of us, down in our bones, simply feels the truth of our connection with all of life.

While Image result for spider webthis web is an inspiring image and philosophically profound, it is essentially practical. Maintaining an awareness of our interdependence can guide our day-to-day choices in being part of something larger than ourselves. As we recognize the living connections between ourselves and all other life forms, we begin to discover our role within the potential of a larger reparative movement, a vitally needed shift toward an eco-harmonious way of living. This is becoming clearer as awareness grows regarding where our food and clothing comes from, and how to maintain, recycle or upcycle items to reduce waste. But our practical interdependence is an even more subtle and pervasive weaving of energetic filaments. It includes not only what we do, but how we express the gifts of who we are in the world. Continue reading Our Place in the Web of Life

The 5 Elements of the Cuban Spirit

By Chen Lizra, who will be presenting The Power of the Cuban Spirit on May 19 – 24, 2017 at Hollyhock.

In today’s world we are seeing crumbling values and a loss of our core as human beings. As we look around, many world leaders, but not all, don’t set a good example anymore. They have stopped being role models we care to live up to. The problem is that seeing and feeling this change causes many to lose hope. We need hope to be happy and to feel a certain magic. Life is meant to be lived with a little ‘je ne sais quoi.’

On top of this, we chase careers, fulfillment, owning a house, cars, raising kids and giving them a comfortable future, we want more and more, but with that more comes a sacrifice. We get addicted to the race, to the stress, to doing without knowing anymore how to stop. Does it really make us happy? Are we really satisfied with life? Do we know how to really enjoy the journey and not just the end goal?

I’ve been traveling back and forth forImage result for chen lizra work to Cuba since 2005. Cuba
is a country that did not follow society’s trajectory, model of the Western World and capitalism. As such it became a case study and a human laboratory for alternative living, connecting and enjoying life. When visiting Cuba there is a certain magic you feel that can’t be explained. And it’s not just because you are on a holiday.

So what is this magic? What are its components? And can they be learned and can work anywhere?

Continue reading The 5 Elements of the Cuban Spirit

Bombay Chai

From Garden to Table, by Moreka Jolar, Heidi Scheifley, and the Hollyhock Cooks

Finally! This is the result of many years of hunting for the perfect Chai – with just enough spice to warm the gullet. It’s easy to make this Chai without dairy. The potent fennel falvor and undertones of cardamom will transport you right into the busy streets of Bombay. Or a Cortes Island potluck.

Ingredients – Makes 7 Cups

  • 3 cups water
  • 1 tbsp fresh ground fennel
  • 2 tsp fresh groundcardamom
  • 1 inch of fresh ginger root, sliced thin
  • 4 cups milk (dairy or non-dairy alternative)
  • 7 quality Assam tea bags
  • 3 tbsp honey
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract

Continue reading Bombay Chai

Hollyhock exists to inspire, nourish and support people who are making the world better. Our learning centres are located on Cortes Island and Vancouver, BC.