Category Archives: Cortes Programs

Learn how to write a song from the ground up with the talented Cris Williamson

Join the singer and songwriter of the newly released album fringe, Cris Williamson, for a musical adventure. You don’t have to be a musician or a writer.  You do have to be a seeker.  We’ll undergo a passage together, using individual and group exercises, searching for our own authentic voices.  We’ll emphasize lyrics and lyrical writing, factual and abstract, wild and structured.  We’ll conclude with at least one group song, and leave hopefully feeling more confident and expressive.

Decades before indie labels were the norm, and years before women had any real access in the industry, in her own way, Cris Williamson was busy changing the face of popular music. She hasn’t looked back since.

For nearly 30 years, Cris has toured incessantly, performing in Russia, Europe, Australia, Canada and New Zealand. One of the most sought-after performers on the acoustic circuit, she continues to criss-cross America, selling out Carnegie Hall three times, and headlining among others, the Newport and Kerrville Folk Festivals. www.criswilliamson.com

Join Cris Williamson for a soulful journey in songwriting; Songwriting Catch and Release, June 14-19, 2013 on Cortes Island. 

Discover ways to incorporate yoga teachings on non-harm and social engagement into your life

Redefining the present moment – Michael Stone

What does it mean to be in the moment? What does it mean to be mindful? Yogi and Buddhist teacher Michael Stone breaks down the oft used term and shows how it relates to being mindful about what’s really going on.

The gift of our wounds – Michael Stone

 

The heart of non-attachment – Michael Stone

True non-attachment is an intimacy with life. Buddhist teacher and yogi Michael Stone shares his perspective on how to live an engaged life.

Shot & edited by Ian MacKenzie http://ianmack.com

Michael Stone leader of Centre of Gravity, is a psychotherapist, Yoga teacher, author and activist, committed to the integration of traditional teachings with contemporary psychological and philosophical understanding. The components of his practice include Yoga postures, breathing technique, meditation and textual study. Over the years, his goal has been to cultivate long-term relationships with people who want to deepen their understanding of Yoga and Buddhist teachings and practice. He also maintains a dedicated workshop and retreat schedule in communities in Canada and abroad. Michael is a father and lives in Toronto with his partner Carina Lof and his 9 year old son Arlyn. These days you can find him working on a documentary film called “Reactor,” a new book of the same title, teaching, and also giving talks at conferences and in community.

Join Michael Stone  June 28 – July 3 for a workshop on The Inner Tradition of Yoga and discover ways to incorporate yoga teachings on non-harm and social engagement into your life

 

Social Change with Hollyhock

social_change trio

Leadership. Skills. Connection. 

Sharpen skills, deepen impact, generate new possibilities. SCI gathers seasoned and emerging innovators to strengthen capacity, collaborations, and success of the social change sector.  SCI enhances organizational effectiveness, provides leadership development opportunities, and generates new possibilities through interactive workshops, creative practices, dialogue circles, and community building. Join us for this 5-day experiential convening designed for high impact and emerging leaders from nonprofits, government and mission-based enterprises who are seeking practical skills and networking opportunities to take their work to the next level.
Why attend SCI 2013? You will gain insight into the latest movement and organizing strategies, online tools, campaigns, leadership practices while immersed in the stunning natural setting of Canada’s leading educational retreat centre~ Hollyhock. This is your chance to break away from the daily pressures of work and life. To think big, focus your intensions, sharpen your skills, and make life long connections.
Your Social Change Institute Conference Hosts include: Joel Solomon and Cara Pike andTheodora Lamb.
Joel Solomon is President of Renewal Partners, Chairman of Renewal2 Fund and Board Chair of Hollyhock. renewal2.ca

Cara Pike
 is the director of Climate Access, founding board member of the Global Footprint Network and an advisory board member of David Suzuki’s Stonehouse Standing Circle. climateaccess.org


Theodora Lamb
‘s passion for digital advocacy led her to work in social media where she helps strengthen online communities. She is a web consultant with Capulet Communications. capulet.com

“SCI is truly a unique event. Highlights included meeting activists and leaders working in different sectors and from different constituencies to share the best ideas. Learning about the challenges and successes of their campaigns was invaluable, we don’t get this kind of opportunity to learn from each other and give feedback.” ~ Seth Klein, Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives
The opportunity to addend Social Change Institute is by invite only unless you’re returning as an alumni. You can request an invite and learn more about the conference at scihollyhock.org.
Join Joel Solomon, Cara Pike and Theodora Lamb for Social Change, on Cortes Island June 5-9, 2013

Steve Paulson interviews Rupert Sheldrake

Via To The Best of Our Knowledge

Is science really the realm of free inquiry, open to every good idea?  Controversial biologist Rupert Sheldrake says modern science is mired in various dogmas – boundaries you’re not supposed to cross, at least if you value your job and your reputation.

Listen to Steve Paulson’s interview with Rupert on Science Set Free.

 

RupertSheldrakeRupert SheldrakePhD, is a biologist and author of more than 80 scientific papers and many books including Science Set FreeMorphic Resonance and Dogs That Know When Their Owners are Coming Home. He taught biology at Cambridge University, and worked in an international agricultural institute in India. sheldrake.org

Join Rupert, Cosmo and Merlin Sheldrake at Hollyhock, July 31st – Aug 4th, for “Plants, Minds and Resonances“.

The Road Map to Salvation through Mantra

BY SNATAM KAUR KHALSA

How can we really enjoy this life?  How can we really enjoy being in our bodies, in this rib cage?  We must have the capacity to have a still and quiet mind.  Because the joy is there.  This innocence is there. The love is there.  We become too ravaged in our own insecurity, our own misery, our own blindness, to even see the truth.  Yes, thrash around if you must, gnarl and gnash your teeth like a wild animal.  After enough tearing about, you will be left alone, simply alone, to rebuild the pieces of your life.

Use the sacred medicine of Mantra at this time, and you will find the happiness and the joy that you are seeking.  What is despair?  What is anguish?  It is a simple frequency of the mind.  Just as Mantra is a frequency of the mind.  Mantra is a word that is thousands of years old.  It means projection (tra) of the mind (man).  Mantra is the way we project our mind to Divinity.

Snatam_Kaur_playingAs human beings we are constantly in a state of being in touch with our darkness and our light, our insecurity and our security, our courage and our fear.  We come to this earth with our karma, our past actions from previous lifetimes.  Our souls have come here to learn and grow.  The yogis say that it takes 8.4 million lifetimes (rock, blade of grass, ant, tortoise, etc. etc. not necessarily in that order!) to reach the human incarnation.  We have passed through that animal phase.  Yet many of us are still in this kind of animal phase, and even worse then animals.  At least with animals there is an innocence about their actions.  We have even lost our innocence!  So, how do we experience the goodness, the joy, and the love?  How do we reach our Divinity? Mantra.  Mantra, takes you there.  It is a fast track, direct line.  Many people do not want to even practice it, because it works too well!  They enjoy the neurosis, the anger, the pain, and the anguish!  There is a certain kind of satisfaction in it, a knowing, the familiar, and the oh so delicious drama of it all.  Mantra, well, sorry folks, mantra is kind of boring.  It is that kind of boring, boring, boring, boring a hole into your heart so that your light can finally shine through you.  It takes time, it takes patience, it takes consistency, it takes prioritization.

Here is a thousand foot view of the human experience of Mantra from the beginning to the ultimate goal. Someone experiences a Mantra, they get healed, they feel light, they feel love, and they feel joy.  Perhaps they heard someone singing it, their yoga teacher, a musician, something. If they are lucky, they will realize that it was  not in fact the human carrier of the mantra that brought them joy, but the living presence of the Mantra.  You see, because every mantra is alive, a living breathing energy.  The mantras find you!  So yes, if you know the truth, you will know that the healing, the joy has come from the Mantra itself.  With this realization one incorporates the Mantra into their life.  The ultimate goal is that the Mantra becomes you, you live it and breath it, it guides your breath, your thoughts, and your actions.  These Mantras are simple positive affirmations of the love and light of God that is within and around us, the affirmation of truth and reality that all is Divine, all is God.

Most of us exist with the Mantras on a very peripheral level.  We hear the Mantra every once in a while, we cycle in and out, we go to a chant concert or experience one night, to a disco the next night, we chant together, and then we turn around and yell and scream at each other all in the same day!  Such is the human life!  How do we get to  grace, to true experience, and joy?

My teacher taught a very simple practice that in essence gives the opportunity for all of us having a very human experience to transform, and transform completely.  It is essentially a road map to salvation through Mantra for the house holder.

It is called the Aquarian Sadhana.  I have been practicing this Sadhana since I was a teenager. And yes, with all of my faults and life in its ebb and flow, if there is anything that has worked for me, it is this practice.  This is the way it is done; we get up before the sun rises, in what is called the “Amrit Vela” or nectar time; somewhere around 3:30 am.  To make this early rising sustainable one must go to bed early as well. So we rise up, and then take a cold shower.  And yes, I did just say that.  I’ll say it again in caps, Cold Shower.  If you want to change your life, wake up before the sun and take a cold shower!  It is the most awesome experience in the world.  It totally wakes you up, for obvious reasons, but also gives you an amazing rush and experience of circulation which is fabulous for your skin and all of your organs.  Any emotional freak outs, any craziness, can be completely healed by a cold shower.  Alright so, moving on, then we do a recitation called Jap ji.  Followed by about a half hour of yoga, and then by seven mantras which we chant.  Of course in this article I cannot tell you what all of the chants are, and how to do the practice.  You can come and attend one of our courses to have an experience of that.  Or check out one of the links below for more information.

What I can tell you is that this practice has changed by life.  It has given me the opportunity as a human being, in the best and worst use of the word, in all of my experience, to reach the Divine.  Why?

Here is why, and the number one thing I wish to convey.

I do it every day.  Let me repeat that.  I do it every day.  Like the heart beat, I am consistent.  With consistency we convince the mind that yes, in fact we are putting our Divinity first, we are prioritizing it at the top, that this is in fact the core experience that we are choosing to have.  Daily practice.  That is how we are going to change the world.  That is how we are going to bring peace to this planet.  One practitioner at a time.  And so we set aside 2.5 hours each day, we give a little over 10% of our day to God, and as my teacher Yogi Bhajan says, then God gives Himself/Herself to you.

What is my goal with all of this? To have sacred mantras in my mind all day, all night, all the time.  Am I there yet?  No.  Do I have a method to get there?  Yes.

Join me my friends.  Find a way to have a daily practice.  Put Divinity in the front seat, and watch as your life, even if ever so slowly, changes and transforms.  We have to start somewhere.  And if you are like me, the chaos, the noise, the confusion, the drama, is well, let’s just say, not really working any longer.  Let us find the stillness, and even for a moment allow for the boredom to set in.  Ah yes, the boredom!  Where we can finally be still long enough to hear the laughter of a child.  Where we can finally be still enough to see how much God truly loves us.  Where we can finally just be.

Sat Nam. God Bless You.

Snatam_Kaur

Snatam Kaur is a beloved teacher of chant and yoga whose dedication to peace, love and wellbeing have inspired students and audiences around the planet. She is one of the most popular New Age artists of all time, selling over 70,000 albums a year with enthusiastic press about her music everywhere from the Houston Chronicle to the Hindustan Times. She’s been featured in publications such as Oprah Magazine, Yoga Journal, and LA Yoga. Dressed in distinctive Sikh garb, Snatam Kaur embodies the Sikh message of strength through inner serenity. snatamkaur.com

Join Snatam Kaur at Hollyhock on Cortes Island Sept 13-16, 2013, for Awaken the Kundalini.