My daughter, Sara, and I have recently been listening closely to the music of our friend Rhiannon. The timeless old folk song, “Shenandoah,” is a particular favourite. So one beautiful evening, when my assistant Samantha and I had a few hours to spare, we set about making a short video using the song. It’s a sentimental tale about a young man who must depart from the daughter of an Indian chief. The video’s a bit self-indulgent but, as in the act of plein air painting, a sense of timelessness overcame us as we lingered together on the lonely river.
Robert Genn, celebrated painter and author of the phenomenal Twice Weekly Letters, is one of Canada’s most important living masters, with a career spanning over 5 decades. His writings on art comprise one of the largest bodies of writing on the subject by one author, benevolently reaching artists across the globe. painterskeys.com
The didjeridu (Yidaki) is one of the oldest known instruments in the world, perfect for soloists, musical accompaniment, or meditation. The technique of circular breathing allows a continuous note to be played, inducing a trance on the player and the listener while facilitating healing and spiritual awareness. Learn a variety of sound healing techniques as you play and receive healing treatments. Delve into traditional and contemporary rhythms, harmonics and vocalizing with the didjeridu. One-on-one instruction, ensemble, and solo playing serve all levels of experience.
Watch Shine Edgar in this short clip:
Enter into the powerful earthly sound of the Australian Aboriginal didjeridu this May. Deepen your awareness of the breath, voice and expression unique to your body as you listen in and create your own rhythms. Read more….
At a recent workshop that I delivered, a participant approached me during the break and said, “I saw Margaret Wheatley speak last week and she was saying the same thing you are!” Certainly I know of Wheatley but I’m embarrassed to say that I’ve not read any of her books or heard her speak before. Just a few days ago I purchased her latest book So Far From Home: Lost and found in a brave new world. A few pages in and I’m thrilled to have a copy and be part of her tribe. I love her terminology “weapons of compassion and insight” So beautiful! I have always held the firm belief that within the context of social change and dispute resolution, any conversation that does not hold as central a deep and compassionate inquiry into why alienation and violence occur to begin with will only contribute to continued alienation and violence.
Take the example of bullying. Has anyone noticed that “zero tolerance for bullying” doesn’t prevent bullying? What if instead of trying to stop bullying we began to focus on what leads people to resort to behaviours that we label as bullying? I remember sitting in a classroom of grade 5 students when an outside presenter came in to discuss the subject. She began by asking the kids to describe a “bully”. Predictably, her question elicited more labels from the students: mean, pushy, hostile, aggressive, selfish and on it went. And so how can we develop compassionate solutions when we use and encourage language that segregates and divides? .. language that creates enemy images? How can we possibly find our way to effectively resolving issues when we engage in subtler forms of the very thing we condemn? Sadly the same divisive language is commonplace in marriages, organizational environments and politics. The enemy image is only a word or two away .. and while we’re quick to believe the enemy is somewhere “out there”, it hatches and breeds in our minds.
And so on that note, if you’d like to arm yourself with the weapons of insight and compassion, please consider joining me at Hollyhock May 26-31 on beautiful Cortes Island .. a wonderful five days of rich immersion and “warrior training”. Find out how incredibly satisfying it can be to experience the inevitable shifts that occur when people use language deliberately .. with skillful discernment, curiosity, openness and a deep underlying love for humanity.
Moving scenes from one of my all time favourite movies: Dead Poets Society. Also a little insight into what you can expect from me as a teacher 🙂
Rachelle Lamb is an author and speaker and is president of Mindful Communication. She has shown thousands how to courageously and skillfully navigate interpersonal tension and conflict, leading toward breakthrough. rachellelamb.com
This three day teaching is part wonder, part battle cry and part strategy for the beginnings of a deeply wrought human life which makes peace with the ravaged world, finds a home along the old abandoned road, and honours the grief soaked longing for those things and those people we thought we lost. This is what generations to come deserve from us, this labour, and it might still fashion from us a generation of ancestors worth coming from.
Join Stephen at Hollyhock this May 20th-24th, and Contemplate the deep poverties and profound possibilities of our time and re-establish the grief and love soaked ties to life, home and village. This is a two-year project of personal ancestral learning and cultural redemption for those who intend to leave a better day for those to come. It is a school that requires no previous experience with living people, dying people or dead people – though you do have experience with all of them – and no particular employment, religion, educational standard or way of life. It is open to every shape, persuasion, style, language and hue of person with a heart inclined for opening and learning. Each of us deserve the chance to learn something deep, alive, human, urgent and mandatory. This is at the heart of the Orphan Wisdom School.
One of my best memories from last year’s SCI was the first night, when an impromptu group sat down together outside and launched into a long and spirited conversation on the state of the climate movement. It was the type of conversation that occurs on the best panels of the year, and there it was, not even on the main program.
I’m sad to say I cannot make SCI this year because I will be out of the country. But if you care about the state the world is in, and want to see change happen, being there should be a top priority.
What makes SCI different is its annual act of plucking activists of all stripes from their chronically busy lives, and throwing them together into a distilled essence of awesome. Each year the organizers manage to break people from their daily customs, pull back to see the big picture, then strategically reinsert agents of change. That is the true alchemy of SCI.
There is a lot to nourish the soul on Cortes Island. The Hollyhock property is gorgeous — I’m a big fan of the campground myself — and the food is amazing. I guarantee you will come home with your reservoirs of hope and energy restored.
Marc Lee is the Co-Director of the Climate Justice Project and Chair of the Progressive Economics Forum, a national network of heterodox economists. He contributes regularly to Relentlessly Progressive Economics, a blog of the PEF, and researches and writes on a variety of economic and social policy issues for the CCPA’s BC and National Offices. In addition to tracking federal and provincial budgets and economic trends, Marc has published on a wide range of topics from poverty and inequality to globalization and international trade to public services and regulation. He is a past Vice Chair of the Vancouver City Planning Commission and prior to joining the CCPA, Marc was engaged in popular economics education through RAIN, a partnership with his spouse. policyalternatives.ca