Ann Mortifee and I are teaching a session at Hollyhock, on Cortes Island this August titled Moving into the Unknown. But before we can intend to move into the unknown and experience the Mystery, we must first believe it is possible to do so. How do I know that I am developing a relationship with the unseen forces of nature, and the creatures who inhabit the other-than-human world? Here are three examples from my daily 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 this 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 incredible properties of mushrooms are being unearthed by mycologists with wide-ranging benefits in various fields from packaging to antibiotics, biofuels to ecological pesticides.
In 2006, a patent was granted to mycologist, Paul Stamets. The patent is perhaps the biggest threat the chemical pesticide industry has ever encountered and this is only one of a string of patents Paul has to his name.
This interview by Richard Schiffman with Hollyhock Presenter Paul Stamets was originally published in The New Scientist, February 2016. Paul will be presenting Mushrooms: Wild & Mysterious at Hollyhock on Oct 23 -27, 2016
Tell me about the hat you’re wearing.
It’s made from a birch polypore mushroom. Our ancestors realized that you could get this tough bracket fungus off birch trees, hollow it out and put fire in it and carry it for days. This enabled the portability of fire that is so critical for human survival. When the same mushroom is boiled and stretched, it produces a fabric. There are only a handful of people in Transylvania who are making these hats now. Because of deforestation and the difficulty of finding large-enough mushrooms, the hats are becoming very rare.