Category Archives: Nature

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 Magic of Mushrooms

Via Euronews

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.

Continue reading The Magic of Mushrooms

We’re Sitting on a Mould Mine

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.

Continue reading We’re Sitting on a Mould Mine

The Sounds in Silence: How Horses Help Humans Become Their Own Masterpiece

By Sandra Wallin, director of Chiron’s Way Centre. Sandra will be co-presenting Horse Wisdom in Vancouver on Sept 17, 2017.

Horses have inspired artists throughout the ages and in turn, those of us who look upon their art are captivated by the beauty and majesty of the horse. The cave drawings in Lascaux, Leonardo’s sculptures, and the finger paintings that adorn kindergarten classrooms, created by little girls who dream of being a horse.

What I want to share however, is a new way of looking at horses, through stories that pay homage to the master artist in each horse.  Instead of the painted, they are now the painters, transforming the at times tattered canvas of the human spirit into glowing masterpieces, alive with the colours of love, compassion and joy.

The Sounds In Silence:

My first story begins wrapped in the grey mist of a wet, west coast day.  It was drizzling and overcast as I went out to groom the horses. Standing beside them in the shelter it seemed as though the world stood still. The clouds hovered atop our little mountain, shutting out the sounds from far away, creating a quiet symphony of the little sounds that often go unnoticed … the drips falling from leaf to leaf, the wonderful sound of horses chewing, my own contented sigh.

Continue reading The Sounds in Silence: How Horses Help Humans Become Their Own Masterpiece

Blending Nature and Civilization in the Body: Energy Flow is the Key

By Ann Marie Chiasson, MD who will be presenting Energy Healing Essentials at Hollyhock on August 19-24, 2016!

Twenty years ago I learned the fundamental principle that our energy and vitality does not actually belong to us – it is dependent on how connected we are to the larger energy field that we all live within. This includes nature and community (human and animal) and how our body is connected to these sources of energy. You may ask – Aren’t we always connected? Yes, we are always connected. However, how this connection flows through the body’s energy flow and organs is key.

These are ancient concepts –around for more than 4000 years, yet humans, in general, are becoming less connected to this life force energy flow. For starters, we have moved in-doors. We live alone more, or in smaller family units without extended family. We wear shoes, eat processed foods, and spend much of our time on-line or on the phone. We have become sedentary at work – and movement is the most effective way to move energy and energy blocks in the body.

We are definitely seeing the compensation in our culture – yoga is more common than ever (all about energy) and now we are even seeing Emergency departments putting photos of nature on the walls. Continue reading Blending Nature and Civilization in the Body: Energy Flow is the Key