feature photo courtesy of Dawn, Flickr Creative Commons
There are a lot of articles out there these days, including this one from the Huffington Post, which list the benefits of meditation – including reduced stress, improved concentration, greater happiness, slower aging… There is a story at Hollyhock about another benefit of meditation and how it helped to secure the Great Bear Rainforest from logging during the “War of the Woods”.
In the spirit of Valentine’s Day, Board Member Karen Mahon tells the story of The Love Strategy in this short video.
The ‘Maker Movement’ is coming to Cortes Island in October. This contemporary subculture has a strong focus using and developing practical skills and applying them creatively.
Etsy, the fast growing e-market place promotes Arts and Craft Makers around the world. In Canada, Etsy has been on the road this year ‘popping-up’ in cities from the East to the West Coast, joining together local craft makers and Artisans to share their ideas and create local Maker Movements.
Jessika Hepburn is an Etsy Ambassador, a ‘Mover and Maker’, a cheerful activist and a Community Matchmaker. Based in Halifax, Nova Scotia Jessika and Friends will be visiting Hollyhock to share their talents, their business ideas, their experiences and their energies with us. Make a Move to Jessika’s web site to read more.
Today is Saturday. The sun has just dipped below the western mesa and the face of the Sangre de Cristo Mountains is about to be washed with the scarlet glow from which the range derives its poetic name. Shabbat is over and, in the tradition of my ancestors, I mourn a little. The Sabbath, they say, is a taste of “the world to come” — a day so sweet that the Holy One, in His infinite mercy, gives us 25 hours instead of the standard 24 so that we can have a little more time to dwell in tranquility and delight.
Or Hers. Her infinite mercy. Shabbat is drenched with the Sacred Feminine. When the sun sets on Friday night and we kindle the Sabbath candles we call in the Shekhinah, the indwelling feminine presence of the Divine in the form of the Sabbath Bride. The Shekhinah has been exiled from her beloved Israel, which stands for all people. Jewish mysticism teaches that when we rise to meet the Bride in song and thanksgiving she enters us and renders us whole again. She infuses us with a second soul, an additional spiritual resource with which to navigate the holy temple in time that is Shabbat. Filled with her radiant presence we can pray more deeply, study more insightfully, enjoy food and sex and all the other blessings of creation with greater gladness.
Filled with a love for the Divine known through many names and forms, Gina Salá leads regular participatory chanting evenings (mantra, bhakti, japa,and naada yoga) internationally. Singing is Gina Salá’s path to praising and celebrating the Oneness that is inherent in all, and her passion is Singing us into remembrance of Who we are. She began chanting at the age of 3 at the hindu ashram where she spent her early years. She has been studying Indian singing and other singing for decades as well as Sanskrit and sound tantra and is blessed to share what she has learned from her teachers.
At chanting events with Gina Salá and her musical guests, you are always welcome to come as you are, participate as you like. As Gina says, “No experience or particular belief system is needed to directly experience the bliss of chanting our hearts awake to Who we are. Who is singing when we sing?” Direct experience of our open hearts and oneness is what matters. Jai!
Peace and blessings to all Beings!
Beyond these evenings, Gina leads retreats, including an upcoming session on Cortes Island. For an idea of what you might experience have a listen here.
Now let’s close our eyes, listen and imagine chanting here:
Jai Ma! indeed.
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.