Let an image form in your mind’s eye ofa 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→
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.
By Steven KH Aung, CM MD PhD OMD FAAFP / Clinical Professor, Faculty of Medicine and Dentistry / Adjunct Professor, Faculties of Extension, Rehabilitation Medicine / Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences and School of Public Health, University of Alberta Dr. Aung will be presenting Aung Medical Qi Gong & Intuition at Hollyhock on Aug 11-14th
“No matter what the circumstances, no matter what kind of tragedy I am facing. I practice compassion. This gives me inner strength and happiness…I myself, you see, am the devoted servant of compassion. This is the way I really feel.” – The Dalai Lama(1)
A strategic retreat will often prove itself to be surprisingly necessary in the face of adversity. It provides us with an opportunity to re-group and gather our strength, while our health and well-being will also benefit from its employment. It also provides us with the ability to counter and overcome stress, as stress (distress) is one of the worst health epidemics known. In traditional Chinese medicine (TCM), stress is considered a major external/internal pathogen. In Western biomedicine, stress tends to be viewed as the primary factor behind psychosomatic disorders. A retreat is a vital step forward – toward taking control of your own health. Continue reading Aung Medical Qi Gong Retreat: Reinforcement of Practice→
Do you take iPhone images of your friends, family and special life events? Or do you take images of nature and the environment?
Either way, photos that are more compelling and riveting will help you tell a more meaningful story.
Images straight out of the iPhone have some challenges. They often lack sharpness, clarity, saturation, contrast and balance.
In the iPhone photography course on June 24-29th, we will create images and apply powerful yet simple edits to make them more memorable. We will immerse in the unique beauty of Hollyhock and Cortes Island to discover, compose and share our personal visions.
Mythologist and wilderness rites-of-passage guide Martin Shaw has been described by Robert Bly as “a true master” and as “one of the very greatest storytellers we have.” Author of the award-winning ‘A Branch From The Lightning Tree: ecstatic myth and the grace in wildness’, he leads the Oral Tradition: Myth, Folktale, and Fairy Tale programme at Stanford University in the U.S., and is visiting lecturer on Desmond Tutu’s leadership programme at Oxford University. Director of the Westcountry School of Myth on Dartmoor, he lived under canvas for four years to get a deeper sense of the pockets of the wild still contained in Great Britain. Martin Shaw presents Mythteller at Hollyhock May 22 – 27, 2015.