Tag Archives: relaxation

Hang Out At Hollyhock

By Cherie Thiessen via BC Magazine

The northern reaches of the Strait of Georgia are gently rippling today, and in the background the lofty Coastal Mountains still wear a skiff of snow while overshadowing the gentler profiles of the Discovery Islands. I’m glad we have 45 minutes aboard the refit relief boat, Quadra Queeen II; time to savour the pristine, open view before arriving at Whaletown on Cortes Island, British Columbia.

We let our senses quietly expand and absorb. The day will culminate in Hollyhock’s hot tub overlooking the Strait of Georgia and Twin Islands, after three relaxing ferries and leisurely Vancouver and Cortes island drives. Oystercatchers will be calling close by our beachfront cottage and my friend, Pat Crossley, and I will fall asleep listening to the slurp of waves.


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Feeling as Doorway to Presence

By Zuza Engler via her blogZuza will be presenting Soul Motion: Body as Living Presence with her partner Scott Engler at Hollyhock, September 18-23, 2016.

What does it take for someone to actually feel something when they move? Several years back, I wrote a whole 300+ page dissertation (a spiritual boot camp process that almost did me in, I do not recommend it) exploring with a group of brave movers this very question. Having experienced the amazing unlocking powers of conscious dance I wanted to understand how to make those keys myself: how to shape practices that would open the door to, encourage, and support feeling on the dance floor.

Here’s some learnings from my study: The willingness to feel is a must & the first step. Passing through the gate of fear is often required. Repeated sacrifice of identity (i.e. the I that I think I am), habit, attachment to outcome, all that may be asked for. Ability to trust the unknown and surrender to the Mystery is essential.

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Meditation and Freedom

By Padma Shyam, Founder of Padma MeditationJune 9, 2016

Freedom is your natural state of being, your true nature. You are free, and this wisdom can be unfolded in meditation.

Meditation is a state of pure self-awareness where you know freedom. You find balance in your self, free from bondage to your mind’s changing troubles. You find your best you, your happiest you, and can live with health, clarity and confidence. In this freedom, you enjoy life, being no longer driven to behave in ways that make you unhappy. You’re free to be happy, free from anxiety and fears. Meditation reveals this freedom, perfect contentment, satisfaction and fulfillment, with a deep sense of security and wholeness.

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Relax Your Mind with this Michael Stone Podcast

by Michael Stone via Centre of Gravity

michaelstone2012Michael Stone talks on the importance of relaxing your mind and how patience and relaxation give rise to enthusiasm. Talk is based on chapter 8 of Shantideva’s Guide to a Bodhisattva’s Way of Life. Deep concentration arises through relaxation, ways of seeing your parents, and how to glide with breathing. Recorded at Centre of Gravity, Toronto. 1 hr.

Listen to the Podcast here.

Join Michael Stone Aug 24-29, 2014 for  Meditation and Deep Healing at Hollyhock on Cortes Island.

Give yourself a Time Out












“Someone recently asked me what my motivation was for facilitating women’s retreats.  Why, she asked, am I traveling all over the continent meeting with strangers, when I could stay put, write and record my songs, maybe write another book, all in the comfort of my own home?  The answer is:  Connection.  I believe that we all are yearning for deeper connection with like-minded people so that we can experience transformation, inspiration, and fun.  I know that’s what nourishes my soul, and that’s why I do this work.

When I facilitate Women’s Retreats, a sisterhood is created that touches our hearts and feeds our souls.  When we take the time for ourselves to chant, play, pray, laugh, and even cry, we create an expansiveness or an opening that we often fail to get in our day-to-day lives.  These “openings” are where we experience our true essence; where we can reconnect to our true nature; where we can find what lights us up; where we can become renewed and restored.  I call this getting a “faith lift.”

Music is one of the oldest forms used to start this “opening” process.  Music not only sounds good but it feels good, too.  The vibrations of the melody together with the power of the words makes music one of the most potent tools we can use to get in touch with our true essence.  The magic of music is that we can sing or chant along, or sit and let the music surround and infuse us – either way, music can lift us to a higher level.

In A Woman’s Time Out we become part of a supportive community as we step away from our daily lives and concentrate on rejuvenating our body, mind and spirit.  Our days start with “Morning Bliss” as we chant and sing ourselves into a loving, gentle space in which to do our work.  We have small-group time, time to meditate, time to be in nature, time to be creative.  We practice self-compassion and learn the benefits of self-care, and we discover tools that we can take back home with us to help us remember what is “it” or “not it” for us.


Karen Drucker is a musician, author, speaker, and workshop facilitator, and is considered one of the best-known New Though musicians in America.  Karen has been called “a master of communicating presence and spirituality through music.”  Karendrucker.com