Tag Archives: Vancouver

Celebrating 35 Years: 2017 Hollyhock Program Launch Party

Hollyhock exists to inspire, nourish, and support people who are making the world better. Connect with presenters and inspiring changemakers while celebrating Hollyhock’s 35th year.

Join us to celebrate our 2017 program launch! Enjoy appy’s, beverages, presentations by a few of our 2017 presenters, and a door prize draw.

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Eventbrite Tickets

Writing Through the Fire

By Mirabai Starr, who will be presenting Writing Your Story of Loss & Transformation in Vancouver on Nov 4-6, 2016.

At the end of October 2001, on the day my first book came out – a translation of Dark Night of the Soul by the sixteenth century mystic, John of the Cross – my fourteen-year-old daughter Jenny was killed in a car crash. Although I had been on a dedicated spiritual path nearly all my life, nothing could have prepared me for the descent into the transformational fire of grief.

Spiritual practices were for ordinary times. This was cataclysmic, and nothing less than radical truth would satisfy my anguished soul.

All the tricks I had learned on the path – which I had innocently thought of as methods – failed me. Meditation, chanting, reading sacred scriptures – they were not only inadequate for addressing my brokenness but they struck me as wholly inappropriate. Spiritual practices were for ordinary times. This was cataclysmic, and nothing less than radical truth would satisfy my anguished soul. The most radical truth I could identify was that there are no answers for the Great Mystery. All I could do as loss swept through the landscape of my heart was to sit in the fire of unknowing and allow it to burn.
And write. Write through the pain, write through the mystery, write through every one of the so-called stages of grief: denial (my child can’t really be dead); anger (it must be somebody’s fault); bargaining (if only); depression (I surrender to my sorrow); and acceptance (this is what happened, and now I must integrate it into the tapestry of my life). Continue reading Writing Through the Fire

Finding Your Calling ~ Interview with Adam Bucko

via ShambhalaTimes.org

photo credit: Tim Good: Photography by Tiwago via photopin cc

photo credit: Tim Good: Photography by Tiwago via photopin ccAdam Bucko is an activist, spiritual director to many of New York City’s homeless youth, and co-author of a new award-winning book called “Occupy Spirituality: A Radical Vision for a New Generation”. Adam presents Occupy Spirituality: Radical Aliveness for Changing the World in Vancouver April 10 & 11, 2015.  In this interview, he shares with the path of finding one’s calling. 

Interview conducted by Cameron Wenaus of Retreat.Guru and Sarah Lipton, Editor-in-Chief of the Shambhala Times. Interview transcribed by Emma Sartwell and edited by Christopher Schuman.

Finding one’s calling comes out of contemplative experience, which “for me,” Adam Bucko says, “is about essentially being in a state of receptivity and listening.” Contemplative practice has long been described as being about reaching a state of receptivity to what is – receptivity to the presence and activity of God in one’s life.” Continue reading Finding Your Calling ~ Interview with Adam Bucko

Mindful Communication

Sketch courtesy of Flickr, Creative Communications, Joan Mas

What is Mindfulness?  Throughout North America we are turning to the action of mindfulness in all walks of our lives.  Meditation, Mindful Coaching, Mindful Parenting, Mindful Thinking.  These varied practices are encouraging us all to be mindful in all aspects of our lives to create a more positive experience.

Rachelle Lamb is a long time partner with Hollyhock, teaching us how to use the power of language for positive dialogue.  This month, Rachelle will return to Hollyhock and bring her thoughts and experiences to the classroom around the wonders and benefits of ‘treating everyone as if you were in love with them’.  Mindful Communication.  Rachelle cites a poem by Derek Tasker to set the stage for the program.

I Wonder

I wonder what would happen if

I treated everyone like I was in love

with them, whether I like them or not

and whether they respond or not and no matter

what they say or do to me and even if I see

things in them which are ugly twisted petty

cruel vain deceitful indifferent, just accept

all that and turn my attention to some small

weak tender hidden part and keep my eyes on

that until it shines like a beam of light

like a bonfire I can warm my hands by and trust

it to burn away all the waste which is not

never was my business to meddle with.

– Derek Tasker


Rachelle Lamb will be exploring in her upcoming program at Hollyhock in Vancouver, 19-20 October.


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Photograph courtesy of Flickr, Creative Commons, johnwilliamsphd.





Community Gardens

By Brooke Spencer

Vancouver is now home to over seventy-five community gardens and over a dozen urban farms in the inner city. As part of the Vancouver Greenest City 2020 Action, planners encourage community gardens, farmers markets and urban farms with hopes that numbers will continue to increase. These gardens can be found in city parks, school grounds and private properties; there is even a garden located at City Hall.

Lots of people do not have the space or resources to grow their own vegetables at home but through the use of community gardens, people can enjoy the benefits of fresh, locally grown produce. Potential low income families are given access to nutritionally rich foods which may not have been available to them.

Along with the upside of healthy eating, community gardens also promote community building, sharing and friendship as well as reducing the levels of crime. It can be a place for people of many different backgrounds to interact with one another; you get the chance to meet your neighbours and look out for one another. Community gardens have also been endorsed by the police as an effective crime prevention strategy as people develop an appreciation for living things.

Older generations with gardening experience can share their knowledge with others and inspire a new generation of conscious growers. Kids can grow up to learn more about where their food comes from, environmental sustainability as well as the life skills that emerge from working with others toward a common goal. People can also learn about the importance of recycling, saving items to compost instead of being thrown in a landfill. Food scraps, paper cups, paper towels and grass clipping can even be used in place of fertilizer.

Working in the garden can be a form of physical exercise and has actually be proven to reduce stress rates; horticultural therapy is a growing trend. Gardens can also increase oxygen levels and reduce the level of pollution in areas. People who garden can also develop an immunity to pesky pollen allergies because they are gradually exposed to small amounts of it.

Community gardens can also facilitate crops that would not always be available in the average grocery store. For example, GMO free seeds. Many reports show that urban farms can be more productive per square inch that larger scale farms growing genetically modified produce.

Check out the City of Vancouver’s website for a list of community gardens near you.