Category Archives: Arts & Culture

Writing to Awaken at Hollyhock

By , originally published in AT FORTY FIVE

Writing To Awaken, the latest book by bestselling author, Mark Matousek, begins

When you tell the truth, your story changes
When your story changes, your life is transformed.

and that set the stage for the 5-day retreat I attended in mid-August at Hollyhock, Canada’s Lifelong Learning Centre on Cortes Island in beautiful Desolation Sound, British Columbia.

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Behind the Scenes, Watercolour on Location with David McEown

Upcoming Hollyhock presenter, David McEown, illustrates what is possible with the wonderful medium of water colour and the creative space it can place us in, with these behind-the-scenes videos.

David McEown painting the “Spirit Bear”, also known as the Kermode bear, in the Great Bear Rainforest on the Pacific Northwest of British Columbia, Canada.

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Moving into the Unknown

By Kristen Scholfield-Sweet, from The Journey Oracle Blog, who will be presenting Moving in the Unknown with Ann Mortifee at Hollyhock in  August 23-27, 2017.

Ann Mortifee and I are teaching a session at Hollyhock, on Cortes Island this August titled Moving into the Unknown.  But before we can intend to move into the unknown and experience the Mystery, we must first believe it is possible to do so.  How do I know that I am developing a relationship with the unseen forces of nature, and the creatures who inhabit the other-than-human world?  Here are three examples from my daily life.

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Taking Flight – Wings of a Dove – Rhiannon (Audio)

By Rhiannon who will be presenting  Singing in the Vocal River at Hollyhock on July 7 – 12, 2017.

This recording is an intimate singing exchange between you and Rhiannon. Using call and response as the basic format, Rhiannon will be your partner for each exercise, demonstrating patterns and leaving a space for you to sing after each example. You can feel safe to try your wings, knowing Rhiannon’s voice will be right there to guide you.

Wings of a Dove is a classic gospel song full of images of strength and of making it through hard times. This song gives you a chance to sing, melody, high and low harmony, or improvise words with the choir. Try clapping with us on beats two and four.

RhiannonRhiannon returns to create music on the beach, in the forests and in the round, resonant meeting hall of Hollyhock. Rhiannon has built her process for teaching vocal improvisation on the idea that we must be solid in musical skills, develop our intuition and be available to the mystery and grace that exist when creating music spontaneously. Rhiannon’s many years in the theatre as well as her life in music have resulted in this being a dynamic and natural blend.

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The Power of Voice

By Chloe Goodchild, who will be presenting The Naked Voice Wisdom School: Journey into the Secret Heart of Sound at Hollyhock in September.

Ever in my life have I sought thee with my songs. It was they who led me from door to door, and with them have I felt about me, searching and touching my world. It was my songs that taught me all the lessons I ever learnt; they showed me secret paths, they brought before my sight many a star on the horizon of my heart.

They guided me all the day long to the mysteries of the country of pleasure and pain, and, at last, to what palace gate have they brought me in these years of my fulfillment & disappearance ?

– Rabindranath Tagore

I love this message from the great Indian musician poet visionary Rabindranath Tagore. It encapsulates all that I love about the profound role vocal sound has played in my life, as a gateway into deep listening, and the deepest vibration of oneness within, sourced from silence.

Both science and spirituality agree that every particle of matter, every phenomenon we experience, is a form of resonance or vibration. The human voice is quite literally a mouthpiece of this truth; there is no form of expression more personal, more tied to our identities, than our voices.

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