Breitenbush Hot Springs Retreat and Conference Center in Oregon is accepting new members. Various positions open. Apply online, including your resume and cover letter.
The Findhorn Foundation, a long-standing educational charity committed to the spiritual evolution of planetary life, is calling for the next Lead Steward (CEO) to lead and scale the organisation. This is an exciting and pivotal moment for the Foundation as it leverages its rich legacy and evolves to meet the needs of a rapidly changing world.[Read more…]
Hollyhock CEO Peter Wrinch gave this speech at the 2022 Founders + Friends Soiree.
Our Collective Amygdalae
The human amygdala is a collection of cells the size of an almond, tucked behind our eyes beside the hippocampus. We actually have two amygdalae, one on each side of our brain. Our amygdalae are part of our ancient brain (not the brain stem, but the limbic system) and regulate our emotions with a particular focus on fear. It is believed that the amygdala helps to store memories of events and emotions that cause distress so that one can avoid such events in the future.
It is our amygdalae that has helped our species survive for close to 300,000 years. The awareness of threats and the ability to remember them and avoid similar experiences has been incredibly helpful, particularly when the threats were immediate and life threatening: such as a saber-tooth tiger or a village destroying fire.
So what do our amygdalae do when we are facing multiple crises as a species? How does our brain react when we are faced with a world-wide pandemic? A climate crisis? Systemic racism? Income inequality? Generational transition? Over the last few years, our amygdalae have been pulsating. Whether it is COVID, climate, racism – your amygdalae have been working overtime, highlighting that things are not safe. But it is not just you – everyone you know (and don’t know) has been experiencing some version of the same – their amygdalae are working overtime.
What happens to our society when our collective amygdalae are working overtime?
- Dictators invade countries
- Courts strip rights from people
- Political polarization
When everyone is viewed as a threat, separation and disconnection become currency. Relationships fray; organizations fall apart; movements and societies become fractured; and change becomes impossible.
Connection as Antidote
There are some that will argue that the chaos/fear/threats processed in the amygdalae is the natural state of humanity. These heirs of Hobbes argue that fear is the guide post of human society and that no shared human purpose is possible. Our work at Hollyhock is a direct challenge to this world view and posits human connection as an antidote to the modern illness of separation and disconnection.
What started as a small experiment by a group of dreamers (forty years ago!) wanting to live in greater connection to each other and the natural world, has become a learning lab for tens of thousands of people to become a better version of themselves. This version is often connected, aware, engaged, and loving. The antidote that we provide is connection – to the experience of ourselves, to others, and to the natural world – understanding that these are interdependent. This is the ointment the amygdalae requires to respond with all of our gifts and faculties. Personal work is an important first step, but the engaged work in the world is required and in order to deliver it with durability and resilience. We need to soothe our amygdalae. The stakes are high and get higher with each day.
Soothing our amygdalae requires (re)learning how to be with ourselves and with one another. It is about recognizing the function of the amygdalae is to warn us of a threat and not turning away from it into distraction, reaction, nihilism or dysfunction. The core technology we offer at Hollyhock is to create meaningful experiences that fosters the ability to be with self and others – whether that is in brave spaces of disagreement or quiet contemplation. Our offering is focused on recognizing the human experience of fear and the seduction of disconnection, acknowledging it, and actively choosing connection and engagement.
Over the years, I have often heard my friend and mentor, Tzeporah Berman say, “in order to build the world we want, we have to become the people we need to be.”
I agree. Will you join us? Your amygdalae will thank you.
Hours: Full time position, 37.5h/week
Location: Based at Cluny Hill, Forres, Scotland
Salary: indicative Band B
We are inviting applicants to apply for a staff position within the Findhorn Foundation, for the role of Head Chef with overall responsibility for catering across the whole of the Foundation. Following reopening, after being paused for two years, this is an exciting opportunity to join a new team to re- welcome our guests.[Read more…]
General Manager position:
Seeking full-time, on-property resident General Manager for vegetarian meditation retreat center located in Pahoa, Hawaii on the Big Island of Hawaii.[Read more…]
After more than two years of being physically distant from one another,we finally came together for a magical, empowering, bonding in-person experience at Kripalu Center for Yoga and Health in Stockbridge Massachusetts. We were a small but mighty group with representatives from Breitenbush, Hollyhock, Esalen, Open Center, Omega, Guest House Retreat Center, Clear Sky Retreat Center, The Art of Living Retreat Center, the Retreat Center Collaborative as well as some bright new faces and voices from emerging centers.
For those who could not be with us in person this year, your presence was felt and your real life selves were deeply missed. We held a seat to honor those who were not physically with us but whose “spirits” were there – for the indigenous ancestors of the Stockbridge Munsee band of Mohicians, on whose land Kripalu sits and stewards; for our many friends from around the globe from centers that could not be with us this year; and for those individuals who we have not met but are dreaming a holistic center into existence.
Kripalu’s space was the perfect container for reconnection and reflection about the toll of the past few years and what the future holds. We were immersed in the natural beauty of the Kripalu campus and the sacred feeling of the space and were encouraged to rest, restore and renew. Daily meditation and yoga offerings; nutritious, delicious meals; nature walks; a cooking class; collaborative break-outs; as well as presentations on a wide range of topics such as fundraising, strategy and culture, a CRM presentation by Instil (an organizational sponsor of the gathering), and stories from those who are leading from the edge.
Our final session was aptly named “Listening for the Emergent” and masterfully facilitated by Eset Rose, a member of the senior leadership team at Kripalu and a teacher of transformation and healing. Eset led us through a powerful visioning experience that engaged our subconscious selves to open up about what we will bring into the future. We then took our emergent intentions and poured them into the sacred vessel that had been gathering our offerings throughout the week in our daily water ritual beautifully crafted by Jenyng Wu.
In a world in which we all experience a peculiar form of nihilism, expressed broadly in mainstream and social media, we can also see the roots of human solidarity expressed in moments of crisis. We who are involved in holistic centers all across our world continue in the work of making sanity flourish.
The HCN Board
Special thank you to Instil, a sponsor of the Gathering, and for engaging HCN as a discovery partner, exploring innovative ways a traditional CRM might work to serve holistic communities.
[Click here if you’d like to learn more or be a discovery partner yourself!]
Amplify Voices of the Global Majority is a free online series starting
February 10th on Thursdays through April 7th.
What is Amplify Voices of the Global Majority? Centering Indigenous Wisdom, Community Care and Collective Liberation, we have joined forces with changemakers around the globe who work to dismantle inequity and harm, steward the planet, prioritize collective wellness, and stress interdependent liberation. Our incredible line-up includes adrienne maree brown and Mia Herndon, Millana Snow and Lauren Ash, Hawah Kasat and Abdul Muhammed, Yoli Maya Yeh and Aja Shah, Seher Sikander and Eniafe Isis Adewale, Shawn Stevens and Shannon Chada, and Raudhah Rahman and Mia Park.
This free series will explore the following topics:
- Indigenous perspectives on community, culture, and nature
- The importance and urgency of climate action
- How to cultivate an inner and outer awareness for personal and collective liberation
- How the right relationship to the planet and one another fosters healing
- How to harness the power of the Spring Equinox
- How to live with a worldview of inter-being, not division and separation
- Healing through Indigenous yoga.
You can register for these programs through our website at anytime. You did not need to be present at the event to access the recordings. Link to webpage and registration here.
This series was made possible by the generous support of Kripalu’s donor community.