Eco-Spiritual Educational Sanctuary
(est. 1983)

On Pleasure and Interbeing

We are in a tight situation on planet Earth – our home. We need a new story. Not a tweeking of the old story, because it isn’t working – but a New story. The old story is born from a consciousness of separation. Humans over nature – each other and anything else we can think of. The new story has to be about Interbeing. Many of you will agree with this statement. Some will wonder what in the heck I’m talking about. After all – ‘Hasn’t it always been this way. Man versus nature?’ I say No – these are simply choices we’ve made based on beliefs that have turned into ‘truths’ It hasn’t always been man versus nature. Human’s used to live in harmony with nature, and some cultures still do. Honoring the cycles and respecting the limitations of Her bounty. Always aware to give back when you take. So what has happened that we have become so disconnected that we are destroying the very life systems that we depend upon? If an alien was watching us, they would say that this reeks of ‘insanity’. Yet, we see our actions as normal. The quest for power over & acquisition … Read more

Permaculture Plants: A Native Plant Ecological Perspective to Shifting the Paradigm

We are living in a time on planet Earth where many are questioning is there another way to live. And we here at The Living Centre believe the Earth is asking us to shift our ways both in how we live and how we tend to the landscape. Each of us living here at the centre is looking at how do we move through our day in a peaceful and in harmony with our environment. A permaculture solution-based approach can help us to solve many of the challenges that are happening in the world. One aspect of permaculture is looking at what plants to grow that will nourish us and sustain us. Imagine a landscape that requires no fertilizer, irrigation, pesticides, or tractor cultivation, and produces highly nutritious, tasty foods. Now imagine that the food and medicine grew or wildcrafted. The food is also incredibly delicious and dehydrated crackers made from the nutty, sweet edible grass seeds, covered with a sauce made from sun-dried elderberries. The crackers are decorated with strips of juicy nopales – prickly pear pads. You begin your meal with a green salad of chickweed and lambs’ quarter greens and follow with a dessert of high-protein plantain … Read more

Reclaiming Joy – Love’s Sacrifice for Love

Here I am in my 70’s and still the healing from childhood isn’t finished. Not that I ever expected it to, but it shows me the depths of healing that is needed in this dysfunctional industrial culture. In the beautiful world that is coming children will not have to deal with society-invoked traumas. That will be something of the past and incomprehensible actually.  In the meantime this is the work that my and younger generations have been gifted with as we move through what Joanna Macy calls – The Great Turning. And I am serious when I say ‘gifted’. To be called to do this deep inner work of transforming the generational patterns that are inherited or passed on by culture or trauma so that future generations no longer have to deal with this is for me, a privilege that I take seriously. There is not one phobia that I have worked with in myself or with thousands of clients and students that does not stem from the culture we have created. Therefore, when I heal myself, it’s a drop in the collective consciousness that supports the healing of others and the transformation to a more beautiful world. I share … Read more

Shifting the Paradigm – 

Pattern Language of Plant Medicine

Energetic Herbalism: Understanding Pattern Language & Plant Intelligence
 We are living in a fast-paced world where there is a great need for shifting the paradigm. The plant world can help us do that very well, by integrating local, wild and native plants that grow all around us into our lives. Their form of communication is the chemistry – the nutrients that move and circulate through the plant. This is what shifts an individual when the individual takes the right plant at the right moment in time. The energetic system of herbal medicine and energetics is pretty much universal throughout the world’s great systems of herbal medicine. Whether you’re talking about Ayurveda, Traditional Chinese Medicine, Unani-Tibb, Campo from Japan, Jammu from Indonesia, Cherokee Medicine, whatever tradition we’re talking about, there’s usually a system of energetics and this is how you match the herb to the person. Hippocrates said more than 2000 years ago, it’s more important to know the person that has the disease than the disease the person has. He was right. And so, what you get with a lot of American herbal medicine up until relatively recently, is “this herb’s good for a headache”, “this herb’s good for depression”.One … Read more

Spiritual Ecology, Rewilding & Permaculture

What is Spiritual Ecology in Action? Spiritual Ecology…is about sticking our hands in the soil – feeling into the roots of social and environmental issues – cultivating a deeper relationship with life that reflects the interconnectedness of all life. The Four Principles of Spiritual Ecology: Interconnectedness Reverence for Nature Stewardship Service How can these principles be rooted in our lives and what are the opportunities and challenges taking these principles into the environmental, social and spiritual movements? What are Rewilding and Permaculture? Rewilding is an ecological awareness idea that is gradually gaining momentum within environmental circles, and it bears significant comparison with some of permaculture’s guiding principles. Permaculture emphasizes the preservation of natural ecosystems and making efforts to repair ecosystems that have been damaged by human activity. Rewilding also proposes people taking a proactive approach to assist natural ecosystems to retain their former diversity and abundance – which have been curtailed by human encroachment on the land. Wilderness management as it is currently practiced seeks to somehow contain or suppress natural processes or managing the environment for the benefit of a single species, rewinding proposes letting nature re-find its own balance – in many ways letting the land turned back … Read more

Stir-Not-Fry

Sauce: ¼ Olive oil or Sesame Oil 6 cloves of garlic 4 – 5 tablespoons of ginger ½ cup of water ½ cup tamari 1 tbs agave or honey 1 Tbsp. Tahini or ground sesame seeds to thicken Blend until thoroughly blended Chopped Vegetables can include: Burdock Root Wild Carro Artichoke Roots Salsify Wild Leeks Broccoli Carrots Cauliflower Snow peas Onions Zucchini Bean Sprouts Or any other of your vegetable delights Chop the vegetables into bite-size pieces and place into a glass casserole dish with a cover. Add the sauce to the vegetables. Toss the vegetables, cover and place into the dehydrator at 145 for an hour and 115 for 2 hours before serving. Stir occasionally. Serve over a bed of sprouted wild rice or shredded zucchini or just as is. Yum!

The “Not Enough” Syndrome

Advertising is designed to make you feel small and inadequate. Essentially dislike who you are so that you will buy their product to make you feel big and adequate. “I can give you something that will make you feel like the powerful, self-assured and radiant being that you know is the truth about who you are. But you need ‘this’ to feel this way.” Today, everywhere you turn something is telling you what will make you happier – this car – this hair do – this healthy food – being part of ‘this’ activist group – these exercises – this way of living life – from materialistic entrepreneurship to ‘save the planet’ entrepreneurship. Each advertisement speaks to some aspect of human need, and touches on different aspects of truth, such as the desire to love and be loved; feeling vitally alive and abundant is also natural, as is our innate desire to care for our planet. It’s, of course, the underlying motivation of an advertisement that I call to question. ‘You ‘need’ to buy, (fill in the blank)______, or do________ to make you feel good about the person you are.’ Advertising – and remember, advertising is everywhere – is designed … Read more

The Alchemy of Imagination

Who are you choosing to be? What kind of life will you create for 2019? These questions may sound a little corny or naive. But, in fact they are real. We live in a sphere of free will. We have choice. The world we live in now is the result of billions of choices made by people like you and me. We are designed to be the alchemist of our lives. We do it every day in the thoughts we think, the beliefs we hold true and the feelings that empower our beliefs to make them reality. The thing is, most of our beliefs we did not consciously choose. They came from our culture, our family and friends. With the global situation pressing in, coupled with the heightened spiritual energy that is now on the planet because of the inner work so many are doing, people are waking up and asking questions. ‘Who am I – really? What do I believe? What do I stand for in a world that is falling apart?’ And how can I contribute to the new world that is emerging. After all, when something falls apart it is because something else is seeking to emerge. … Read more

The Regenerative Power of Native Plants

Bioregional herbalism originates from the concept that a truly wholistic style of regenerative medicine needs to draw on accessible natural resources within an individual’s local area. This means that the herbs you take do not make extra stress of resources in terms of manufacture and transportation. Many traditional herbal educators and practitioners believe that any health imbalance is best treated within the same environment where the illness originated. Bioregional herbalism is ecological herbalism at its core. I consider this an essential element in supporting the paradigm shift towards a regenerative future. This is a novel notion since we are used to seeing national and even international studies recommending a specific herb as the cure-all for a specific disease, even if that herb grows best only in a narrow corner of the globe. Bioregional herbalism encourages people to learn which herbal healing resources grow naturally in their specific area and to draw on those resources. One example of this, if you had a fungal infection popular herbalism you may decide to reach for Tea Tree Oil that comes from Australia. What resources does it take to bottle that herb and transport it to me? Now wisdom tells us that the people … Read more

Visions from a Volcano

The first time I went to Costa Rica, 25 years ago, I had the opportunity to travel alone for part of my visit. While I loved journeying with my friend, there’s something special about traveling alone. More doors open for magic to happen.  I went to Costa Rica to experience a ‘tropical vacation’. I actually hadn’t been on a vacation since I lived with my parents. My attention was on holistic health and spiritual growth, so if I did any retreats, it was along these lines. I wanted to do something different. Let’s try a ‘vacation’ to a part of the world I was never drawn to. I had never even heard of  Costa Rica, so this was going to be an adventure. What I thought was going to be a traditional holiday turned out to change my life – forever. There’s something about the tropics and how it awakens one’s sensuality. Everything is so alive, fresh, green, lush and downright sexy. Yes, my body came alive. Dancing by the river, those brilliant starry nights and hot days, the power of each element, and oh yes, the beauty. Everything so new. I never imagined that there could be so much life in one place. … Read more