Art & Craft of Effective Group Facilitation

by Behn, Alchemy of Group Facilitation alumnus

I attended a three-day condensed version of the workshop described below with Julian Griggs as instructor. He’s an educator, facilitator and all-around interesting and talented guy – and I highly recommend this course to MPA, MADR and law students and staff who want to focus on working in effective groups.

In particular, many of the skills and techniques Julian speaks and works on with participants complement the skills MADR students are exposed to in Gord Sloan’s mediation workshop and Jamie Chicanot’s negotiations course.

For a student (such as myself) looking to start a career in advocacy, governance and public life, Julian’s class has proved a terrific asset to work with groups in conflict in the workplace, and has helped me through tough conversations with stakeholders.

Not to mention, this upcoming event is at Hollyhock on Cortes… the three-day workshop is also coming up in November 2014 in downtown Vancouver. There may be a scholarship available through Hollyhock that students can apply for online. Continue reading


Krishna Das: Live Concert in Vancouver

krishna-das-vancouverBanyen Books & Sound hosts world-renowned kirtan artist Krishna Das for a live Vancouver concert to kick off his international 2014 Kirtan Wallah tour! This concert will launch Krishna Das’ forthcoming CD, Kirtan Wallah.

Friday, June 27, 2014, 7:30pm
St. Andrew’s-Wesley Church (corner of Nelson & Burrard)
$35 advance – $45 at door

Purchase tickets online here, by phone at 604-737-8858, or in person at Banyen.

Krishna Das layers traditional Hindu kirtan with instantly accessible melodies and modern instrumentation. With a remarkably soulful voice that touches the deepest chord in even the most casual listener, Krishna Das – known to friends, family, and fans as simply KD – has taken the call-and-response chanting out of yoga centers and into concert halls, becoming a worldwide icon and the best-selling chant artist of all time.


Healing at Hollyhock

by Ainslie MacLeod

ainslie-groupI’m gearing up for my annual 5-day retreat at Hollyhock in Canada, and I’d like to share a story with you that happened there two years ago.

I told one of the participants that she’d had a past life in New York City in the earlier part of the 20th Century. In this life she’s a businesswoman, a hunter type with an edge that won her the nickname “Krusty” from the group.

In her N.Y. life she was a young boy, living in an apartment with his parents. One day, the phone rang and the boy picked it up. A voice on the other end said, “Your dad just died. Can I speak to your mother?”

The mother took the phone from her shocked son and got the same terse, matter-of-fact message: “You husband just died.” The call was from a colleague of her husband, someone woefully lacking in sensitivity.

At the start of WW2 the boy signed up for active service and died soon after on a Pacific island, his legs cut off at the knees by machine gun fire.

When I told Denise what happened, she lost her hunter-like composure. “I’m terrified of the phone,” she said, as a tear ran down her cheek. “I can’t answer it or even make a call.” Continue reading


Heart-Mind 2014: The Science of Kindness

Dalai Lama Center’s second annual Heart-Mind Conference explores The Science of Kindness. Heart-Mind 2014 shares the most up-to-date science and practice related to how adults can cultivate kindness, empathy, compassion and altruism in children and in themselves – in families and schools, during recreational activities, and throughout the community.

May 8-10 at UBC Point Grey Campus in Vancouver, BC.
More info and tickets:

HM-728x90-1b Continue reading


Strong Arms, Soft Heart: For What’s Truly Unacceptable

By Raphael Cushnir

So many of us on the path of growth and Spirit live with a persistent inner critic. This part of ourselves acts like a haughty, condemning judge, finding fault with virtually everything we say and do. The more healing we experience in other parts of life, the more pronounced the critic seems to become.

The critic is not just painful to experience, but it’s also dangerous to our well being. If we let it run wild, it can actually destroy us. However, if we fight back against it, the critic actually feeds on this friction and grows even stronger.

So – what to do? Luckily, the answer is simple. I’ll get to it in a moment, but first, a little background. Continue reading