What is SoulTime? Think summer camp, only it’s for grownups, and it’s in the winter. : ) There is no predetermined agenda, other than to have fun! We gather on Friday night in a circle of like-hearted souls, and co-create a schedule of events that we’ll take turns leading throughout the weekend. There’s no requirement to lead anything, in fact there’s no requirement to do anything at all. You could spend your time reading, napping, snacking or walking around the lake and that would be just fine.

We believe human beings are inherently creative and it’s in our nature to share our gifts with each other. So when we gather together and throw some tried and true ingredients in our collective pot – singing, dancing, storytelling, artmaking – magic happens!

The retreat takes place at the Bethlehem Centre on the shores of beautiful Westwood Lake in Nanaimo. The early registration fee is on a sliding scale (you decide where on the scale you wish to pay) from $295 – $400 up to Jan. 15th. After Jan. 15th, the scale goes up to $350 – $500. This includes meals from Friday night to Sunday lunch and shared accommodation. Post-dated cheques are okay. Contact shastamartinuk at gmail dot com for more information and to register.

CANCELLATION POLICY: Full refunds will be made up to Feb. 1st.
After Feb. 1st there will be a $75 cancellation fee unless you find your own replacement.

Your hosts – Dave, Sue, Brian & Shasta – have been co-facilitating creativity retreats since 2003, lovingly and joyfully holding space for everyone to share their gifts. We look forward to playing with you in the creative container of time out of time – SoulTime!

Sound and Music Events

If you’re one of those people who love to sing but don’t want to go out at night (and who can blame you in this dark time of the year!) then the “One World One Voice” SongCircle just might be the group for you. We meet Tuesdays from 1-2:30 pm at Collins Hall, starting on January 22nd and running for 14 weeks. The formula is the same as for the Monday night “Just Sing!” group: no printed music + no performance = no pressure! We sing easy-to-learn, fun songs from many traditions: gospel, folk, world, rounds, chants, silly songs & serious songs, all taught in the call-and-response aural tradition. So you don’t need to read music, or know anything about music. All you need is your voice, which is perfectly good enough!

No experience necessary, ages 8 – 108 welcome. Come for a free trial for the first week or two. If you decide to join us, the fee is on a sliding scale (you decide how much feels right for you to pay) between $75 and $150. If money is an issue, you are still welcome to come and pay what you can.

We hope to see you in the circle!

Sound and Music Events

“Just Sing!” returns to its usual Monday night 7 – 9 time slot at Collins Hall on January 21st and runs for 14 weeks. If you’ve ever had even a passing thought of singing with other folks but don’t want to have to memorize music or perform in public, this is the group for you! We’re not a choir, we’re a SongCircle. No experience necessary, ages 8 – 108 welcome. Everyone can sing, and everyone deserves to know their voice is valuable and worthy of being heard. Join us for a free trial for the first week or two. If you decide to join, the fee is on a sliding scale from $75 to $150. If money is an issue, you are welcome anyway. Just pay what you can.

Most music is taught in call-and-response aural tradition. We sing easy-to-learn, fun songs from many different traditions: folk, gospel, rounds, chants, silly songs and serious songs. The one thing they all have in common is that they need a group to make them harmonious. And by the way, if you’re not sure you know how to harmonize, don’t worry. We use Pete Seeger’s definition of harmony which “Any note you’re singing that your neighbour isn’t”!

Please join us!

After 3 years of hosting RhythmKeepers retreats, we have decided to change the name to “RhythmQuest” in the spirit of moving towards what we want rather than retreating from what we don’t want. Inspired by the teachings of anthropologist Angeles Arrien, whose life work was the study of indigenous cultures throughout the world, we have incorporated into the weekend the four basic healing modalities she outlines in her book “The Fourfold Way”: singing, storytelling, dancing and silence. The practice of TaKeTiNa rhythm journeys (group rhythmic movement) fulfills the function of dancing.

Each of our gatherings, in addition to these four practices, has a sub-theme which we explore throughout the weekend. The theme of this RhythmQuest is kindness. From my friend and fellow TaKeTiNa teacher Jacob Stein in Portland, Oregon:

“Compassion for others relies on two things: connection to another human being, and kindness. Entering into rhythm together we practice connection over and over again. Each time the rhythm comes back together, the connection  grows. We invite kindness, to ourselves and others, to help us through the vulnerability this process can create. Kindness and connection open us up to being supported and supporting without judgement.”  I couldn’t have said it better myself!

Give yourself the gift of slowing down for a weekend and allowing yourself to be nurtured by closeness to nature, simple nutritious food prepared with love, and a circle of fellow travellers stepping into presence together.

We offer these weekends in the spirit of the gift economy, sharing in meal preparation and clean-up. The only fixed cost is $60 for food. There is no specific charge for tuition or accommodation, however we will gratefully accept whatever you can joyfully offer in the way of a donation.  This weekend takes place at the beautiful Nectar Yoga BnB. Contact Shasta to reserve your spot.

Appreciate complexity. Practice simplicity. Develop flexibility. Sound good? Come to The Yoga of Rhythm at the beautiful Yum Yoga and Dance studio in Cowichan Bay for some serious play with the rhythm instruments that are your own voice and body. We will take all the time we need to co-create rhythm mandalas comprised of simultaneous layers of chanting, stepping and clapping. You can stop any time you like, and feel what it’s like to not have to get it right. What a relief! You can always choose simplicity, no matter how much complexity is in the room.

Rhythm is life and life is rhythm. Please join us for a weekend of unifying body, mind and spirit through rhythm. Contact Erin Collins – erinyacollins at gmail dot com – for more information and to register.

Song Circle of Notes

Welcome to the One World One Voice SongCircle! No matter what you may have heard, everyone can sing. Yes, even you! One World One Voice welcomes singers of all abilities and experience levels. If you are one of the many people who have been told they can’t or shouldn’t sing, you are especially warmly invited! Our western culture is deeply confused about singing and we aim to clear up some of that confusion. We’ve been taught to believe that if you don’t sound like someone on a recording, you’re not good enough to be part of group. In fact, many people who “can’t hold a tune in a bucket” on their own do perfectly fine in groups! We humans are communal creatures, and singing is one of the easiest ways to connect and feel part of something greater than ourselves. One World One Voice is part of the Ubuntu Choir network, a growing community of choirs who believe that the joy of singing is a universal birthright, and that together, regardless of musical background, we can help improve the world by joining voices in song.”

Whether or not you have ever sung a note outside the shower or your car, your voice is welcome in the circle. We don’t perform or use printed music. No performance + no printed music = no pressure! That’s our winning formula!

We gather weekly in the afternoon to accommodate those who prefer not to go out at night. We sing for each other, for ourselves, and for the pure joy of being in harmony. Please join us to try it out for the first week or two, at no cost and no obligation. If you do decide to join us, the cost is on a sliding scale from $75 – $150 for the 14 week session. If the bottom end of the scale is more than you can afford, then pay what you can. You can also pay in instalments if that helps.

We look forward to seeing you in the circle!

Song Circle of Notes

You are warmly invited to Just Sing! with your friends and neighbours on Bowen Island. Just Sing! is a SongCircle, not a choir. No concerts, no printed music, no pressure to perfect anything, just the joy of being in harmonious connection with each other. Come for the first week or two to check it out at no cost and no obligation.

And if you are one of those people who were told you can’t or shouldn’t sing, then you are especially welcome! All voices are welcome in the circle, ages 8 – 108.

Contact Shasta for more information, or just show up!

Brian and Shasta with Berimbaus

Join Shasta & Brian on Bowen Island for a journey to inner stillness. With your body as instrument and your voice as guide, allow the rhythm to take you home to yourself.

Shasta & Brian have been leading groups in rhythmic meditation for over 10 years. They are certified facilitators of the TaKeTiNa approach to teaching rhythm. One of the premises of TaKeTiNa is that we are inherently rhythmic beings and your body already knows everything you need to know. There is nothing new you need to learn. The process is one of reclaiming our primal rhythmic knowledge and learning to let go of whatever gets between us and our rhythmic intelligence.

There is no prior experience required to attend one of these evenings, which will take place at a private home on Bowen on the 2nd & 4th Thursday evenings. They are being offered in the spirit of the gift economy, meaning there is no set fee. We will gratefully receive whatever you can joyfully give. RSVP for address and directions.

Laurence Cole

SINGING, LISTENING, GRIEVING, CELEBRATING, IN CARE FOR THE WHOLE LIVING WORLD

Join master storyteller and song leader Laurence Cole from Pt. Townsend WA, for a weekend of connecting in song on Bowen Island. A long-time member of the Ubuntu Choir network (www.ubuntuchoirs.net), Laurence has a great gift for using the power of song to bring people together in a rich and deep experience of harmony in community. Inspired by the work of Malidome Some, Michael Meade and Francis Weller, Laurence compassionately leads groups into the depths of grief and the heights of joy. We’d love to have you in the village!

Friday night (7:00 – 9:30) and Sunday afternoon (2 – 4:30) are open community Song Circles, and Saturday (9:30 am – 9:30 pm) is an all-day Grief Song Ceremony, with an optional follow-up on Sunday morning. You are welcome to come to any or all of the events of the weekend. The Song Circles are each $40, the Grief Song Ceremony is $80, and the cost for the entire weekend is sliding scale $120 – $200. There are many wonderful B&Bs on Bowen Island, and billeting can also be arranged. Contact shastamartinuk at gmail dot com for more details and to register.

Brian and Shasta with Berimbaus

Join Shasta & Brian on Bowen Island for a journey to inner stillness. With your body as instrument and your voice as guide, allow the rhythm to take you home to yourself.

Shasta & Brian have been leading groups in rhythmic meditation for over 10 years. They are certified facilitators of the TaKeTiNa approach to teaching rhythm. One of the premises of TaKeTiNa is that we are inherently rhythmic beings and your body already knows everything you need to know. There is nothing new you need to learn. The process is one of reclaiming our primal rhythmic knowledge and learning to let go of whatever gets between us and our rhythmic intelligence.

There is no prior experience required to attend one of these evenings, which will take place at a private home on Bowen on the 2nd & 4th Thursday evenings. They are being offered in the spirit of the gift economy, meaning there is no set fee. We will gratefully receive whatever you can joyfully give. RSVP for address and directions.