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Banyen Blog

In Memoriam - Mary Oliver

Mary Oliver was an American poet whose work was characterized by directness, a conversational style, and great affection for nature and the outdoors.  She wrote more than 15 collections of poetry and essays and won both the National Book Award and the Pulitzer Prize.  In 1998 Oliver was granted the Lannan Literary Award for lifetime achievement.  The New York Times described her as “far and away, this country’s best-selling poet.”

Oliver began writing poetry at the age of 14, and her first collection of poems, No Voyage and Other Poems, was published in 1963 when she was 28.  By 1986 she was Poet In Residence at Bucknell University.

“One thing I do know is that poetry, to be understood, must be clear. It mustn’t be fancy,” she told US radio station NPR in a rare 2012 interview. “The two things I loved from a very early age were the natural world and dead poets, [who] were my pals when I was a kid.”

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Gangaji Interview - Inner Freedom

In this Banyen interview, spiritual teacher and author Gangaji speaks about coming home to our inner freedom, a state that transcends emotions and suffering and is not subject to loss or gain. This requires a willingness to have no future and no past and to recognize what’s here. Gangaji eloquently speaks about how to overcome the trance of suffering, the illusion of thought and find immediate and lasting fulfillment of our Divine birthright.

Join Gangaji live on March 26, 2019 for an Open Meeting at St. James Community Square in Vancouver, BC. Event details: 

Watch the video here:

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Cosmic Weather Report

Astrological highlights by Danielle Blackwood

June 2019

Registration is now closed for my retreat on Salt Spring Island! 

If you are interested in attending the autumn retreat, email me ASAP at

The Twelve Faces of the Goddess: Women’s Sacred Astrology

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In Memoriam - Rev. Thomas Keating

Rev. Thomas Keating
March 7, 1923 – October 25, 2018

The Rev. Thomas Keating was a Trappist monk and a pioneer in the worldwide Christian contemplative prayer movement. He played a major role in popularizing what is now known as centering prayer, a method of silent prayer that allows one to rest in the presence of God. Over
the years, his thoughts crystallized into what friends said became one of his favorite sayings: “Silence is God’s first language. Everything else is a poor translation.”

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In Memoriam - Shakti Gawain

Shakti Gawain
September 30, 1948 – November 11, 2018

Shakti Gawain was the cofounder of New World Library and author of the classic book Creative Visualization: Use the Power of Your Imagination to Create What You Want in Life (1978). It has been a bestselling book for nearly 40 years and has sold more than seven million copies worldwide.

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In Memoriam - Bernie Glassman

Roshi Tetsugen Bernie Glassman was an influential Zen teacher, an activist, and the co-founder of the Zen Peacemakers, a global organization integrating Zen practice and social action.  The organization, which he founded in 1980 with his late wife, Roshi Sandra Jishu Holmes, had been called the Zen Community of New York until 1996. The Zen Peacemakers is perhaps best known for leading “Bearing Witness” meditation retreats, which take practitioners to the sites of terrible tragedies such as Auschwitz-Birkenau.

Glassman, who was born in Brooklyn, started studying Zen in 1967 with Taizan Maezumi Roshi, who named him as his successor upon his death. Glassman went on to transmit the dharma to a number of well-known teachers, including Roshi Joan Halifax, Pat Enkyo O’Hara Roshi, and Peter Muryo Roshi Matthiessen.

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New at Banyen - Fall Crystals Arrival

Thousands of new crystals have arrived! Come in and see the stunning crystal allies that will be coming out throughout the season.


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In Memoriam - Namkhai Norbu

Namkhai Norbu
December 8, 1938 – Sept 28, 2018

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In Memoriam - Baba Hari Dass

Baba Hari Dass
March 26, 1923 – Sept 25, 2018

Baba Hari Dass was a yoga master, a silent monk, and a commentator in the Indian scriptural tradition. Upon his arrival in the US in the early 1971, he and his teachings inspired the creation of several yoga centers and retreat programs in California and in Canada, including Dharma Sara Satsang Society on Salt Spring Island.

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Orit Sen-Gupta Interview - Touching the Sacred

In this Banyen interview, Orit Sen-Gupta, Sanskrit scholar, founder of Vijnana Yoga International, and respected Yoga teacher, speaks about stillness and spaciousness and the practice of movement and sitting that bring us closer to the experience of the sacred.

Orit Sen-Gupta will be offering a free talk at Banyen Books on Wednesday, October 17th. Event info:

Watch the video here:

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New at Banyen - Kis.met

There is nothing better than to soak in a hot tub and pamper your skin after a hot dry summer. Banyen now carries Kis.met, a local, fresh and pure body care line. They believe in self-care products that contain only the essentials. "We like to keep things pretty simple around here, so you won’t find any harmful fragrances or toxins in any of our products.

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Steven Halpern Interview - Sound Healing

Steven Halpern, Grammy-award nominee and pioneer in the field of sound healing, discusses his career in using sound to facilitate higher states of consciousness. Steven speaks about noise pollution, brain entrainment, and the power of intention in creating music. This fascinating podcast weaves together the fields of science, spirit, and sound.

Steven Halpern will be presenting a sound healing concert and workshop at Unity of Vancouver on December 7 & 8, 2018. The events are co-hosted by Banyen and Unity. Tickets & info:

Watch the video here:

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