What I Learned from a Leaf

Julia T. // July 31st, 2014
JuliaT Tree

The Lightwork Ecovillage is a place I go to learn.On the face of it, there are many practical skills I’ve honed there over the years. Everything from how to strip bark off a post  to how to cook for large groups — and a million things in between.

But more than these skills, I cherish the spiritual learning the Ecovillage provides. As the home to Lightwork’s summer meditation retreats, it’s a place of sanctuary from the bustle of city life. It’s a place to turn inward and connect with myself.

Nature has an amazing capacity for teaching. Just watching a leaf fall last autumn brought a tear to my eye — it was the tree’s potent reminder to me that letting go is part of the spiritual process.

It’s these kinds of learnings that I really love about my time at the Ecovillage.


Meditation and Emotions

Cathy // June 11th, 2014

Meditation has made me more aware of my emotions and provided me with a way to “run” them appropriately. I used to deny emotions of sadness and anger because they made me feel bad and I would often get stuck in them for a long time. If I got angry at someone I felt guilty and ashamed afterwards. If I was sad, I was worried that I would get stuck in the sadness if I allowed it to be expressed. Through meditation I learned that I be sad or angry, without it taking over. I learned how to identify the emotion bubbling up in me and how to use the meditation techniques to run the emotion cleanly. I no longer have fear that I’ll be stuck in an emotion; I have come to realize that I can be in charge!

I also learned what limited me having more joy or enthusiasm and I have shifted some of those perceptions. The result – a happier, more balanced life.

Being More Grounded

Julia W. // April 21st, 2014

Julia W. & TreeThere’s a Lightwork meditation technique that specifically helps you be a more grounded person.

I always make sure I do it before giving a presentation as a way to help me become more present and real.  People can always tell if you are ‘performing’ and they relate much more to someone who is authentic.

For me, this technique plays a big part in managing nerves and being clear-headed. Being grounded feels safe. There’s an assuredness to it. When I’m grounded, I know all is well.

When I First Started Meditating

Julia W. // March 4th, 2014

Julia W. in Forest 2

When I first started taking classes at Lightwork, I was worried I wouldn’t be able to meditate. I had previously tried meditating by myself without success.

But what I found unique about the Lightwork approach is that you are actually given something to focus on. You focus on one aspect of your energy system and then another, step by step. You check in on various parts of your system…keeping it all in flow.

The steps allowed my mind to stay present, unlike when I tried meditating before. That’s when I knew this style could really work for me. And it has.

How Meditation Helps with Emotions

Jeanine // January 27th, 2014

Meditation Vancouver: Jeanine Lounging at the Lightwork Ecovillage

Meditation has helped me notice my feelings – removing the numb sensation I used to live with and allowing me to experience life.

If I’m feeling a certain emotion that I’d prefer to not experience it at that exact moment (maybe I’m in the grocery store and for some reason I want to burst into tears), using my meditation skills I can choose to deal with that emotion later. Instead of crying or feeling sad in that moment, I can be amused and light.

There’s definitely value in feeling

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a whole range of emotions, but it’s all about timing. Meditation allows me to choose when and where I experience certain feelings. It’s also helps me cope with stress. I focus on a gentle flow of energy that helps me create a state of ease.

The Lightwork meditation skills, ‘centering’ and ‘grounding’, are extremely helpful, and I use them throughout my day to touch in with my true self. If I’m feeling stressed, using these two techniques can help me create more ease. If I’m working with difficult emotions, it assists me in keeping them manageable.

When it comes to managing emotions, meditation is both comforting and powerful.

Meditating: You Don’t Need ‘A Still Mind’

Tiffany // November 19th, 2013

Tiffany with Garden Bounty

Lightwork doesn’t place a huge emphasis on having a still mind. I mean, when I started meditating

my mind was racing a mile a minute. Being centered was sometimes really difficult because of all the traffic in my head.

Lightwork takes the view that however you experience meditation, it’s OK. There is no need to be hung up on ‘stillness’.

Instead I played with the idea of just being non-attached…not judging my experience.

With Lightwork, there’s a lot of room to just have your own experience. And over time, my experience of being centered and having more stillness did change and grow.

A Trick for Quieting a Busy Mind

Julia W. // October 31st, 2013

Julia Watson in Lightwork Centre Garden

A little trick I use to quiet my mind is to close my eyes, breathe, and say , “Hello me.” I say it silently but very clearly.  I know that might sound a little simplistic but there is something so rich about saying hello to yourself. We say hello to other people all day but how often do we say hello to ourselves?  I find it brings me back to myself very quickly and whatever my mind was chewing on takes a backseat in my awareness.  And there I am, just me. No noise.

If you have tried meditating and found it hard, or would like to but suspect your mind will be hard to quiet, I’d recommend that you take a class.  It is very helpful to have the support of a teacher to guide you and teach you some tools to manage the chatting mind. Once you have a few mediation techniques under your belt it becomes easier to meditate solo at home.


I Used to Feel Drained by Social Experiences

Jeanine // October 24th, 2013

Jeanine in Hammock

Before I started meditating I focused on making sure I was liked. This was a lot of work — I usually ended up feeling drained after social experiences so instead I spent a lot of time alone.

As I deepened my meditation practice, I became more open to people. I slowly became less concerned that no one would like me, knowing that there would be someone in the crowd who would.

But this transition was a bit rocky. For a while I was still quite focused on how people viewed me, and some people took advantage of this by using me as a free counsellor. I would listen to their problems and in return they’d be my friend. It was unbalanced…but it was just a phase, and with more meditation I grew out of it.

Today I have a large circle of friends. I’m much more outgoing and I don’t feel drained by social experiences. I’m available to my friends, and I steer clear of people who require too much from me, or need me to be a certain way.


A Calmer Worklife

Tiffany // October 15th, 2013

Tiffany in Hat & White Coat

Since I started meditating several years ago, my worklife has changed a lot. It’s way calmer, more supportive and respectful. It’s just a lot more even-keeled, and I know that’s largely from me changing due to meditation. Stress still comes up but I’m quicker to see it when it does, and it’s easier to find a path out of it.

Instead of just getting frustrated or irritated by things, I can see the bigger picture more of the time, and what I need to work on to find even more ease at work. So it’s not all just about this other person or thing that’s causing me stress – there’s a reason why I’m experiencing it and there’s something in it for me to look at and learn from.

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Scott Robinson

Scott Robinson is the founder and spiritual director of Lightwork Spiritual Development, based on Gambier Island, B.C. For more than 30 years, Scott’s spiritual evolution has been his life focus, along with helping others discover themselves as spiritual beings.

Even in earlier stages of his life Scott lived outside the confines of mainstream society as a hippie kid, musician, video artist, photographer, poet and world traveller. Spiritually aware from childhood, he could see energy, and he knew there was a bigger picture than the material pursuits of life.

His spiritual purpose took shape in his early twenties when he discovered a meditation style that was an immediate fit. He dove deeply into spiritual studies, deepening his clairvoyant abilities and learning the art of self-healing.

Scott is constantly pushing the boundaries of spiritual knowledge. Through teaching, writing and photography, he empowers others to become conscious, bright spiritual beings on the path to freedom.

Scott is also Chair of the Board, chief visionary, and manager of the Lightwork Ecovillage, the Gambier Island sacred site that is home to the Lightwork practice.

Alison Cretney

Alison has been practicing Lightwork meditation since 2007. As a certified Lightwork teacher, she offers classes suitable to first-time meditators or anyone who has practiced other meditation styles. You can attend her classes in beautiful Nelson, BC, or by phone or Skype.

Alison has found Lightwork's clarity, ease and potency to be transformative in all aspects of her life including parenting, work, relationships and stress.

She has a Masters in Strategic Leadership Toward Sustainability which she applies in collaborative projects seeking solutions for climate change.

Julia Watson

Julia offers meditation and consulting services for organizations and individuals.

She started her conscious spiritual journey in her mid-twenties but it wasn’t until she came across Lightwork in 2002 that she found a meditation practice that really worked for her.

Julia completed Lightwork’s seven levels of training in 2010. She has been joyfully teaching meditation classes and offering private energy readings since then.

She was previously the Program Director at Hollyhock (Canada’s leading educational retreat centre) and is now a self-employed bookkeeper.

Julia received a Bachelor of Business Administration from Simon Fraser University in 1994. She received a permaculture design certificate in 2000.

Julia Thiessen

Julia started taking Lightwork classes by phone from Winnipeg in 2004. The classes rocked her world so thoroughly she moved to Vancouver to continue her meditation studies, eventually graduating from Lightwork's most advanced program, 'Level 7: The Apprenticeship' in 2012.

Her move to the West Coast allowed her to become involved in the Lightwork Ecovillage, where she continues to deepen her meditation practice and learn life lessons (like...you really can grow kale year round!).

Julia is a certified Lightwork Teacher. She offers Lightwork Level 1 and Level 2 classes for beginners, as well as private energy reading sessions.

She brings creativity to the Lightwork administration team, and manages two annual meditation retreats: the summer '9-Day Dharma Healing', and 'Winter Light Week'.

She has an intuitive and studied understanding of all things green, arising from her work in therapeutic gardening at BC Children's Hospital and other locations around Vancouver.

Cathy Belgrave

When Cathy signed up for her first Lightwork class, she entered brand new territory. Coming from a scientific background, meditation was well outside her normal repertoire but she felt compelled to try it.

Without even being able to describe how, she shifted perceptions in all parts of her life and began making decisions that decreased stress. Encouraged, she thought she would keep meditating until it no longer felt like a fit. That day never came. She’s now a committed Lightwork practitioner and teacher.

Cathy offers Lightwork Level 1, Level 2, private classes and energy reading-healings. She blends her passions for writing, teaching and meditation by offering creative writing workshops for children and adults.

Darci Rosalie

Darci discovered Lightwork meditation in her last month of nursing school. She realized she wanted a totally new way of coping with stress.

So she turned down a fancy job in California with a big signing bonus and season’s tickets to her favourite football team. Instead she registered for Lightwork's beginners class and never looked back.

Throughout her healing journey Darci has witnessed how meditation has the power to shift tough situations and heal what needs healing.

Her favorite thing about being a Lightwork teacher is the simplicity and presence of being in the moment. The big and small of the universe come into focus and make room for significant awareness and healing.

Darci graduated from the Lightwork Apprenticeship program in March 2014. She offers energy reading sessions and meditation classes in a loving, supportive environment.

Tiffany Robinson

Tiffany Robinson has 18 years of experience in the social services sector, a B.A. in psychology, and over 15 years experience developing and facilitating dynamic wellness programs for youth and adults. She is a full-time instructor of Lightwork’s Level 1 – 3 meditation courses and Teacher Training program, and has been studying meditation for over 15 years, completing Lightwork’s two-year meditation teacher training in 2012, and a three-year apprenticeship in 2015. She is also Lightwork's Director of Operations.

As the Wellness Programs Specialist for the Crisis Centre of B.C., Tiffany co-developed and facilitated hundreds of workshops, webinars and wellness programs designed to enhance well-being, resilience and mental health. Over 13 years, she championed the centre’s first mindfulness training programs and was instrumental in establishing key contracts to deliver large-scale mindfulness programs to 1,500+ employee organizations, such as the Vancouver School Board.

Tiffany lives at the Lightwork Ecovillage on Gambier Island, an off-grid permaculture farm-meets-meditation-centre set on 80 acres overlooking Howe Sound.

Jacqueline Voci

Jacqueline first learned to meditate as an antidote to stress and a crazy-busy lifestyle in the tech and PR industries. As she gradually made it part of her daily routine, an entirely new way of experiencing life emerged.

In March 2014, she completed Lightwork’s two-year meditation teacher program and began its most immersive course, a three-year apprenticeship to founder, Scott Robinson.

Jacqueline teaches Lightwork's beginner classes (Levels 1 & 2) and offers meditation workshops for companies and organizations. She has hosted workshops for the Dalai Lama Center for Peace & Education, UBC Faculty of Medicine, BC Cancer Research Centre and BCIT Student Association.

She is also a writer and communications consultant.

Elizabeth Stevenson

Elizabeth decided to give Lightwork a try in 2010, after observing a friend's Lightwork journey. Deciding it was a fit, she took classes from her hometown of Victoria by phone for six years. She then packed up and moved to Vancouver to continue her studies, completing Lightwork's Level 6 Teacher Training Program in 2017.

Meditation has helped Elizabeth let go of fears and embrace all aspects of herself. She's excited that teaching now gives her the chance to offer the Lightwork techniques to other people.

Prior to Lightwork, Elizabeth completed a B.A. in anthropology, and certifications in community counselling and permaculture. Music has always been an important part of her life. She enjoys singing opera and jazz, and offering vocal improv classes.

Leslie Dickout

Leslie took her first Lightwork meditation class by phone in 2012 while living in the busy city of New York. She was awestruck by the simplicity of the tools she learned, and how they helped her let go of old patterns. She knew she wanted to learn more.

Now settled in Vancouver and enjoying a much simpler life, Leslie offers Lightwork Level 1 and Level 2 classes, as well as private energy reading-healings. She completed the Level 7 Apprenticeship program at Lightwork in 2021.

She also works in communications at BC Recreation & Parks Association.

Zhenya Andriyash

Zhenya started taking Lightwork meditation classes in the fall of 2012 while living in New York City and working for a bank. Meditation was his way of dealing with stress-filled workplace and hectic city life.

While taking Lightwork's Next Step program, he moved to Vancouver to lead a quieter, healthier life with a focus on his spiritual development.

Zhenya completed the Apprenticeship program at Lightwork in 2021 and now he offers beginner Lightwork classes (Level 1 and 2), as well as reading-healing sessions.

Having a job in the tech sector, Zhenya finds his meditation practice to be essential for having wellness and balance in his life.

Bogdan Serban

Bogdan Serban is a certified Lightwork teacher and a soccer-playing dad of two boys.

He started studying Lightwork in 2015 after many years of interest in spirituality and energy work. He considers the Lightwork practice to be life-changing, improving his relationships at home and work, and instilling a deeper self-confidence. He uses the Lightwork techniques every day to support his parenting, marriage and work life.

Bogdan originally hails from the picturesque, mountainside city of Brasov, Romania. He’s lived in Vancouver since 2005 and works in the telecom sector. In his down time, you’ll usually find Bogdan hanging out with his family or on a soccer pitch.

Bogdan completed his Lightwork teaching certificate in 2020. He also holds a degree in business management.