Meet the Teacher: Robin Rose Bennett
How did you become interested in this line of work? (tell us a little bit about your background)
I was a creative writing major at UC Santa Cruz when I began looking for answers to my own health challenges, and went to an herbalist for the first time. I had always been deeply drawn to the magical, spiritual nature of life, and though I didn’t really get going strongly with herbs for another few years, this first meeting planted the seed. Herbalism and earth connection would come to ground my spirituality, and blend the magic of Nature into my day-to-day living. I went on to become known as “The Green Witch* of New York” because I spent my first decade as an herbalist living in the heart of New York City!
*(In her book Healing Magic: A Green Witch Guidebook to Conscious Living, Bennett defines a green witch as having “a special love for the plants and trees of the earth, and is often gifted in working with them as gardeners, herbalists, artists, and teachers.”)
Please share a wellness tip or word of advice that relates to the workshop you will be presenting.
Learning to take time for yourself, regularly, is one of the greatest things you can do for the health of your nervous system. Let’s say you’re having a cup of Melissa/lemon balm tea to soothe your mind and calm your belly. You can slug it down as you send out a text or check your email, but if you sip and savor it, it will support you more deeply. We need to reclaim stillness and connect with rhythms that replenish us, especially now, with so much spinning wildly all around us. Simple, effective, inexpensive and accessible herbal medicine is radical in today’s world.
What or who inspires you? (This could be anything from your mentor to your favorite quote)
Nature is my greatest mentor. The beauty and magic of the interwoven web of life astounds me. Generosity inspires me. Authenticity inspires me. Freedom and justice inspire me. People who are courageous and empower themselves and others with humor inspire me. People who are kind to themselves inspire me. (I have learned that when you are truly kind to yourself, being kind to others follows as naturally as the outbreath follows the inbreath.) People who love life and exude joy inspire me, regardless of what they “do” in the world. Activists and artists of all stripes who do exquisite work from a grounded place of earth connection, people like Vandana Shiva, Terry Tempest Williams, Robin Wall-Kimmerer and so many others, are awesome, ongoing inspirations.
What personal or professional accomplishments are you most proud of?
I love silence, and also care deeply about words, about thought-provoking creativity and precision of expression. I’m thrilled that I wrote my non-fiction books: Healing Magic and The Gift of Healing Herbs; it’s fulfilling to hear how much readers love them and find these books useful and inspiring. I am first and foremost a storyteller, so I’m looking forward to finding the perfect publisher for my latest completed work, a novel! I can barely wait to share it with readers everywhere! I’m also delighted to have spent the last three decades helping people all over our beautiful planet to become more deeply attuned to their loving connection with the plants, and to see how that has helped foster personal and cultural healing in myriad ways.
View the article here.
ABOUT THE OPEN CENTER
The Open Center is a physical and digital gathering place for the global conscious community to connect, heal, learn, create, dance and grow. As the longest-running urban holistic center in the country, we were founded in NYC in 1984 to address real-life challenges of existence through holistic, spiritual and integrative practices to create a harmonious relationship between ourselves, each other and the planet. Together, through spiritual inquiry, holistic living, the arts and conversation, we explore what it means to be human in an ever-changing world.