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Diane Haynes

Diane Haynes

Photo: dhaynes

Diane has been writing professionally for over 30 years. An award-winning freelance writer and the author of an award-winning novel series, she was the speechwriter for international human rights lawyer Stephen Toope during his tenure as president of the University of British Columbia.

Diane holds a degree in the study of world religions, and certifications in holistic counselling, permaculture design, ecovillage design, and the teaching of yoga and meditation. Her background also includes 16 years of stage performance. She has been a practitioner of earth-based spirituality (known in some circles as "shamanism") for 28 years.

She is an outspoken advocate for animal welfare, Indigenous self-sovereignty, and gender and racial equality, and studies the intersections of these seemingly separate challenges. Her current research interests include epigenetics, intergenerational trauma, and attachment theory, and the intersection of these with health and healing. She brings her experience with all of the above to bear on her work.




Flight or Fight. Fitzhenry & Whiteside, 2005
Crow Medicine. Fitzhenry & Whiteside, 2006
Gaia Wild. Fitzhenry & Whiteside, 2008


National Magazine Awards -- Best Cover for Vancouver BOULEVARD Magazine, 1992
Western Magazine Awards -- Magazine of the Year Nominee for REALM: Creating Work You Want, 2001
Council for the Advancement of the Society of Educators (CASE) Silver Medalist for "Change Your Mind" (TREK Magazine), 2003
National Magazine Awards Nominee for "Change Your Mind" (TREK Magazine), 2003
Canada Council Creator's Grant for Crow Medicine, 2006
Our Choice List, Canadian Children’s Book Centre for Flight or Fight, 2007
Shortlisted, Stellar Awards (BC Readers’ Choice) for Flight or Fight, 2007
Selected, BC Independent Schools Recommended Reading List for Gaia Wild, 2008
Nominee, Surrey School District Book of the Year for Gaia Wild, 2009
Eligible for National Public Readings Program:


Presentation Description

You Are Here: Being Human on Planet Earth in 2020

In the org chart of life, humans are not at the top. Or at the centre. We sit, small though not inconsequential, within a matrix made up of untold numbers of organisms and intersecting energies. We are not in charge. Trees direct weather patterns. Mycelium communicate, nourish, and heal whole forests across vast swaths of land. Some believe they may even be extraterrestrials living among us. Insects evolve with novel adaptations within a single generation. And animals are talking--with one another, with us, with the Earth, and with the universe--all of the time. If we spend our lives hooked into the so-called world that is being projected onto the screens of our minds by media and social media--a world that presents humanity as paramount and that runs on scarcity and fear--we will miss Life. Real Life, with a capital "L."

But we can change the channel on that mind movie we're being fed, reboot the operating system we were born with, and wake up to the real world, in all its beauty and mystery and wonder. Join author/ philosopher / teacher / performer Diane Haynes in a multi-sensory, cross-displinary, boundary-breaking adventure into the philosophy of ecology, the music of the spheres, ethnobotany, indigeneity, Earth-based spirituality and the divine in Nature, epigenetics, energetic intelligence, interspecies communication, and what it means to be a human animal on Earth. Like a kaleidoscope, this presentation will turn your views of yourself and the world inside out and upside down ... and both will appear more beautiful than ever before.

Diane holds a degree in the study of world religions from the University of British Columbia, and certifications in holistic counseling, yoga and meditation, and permaculture and ecovillage design. She has been practicing earth-based spirituality (currently being labeled as "shamanism") for over a quarter century. She is a singer, dancer, and actor, and she has worked as a speechwriter, a shoe salesperson, a secretary, a magazine editor, a chauffeur, and a gardener. In her career as a writer, she has interviewed artists, activists, a whale biologist, an Attorney General, an Olympic athlete, and a former Prime Minister. She can count to 10 in six languages.

Presentation Length:
90 minutes
Audience Size:
Workshop Description:

Writing from Communion

Go outside.






Now ... write.

Using the techniques and tools of the tracker and of the animal aspects of our human selves, participants step outside their customary mode of being to enter into communion with the natural world. The locus of power moves downward, from the head into the body, and the focus of perception expands to include the felt experience of the other--whether that other is human, animal, plant, or elemental.

Genuine communication is possible when we quiet our own transmissions and become radio receivers of the energies emanating from everything around us all of the time. The language that emerges from this profound state is different from that of the mind: deeper, simpler, true.

Diane facilitates an immersive experience of connection and oneness between workshop participants and the natural world, and then holds space for participants to write (or draw or mark-make) from this state of connectedness. A professional writer for over 30 years, a poet, and a shamanic practitioner for over half her life, Diane brings to this work a simple trust that each participant will be shown what s/he needs in the moment, and will find the capacity to communicate that revelation in their own particular way.

Workshop Requirements:

  • weather-appropriate clothing and footwear
  • blank paper and/or journals
  • implements for mark-making (pens, pencils, colour markers)