0 The Fool

Trust in your intuition. Allow yourself to experience life from an state of innocence. Leave your intellectual analysis for another moment. This is a moment for action with little for-thought. Make a start, don’t over think it. Just do it.

In some decks the Fool has no number, in other’s it has number 0 and could be considered to be either the first or last card of the Major Arcana.


What does it mean to be in sanctuary?

The form holds the space and the space is there for the form. Lean in and investigate.
Uliai Williams

I am presently occupying at Artist Residency space at Wingsong Sanctuary on Waiheke Island, which is home of Ngati Paoa iwi, in the Hauraki Gulf.

How does being in sanctuary space affect my residency?

Space, silence, stillness
Conscious action
Deliberate movement
Observance of surroundings
Feminity – receptivity

Heart opening
Learning as I teach
Opening to possibilities
Burning the ego in soul fire

Everything is medicine
Sunsets, oceans, Pohutukawa
Patience with other people
Divine timing

Leaning in to opportunity
Letting go of expectation

Knowing when to act and when to receive
Spaciousness, relaxation, nurturing
Appreciation of other people
ideas, needs and boundaries
Everything is medicine
Everything is sacred


It was interesting to talk with a friend about ‘excitement’ last night.

‘It was a “Are you ‘excited’ about what you have coming up in your diary?” sort of question ….”there are some good things coming up for you, you must be excited!”

But no, what I feel is not excitement. For me excitement is an ungrounded, jump in my heart feeling. Slightly off world and out of control, with a weakness in the knees, in the belly.

Excitement has not helped me create great work.

Excitement takes over my head and makes loud thoughts.

What I need is slow, gentle, groundedness and weighting into the earth. I need to sink my toes into mud and stay with the sensation of water squelching between my skin and the earth.

I need calmness of breath to work, to create, to organise my upcoming opportunities.

I need to tune in to my soul and what message she wants to take out into the world.

I need the courage to get bored and to find the new ideas that lurk in the corners of boredom. In the familiar things.

So …. what place has ‘excitement’ in my life?.

Before I play I experience a tide of energy. First she leaves me, I slump empty on the couch. Then about an hour later, she fills my every pour with a surge of …. excitement… adrenal spike. That’s my moment to take all the work I have done in those long months of preparation and offer it to the world.

Those last moments before I am on-stage, in the greenroom, as the lights come up, as who ever is playing before me is reaching for the stars and showing me how well the sound system is pumping.

That’s when I am excited.

Today I am here, with my two feet on the earth. There are a lot of creative ideas and realities inhabiting my mind and I need to be still to filter and form them.

Presencing Collective Intelligence

Here is the transcript from the workshop ‘Presencing Collective Intelligence’ that I facilitated as part of the New Frontiers Conference held in Trentham, Wellington, New Zealand / Aotearoa on March 12, 2019.

Participant number : 15. Duration : 55 minutes. Facilitator : Kāren Hunter

Purpose : To presence Collective Intelligence here today.

Culture : Curiosity, Respect for Difference, Love, Embodied Receptivity, Listening, Clear Communication, Equity

After aligning on the workshop Purpose and collectively creating our Culture we did a few warm-ups and sat together in a circle for the Presencing of Collective Intelligence. These are the [unedited] words that were spoken ;

Were the emotions I felt when I connected with my neighbours my own emotions? Their emotions? Or was it a blend?

I feel they’re a little bit of you, and you’re little bit of them, as we are all a little bit of each other. So it’s a blend in a sense… but it’s also an essence.

I think everyone is you… whatever you see in someone else is just little parts of yourself. Whatever you see in someone else are just parts of yourself. So if you see something you don’t like about someone else, generally it’s a part of yourself that you don’t like about yourself, or if you see something that you really respect and admire, you have that in you as well.

This kind of exercise cultivates a much deeper connection that we can sometimes put in words in terms of how we relate to a person. When we see the person… how they are in that moment… it’s basically… I think, it brings so much more that whatever you can communicate verbally and just if we can do that with more people around us it can create this sense of empathy and understanding. It’s beautiful.

One model of social psychology is that we are the sum total of our communications with others, so we not only bring each other but we bring the sum total of all the communications we’ve had with everyone and the earth to this point in time. So there is an interesting aspect to Collective Intelligence in that it’s not just about the physical bodies that are in this room.

I feel a deep calm in this space.

I feel as though this whole event is a sort of tuning fork for Collective Intelligence and intention.

I was thinking that what we are doing is kind of ‘meta’. Collective intelligence about Collective Intelligence so it’s… a little challenging.

I share something of that, which is that I feel as though my intelligence wants to work on a ‘thing’.

That’s exactly the same feeling as what I have… that we are lacking a topic.

I came in a bit late and might have missed it but what is Collective Intelligence?

We create something that is more that we could individually do, even if you put all of us together. Like, I’ve had an experience with Collective Flow recently, where a bunch of people with a shared vision, how quickly things just materialised, our groups wisdom all aligned and magic happened. … But it takes a shared vision, it takes like… one mind, one heart, collected/collective and then magic happens.

So maybe here it would be that we each put what we hear when Collective Intelligence is put to us, our own definition, we put them all in the middle, and that’s an example of Collective Intelligence. So for me Collective Intelligence is where I put in my definition but then it sits alongside everybody else’s as well and so it’s not just one voice or one experience, which is interesting, because that goes back to what we were just talking about earlier, before some other people joined about we are the sum of everybody that has ever communicated with us. Or the experience I have with someone else will be a little bit of them but it will also be a little bit of me projecting on to them a part of myself as well

If we are the sum of every connection we have ever had then I would posit that there is no individual intelligence, that there is only Collective Intelligence, and in the words of Beatrice Bruteau the Christian theologian “ We are connected to the intelligence and narratives of our conviction theory.” That there isn’t actually an individual intelligence per se.

What about the intelligence that’s contained within the experience of embodiment? If it’s a collective pull, we are at least individuated or articulated by our embodied state…I was musing on… I have this feeling of… us being connected and being aspects of a whole, and I also have the experience of being embodied which is that I have this individuated experience which is represented by my body, and all of the intelligence that comes inside my body. So I feel an individual experience within the collective pack.

I’m fascinated by these bodies that we all have. These bodies come from one cell, every single cell in your body shared the same core, the same origin, and the same DNA. And yet when they develop, brain cells become brain cells, nail cells become nail cells, hair cells become hair cells… they choose such a different part. But because they all play their part in perfect harmony, the whole works… in perfect harmony. And why can’t we, as humans, do the same thing as our cells?

Together as one …

Together… It’s all about planning our purpose, our role you know? Culture dictates that it’s more glorious to be one cell versus another cell and therefore so we all chase our own dreams. But as a whole we don’t function then we all need to find our space.

I worry sometimes about the Collective ‘Unintelligence’ and the ‘unintellegent’ stories and narrative that form a false intelligence or culture, and how to bring more of the real, and the deep Collective Intelligence that exists in everyone. What xxxxx said brought up something really strong in me about conditioning that has created that individual, dualistic, collective, deconstruction which is, like with the cells, as you were speaking… our cells are perfect when they’re formed. Cancer is a cell that has found itself different or feels unloved and then often, if we have that cell, we’ll reject it and try to kill it which makes it feel more unloved and it tries to attack every cell around it. And I find the same with humans. And where we’re at in our lack of Collective Intelligence, acceptance that sometimes there’s a human intelligence that’s like a cancer cell and it feels not part of the group so then it tries to damage things around it which creates chaos. So Collective Intelligence is crucial to rediscover, and make the healthy cells the priority, so we can all be a functioning body that is whole and healthy.

…Which comes from the heart, and comes from the breath, connected to the mental. When we do something that’s not who we are, many times it comes from the mental state without the heart, and without the embodied receptivity of who I am. And who I am is unique into this group, and as a group we have a collective that we are moving forward. In our unique way we have a unique voice to achieve that purpose.

How I perceive the Collective Intelligence is; we are all each others shape, form, or something that is at the origin not shaped. And it is just embodied in the physical molecular world, and each time there are different levels and when we are all together we are forming an entity, that’s this group. And this group has got loads of properties. And when we’re presencing that group we are connecting with all of the different properties which we have all brought up, into putting on the table. So, we can be aware of only our own one or we can be aware of everything around us as defined by the culture that we defined at the start of the session.

Our Closing words: Being, Presence, Heart, Head, Gut, Curious, Hello, Parts and Wholes, Peaceful, Friends, Mindful, Gratitude, Joy,

We are not only the sum of our experiences but the sum of all the people behind us, all our ancestors.

Being with a Group — Musical Facilitation

This multi-media blog post explores musical performance through the Zenergy Global Facilitation lens of the three states of a Facilitators ‘being’ – ‘being with self’, ‘being with another’ and ‘being with the group’. by Kāren Hunter.

I am a musician – which means I have many jobs.

One of these, one of my favourites is playing market music on the mandolin.

I play specifically New Zealand Farmers Market music – Celtic melodies with a few Polkas and familiar contemporary melodies on a warm bed of traditional backing tracks alternating with throbbing reggae / dub basslines as the day progresses.

This article is about the Zenergy concept of the three states of a Facilitators ‘being’ – ‘being with self’, ‘being with another’ and ‘being with the group’.

You can read the blog below, watch it over on youtube – or listen to it on soundcloud.

The tunes I play are ubiquitous yet reinvented / reharmonised and rearranged so most people recognise them and feel a sense of familiarity with them, yet often can’t place them, or me, or the instrument I am playing. I’m a fairly ordinary curly haired Celtic looking Pakeha, in colourful handmade clothing. My instrument has an unusual shape for a mandolin and looks like an Ovation Elite guitar ( which may not mean much to most readers ) . Mandolins have double strings, and many people ask me if it is Greek or Russian or Eastern European and where am I from?

Somehow I am both ‘other’ and ‘family’ at the same time.

Farmers Markets are a thronging spring of life. Multi-cultural, diverse in taste, and offerings. Ethnicity, age, sex and style of any given market is governed by location, and tourism.

When I am in my role, performing as a market musician, it is possible for me to sense the energy of the whole group. And rather than being a ‘main focus’ I am offering a service.

The ‘stars’ of the Farmers Markets are the products of stall holders, and workers, the makers who create items for sale. Usually unique, tasty, original and healthy food items, or magnificent craftwork that cannot be found anywhere else.

The market manager, the crew, the rubbish pickerupperers and me, we are serving the stall holders. Our work is appreciated but we are not the main act.

As a musician, playing amplified, this distinction can take some getting used to!

Through our Zenergy training we learn to be responsive and observant of ‘group energy’. Part of our training is to distinguish between ‘being with self’, ‘being with another’ and ‘being with the group’.

We also learn to ‘generate’ what is missing. In my role as a market musician I rely heavily on this skill.

When I start to play at the beginning of the day ( this morning I was set up and ready to go at 9am ), my focus is entirely on ‘being with self’. I listen to the PA, how does it sound? How does the sound feel? Is it sharp and hard or soft and gentle? If it is demanding attention then it is too loud or has too much treble. If I don’t adjust and turn down I will either be asked to, or not asked back.

I concentrate on the sound with my entire body. The sound of the space. The feeling of the sound of the space. I purposefully don’t look at anyone, I may not even face the front of the stage, I may face the speakers, or to the side.

I organise myself emotionally to be of service.

I believe it is my role as a market musician to smile at every face that appears in front of mine.

Once I turn to face whoever is there, and I begin to play, I will be ready to open my heart to who ever I see.

According to my Zenergy training this is called ‘being with another’. We learn that we have a unique relationship with each group member, and I practise this as I smile, while playing the mandolin at market.

Children, elderly, wisened, coupled, solo, interested, annoyed, curious, mildly offended, reserved, camera focused, polite, impolite, generous, greedy, Maori, Pacifica, Pakeha, Asian, dressed up and dressed down : each one a somebody and for each one a smile.

This, is a deep yoga practice.

And at the same time as all this connecting I am describing, I must keep the sound of the tune I am playing rolling through the back of my brain. I must keep giving my fingers permission to move in response to the sound of tune as it ( still ) plays against the very back wall of my skull. I can see this aural image and I can connect it by my will to my hands.

If I start to waiver in my playing I close my eyes to refocus – but the smile stays. The smile, by this point, is smiling itself through me.

In a deep trance I clearly see the group energy of the market place. I sense the ebb and flow, the bustle, the excitement and expectancy in the early part of the day gives way to weariness and fatigue in the latter.

I adjust my tunes accordingly, traditional in the beginning; fresh simple melodies with clear moving backing tracks. As the session progresses, in set 3 say, I shift to reggae / dub bass-lines to generate more relaxation in the group by offering more repetition. When I make this transition I check in, I make eye contact, with the elderly people, to make sure they are ready to leave the bonnie banks of yesteryear.

If things become stagnant I can generate more energy with a polka or a jig. In moments of brutal busyness I might let go fully into this energy with a set of urgent reels and allow intensity to dominate.

As a musician I have many aural tools to generate atmospheres.

I have these same skills as a facilitator, as a friend, community member and in my family. Opening oneself to the aural realm allows an undeniable sensory depth.

Keep these questions as reflections to open your senses to the aural dimension.

  • What sounds can you hear right now?
  • Can you hear the thoughts of others?
  • Can you hear the thoughts of the natural world around you?
  • Can you hear the reflections of sound on the walls and hard surfaces around you?
  • Can you picture you’re the sounds of your life as a stream of sensation on the hard surface of your skull?
  • Where else is sound living in you?
  • Can you feel sound on your skin? In your heart? In your minds eye?

Remember: Questions have the most power in the space between the asking and the answer.

Thank you for reading this article!

I’d love to hear from you, please make a comments or contact me on

Nga mihi
Kāren Hunter

Via Being with a Group — Zenergy Global Blog

Creativity&Music Tamaki Makaurau May 2018

Comments and Feedback from Participants:

What worked?

Everything – Technical knowledge – confidence – Being in a team / group of support – other peoples talents adding tothe songs. Vanessa

The meditation, karakia, holding the ‘space’, stream of consciousness exercises.

Sharing & creating. Creating the song together in two seperate parts was awesome.

Everything. Emma

The warm structure. The meditation to start. Painting & words. Cool!! Making music with other beautiful strong women. Lisa

Everything from start to finish. The space was created and held so beautifully and there was a beautiful progression in the exercises. Jo.

What an amazing space!!! Everything !!! I came in to a loving supportive, creative, beautiful atmosphere. Blessed be. Tea.

Upcoming & Backgoing – April 2018

Kia ora tatou katoa – Hello everyone

I hope you have had a fabulous summer, the festivals have been stunning haven’t they?

He mihi nui ki a koutou, ki ō koutou waiata hou, ō koutou moemoea hou, kia ora ai ō koutou mahi toi.

This first Upcoming section is to tell you about the Creativity&Music workshops I have coming up this autumn/winter period. The second Backgoing section is dedicated to my recently completed work and summer highlights for those who like to keep up to date 🙂

UPCOMING – Creativity & Music Workshops 2018

I will start the 2018 workshop series in the music month of May. All workshops run from 11-4pm.

Dates so far:

May / Haratua, Sunday 6th – Auckland / Tamaki Makaurau –  Mama Inc, Sandringham
June / Pipiri, Sunday 3rd – Thames / Parawai – Buddhaloka
September / Mahuru, Sunday 2nd – Mt Maunganui – Mind Your Karma Retreat Centre

Auckland workshops cost $50 or early-bird $40  if paid 2 weeks in advance.
All workshops that run outside Auckland cost $60 or early-bird $50 if paid 2 weeks in advance. ( This extra $10 goes towards petrol ).

Please get in touch asap if you are interested in any of these karen@karenhunter.com or 021 946 399. I’d also love to hear from you if you would like me to run workshop in your area.

Here is a taster from Paekakariki on the Kapiti Coast in December 2017.

BACKGOING – Summer 2017/2018 has been awesome!

The photo at the top of this blog is of a jam session with the sisters from the band Rising Appalachia, Leah & Chloe. What a summer highlight! I also attended Woodford Folk Festival in Queensland, Australia as part of a short tour with the Matiu te Huki trio. It was huge, some 100 000 people attend the festival! Thankfully not all at once though as the festival lasts 8 days including New Years Eve. Another highlight was a performance at Auckland Town Hall with the duo AnaKārena ( with Anahera Higgins ) as part of a wonderful show curated by Tama Waipara in honour of the late singer/songwriter Mahinaarangi Tocker and her timeless songs. A recording of this show will air at some point on RadioNZ.

The following clip was shot in Byron Bay, Australia with the Matiu Te Huki Trio.

Festivals were juicy – after Woodford came Evolve in Nelson / Whakatū, Spirit Horse Festival in the Kaipara,  a performance and a great workshop at Voices of Sacred Earth at Kawai Purapura. There is more to go! NZSpirit Festival is coming up at the end of April. Here’s a song from a house concert at Spirit Horse Festival.

Recordings –  I upgraded the track Prana on the Hunter de Luz album on bandcamp – if you have purchased that album you should be able to use the same code to get the updated versions of Prana. Any problems please let me know and I’ll sort it out.

I also updated my Bandcamp page to include the ambient music albums Soul Whispers (2016) & Wildseed (2016) and Kirtan (2003)

I value your support very much. When you purchase my albums online, or in person, you help me keep playing and recording music. Thank you.

This year I am based between Auckland and Whaingaroa / Raglan and I am taking students regularly in both of those locations. Get in touch if you’d like to take on some one-to-one lessons / ‘musical play-dates’ this year 🙂

Kāren created an environment in which everybody was at ease and felt free and uninhibited to step beyond their boundaries. [She] skilfully and with great insight guided everybody to get the most out of their presence. Alistair.

On a personal note I have been continuing my journey as a student of Te Reo Maori at Poihakena Marae in Whaingaroa. Tino pai tenei mahi mōku, kia ora ai te reo rangatira i roto i tenei ao hurihuri. Nau mai koutou ki te kōrero Maori ki au. He tauira anake e au, engari ka pai mōku tenei haerenga. Kōrero mai, awhina mai, akona mai.

I look forward to hearing from you!

Mauri Ora!
021 946 399


Creativity&Music Kapiti 2017

The Kapiti workshop held at Paekakariki Beach Memorial Hall workshop was subsidised by Kapiti Creative Communities fund under the “Arts Access and Participant” section.

The following participants gave their written permission to use their comments in future promotions for Kāren Hunter’s Creativity&Music workshops.

What worked?

The gentle and safe way you brought the group together. The breaks. Really enjoyed the coming together or our group. Enjoyed your energy, could feel your caring and wholesome facilitation Sue

The way the day was structured ; warming up with art/exercise then moving into writing the music. Brilliant supportive environment. It could have been 2 or 3 days, LOL it went too fast! Fantastic tutor, Karen really knows how to bring our someones talent. I want to do another course. Louise

You are an excellent facilitator : giving space thru the day, not talking too much!, giving us space to explore ourselves and experience – special rare – felt safe and well prepared. Juli

Loved starting with the opportunity to paint. Showing us the technique of using time limits to generate material. The improvisation at the end. Very well organised and nicely structured workshop. Thanks for giving us the opportunity. Julia

All of it – from the relaxing exercise at the start to the improv exercise at the end. Inspiring and uplifting. Really enjoyed it, challenged myself to get out of comfort zone. Donna

The painting and the jam at the end & Kāren helping with our songwriting. Thank you it was amazing. Katelyn

Group dynamics – getting everyone relaxed and working together. Freedom of expression. Awesome experience, thanks for making space for everyone to learn/achieve and experience whatever it was they needed. Annette

Uplifted mood. Investing time into just being creative. Successful collaboration with like-minded people. Joyful atmosphere, laughter, expression.

… Felt anxious & sad when I arrived and this feeling was replaced in the (warm-up exercises ). My anxiety was dropped out altogether, thank goodness. Caroline

A really lovey mix of activities. Kāren helped us all to relax and build really naturally & effortlessly into writing and performing a song. I had beliefs around not being able to write lyrics and was surprised when given the opportunity that I could. Nicely paced, lots of fun. A very well facilitated workshop. I thoroughly enjoyed the day and having never written a song before loved the opportunity to collaborate. Loved having the chance to sing. Denise.

It was good group size. Kāren is very talented with passion with her ability to help us step into our creativity. I really enjoyed the loving and encouraging energy from the instructor and the supporting atmosphere from the group. Mei

Kāren, I think you presented a well thought out workshop. The artwork was great, writing words. The swapping of words, the grouping for a song, all worked wonderfully. You were very gentle and encouraging. Maureen

Kārena’s responsive facilitation and guidance and intuitive and attention to different needs.

The freedom in painting. Highlighting and focussing on powerful words as a basis for lyrics. Awesome facilitation and support in creativity.

Creativity & Music Papaioea 2017

Creativity & Music Papaioea / Palmerston North 2017 was subsidised by Palmerston North Creative Communities under the Arts Access and Participant fund.

More photos of this workshop are available here https://myalbum.com/album/aaY4pYnYaIeB

What worked?

All of it. The sharing was well facilitated so really great sharing where people could be comfortable. The different range of exercises was great exposure to different processes for helping work / expand on one’s creativity or own Art/Music ‘practise’.

I personally really enjoyed the Toning aspect to the workshop and will take that away as a special gift or ‘germ’ to realise in the future. I think the day was an amazing journey – wow – feels like we have travelled lots of landscapes. There is a lot to take away and reflect on.  Bek

Kāren is a woman of great talent that gave us confidence. I would enjoy another day with Kāren. Sue

Amazing, skilled, gentle facilitation! Perfect mix of being looked after and being extended. I learned heaps! A yummy enriching challenging day with a good mix of challenges and lovely facilitated group energy. Nice mix of fund and profundity … Kāren puts the fun in profundity! Helen

Whole day! Excellent pacing. Blend of people, Great explanations of activities. Thank you for allowing amazing creativity and soul strengthening to occur. Jennifer

  • Positive reinforcement.
  • Goingn out of my comfort zone.
  • I really enjoyed the venue and the faciliatation.
  • Good sized group. Vicky

Loved the time to be creative verbally and artistically ( painting ) . I really enjoyed that everyone felt together and open to be one. Thanks for making me feel myself and enjoying the vibe. Jacqui

The singing and playing and stretching were my favourite parts. Nina

Using different mediums and bringing it together. Moving around the room with different activities however always coming back to the centre circle. I liked how you kindly asked people to not comment after sharing their drawing and accepting it as an offer. You created amazing space for people to move into the unknown. You enabled time for everyone to process and feel into each process. Your ability to validate everyone on a personal level is a real art. Thank you Rebecca

Venue, facilitation, light, resources, everything. Inez

Student update October 2017

Tēnā koutou ki aku tauira o te ao puoro. He mihi nui ki a koutou. He mihi tautoko hoki mō ō koutou mahi i a ra, i a ra, kia tipu ai ō koutou pukenga waiata, ō koutou pukenga taonga puoro, ō koutou pukenga tito waiata hoki.

Welcome to all my music students and my warm greetings to you all. I offer you my continued support in your daily work to develop your singing, your instrumental practice and your songwriting skills.

My next journey north from the Kapiti Coast will be on the following dates :

12th November – Sunday – Palmerston North – Creativity & Songwriting workshop

14/15 November- Tuesday/ Wednesday – Auckland

16th November – Thursday – Whangarei

17th November – Friday – Dargaville

18th November – Saturday – Matakana

19/20 November – Sunday/ Monday – Auckland

3rd December – Sunday – Paekakariki – Creativity & Songwriting workshop

I’d love to see as many of you as possible, please do get in touch asap if you’d like to schedule a session.

I have been offered the opportunity to bring subsidised Creativity & Music workshops to two distinct communities through two successful Creative Communities grants.

Palmerston North – Sunday November 12th $20 11am-5pm

Paekakariki – Sunday December 3rd. $10 11am – 5pm

Please share the word to your friends in these communities so they can take advantage of these very special prices.

My year of travelling up and down Te Ika o Maui / The North Island is drawing to a close and I am yet to see where I will be drawn to settle for 2018. It’s been an amazing year of learning for me as I have been on the journey of discovering Te Reo Maori / Maori Language, and finding people and places where I can use this beautiful language, thoughts and ideas in my day to day life.

I will be travelling to Australia for the New Years Period to play with Matiu Te Yuki in his band My Golden Soul at Woodford Festival. I’ll also be playing and offering Creativity&Music ‘taster workshops’ at Voices of Sacred Earth Festival in Auckland in March.

I look forward to hearing from you : email karen@karenhunter.com or text 021 946 399.

Mauri Ora!


( photo by Melanie Shaw )