Hollyhock Presenters

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Our presenters are curated for their quality, depth, integrity, and alignment with our educational purpose. Since 1982, a distinguished faculty of authors, educators, activists, artists, performers, and practitioners have shared their work at our Cortes Island campus and in Vancouver.

People smiling at Activate 2023 Hollyhock Leadership Institute

Martin Thomson-Jones, PhD

Martin Thomson-Jones, PhD, is a Certified Teacher of Mindful Self-Compassion (MSC). He first encountered loving-kindness meditation, one of the core elements of MSC, through Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction (MBSR) in 2010, and found his way to Kristin Neff’s and Christopher Germer’s work from there. He took MSC from Chris and Kristin as a five-day intensive at Esalen, in California, in January 2013, and was then invited to be part of the CMSC’s first teacher training course—led by Chris Germer, Kristin Neff, Michelle Becker, and Steven Hickman—in 2014.

Martin teaches the eight-week in-person version of MSC in his home area, and has taught this five-day intensive version in the US, in Israel, and at Hollyhock. He also teaches the ten-week, live online version of the course through the Center for Mindful Self-Compassion. Martin adds: “Practicing self-compassion has transformed my life, so it’s deeply rewarding to teach these practices to others and know that it will bring them some of the same gifts. And I can’t wait to return to Hollyhock!”

Originally from the UK, Martin has been living in the U.S. for more than half his life. He is a philosophy professor at Oberlin College, and has taught philosophy at Princeton University and U.C. Berkeley. He has a Ph.D. in philosophy from Stanford University, and a B.A. (Joint Hons.) in physics and philosophy from Oxford University.