The BE Hive
Names: Tamara Edwards & Chris Kantrowitz
Occupation: Co-Creators of The BE Hive
Personal Aspirations/ Life Goals/ Soul Purpose:
Tamara: My soul’s purpose is to connect to people’s hearts. I am here to learn, to share, and to better understand the art of balancing doing and being, which is sometimes quite a delicate process! Creating ways to help humanity return to living in the rhythm of nature and to remember themselves as stewards of the Earth is a deeply meaningful part of my soul’s expression. I envision myself as a mother both to children in the future and multiple different manifestations of the BE Hive as it continues to expand into other rural and urban environments. Bringing people together with the energy of the earth as sacred communities throughout different regions of the world is something I hold close to my heart, whether it be gathering by warm water, mountains, forests or somewhere in between.
Chris: My mission is to facilitate health and wellness for as many people as possible. Unfortunately we live in a country where most people do not have a proper education on how important food, exercise and mental stamina are for health. Our country is filled with chronically sick people who could be healed just by simply changing some of their life habits. I hope the BE Hive can be one place where we can educate more people and share ancient learning.
How did the two of you meet and what inspired you to start the BE Hive?
Tamara: Chris and I met in 2003 when I was 18, most likely on the dance floor. In 2011 he introduced me to Burningman. It was there, covered in the magical playa dust, that our friendship deepened and our hearts were forever connected...I was transformed by the experience. I was already a meditator but it was that trip that gave me my first spiritual awakening. I have been extremely grateful for Chris for facilitating that experience. In 2013 I moved to NY to make films. It was then that I co-founded the BE society, a nomadic meditation group which gathers in myriad of locations including penthouses, art galleries, gardens and private lofts in NY, LA, SF and London. On one sunny day in NYC, I had just moved into my 4th place in 3 months, this one was a multi million dollar loft on Prince and Lafayette where I was to stay for 2 weeks in exchange for the suggestion to "do good work" . I entered the gorgeous sun-filled and empty loft, looked around, and immediately felt a strong urge to write. I unrolled my yoga mat, laid down with a notebook and pen, and out poured the initial vision of the BE Hive in one swoop, name and all. One year later over a serendipitous dinner with Chris in SF we realized we had a shared vision and made a pact to create it. I couldn't imagine a more perfect person with which to birth this vision into existence. It all makes perfect sense.
Chris: Tamara and I met years ago in Los Angeles. She has been a shining light on on all of our friends. Her spirit was always tuned for good. The concept of the BE Hive was inspired by a place in San Francisco called the SafeHouse that was started by my friend Matt Wiggins. Tamara and I had stayed there one night and we decided then and there that LA needed a place like it. So we decided to make it happen
When we first met and spoke about The BE Hive as a space for classes and practitioners, it sounded really great, but when you mentioned the part about the rooms to stay in, that was what really captured my attention and allowed me to catch a little glimpse of the magic of what you where creating- a truly multifunctional, multidimensional sacred space that would be able to really serve people with a variety of different wants and needs. Being able to attend Cacao ceremony there last month and then spend the night in one of the rooms for rent afterward was a truly unique and special experience. The Be Hive felt like an oasis of calm, protected, connectedness in the middle of the city, where I was able to relax and continue to be with my experience of the ceremony. The building itself and the unusual layout of the space seemed to really contribute to this feeling of being safe and held. It doesn’t seem to me like there’s anything else like it. What can you tell us about the history of the building and what you like about the neighborhood?
Tamara: Our building actually has a really rich history. It was built in 1910 and was the first hotel ever in Hollywood, called The Covered Wagon Hotel. It is also believed to have been a brothel and a bank at different points in time. The BE Hive is 7,000 sq ft located on the second floor with beautiful exposed brick walls and large white french windows. My favorite part is the outdoor atrium that runs through the middle of the space which we are turning into a community garden. It feels like a mix between Brooklyn and Europe. Perfectly aligned with the East and West, the windows capture the most magnificent light from dawn to dusk. It feels like a temple inside even though we are in the heart of Hollywood. My favorite thing about Hollywood is the diversity.
We love how The Be Hive offers such a wide variety of ways to engage with self, community and spirit. What are some of your own daily practices? What most helps you stay connected to what’s important to you in a culture so intent on serving up entertaining distractions?
Tamara: For me, a morning practice is key. At the very least I meditate every morning and include some form of prayer and gratitude. My favorite way to wake up Is to practice yoga in the BE Hive Apiary ( Atrium) before I meditate and/or go for a hike and meditate at the top of the mountain. It is of the upmost importance for me to have this morning practice. To wake up and first connect within before attending to anyone or anything else is crucial to my sanity and to my ability to create and be of service to the world. If I meditate daily, I stay connected to what's important most of the time. I of course have my moments. I'm a student of life for life!
Chris: My morning routine starts with saying good morning to my fiancee and our unborn baby and thanking the universe that we are together. Once we have some good morning family time I turn my attention to gut health and a fermented pickle drink. I then do 20 min of meditation. A quick 7 minute workout follows. Usually I take 15 min out of the day to nap and refresh myself. In the evening family time is important. Life is grand when you have an amazing partner and getting as much time together as possible is a true gift. She is my connection to the universe. She and I share many of the same principals. We do a lot of projects together centered around progressive politics and environmental activism.
What are you most looking forward to at The BE Hive this fall?
Chris: I am looking forward to figuring out the right mix of programming and community and how we can continue to project what we are learning and teaching out into the universe. Teaching is our passion. Sharing is our mission.
Tamara: It's really hard to choose! We have such an incredible fall to look forward to including Kava Temple and a Harvest Moon Celebration with an art exhibit showcasing the work of two of my close friends, mentors, and conscious catalysts Heather Rae and Alan Kozlowski. It will be a time of community, collaboration and creating, my 3 favorite C’s…besides Chris!