Oriane Lee Johnston

About Oriane Lee

Oriane Lee Johnston

Originally a fibre artist and studio owner, Oriane Lee weaves the threads of creative life, purposeful work, and serving the world into one vibrant multi-dimensional tapestry. Her current lifework has found a convergence of paradigm-shifting education & social change, a love affair with horses, and life-long spiritual practice.

Oriane Lee initiated and participated in the first Art of Spiritual Guidance training program in North America with Thomas Atum O’Kane at Hollyhock, when she was program director there. Followed by graduate programs including Alchemy: Guiding Individuals & Organizations through Change. Atum’s Spiritual Guidance Wisdom School is blossoming as a global community.

Meditation retreats in Burma formed a deep sense of how to hold North American retreat centres as sanctuaries of insight, wisdom and transformation, both personal and cultural. Producing the compelling Compassion in Action conferences for activists and change-makers, at Hollyhock with Mirabai Bush of Center for Contemplative Mind in Society, resulted in on-the-ground success for campaigns and projects.

Wisdom of the Tarot & Qabalah was Oriane Lee’s introduction to the inner life, over thirty years ago. This frame of reference for understanding human consciousness and how the divine spark evolves to take form in the physical world has been the underpinning of her life and work. Learn more…

More recent meditation experience with Reggie Ray and Tami Simon of DharmaOcean Foundation has deepened her engagement with the earthly world and the shimmering invisible mystery.

Oriane Lee was Program Director for Hollyhock Centre for 16 pivotal years, Canada’s Leading Educational Retreat Centre on Cortes Island, B.C. She served on the Board of Directors and the marketing team, facilitated programs including Creating Your Own Learning Centre and Producing a Successful Program, and co-convened the International Gatherings of Holistic Centers.

Oriane Lee forged strategic partnerships with other values-aligned enterprises like: Shambhala Sun · Spirituality & Health · Sounds True Recordings · Simon Fraser University Writing & Publishing · University of British Columbia Continuing Studies · Coast Mountain Expeditions.

On behalf of Hollyhock she formed relationships with luminaries of the time:  Eckhart Tolle · Andrew Weil · Natalie Goldberg · Rupert Sheldrake · Christianne Northrup · Gabor Maté · Ram Das and others.

Always mindful of “Canadian Content”, program presenters included Canadian arts & culture icons Margie Gillis · Ann Mortifee · Sharon Butala · Jane Siberry · Nick Bantok · Courtney Milne · Toni Onley. Supporting and launching new program presenters remains an important value.

Her own participation in these programs formed a deep understanding of the underpinnings of human and global change and transformation.


A trail ride in Ecuador in mid-life initiated a compelling draw to horses. Oriane Lee began Natural Horsemanship studies with Jonathan Field, one of Canada’s premier horsemen. The trails of Cortes Island provided the map for learning. After receiving the book Tao of Equus by Linda Kohanov, Oriane Lee began training in Equine Experiential Learning. She has found that partnering with horses liberates the imagination ~ in 2010 she volunteered for two months with rescue horses on the coast of Mozambique in Africa, leading to a wildlife safari on horseback, in the wilderness of Zimbabwe. She continues to spend part of each year with Horses in Africa, a wilderness eco-conservation project, and is being introduced to the spiritual eco-system of indigenous Zimbabwe. Read more about Oriane Lee & horses…

Oriane Lee’s lifework continues to weave creative vision, deeply grounded values, and enthusiastic service in support of her colleagues and clients.

“Oriane Lee created and orchestrated hundreds of successful programs over many years. Her dedication to Hollyhock’s mission in the world continues in the professional relationships she sustains and her mentoring of emerging program leaders. Oriane Lee remains a constant, holding the essence and purpose in our shared goals during all sorts of change. Her integrity, humility, depth, perceptiveness, wisdom, and love form a legacy of hope for a better world and more sane society.”

Joel Solomon, President, Renewal Partners. Chairman, Hollyhock Board of Directors

“Oriane Lee is a generous and wise mid-wife for your vision. She understands the themes, longings and questions arising within the culture. She skillfully guides you toward the forms of engagement that match your intention and nature with successful ways of touching people. I especially value her integrity and discernment in unmasking one’s limiting assumptions, allowing unforeseen possibilities to emerge. This clarity has been a liberating factor in defining my teaching and supporting my vocational dreams as they come to fruition.”

Thomas Atum O’Kane. PhD. Art of Spiritual Guidance
Lotus Flower