Episode 4: Dan Hines

Either spiritually content or just had morning coffee

Activist and Mystic

Sharing the room with Dan Hines feels like being reborn!

With an unassuming and relaxed demeanour, Dan isn’t someone who imposes. You might even miss him if you cross him on the street or sit next to him on the subway. The moment you connect eyes with with him, and hear his voice, is the moment you’ll feel like you have a friend for life.

Early Life

Dan was called towards scripture and religion at a young age. After receiving a prophetic utterance at the age of 14 (more about that in the podcast), he decided to dedicate himself to Evangelicalism and became a pastor in his early 20s. It was not smooth sailing from here as personal doubts created a rift between his personal practice of spirituality and his role within the Church.

Not one to linger, Dan moved on. He was a zoo manager, worked in construction, but eventually felt the calling to return to community-driven work. Inspired by, among others, Parker J. Palmer and the Quakers, Dan began organizing and helping others through group-based work.

The Activist as Mystic, Wayfinding, and Becoming A Politician

Through one of his workshops, “The Activist as Mystic,” Dan helps participants explore the balance between the desire to fix the world around themselves and the urge to isolate one’s self from the world to prioritize personal development. Dan’s own mastery of this balance was put to the test when he ran in British Columbia’s Provincial election in 2017.

A world traveler and perennially curious, Dan has studied the traditional Polynesian navigational vocation, called “wayfinding.” Wayfinding made waves recently as a centerpiece of the Disney movie, “Moana.” In his trademark style, Dan translates some of the wisdom inherent to wayfinding into practical insights for the modern person.

In today’s show, we talk about all of this and so much more! Scott and I both felt renewed and very lucky to be a part of this podcasting project after our talk with Dan. Enjoy episode 4 of the SpiritBros Podcast with Dan Hines!

How Scott and Pete like to imagine their guests react after being invited to appear on the podcast


  • [3:03] Managing a Zoo and why the Lynx was his favourite animal.

  • [7:19] Spiritual practices are ‘alignments’ with whom we truly are and on being an evangelical pastor in his early 20s.

  • [8:31] On receiving a prophetic utterance.

  • [15:51] What priesthood means for him today.

  • [23:23] On becoming a “floating utility priest.”

  • [27:11] On working with Quaker ministers and learning from the Quaker movement

  • [30:31] On how to be vulnerable within a community and discipline being key in creating a safe space in groups.

  • [39:21] “If you need a guru, you need a guru. If you don’t need a guru, then you definitely don’t need a guru.”

  • [48:57] On how sharing responsibility is a key to successful group work.

  • [56:11] What urges drive a person to give away their power to someone else?

  • [1:00:51] Jesus’ “7 habits of effective living.”

  • [1:03:31] Where autocrats draw their power from.

  • [1:06:56] Dan’s eye opening moment upon seeing the movie ‘Avatar’ with his, at the time, 10 year-old daughter.

  • [1:10:21] “If you don’t transform your suffering, you will transmit your suffering.”

  • [1:19:21] Dan’s study of Wayfinding, the native Polynesian way of sea navigation

  • [1:33:01] On how to find alignment through “back-sighting.”

  • [1:45:21] Dan on deciding to get into politics… “What were you thinking?”

  • [1:52:21] Dan’s experience running in a provincial election for the Green Party in British Columbia

  • [1:57:07] Has Dan’s experience in politics made him more or less cynical in regards to the system?

  • [1:59:44] “When I’m done politics, the first thing I’m gonna do is delete my Twitter account.”

  • [2:03:01] How revisiting Marther Luther King Jr’s sermons helped him put his anger to good use.

  • [2:08:31] The Hebrew prophets.

  • [2:14:37] “The only thing we have to offer the world is who we are.”

  • [2:22:56] “The Activist as Mystic.”

  • [2:31:31] Spiritual visions as a “tether to home.”

  • [2:38:41] En-Lightning Round

Key Links:

Le Monastère des Augustines

Dan’s website and blog

Courage and Renewal.org

Dan’s Twitter

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