Troy Bronsink has created a community hive in Cincinnati’s Northside. The dictionary defines hive as a collective consciousness, analogous to the behavior of social insects, in which a group of people become aware of their commonality and think and act as a community, sharing their knowledge, thoughts, and resources.
“The Hive” was founded on the concept of contemplative introspection, with a focus on art, action, and contemplation.
In other words, Troy created a super zen environment where people can challenge the construct of their beliefs, learn and practice new skill sets, and play.
Yes, we said play.
This concept of play is one that we often leave behind on the schoolyard as we age, which is believed to be detrimental to both our physical and mental health. Troy has curated a rotating offering of 6-week courses that challenge adults to re-engage in jovial pursuits like drawing, collaging, creating, writing. All of the courses are designed to raise individuals to a higher level of consciousness (meaning you’re just more in tune with yourself and your environment), and have some connection with meditation or introspection.
Slowing down, finding breath, looking inward, and truly examining our thoughts, motives, and behaviors can be hard as hell. This is where the concept of a hive, or a shared community, can be helpful. Members of The Hive can find solace in each other, and learn from different but similar journeys of self-discovery and improvement.
Both of us have differing levels of education on contemplative introspection, so we thought it would be helpful to share both of our points of view in regards to the subject.
I teach mindfulness and meditation, so the Hive is a place where I could deepen my own practice, be educated on new concepts, and have conversation with those with similar and differing perspectives. I enjoy any place that teaches and encourages contemplative practices.
Leading up to our meeting at The Hive, I had to Google half of the course names that they offer, and didn’t even really know that communities and environments like this existed. But what I came to find out is that the energy and feels that I got walking in were palpable. After learning more about the courses and community events offered, I can see why people flock to what Troy created. He explained that many body work (aka therapies and techniques in complementary medicine that involve touching or manipulating the body) students and instructors find themselves at The Hive to deepen their studies and their practice. For instance, yogis come to The Hive to reach another level of contemplation and spirituality, and to have deeper conversations about their practice off the mat.
There is a wide variety of courses throughout the year that are offered as 6 week programs at various times throughout the week. As a member (only $30 a month), you are able to attend any of the courses, but are responsible for committing to the duration of the program (so only commit if you intend on attending class every week for 6 weeks). Check out the latest course offerings here. You are also able to utilize the zen space to work, read, or simply relax from 9am-2pm on Tuesdays and Wednesdays if you're a Hive member.
Not interested in becoming a member, but still would like to take a course? No worries, they also have non-member rates.
The courses that peaked our interest the most this March-April are:
Reclaiming Your Voice: Yoga, Meditation, and Writing. This class integrates energizing and restorative yoga postures, meditation, breathing exercises, and time to journal and write. Offered Mondays 7-8:30pm.
Enneagram and Projection: Befriending Your Shadow. The best political, social and spiritual work we can do is to withdraw and befriend the projection of our own shadow onto others. Our shadow is all the thoughts, feelings, hopes, fears, motivations and behaviors that we believe are unacceptable so we hide and deny them. Offered Wednesdays 7pm-8:30pm
The Hive also offers special events throughout the year, such as Happy Hour every 3rd Thursday, as a way to converse with members outside of class, and special discussions on current events.
A course or membership at the Hive might be good for you if: you feel like you’re in a rut, you want to try a new thing, you like community, you like kombucha, you want to find personal betterment, or if you’re just curious about a particular topic being offered.
Photo credit: Cassandra Zetta