Tim Holtzman

Berkeley, California, United States

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  • Currently: Student, Formerly: Mental Health Counselor
  • BA
  • From Staten Island, NYC
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About Me


Give up control and trust my life will work out fine if I'm in my flow


I’m definitely an information junkie. Not sure if there is a subject that doesn’t interest me. Though I tend to like a lot of social science and eastern philosophy.

Constantly inspired by those I meet who have set themselves free to live purposeful lives guided by what truly inspires them. “You are what you love, not what loves you.”


“All the arts we practice are apprenticeship. The big art is our own life.” M.C. Richards

“Develop interest in life as you see it; in people, things, literature, music – the world is so rich, simply throbbing with rich treasures, beautiful souls and interesting people. Forget yourself.” Henry Miller

“Humility makes us see rightly; pride and arrogance blind us to see the way we would like to see.” Swami Amar Jyoti

“We must never hope to perceive or understand anything fully.” David Baird

“Do you have the patience to wait for the mud to settle and the water to clear? Can you remain unmoved till right action appears on it’s own?” Tao Te Ching

"Any intelligent fool can make things bigger and more complex... It takes a touch of genius --- and a lot of courage to move in the opposite direction." - Albert Einstein

“To live a creative life, we must lose our fear of being wrong.” Joseph Chilton Pearce

“Satisfaction of one’s curiosity is one of the greatest sources of happiness in life.” Linus Pauling

“Your “experience” matters. Both for how it feels now and for the lasting threads it weaves into the fabric of your brain and being.” Rick Hanson

“Accept there will always be pain and challenge in a noble life. Pain is an undeniable sign of growth.” Unknown

“Those closest to us will hurt us from time to time, as we will hurt them. Make apologies well in advance.” Unknown

“Have much, be confused.” Lao Tzu

“The love you make is equal to the love you take.” John Lennon

“You are what you love, not what loves you.” Adaptation (the movie)

Truth is, everybody is going to hurt you; you just got to find the ones worth suffering for." Bob Marley

“There is nothing permanent except change.” Heraclitus

“Chaos is what you see when you can’t see far enough.”

“Trust that nature tends to enfold in a dependable framework that embodies order.” Jon Kabat-Zinn

Mindfulness – The direct opposite of taking life for granted. To be aware of how our mind affects our perceptions. To consciously affect the quality of your day.” Jon Kabat-Zinn

Necessity may be the mother of invention, but play is certainly the father.
Roger von Oech

“Wisdom tells me I am nothing,
Love tells me I am everything,
Somewhere in between
my life flows.” - Shinzen Young

Why I’m on Couchsurfing


I've taken on the role as ambassador to SF for travelers I meet locally. I'm always happy to share my favorite locations and discuss why I love SF so much! Overall, I'm very much a lover of culture....I'm always curious to see how different people choose to live their lives and often find myself self-reflecting on my own behaviors and implementing even better values and life practices as a result.


Had the chance to stay with and meet several couchsurfers during my trip to Europe in 2011. Also met up with a fellow couchsurfer during my stay in Chang Mai, Thailand! I've also attended a few couchsurfing events here in the Bay Area and abroad.


Music, journaling, reading, meditation, dance, human connections, camping, nature, biking, coffee shops, exploring the infinite possibilities of the Internet, thought provoking conversation, insightful documentaries and films, tasty food, cats, laughter, creative expression, personal health and happiness, world peace, social justice, spiritual development, various disciplines of Buddhism, Daoism, utopian societies, anti-consumerism, courageous thinkers, media activism and education, learning about others, outer space, inner space, finding balance, finding flow, trusting the natural order of nature, dispelling routine perspectives, keeping a open mind, and on and on and on…

Music, Movies, and Books


[[Beach House]], [[Beirut]], [[Grizzly Bear]], [[James Holden]], [[Shpongle]], [[Sigur Ros]], [[Flaming Lips]], [[Pink Floyd]], [[Radiohead]], [[Caribou]], [[Love Language]], [[Miracle Fortress]], [[Steve Lawler]], [[Belle and Sebastian]], [[Elbow]], [[Bob Dylan]], [[Mew]], [[Blonde Redhead]], [[Fleet Foxes]], [[Camera Obscura]], [[DNTEL]], [[Bhagavan Das]], [[Sean Johnson]], [[Mercury Rev]], [[Arcade Fire]], [[Atlas Sound]], [[Sufjan Stevens]], [[M83]], [[Bat for Lashes]], [[Cheb I Sabbah]], [[Dark Star Orchestra]], [[Hot Buttered Rum]], [[Random Rab]], [[Baths]], [Shlohmo]]. Generally love music with spacey harmonies...also music that intricately layers a wide range of instruments and sounds. The key, of course, is matching mood or mindset with what feels right in the moment.


[[Island]] (Aldous Huxley), [[The Artist’s Way]] (Julia Cameron), [[Zen Mind, Beginner's Mind]] (Shunryu Suzuki), [[Wherever You Go There You Are]] (Jon Kabat-Zinn), [[Earth: The Sequel]] (Fred Krupp and Miriam Horn), [[Contact]] (Carl Sagan), [[Pedagogy of the Oppressed]] (Paulo Freire), [[Animal Farm]] (George Orwell), [[Finding Flow]] (Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi), [[Buddha's Brain]] (Rick Hanson)

One Amazing Thing I’ve Done

Having had the chance to live in one of the most free spirited and socially progressive cities in the world for 5 years now. I feel so lucky to have immediate access to so many inspiring people and gatherings. I've been very explorative in my years here and have experienced a lot of underground cultures and social movements that are truly like nothing else in this world.....well, maybe I need to travel more to make sure of this :)

Teach, Learn, Share

Top 73? reasons why I love San Francisco (in no particular order)...

We San Franciscan’s have so much to be grateful for in our little progressive bubble as the rest of America crumbles around us in right wing nonsense. So I think it's useful to fully appreciate all that is great about our city (as well as what’s wrong) and lead the march towards a better future for our country and world as a whole.

Most highly educated population center in the country.

So many of the people you meet here are involved in meaningful professions or all sorts!

Independent and experimental styles of music thrive here.

So many beautiful parks dotted across the entire city. Dolores Park and Golden Gate are amazing…..

Tons of unique cafes all over the city, mostly independently owed, and each with their unique character. 6 within a 2-block radius of my house…

The city is composed mostly of mom and pop stores...with a extremely limited amount of corporate chains (aside from union square) due to strong government restrictions.

Universal healthcare for everyone employed in San Francisco.

Diverse array of cultures spread through the city.

A very strong funded social services system beyond any other U.S. city – disadvantaged populations are well taken care of.

Tons of groundbreaking nonprofits working on local causes…but also tons more working on national and international causes!

Strong rent control laws protecting renters.

Strong laws and infrastructure to support biking!

Medical Marijuana is legal and is available to virtually anyone interested. And decriminalized even if you’re not a “patient.”

Strong anti-discrimination laws supporting minority populations.

Homosexuality is widely accepted. Same-sex marriage is legalized by the city itself.

Sanctuary city – the city government refuses to work with federal immigration officers in seizing immigrants.

Freedom of assembly – event permits are given out relatively easily and events are rarely cancelled as a result of lame excuses made by most U.S. cities.

Anti-militarism ideals including no JRC in schools, strong opposition to the war.

Laws limiting billboards and public advertisements.

Employee rights are strong. More vacation time, short workdays and work weeks for many. Causal dress styles accepted. Very high minimum wage.

Political campaigns are very regulated and must adhere to fair practices.

Big business and special interests don’t dominant most elections…the people have a real voice here!

Beautiful hills with ocean and bay views all over the city.

Community gardens nestled throughout the city and legally protected from development interests.

Great outdoor recreation all around us for camping, hiking, biking, rafting, skiing…and much more!

A deep focus on the arts. Tons of galleries, artist spaces, publically funded projects, art festivals, and tons of great schools.

Many great museums.

Thriving theatre culture.

Home of a incredibly array of social movements that still greatly influence the area today – Beat Generation, Hippie Movement, Gay Rights movement, Silicone Valley pioneers, Green Movement, Electronic music culture.

Incredibly large spiritual community. Tons of spiritual/ religious traditions with lots of community centers for anyone to join in. Meditation centers, Yoga, retreat centers of all sorts…

City College - great teachers, diverse class selections, incredibly low tuition for all!
Amazing choice of college’s and graduation schools – both public and private.

Fire’s allowed on Ocean Beach.

Nudity allowed on Baker Beach. Really anywhere in the city…

Humane police force that actually serves the people instead of suppressing their interests and lifestyles.

Farmer rights. Strong laws preventing inhumane agricultural processes and
inhumane treatment of livestock.

Fair trade and local products available are easily accessible.

Tons of organic and sustainable food products available.

Electric and hybrid bus system.

Wide array of music collectives holding a amazingly diverse assortment of music gatherings!

A wide array of annual street fairs.

Home of Burning Man. Home of tons of groups who own sound systems and can’t contain their urges to throw parties throughout the entire year!

Home of so many incredible regional music festivals of all varieties.

Tons of free, independent publications including SF Guardian, The Onion, Common Ground, Open Exchange, SF Weekly, and many others representing a wide array of unique social scenes and activist agendas.

Home of the one of the most important web exchange sites ever created: Craigslist - which is particularly strong and effective here.

Dogs have it good here, laws in their favor.

Great restaurants with a wide range of cruise’s and creative dishes.

Rainbow food grocery!

More independent movie houses than mainstream movie theatres.

Anti-materialistic values are more predominant here than in any other U.S. city I know of, a lot of people are aware of the harms of rampant consumerism…

The residents officially voted to impeach George W. Bush and sent their proposal to the Federal government.

An incredible diverse array of active countercultures to this day.

Incredibly unique areas of town that all have such distinctive character: Haight-Ashbury, Mission district, North Beach, Union Square, Chinatown, Japantown, Presidio, Marina, and many more.

The technology capital of the world (Silicon Valley).

Home of Apple Computers.

Hookah bars.

Drum circles.

Workshops and educational seminars galore.

Why do I know so many people who don’t own TV’s in this city. ☺

A 7X7 mile city…can easily bike, bus, or drive anywhere relatively easily!

Great public water.

Great air quality.

The wonderfully bizarre and progressive city of Berkeley is so close!

Mild winters – 40 degrees is about as cold as it ever gets (ok, the fog and ever-chilly climate can get annoying sometimes).

People are generally friendly, relaxed, and caring enough to indulge in conversation in public if you are able to somehow “break the ice.”

Diverse lifestyles! People have an incredible sense of freedom to conduct their lives in ways that are most appropriate for their unique personalities.

Freedom of expression is flexed widely.

Creative dress styles.

Gotta love the random array of yard/ corner sales that pop up around the city every weekend.

And the “leave your used items on the street and someone will come take them and use them” culture.

And many, many, many more reasons I failed to think of…

Countries I’ve Visited

Canada, Czech Republic, Mexico, Thailand, United Kingdom

Countries I’ve Lived In

United States

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