Month: December 2012

A Perfect Start

By Melanie Klein A perfect start.  I’m referring to my first opportunity to lead a program at Shambhala Mountain Center: Retreat and Renewal. I think it’ll be a terrific way to offer something back to this special place that has repeatedly refreshed me, challenged me, and inspired me.  I first came to “the land,” as SMC-ers put it, in 2005 and have been attending programs here ever since. At Retreat and Renewal, I will be more guide than leader, assisting participants to fill their weekend dance card, so to speak, with whatever appeals: meditation instruction and practice, yoga, hiking, massage, a guided tour of the Great Stupa … On Saturday night I look forward to offering a taste of the dharma, for those so inclined to join, and together exploring skillful approaches that reveal our innate intelligence and good-heartedness, even within the over-busy lives most of us lead. And I’m delighted that our morning meditation sessions will be held in the shrine room with the best view. It seems to me that Retreat and Renewal is …

Make Henry Happy

The Shambhala Mountain Center experience can be anything from uncovering space and stillness, to touching sadness and heartbreak, to feeling joy and elation. While the beauty of the environment and the guidance of the teachers and presenters are supportive and inspiring, there are also mundane elements that help create the magic. Please enjoy this video to see one of the ways your support makes the Shambhala Mountain Center experience complete. Your contribution will make the magic happen. As with most non-profit organizations, we depend on the generosity of our friends. Please contribute to our year-end campaign to raise funds for Shambhala Mountain Center’s operations by clicking the link below.

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Since My First Weekthün

Written By Kaleigh Isaacs In a week from today I will be starting a weekthün (a solid week of intensive group meditation). It is my second weekthün ever and I’m both nervous and excited. As the retreat approaches it has been much easier for me to get to the cushion each day. Maybe I’m kindly preparing myself for the longer days of sitting that are about to come but something else is there as well—a feeling of clarity and confident intention. My first weekthün happened three years ago. It was my first retreat besides a much shorter Level I that I had taken years prior. I remember what a challenging and heart opening experience it was for me—in fact that was when I first considered the idea of living up at SMC as a way to continue with the greater depth of practice I had come to appreciate during the retreat. So here I am three years later, having arrived at SMC in May to tend the garden but moved to program coordinating during the …

Stupa Serenade

Painter of Thangkas, Playing Guitar. Greg Smith studied with Choyam Trungpa Rinpoche and is now a student of his son Sakyong Mipham Rinpoche. Of the past 33 years, Greg has spent 23 at Shambhala Mountain Center, contributing to the community and practice environment, and befriending many of the program participants. He oversaw the painting of the Great Stupa of Dharmakaya during its construction and continues to relate to it on a daily basis. After all, he can see it from his bedside window. We asked Greg for an offering that we could share with our community to celebrate the richness of our sangha. He was more than happy to oblige and decided to play a song, in every floor of the Stupa! So here is Greg Smith, practitioner, painter, guitarist, and friend. We can’t do it without you! Shambhala Mountain Center is powered by offerings of all kinds; volunteered time, donations, teachings and practice. We ask you to join us now by making an offering that will help bring Shambhala Mountain Center into 2013 on …

My Recent Adventure with the SMC Catalog

By Calryn Aston After a long and challenging day at work, I arrived home and found the Winter/Spring Shambhala Mountain Center catalog in my mail pile. Without energy to do much else, I sat down to browse – on the cover, resting plants blanketed with ice crystals. I opened the cover to find a photograph of a grove of Aspen that evoked memories of times I have spent wandering the paths at SMC. Interestingly, I found myself reading the catalog cover to cover, looking with fresh eyes at the photographs, course descriptions, and teacher bios, and feeling the armor around my heart unwind. When I finished, about 45 minutes later, I felt refreshed, cheerful, and energized. Thank you so much for all you offer – even the catalog can be a transmission.

New Year Intention

New Year’s Resolutions have earned quite a reputation with their knack for creating lofty, often unreachable, goals. And still, New Year Resolutions can be genuinely helpful in opening space for reflection, creating an opportunity to set clear intentions for the year to come. In making resolutions we often envision what we would like to change about our lives: what to add, remove, or improve to become “better people.” With this approach, the whole thing can get a bit intense and self-aggressive. “I am never going to eat cake again, and I will meditate 2 hours a day if it kills me.” So, how does the ritual of New Years Resolutions change, when instead of developing a wish list, we start with our basic human qualities? Acknowledging that we aspire to do good, to be kind, that we wish for happiness and that fundamentally, we have everything we need to realize these virtues? This is the question Jon Barbieri is inviting us to explore in the upcoming New Year retreat: “Take a Leap Into 2013: Establish …