Month: February 2013

The Shamatha Project, Part I

 Editors note: Thanks to a recent $2.3 million Templeton Prize Research Grant from the John Templeton Foundation, researchers are revisiting the results gleaned from Shamatha Project and further analyzing those results. In the first two posts of this four-part series we’re offering people unfamiliar with the project the chance to learn more about the project and its researchers. In our third post we will discuss the next stage of this project funded by the Templeton Prize Research Grant. And in our final post we’ll take a closer look at the lead researcher, Clifford Saron. By Sarah Sutherland If you’ve ever done a retreat at Shambhala Mountain Center, it’s likely that at some point following the retreat, you noticed a difference in yourself. Maybe you felt calmer, or had more patience. Or perhaps you just felt better about your place in the world. And you probably wondered how long the changes would last. If so, you’re not alone. In the Shamatha Project—the largest and most comprehensive study ever done on the psychological, physical, and behavioral effects …

Photography as an Expression of Eye, Mind and Heart

  In her new book, Effortless Beauty: Photography as an Expression of Eye, Mind and Heart, Julie DuBose asks “If we could live our lives in freshness, discovering our world anew everyday, and share that with our loved ones, would that be worth doing?” Julie explains that when we really take the time to notice the richness around us we can learn to see the world in a different way: “without our thoughts separating us from the freshness of our experience.” By making one’s self available right now, this perception comes to meet the photographer in spontaneous and surprising ways. Learning to capture this visual clarity as it is is both an art form and a contemplative practice. Michael Wood, the founder of the contemplative form of photography Miksang, will be teaching a workshop with Julie Dubose at Shambhala Mountain Center March 28-31, 2013. Click here to learn more. Click here to read the Shambhala Times interview excerpt with Julie DuBose and Dan Hessey about Julie’s new book, Effortless Beauty: Photography as an Expression of …

How to Stay Open and Awake to Reality in all its Richness

At first, it’s a challenge just to sit with our minds. Even if we do come to enjoy relaxing with ourselves alone on the meditation cushion, bringing that confidence and equanimity into our daily lives and relationships is challenging because it is in our interactions with other people that we are most likely to close down. The experience of openness is our natural state, so why are we not open all the time? Acharya Susan Chapman, author of The Five Keys to Mindful Communication and Greg Heffron, co-director of the Mudra Institute will teach the Green Light model of mindful communication at Shambhala Mountain Center, March 8th to the 10th. We had the opportunity to chat with Greg Heffron about this Mindful Communication workshop that they offer all over the U.S. and Canada, often to sell-out crowds. Press play below to hear Greg on how to stay open and awake to reality in all its richness: Also, Acharya Chapman and Greg Heffron will be at the Fort Collins Shambhala Cneter March 5th at 7:00 p.m. for …

Ikebana: Conversations with a branch

By Cynthia Drake on Ikebana with Alexandra Shenpen, Sensei Do not consider taking an ikebana class if you want to keep your view of flowers simple and safe, if you do not want to be called into a conversation with a branch, a vase, or the moon peering at you through the window. If you come to this program, be ready to play, to look at the lines and curves of stems, to sit in silence, and to encounter a universe of creative expression speaking through traditional forms. I study with Alexandra Shenpen, Sensei because she brings together decades of experience in meditation practice, the study of Japanese forms, and artistic expression. She shares her joy of color, form, and communication and gently encourages her students to step out into our own modes of creation. And then, as is true with all ikebana masters, she oh so subtly moves one branch one millimeter and brings our arrangements to life. Every person who feels that yearning to connect heaven and earth with flowers will fall in …