Month: May 2013

Happy birthday, Allen Ginsberg!

“I met Rinpoche, Chogyam Trungpa, on  a street corner in New York with my father, by accident.”   From June 3rd, 1926 to April 5th, 1997 Allen Ginsberg (AKA Lion of Dharma, AKA Heart of Peace, AKA Carlo Marx in Jack Kerouac’s On the Road) roamed the earth, taking inspiration from every facet of life and giving it right back to those who would have it. One of the most controversial public figures of his times, among the most outrageous of poets, Allen Ginsberg was also a friend, lover, photographer, peace activist, king of May, and meditation practitioner in the Vajrayana tradition. At Shambhala Mountain Center, where Ginsberg’s teacher, friend, and guru Trungpa Rinpoche is buried in the Great Stupa of Dharmakaya, one third of Allen Ginsberg’s earthy remains are interned in a polished granite memorial in the shape of a lion, backlit by the Tibetan letter for “Ah”, the shortest form of the perfection of wisdom, and just a short distance from the remains of his life partner, Peter Orlovsky. Visitors may visit this site with a steep …

What I know to be true

By Sue Frederick What I know to be true is this: Our pain is on purpose. Our joy is the gift. Our heart is all that matters. Our mind is a great monkey loose in the forest and running amuck; he must be tamed or our heart can’t be heard and our joy can’t be felt. Our truth is inside – always. It’s the inner voice that only speaks loud enough when we turn within, tame the savage monkey mind, pull away from the surface, and surrender assumptions; when we dip a trembling hand into the deepest water that terrifies us most and help someone who is drowning right beside us. Our truth only speaks up when we see the heartbreak in all of our journeys, the struggle in everyone’s life, the pain shared by each family member, the divine inner guidance that we mostly forget. This compassion is the fabric of our universe, and it guides us flawlessly through the night. This is all that matters. I will remember this now. What I’m trying to say …

Invoking Space and Spirit into Staff Homes

by Annabelle Sangye Yoo, Donor Relations Coordinator   I already knew that I would be moving into the Trailer Park beyond Lake Shunyata when I joined the staff at Shambhala Mountain Center a month after my first visit. I knew that a cluster of ladies were living there with plans to create a pacific paradise–wildflowers, hammocks and gardens on the hill. Each April, core staff move from their winter abodes in Rigden Lodge back to housing sprinkled all over Shambhala Mountain Center. In addition to making more room for program participants, this affords core staff the unique opportunity to live close to the land. I knew that I was excited. When I arrived, Ian the Travel Coordinator helped me to drag the 2 large suitcases I had brought with me from New York City through knee-deep snow and we used our hands to dig out the front door. Upon shoulder-blocking the door open, the musty smell of a room that had been closed for months hit us. I spied pieces of lumber, a dingy couch, some cans …

The Generosity of a Samurai

by Christopher Seelie The snowfall began the night before, and by the time we arrived in a loose caravan of 4 cars Zenko-Iba was covered in white. Of the thirteen of us Shambhala Mountain Center staff who came to Boulder on this day to receive instruction in Kyudo—literally “the way of the bow”, a Japanese practice of meditation in action—only one had taken First Shot before. So we did not receive instruction in the snow. Instead we gathered in the free-standing garage, now converted to a shrine room and indoor practice space. The walls were decorated with photographs from Kanjuro Shibata Sensei’s life of practice, along with documents of merit and souvenirs. Three hay bales wrapped in plastic canvas were peppered with puncture holes. The distance was negligible but kyudo is not a sport like the western form of archery, where the distance between archer and target is a concern second only to where on the target one’s arrow enters. We sat on gomdens and waited as Shibata Sensei—a green 91 years young and recently …

Sicilian Cauliflower

  As the Sicilians say, Burrasca furiusa prestu passa—A furious storm passes quickly. At SMC a furious May 1st snowstorm has given way to rocky mountain summer and yearnings for light veggie fare. This gastro-solution comes courtesy of Terri Huggett, one of our amazing chefs. 8 cloves garlic, minced ¼ cup kalamata olives, finely chopped 2 Tbsp. flat leaf parsley, finely chopped 3 Tbsp. capers, drained and chopped 2 Tbsp. lemon juice ground black pepper, to taste 2 heads cauliflower, cored and divided into large florets In a small bowl, combine garlic, olives, parsley, capers, lemon juice, and black pepper. Steam or blanch cauliflower until done to your taste. Drain, place in a large bowl and add olive mixture. Stir to blend. Good when hot or at room temperature. Serves 8.

The Unfaithful Yes

by Janet Solyntjes   “Saying “yes” to more things than we can actually manage to be present for with integrity and ease of being is in effect saying “no” to all those things and people and places we have already said “yes” to, including, perhaps, our own well-being.” Jon Kabat-Zinn from Coming to Our Senses   Having a manageable life is a key concern for most adult members of society. Unfortunately, it is becoming a big concern of our children as well. As Jon has often pointed out, we live in society afflicted by Attention-Deficit Over-activity Disorder. We simply have too much on our plate. We want to slow down, do less, have more time for our self, but it’s not happening. Moving through life at high speed can be addictive. Overcommitting is fashionable. Saying “yes” when we want to say no is often a cloaked desire for approval. In our longing to know that we are lovable human beings, we look outside our self for selfworth. If we take on too much, saying yes …

The Fresh Eye: Red

by Barb Colombo, 11:11 Productions The desire to capture the tiniest moments that beat across the human condition cannot be stopped. Whether it’s a mother’s embrace,  a bride’s blush, a groom’s tears, or a yoga practitioner gliding into the perfect backbend, the world begs to be captured by my camera. The woman’s connection to her sisters, the blade of grass weeping with rain, or the community of a land, they all call to me to be recorded, remembered, felt. It is my hope that you feel or see things you may have overlooked before only to see them again through these perspectives. Photographing at the Shambhala Mountain Center drops one right into the realm of feeling divinely inspired. From the minute you step on the land; up that long, dirt drive; a gentle sensation of transformation starts to happen. To say I was greatly impacted and inspired by this time would be an understatement. My immersion has left me feeling a surprising sense of connection in a very short period of time; with images that reveal the …

Sit Still & Let Nature Play: An Interview With Acharya Allyn Lyon

By Brianna Socha I first met Acharya Allyn Lyon last fall in Los Angeles when she was the senior teacher at a weekthun. A weekthun is an intensive week of group meditation with almost 12 hours spent in silent practice each day. Her morning and evening talks were welcome guidance, grounding us with wisdom and compassion. Whenever the hot boredom set in and I would start to question why I chose to spend my coveted vacation time sitting quietly on a cushion, her example would remind me of the beauty of someone who has followed the path of meditation. Acharya Lyon has a long history with Shambhala Mountain Center, starting in the 70s as a student of Chögyam Trungpa Rinpoche and then serving as staff in the 80s for dathuns (month-long meditation retreats). In 1995, she became the center’s director, a position she held for five years before being appointed an acharya, a senior most teacher in the Shambhala tradition, by Sakyong Mipham Rinpoche. It seemed only fitting to sit down and talk with her again …

Reawakening Amazing Inner Places

by Erica Kaufman This year I traveled quite extensively in India. So much teaching…and of course I learn from each student. Regardless of their spoken language, I learn from their ways and this helps me to teach accordingly.   I teach the eight limbs of yoga, they are portals into the intuitive home. Life is a journey and the eight limbs of yoga are a beautiful guide into intuitive clarity. That journey is of central interest in my life, and in teaching Lila Yoga. I am here, solo and not. I am sometimes alone but I am not lonely. As I relax into new-ancient rhythms, I experience the home of GENEROSITY. I will explain: Generosity flows naturally, when we understand the inter-connectivity of it all. Tat Tvam Asi. We are That…That which Is…
No need to horde…impossible to hold onto anything…what could we hold onto? When we live sensitive to this, it breaks down defensiveness and possessiveness and Generosity opens. Generosity of Spirit, Love, Patience, Time… We have within us/around us/between us, an endless source of these qualities. No need to ration. Fear of loss …

Portrait of a Rinpoche in 350 Words

  He sees that the fundamental error of our time is materialism. Instead of accepting the Dalai Lama’s invitation to represent his lineage in the exile government of Tibet, he came to the West to teach. He was shocked by the amount of garbage his small groups of western students created while meditating for a week, equal to what a monastery in India creates in over a month. Tenzin Wangyal Rinpoche believes that our complete subservience to wealth – material wealth – will be undermined when everybody has more sense of who we are. It will answer a lot of questions and alleviate a lot of confusion and suffering just by having an understanding of the stillness, silence, spaciousness at the core of experience. Having taught all over the world, Tenzin Wangyal Rinpoche has used Buddhism and the wisdom heritage of Tibetan Bon to help others make contact with their own luminous minds. From a lifetime of study, teaching, and practice, he is convinced that there are more awakening experiences to be found inside oneself, …