Month: May 2013

Pelicans and Programs, Passing Through

  As usual springtime in Colorado has been a battle between winter and summer with blithely absurd weather predictions like “Snowy, High of 57” which should mean “Rainy” but actually means that it will snow and then climb up to 57 degrees, or vise versa. Some first-timers to SMC came in the middle of such a snow storm. These American White Pelicans stopped for a rest from their migration. While they are seen regularly in the lakes around Fort Collins at this time of year, we have been very lucky to have them visit us for a day or two. Shambhala Mountain Center is a constant, physical reminder that we are at home in the world, regardless of a moment’s inconvenience or a freak snow storm. Our pelican friends are not the only ones practicing patience. At SMC, a cloud will come over the mountain ridge, like a bad mood, spitting sleet, and pass through the valley but this barely dampens our sunny valley. This is the perfect place for Anthony Lawlor’s Dwelling in the …

Memories of Mexico, SMC, and Writing a First Novel

by Maria Espinosa A group of us walked along a narrow path to a deserted beach near Zihuatanejo, Mexico, which in 1971 was still a village of only several thousand inhabitants. The moon was brilliant and the ocean glistened with reflected light. Inspired by the moonlight, the waves and the soft sand under my bare feet, I began to dance. As I moved, I was working through problems that felt tangled. These were thoughts for which I could find no words, but which my body moved through as I danced. Many years after that night on the beach, I began to practice Tibetan Buddhist shamatha meditation and I experienced an enormous breakthrough. For years I had been struggling to complete my novel, Longing. I had written four drafts, but they were brittle. I could not get beneath the surface. After a few weeks—or perhaps months—of focused shamatha practice, I was able to get beneath that frozen surface. Heart and insight began to expand and soften. I threw out the first four drafts and the fifth …

Many Forms of Mindfulness: Indelible Presence Meditation Retreat

By Acharya Dale Asrael and Cynthia Moku Touching the Moment:  Indelible Presence meditation retreat begins soon–May 15–19.  We practice mindfulness in many forms throughout the day:  sitting meditation, outdoor walking meditation in the heart of nature, hatha yoga, periods of silence, and contemplative brush practice.  The images below are from our outdoor brushwork, led by master teacher Cynthia Moku.   ICHI RIVER After several days of meditation and basic brush practice, we passed our brushes through thin films of water feeling the rhythm of our breathing.  ©cmoku/IP ICHI EDGE Snow was coming, so paper was laid down before nightfall. The next day we did brush practice on the paper buried beneath this snow cover. ©cmoku/IP Come rediscover the world with fresh perception with these two skilled teachers in their upcoming meditation retreat: Touching the Moment: Indelible Presence May 15–19.  Acharya Dale Asrael and Cynthia Moku will also be teaching together May 23–27 for Taming the Wild Horse: Riding the Energy of Emotions. This retreat will present techniques to expose core belief structures that perpetuate emotional confusion, meditation …

Bringing the Retreat Experience Home – Courageous Women, Fearless Living

By Sarah Sutherland Thanks to a generous grant from the Shambhala Trust, Courageous Women, Fearless Living has launched its first-ever website: www.cwfl.org The new website will make it easier for women touched by cancer to find out about the Courageous Women 5-day annual retreat and access resources that help extend the retreat into everyday life. Unlike many retreats for women with cancer, the Courageous Women retreat not only offers respite and renewal in a beautiful setting but also teaches participants meditation and contemplative practices to work effectively with their mind and emotions. “The basis of the retreat is that everyone has the courage, gentleness and strength to relax and find joy in the most difficult circumstances, even a cancer journey,” says Adana Barbieri, who runs the retreat together with Judith Lief, Victoria Maizes, and Linda Sparrowe. “This unique retreat offers women a supportive, nurturing environment and effective techniques to discover the courage to be fearless in the midst of a life-changing cancer diagnosis.” Shambhala Mountain Center has supported and hosted the summer retreat since 2006 …