Month: August 2013

Wise Living Heals You

by Charley Cropley, N.D. Charley Cropley, ND, is a Naturopathic physician who after 35 years of practice, uses no medicines. He teaches his clients that they are endowed with self-healing capacities exactly equal to their condition. He will be leading a Self Healing Retreat at Shambhala Mountain Center this October 4–6, 2013.  Over my career, I have gradually abandoned all types of therapy such as herbal medicine, homeopathy, acupuncture, etc. Today my entire healing work is teaching my clients how to heal their health problems by performing their ordinary, daily activities with kindness and intelligence. By “ordinary activities,” I mean the four activities that all human beings can and must perform for themselves alone: eating, moving, thinking and relating. These four life-sustaining actions are the most powerful, reliable and rapid of any forms of healing. We find extraordinary healing hidden in our most ordinary actions; miraculous benefit unrecognized in the mundane activities of our lives. The health that results from the skillful performance of the ordinary activities of living is truly extraordinary and miraculous. You can …

Wholeness and Mindfulness

By Janet Solyntjes Janet Solyntjes will be leading Introduction to Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction, March 6-8, 2015 Nearly everywhere one turns these days the language of “mindfulness” is to be found. Its ubiquitous influence is flavoring American culture. Because my professional life is part of the mindfulness movement, I have sensitivity towards noticing the numerous references to mindfulness that are popping up in the media. What I personally find inspiring is not the “Zen” or “mindful” references dotting our media world. What is heartening is the clear shift that happens in an individual and culture each time a person opens to unconditional goodness, wholeness, and worthiness. Can you feel something shifting? Are you curious about the transformative power of the increased number of people practicing mindfulness in America? Jon Kabat-Zinn, the progenitor of Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction, speaks of the healing power of the view and practice of entering wholeness: When we glimpse our own completeness in the stillness of any moment, when we directly experience ourself as whole in that moment and also a part of a larger …

A Rare Pairing, Awareness Through Moving & Stillness

by Katharine Kaufman and Kim Hansen Katharine Kaufman  and Kim Hansen will be teaching: Awareness Through Moving and Stillness: Feldenkrais and Meditation September 6–8, 2013 at Shambhala Mountain Center. Participating in an Awareness Through Movement lesson is like wearing clothes that fit well. Imagine you have an exceptional suit, and it doesn’t fit.  It’s a little too big around the shoulders; so you go to the tailor to take that in. It is a bit too long in the legs, too snug in the waist…By the time the tailor is finished with your suit, it is no longer baggy in some places and tight in others. It fits freely so you can move unencumbered, and naturally.  You could wear the special suit with ease all day and through the night. In this retreat rather than one size fits all, participants are guided continually to create choices based on their internal experiences such as comfort, intuition, sensation, feelings, vitality, and thoughts.  Movements can be soft, subtle, influenced by the breath– or large, moving through space. The mind/body connection is …

Traveling Light

by Andrew Holecek One of the biggest problems in death, as in life, is looking back, or being held back by unhealthy attachments. By cutting our attachments and lightening our load now (by writing wills and other advance directives), we can free ourselves to move forward. Dealing with all the emotional, medical, legal, and endless practical details that surround death is overwhelming at the time of death, so it behooves us to prepare in advance. The single best thing you can do to have a good death is to relax, and the best way to relax is to have all your affairs in order. These practical preparations have spiritual implications. When we die, we want to travel light into the after-life, what the Tibetans call “bardo” or “gap, transitional process.”  Traveling light allows our consciousness to move forward to our next destination. This is actually a form of “phowa,” which means “transference, or ejection,” and refers to the movement of consciousness after death.  There are esoteric and exoteric forms of phowa, and getting all our affairs in order …

Photography and Unconditional Expression

  With Opening the Good Eye: An Introduction to Miksang coming up October 10-14, we’d like to offer here a little glimpse into the way of seeing that will be the focus of this upcoming program. “In order to notice our world and see it clearly, we have to simplify our minds. We make a choice to be fully engaged with one thing at a time. This allows us to be fully present in each moment.”  -Julie DuBose Miksang contemplative photography was developed as a method for seeing the world in fresh ways. Instead of emphasizing the technical aspects of the art form, it turns photography into a practice for waking up by bringing together mind and eye to see the world directly.  Julie DuBose is the founder of the Miksang Institute for Contemplative Photography and Miksang Publications and has studied and then taught with founder Michael Wood since 1998, who works with her at the Miksang Institute, developing and teaching the Miksang curriculum. She will be teaching Opening the Good Eye: An Introduction to Miksang  at Shambhala Mountain Center October 10–14. This unique retreat will offer …

Visit the Stupa for a day or…

  The Great Stupa of Dharmakaya Which Liberates Upon Seeing. A monument to kindness. Built to last a thousand years. One of the key examples of Eastern architecture in North America. The Stupa Work Week volunteer program is coming soon, and it is really the best chance you have to take that feeling of accomplishment you get from a weekend working on your yard and multiply it by a thousand. After all, this is not just a landscaping project, the Great Stupa is a site of pilgrimage, equally for the devout and the curious. As an example of enlightened architecture, it is both specific to Tibetan tradition and archetypal as a sacred space. It has accommodated many motives and inspirations from volunteers, who provided most of the labor to build it. You can visit the Great Stupa in a day, but you can also work with it for a week. Expect some hearty activities like concrete crack repair, path expansion, and fire mitigation. But where there are tools, there are tools in need of organization and storage. …