Month: December 2013

WATCH: Elephant Journal’s “Walk the Talk Show” Features SMC’s Michael Gayner

  Yesterday, Elephant Journal’s “Walk the Talk Show,” hosted by  Waylon Lewis, featured SMC Executive Director Michael Gayner.  In lively and huge-hearted conversation, the two longtime friends touched on some deep points about SMC life, land and vision. For those who missed the live broadcast, or would like to watch it again, we offer the recording below. May it inspire you on this final day of 2013!

Floral Notes and Bardo: Nothing Is Safe to Say/Not Afraid to Be a Fool

  Floral Notes and Bardo: The Creative Chronicles of a Shambhala Mountain Resident is a daily feature on the SMC blog in which a member of our staff/community shares his experience of existing as part of Shambhala Mountain Center. Nothing is safe to say unless you know every echo and utterance in all of space. Anyway… The joust between altruism and fame-seeking is going to result in a bouquet of laughter Onlookers liberated by witnessing boogie-beyond-embarrassment. That’s the virtuous clown. The offering of the artist. NOT AFRAID TO BE A FOOL Tonight I will take my one-year Kasung oath. The Dorje Kasung is military as imagined by Chögyam Trungpa Rinpoche. Dorje Kasung = Indestructible Command Protector From the outside, the Dorje Kasung are among the weirdest components to the Shambhala tradition. Visitors to the land are often quite bewildered. I think that may be part of the point. What is your reaction to people in uniform? What are your feelings about being in uniform? Maybe all of that ought to be explored… Etc. I knew I would be going …

Enjoying the Journey

Help people all over the world come together and explore their own goodness and wisdom. Whether it’s the coyote trotting across an open field or the snow sparkling on top of the buddha behind Sacred Studies, Shambhala Mountain Center’s natural beauty and impactful programs offer a constant incentive to wake up. We need your help to preserve SMC for future generations. Using Safari? To donate, please click here for Pay Pal The last 2 years have been a nonstop, inspiring and somewhat bumpy ride. I’m both glad and thankful that, as a SMC supporter, you are traveling this road with me. Our most recent adventure involved our kitchen, which was in need of some intensive TLC. It was renovated with the help of several generous donors and a grant from the Shambhala Trust. We also implemented a new management structure, welcomed several new members into our senior management team and redesigned our Gift Store website and phone system. We couldn’t have done any of this without our community’s ongoing support! Thank you. Weathering Change SMC is …

Q&A: Susan Piver Discusses the Writer’s Groove and “Fearlessly Creative”

By Travis Newbill Susan Piver leads Fearlessly Creative: A Meditation and Writing Retreat, December 20-23 A couple of common obstacles that most writers–or would be writers–encounter: 1) No time to write! 2) The fear of putting the pen to the page (err, typing words into the computer). Meditation teacher and New York Times Bestselling Author Susan Piver has a remedy. It involves structuring daily life in a way that is conducive to creative work, and…practicing meditation. Does that sound simple? Impossible? Worth exploring? This weekend, Susan will be leading a retreat at SMC which is intended to provide a space for writers to find their groove and produce work, and also to model a routine which will allow them to live more fully as writers in their daily lives. Recently, Susan took some time to discuss the retreat. So, what is the intended purpose of this retreat? Susan Piver: If you have something that you want to work on—a book, a memoir, anything—this program is meant to provide a container for you to do so. …

Good Tidings (and a Great Recipe) from SMC Chef Avajra John Russell

By Travis Newbill Did you know that Santa’s kooky cousin lives at Shambhala Mountain Center? He is just a jolly as Old St. Nick–though much thinner, and his magical sleigh is pulled by a single garuda. His name is Avajra Claus! His specialty is making tasty things in the kitchen for the SMC community—many healthy meals, and some sweet delights as well. According to folklore, Avajra used to bake cookies for Santa back when they were little elves. Ever since they parted ways, Santa has been searching the world for treats as tasty as the ones Avajra used to make. In exchange for the cookies that the kids leave, Santa brings gifts. Now, Avajra has a gift for you: a classic holiday recipe! He asks that you enjoy it with your loved ones, and also leave some out for his chubby cousin, Santa. From SMC lead chef Avajra John Russell to you and yours: Here we all sing together… We wish you a Merry Christmas We wish you a Merry Christmas We wish you a …

New Year’s Intention: Take a Leap!

By Jon Barbieri Jon Barbieri leads Take a Leap into 2014: Establish Your Intention and Commitment, December 30, 2013-January 1, 2014 New Year’s resolutions have earned quite a reputation with their knack for creating lofty, unreachable, goals. And still, they 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 Year’s resolutions change, when instead of developing a wish list, we start with our basic human qualities? We begin by 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. Using contemplations, meditation, …

Learning into the Future

Written by Michael Gayner Since becoming SMC’s Executive Director, I have learned a great deal about what it takes to make a place like SMC thrive and there is still so much in this coming year I look forward to exploring. I have a wonderful team of talented and experienced managers as well as a new operational structure that is helping our workloads stay sane. In the next months, we will be sharing stories from SMC past, present and ways we are learning into the future. In the video above, Acharya Dan Hessey shares how bravery and generosity are linked in supporting SMC. In addition to being a senior teacher and charismatic guy, Acharya Hessey was an SMC Director in years gone by. I’m inviting you to invest in the change SMC effects in society as an organization and a retreat center, one person at a time. As you know, SMC is a unique and precious place, full of natural beauty and limitless potential. As the Executive Director, I delight in the sense of responsibility …