Month: January 2014

Finding Your Rhythm

By Christine Stevens Christine Stevens leads Healing Sound Retreat, along with Silvia Nakkach, August 29–September 1  The following is an excerpt from Music Medicine, the Science and Spirit of Healing Yourself with Sound (Sounds True, 2012) We use the language of rhythm all the time. I feel “off-beat.” Happiness is called “up-beat.” We talk about feeling like “we got our groove back.” But dive deeper into this rhythm metaphor to the deep pulsing heartbeat that defines life itself, and you’ll discover that rhythm exists within and all around you. Playing drums and percussion can become a sacred invocation of this healing life force. Four Rhythms of Life We all have rhythm within us. This rhythm is so natural that we hardly notice the drum of who we are. The following are just a few examples of four rhythms we know from being alive that define the movement of life. 1. Heartbeat. The heartbeat rhythm is primal—the mother of all rhythms and the rhythm we first heard inside our mother’s womb. The groove of life ranges …

New Year, New Plans, Big Vision

Thanks to our generous donors’ support, we have raised $101,578.61 of our $125,000 goal. Each gift will continue our mission to help people from all over the world experience their own goodness and wisdom. Though we have come far thanks to the work and generosity of many, we recognize that a major shift is needed to move away from the stress of making ends meet and into a situation where the vision of SMC can flourish. As you may know, Shambhala Mountain has faced financial challenges for many years, challenges which were exacerbated by a natural disaster and a severe economic recession.  A mix of community support, blessings of the Shambhala lineage and other genuine wisdom traditions hosted here, intelligent planning and simple good fortune has made a seemingly impossible situation workable. Video: SMC in the Beginning Alex Halpern (above) came to the land that would become Shambhala Mountain Center in 1972. In this video, Alex gives a personal count of Shambhala Mountain Center’s first years. We recognize that in order to foster long-term financial …

SMC Financial Update

Shambhala Mountain Center generally meets 75% of its operating costs through program revenue, rentals and store sales. It relies on fund-raising to cover the rest of those costs, as well as to make payments on the bond that it undertook in order to build the Sacred Studies Hall, Shambhala Lodge and Rigden Lodge. It also relies on fund-raising to build the new water treatment system required by Larimer County.  The combination of these three fundraising needs:  operations, debt service and the wastewater project – has made the annual fundraising challenge about $1,000,000 per year for the past several years. 2013 was different from recent years in several respects.  Funds raised were approximately $400,000.  Annual debt service was $300,000 less than usual because we were able to defer some bond payments following the 2012 fire.  Early registrations for 2014 brought in $100,000 more than usual.  To close the gap for the year we used $150,000 in cash reserves. Our forecast for 2014 again shows the need to raise about $1,000,000 to cover operations, debt service and …

Sacred Ecstasy

  Award-winning composer, world music artist and peace activist Yuval Ron shares a chapter from his upcoming book, Divine Attunement: Music as a Path to Wisdom, to be published by Oracle Institute Press in 2014.  Read excerpts below or click here to read the full chapter on “Sacred Ecstasy.” You are there, standing among several indigenous men and women whom you have never met. Everyone around you is drumming and chanting. The drumbeat is tantalizing; it feels so good to be a part of such a group. The collective group’s presence slowly overwhelms your individuality. As the beat gets faster and faster, you and everyone around you stop thinking, stop being aware of time, stop being aware of who – you think – you are. And the rhythms and vocal chants drive everybody into an ecstatic trance where there is no self-consciousness or judgment. Then gradually, the music slows down and fades. You are physically and emotionally exhausted, yet your senses are so sharp, you feel more alive and awake than ever before! You look …

Engaging the Rhythms of our Living Earth Part 1

By Martin Ogle Martin Ogle will be leading Gaia: Engaging the Rhythms of Our Living Earth, March 21-23 In essence, this upcoming retreat will explore how our human mind perceives and fits in with where it came from! If we accept that our physical bodies evolved from this planet, it is a short leap to understanding our minds as originating from the same source. We are the conscious awareness of Earth! In this, the first-of-two blog posts, I introduce the scientific idea of Earth as a living system, setting the foundation for a second installment that will more fully tie our human awareness to rhythms of our planet. In the 1960s, NASA wanted to know if there was life on Mars, yet a Mars mission was still decades away. The agency hired James Lovelock, a British chemist, doctor and inventor to look into it. Lovelock decided on a simple test, one that could be done from Earth. Studying Mars with a spectrophotometer, he observed that it had an inert atmosphere (one in which “nothing was …