Month: April 2014

Why a Retreat for Healthcare Professionals? | Empowering the Heart of Healthcare

Dr. Aaron Snyder discusses the inspiration behind designing a meditation retreat specifically for doctors, nurses and other healthcare professionals. The week-long Empowering the Heart of Healthcare retreat runs June 23-30, 2017 at Shambhala Mountain Center in Colorado. Shambhala Mountain Center hosts Empowering the Heart of Healthcare: Embodied Presence with Acharya Melissa Moore, Dr. Aaron Snyder, Carole McKindley-Alvarez and Leslie Booker, June 23–30, 2017 — click here to learn more  

Riding the Energy of Emotions: A Conversation with Acharya Dale Asrael

By Travis Newbill Habitually, when intense emotion arises — in our body, mind — we squirm, fidget, and ignore as best we can.  Another approach — which Acharya Dale Asrael is quite keen on and skillful in presenting — is to actually… feel it.  If we can open and fully experience our emotions, the wakeful, creative potential of the energy is unleashed. Of course, this is a huge topic, and a great path.  Recently, Acharya Asrael took some time to have some initial discussion.  And, in May, she’ll be offering a deeper exploration as she co-leads Taming the Wild Horse: Riding the Energy of the Emotions, which is one of two consecutive “long-weekend” programs that she’ll be leading along with master artist Cynthia Moku — the other being Touching the Moment: Indelible Presence. Please click below to hear Acharya’s profound wisdom and clarity on this ever-relevant topic.  And, if you’d like to download the audio, click here and find the “Download” button.

Floral Notes and Bardo: Held

By Travis Newbill 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. On Saturday, walking around, warm and sunny, dirt and grass beneath our boots, Heather and I saw four different types of wildflowers.  That night, about a foot of snow fell.  So, we woke up in a different world.  Huge fluffy puffs of snow on the pines.  Bare aspen branches, twisting and artistic against — sky backdrop, also carrying loads of fresh white snow. And, Heather had become sick with an infection.  Living up in the mountains without a car, we felt a bit worried and helpless.  At breakfast we saw John Ohm, who is Desung — harmony protector.  He’s been up here for twenty-something years and is a guardian.  Heather told him she needed to go to the doctor.  I’d never driven in the snow before, and there was lots of snow.  So, the situation …

Floral Notes and Bardo: And, who knows? But living…

By Travis Newbill 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. Green blades of grass are popping up from the ground. Last night a deep discussion on death and impermanence in class with Greg — Fearlessness in Everyday life.  Afterwards, with Heather, connecting in presence, communicating, acknowledging a disconnect in… view, personality, life-approach, interests.  Acknowledging the possibility of splitting as well as the possibility of not.  Impermanence is not theoretical here.  None of the teachings are.  This whole place is a living, breathing, dharma lesson.  Teachings in 3D.  Maybe 4D.  I can taste the dharma here.  It rubs my shoulders and smacks me on the head.  Walking away from her, I felt relief — in imagining passing, freedom.  Now… What is freedom?   Solitude — free of mirrors?  Free to only dive into dharma?  What is dharma?  Sitting on a cushion and reading books?  I know …

Floral Notes and Bardo: Knowing (Not Knowing)

By Travis Newbill 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. Private appreciation for mystery — not exactly private, but not easily shared.  I can’t tell you. Slipping from a rock, so, trusting air to not grip my skin and for earth to bruise me nice. ~~~ Heather doing chores: I was thanked just now by a teacher for what I do in the community.  He attributed it to my connection to practice, to the dharma, to the lineage.  I told him (he already knew): “I appreciate that connection.  It’s there.  And, it’s very mysterious.  So, everything that I do here is very natural.” It’s quite huge to be experimenting, playing with, forms such as social structures.  It’s not about being reckless and pushing people around, but with the sincere wish for harmony, I am jamming, making statements of all sorts, all the time.  In this …

Floral Notes and Bardo: Blissful Who-Knows-What (HUM HUM HUM)

By Travis Newbill 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. Greeting my smile at the bottom of the ocean, therefore unconcerned with flotation or undertow.  Wakeful waves — only the chatter of the depths. Friday evening — Feast celebration for Trungpa Rinpoche‘s Parinirvana.  Sadhana of Mahamudra.  In the middle of the triple HUM recitation — the space of rainbow magic manifest — the Sakyong and the choir of Acharyas, appeared.  We created an isle, parted the sea.  Rinpoche came in and prostrated three times to the large Buddha, which contains his father‘s skull relic, and a picture of the Vidyadhara on the shrine along with many offerings. He gazed at the picture, whispered blessings, and tossed a khata into the seated Buddha’s opened palm (perfect shot). He offered amrita from a skull cup to each one of us.  Then, out front, he said some words …

Floral Notes and Bardo: This Time…

By Travis Newbill 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. I walked along a dirt trail, beside Rinpoche, holding a white umbrella over his head to shield him from the sun. A feeling of cosmic friendship, preciousness, gratitude. Earlier in the morning I held a tray for him while he made tea offerings, after returning from his morning run, still catching his breath and sweating. The core teachers of the Shambhala Buddhist mandala are here: The Sakyong, Ani Pema, the Acharyas, the Kalapa Council.  It’s powerful, enchanting. The teachings that are occurring here these days are new.  There is a sense of quiet explosiveness.  It’s tangible.  There is a glow. After one teaching session yesterday, the Sakyong ran joyfully from the shrine hall back to his quarters, his escorts had to keep up. It’s awesome to be here for this. A couple of years ago, …

Floral Notes and Bardo: Funny Little Crush on a Nun

By Travis Newbill 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. Pema Chödrön is on the land. A couple of weeks ago, I had a dream that her and I were walking around the land together.  At some point, we were gazing into each other’s eyes and she said something like: “We have karma like we’ve kissed before.” Like, in a past life, we were honey-buddies. A couple of days ago, when I first saw her, as we were crossing paths in our dining hall, we exchanged bows. I wish that I may say to her, somehow: “Thank you.” Who on this planet has been more helpful to me than her?  I don’t know.  And I’ve never exchanged words with her. I saw her on a street corner in Boulder once.  And now I’m seeing her, in little glimpses, here.  On my way to my office this …

Connecting Tai Chi and Buddhism with Larry Welsh

By Travis Newbill Larry Welsh will be leading Flowing Like Water, Strong as a Mountain: Tai Chi Retreat, April 25-27 The ancient practice of Tai Chi Chuan has often been called the “supreme ultimate exercise.” When joined with mindfulness sitting meditation, these two forms bring forth a potent way to awaken health and restore well-being in body, mind, and spirit. Larry Welsh, MAc, MA, has trained in the Yang-style short form, listening hands and sword form of Tai Chi Ch’uan since 1977. Larry is Senior Adjunct Professor and Mindfulness-Meditation teacher in the Traditional Eastern Arts program at Naropa University. He practices Japanese Classical Acupuncture, herbal medicine and whole-food nutrition in Boulder, Colorado. Watch our interview with Larry Welsh below, or scroll down to stream/download the audio. If you’d like to download the audio file, CLICK HERE and find the “Download” button. Otherwise, you can stream the audio below. Larry Welsh will be leading Flowing Like Water, Strong as a Mountain: Tai Chi Retreat, April 25-27. To learn more, please click here.