Month: May 2014

Exploring Grief, Intuition, and Healing with Sue Frederick

Sue Frederick is the author of Bridges to Heaven: True Stories of Loved Ones on the Other Side and I See Your Dream Job.  She will be leading Bridges to Heaven: Grief Healing Workshop, July 18-20.  An intuitive since childhood, Sue has trained more than 200 intuitive coaches around the world. Her work has been featured in the New York Times, CNN.com and Yoga Journal, among others. Recently, she took the time to have some discussion on the topics of grief, healing, and intuition.  Please enjoy the video interview below, and to learn more about the upcoming retreat she’ll be leading at SMC, please click here. And, please read this blog post written by Sue Frederick: You’re Being Blessed at this Very Moment  

Floral Notes and Bardo: Florida Notes #2

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. Being in Florida is like post-meditation — rubber meeting the road.  Hot road.  Messy world.  Tenderness in everything, and a resistance to feeling it.  An impulse to fix it.  It’s painful to be in the midst of.  It’s painful to witness my habitual reactions. …except for the consistently warm feelings I get whenever I see Fluff. As soon as I arrived, I called Rachel, my teacher in Florida.  She said: “Our whole practice is about not reacting.  All that practice that you do, this is what it’s for.  This is a great opportunity.” I want to fix it.  I want to be triumphant! It’s not working. “Being present in nowness is the only success you will achieve in this situation, if you want to call that success.” In a recent talk at the Being Brave …

Floral Notes and Bardo: Not Vacationing — in Florida

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 told Joshua that leaving felt like a small death.  He said that arriving would be a Big Death: “The myth of freedom,” he said.  “I hope you have good waves.” After getting off the plane, the anxiety of seeing people in Florida for the first time since I left was very pronounced.  It had been in the background — hopes and fears about how I may be perceived by them; whether there would be approval, or not, etc. I’ve not worried for one second about how I would be perceived by Fluff. I spent the whole plane ride studying dharma. I’ve not wanted to come back to Florida, and also, I was kind of excited to, because I knew it would be eventful — at least mentally and emotionally.  So far, that has proven …

Engaged Mindfulness | Learning to Be Socially Engaged: Rhonda Magee

Rhonda Magee, MA (Sociology), JD, speaks about the inherent interconnectedness of human society and how that interconnected stretches across every dimension of our experience. As mindfulness practitioners, it is our role to recognize this interconnectedness and avoid the conventional barriers that keep us from engaging in the social needs that on a surface level may seem unrelated to us. The Engaged Mindfulness Retreat will be held from June 16-20, 2017 at the Shambhala Mountain Center — click here to register

Floral Notes and Bardo: Back/Forward to Florida

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. At breakfast, I overheard a couple of friends talking about the Milky Way.  One had an experience last night, which was a clear night.  The other forgot to look up, and hasn’t seen it for a couple of months. I used to live in Florida.  Here is a mural by Kelcie McQuaid of the ol’ crew: I’m going to Florida on Tuesday.  I have some worries and hopes about how it will go.  Returning for the first time since I left.  Some expectations: How will I be perceived?  How do I want to be perceived?  And, that’s not the point.  Will there be expectations?  I live at a retreat center so I should be _______. Peaceful?  Wise? Part of me wants to prove that it’s working, that I’ve made a good life decision in coming …

Spring at 8,000 Feet

by Jared Leveille Jared Leveille is the Land Steward of Shambhala Mountain Center.   The invigorating quality of spring is making itself evident throughout the land. Bright green grasses and many-hued wildflowers are breaking through last year’s decay, birds are calling for the rising sun, and the creeks are full with the rush of snowmelt. We all feel the season brimming with possibility and renewal. I heard the first rumble of thunder a moment ago, off a ways, and listen as it reverberates across the valley– speaking a promise of rain, which is so precious in this arid climate. There is a tingling in my skin as I breathe the crisp air in the fading light. My first few land crew volunteers have arrived, and I love experiencing our mountain valley anew through their fresh eyes. We have a lot of projects to work on, but know how precious it is to have the opportunity to really get our hands dirty– to touch the earth. I encourage you to visit the land stewardship’s new Facebook page – Shambhala …

Rediscovering the Place of Nature

By Martin Ogle Martin Ogle recently lead  the weekend program”Engaging the Rhythms of our Living Earth” and is one of the main organizers of the Four Seasons Program. The weekend retreat, “Engaging the Rhythms of our Living Earth,” was a delightful experience for me.  It not only provided the opportunity to share ideas of profound interest to me, but also to learn from the perspectives of a marvelous group of participants and from the land and history of Shambhala Mountain Center:  A long-time Shambalian and genetics professor offered insights into the synergy of science and spirituality.  Artists and poets shared moving reflections on the beauty and mystery of the land.  And, the symbolism of the Great Stupa blended seamlessly with our inquiry into how our human lives can be in synchronicity or discord with the rhythms of nature.  I believe these insights – and the retreat’s purpose of re-discovering the pace of Nature in scientific, spiritual and mindful ways – set a marvelous foundation for SMC’s Four Seasons Program. Photo by Greg Smith The name,”Four Seasons …

Deepening Our Connection: SMC’s Land Steward on the Four Seasons Program

By Jared Leveille Jared Leveille is the Land Steward of Shambhala Mountain Center.   2014 is an exciting year for environmentally based programming, and it got off to a great start in March with Martin Ogle‘s program “Gaia: Engaging the Rhythms of our Living Earth“.  As a participant of the weekend, I was thrilled to help engage the group in closer observation of the land as we explored storytelling, solo observation points in nature, art, symbology and journaling.  The Gaia Theory- which describes the earth as a single living system depending upon a myriad of contributory relationships, interactions and processes shares an interesting common thread with a major tenet of Buddhist philosophy- interdependence- which surmises that all phenomena, human life included, exists in mutual dependence upon one another.  Among the group were scientists, educators, environmentalists and nature lovers and each one of us had something important and relevant to share over the weekend, which seemed to support the ideas we were delving into. ‘Exploring Trees and Wildflowers‘, our next program in the Four Seasons series, …

Floral Notes and Bardo: Like a Donair, Like an Illusion

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. It’s this way everywhere: You can’t hide from yourself, and if you try, you will only dig yourself deeper into the muck. Above is a picture of me eating a “heretical tofu ‘donair.’”  Food and photo by Adam Mitchell of Halifax. ~~~ SMC is commonly referred to as a “pressure cooker,” meaning that everything seems to happen in an intensified way — up and down, pleasure and pain.  Mental and emotional displays are especially vivid, punchy, heart-opening. It’s quite an opportunity for purification, because, not only is the experience quite potent, but there is lots of support that helps one move through it, process it, in a positive way.  Another term commonly used to describe SMC is “karmic accelerator” — meaning pretty much the same thing.  The stuff of ourselves has to be experienced.  The …