Month: August 2014

Family Camp

A Mother Reflects on Family Camp at SMC

By Rachel Seely//  Family Camp at Shambhala Mountain Center is a special time to appreciate and value ourselves, our children, our families and friendships, and our culture. Taking the time to focus on this aspect of life in a contemplative and supportive atmosphere is a gift that I will always cherish. And one I believe my daughter will as well. Join us for Family Camp 2018! Click here to learn more >> Having well over a hundred children on the land brought blessings of wakefulness and freedom. Immediately the children developed their own relationships to each other and the land. Parents often marveled at the feeling of being held by the land, which is no small feat when in the process of letting go physically and emotionally of our children. The land became a cradle for the kids to explore the phenomenal world in a safe and accommodating manner. Kids ran freely within the space, with only the occasional reminder to be quiet near the main shrine tent and lodge rooms. They were always on …

4 Noble Glimpses of Fleet Maull

By Travis Newbill Fleet Maull will be hosting the “Waking Up through Service” day of our upcoming Free Online Conference: Awake in the World — October 19-24, 2014. In our daily, weekly, and monthly lives, the opportunities for stepping out of our comfort zone in order to directly help others are many. And sadly, the excuses for not doing so can be even more plentiful. Basically, we’d rather not! So, we often abide in routines geared towards pleasure, self-protection, and predictability. From what I’ve learned about Fleet Maull, he’s made a life out of turning that tendency on its head. If he is feeling hesitant to make a personal sacrifice in order to help someone who is in need…he helps them anyway. Apparently, this brings joy rather than regret, because it seems that the longer he lives, the more he serves, and the happier he appears to be. Quite appropriately, Fleet will be hosting the Waking Up through Service day of our upcoming Awake in the World conference. There is much to say about this amazing person which …

Discussing Running and Meditation with Cynthia MacKay (Video/Audio)

Shambhala Mountain Center hosts Running with the Mind of Meditation with Cynthia MacKay, Marty Kibiloski and Tarah Cech, August 29–September 1, 2014. Cynthia MacKay leads popular retreats based on Sakyong Mipham Rinpoche’s best-selling book, Running with the Mind of Meditation: Lessons for Training the Body and the Mind. Geared for runners, walkers, and other athletes, the book offers fresh insights into the activities of meditation and movement, and the ways our running experience can be dramatically enhanced by working with the principles of meditation. In this interview, Cynthia shares some wisdom she’s gained from being swift on her feet and stable in her mind.  Watch 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. ~~~ Cynthia MacKay has been a student of Sakyong Mipham Rinpoche for over 20 years. Inspired by her teacher’s running, Cynthia has completed eight marathons of her own, from Casablanca to San Francisco. She lives in Los Angeles where she …

Big Sky, Big Mind: Discussing Contemplative Astronomy with Andrea Schweitzer, PhD

  Shambhala Mountain Center hosts Big Sky, Big Mind: Contemplative Astronomy Workshop with Andrea Schweitzer and Jim Tolstrup, September 5–7, 2014. Throughout history, we have looked to the skies to follow the rhythm of the seasons and to ponder life’s mysteries. Andrea Schweitzer is on a cosmic mission to reignite our passion for the stars by using interactive, kinesthetic astronomy to experience the movement of the celestial bodies. In this interview, she shares her inspiration and and guides our gazes skyward. If you’d like to download the audio file, CLICK HERE and find the “Download” button. Otherwise, you can stream the audio below. ~~~ Andrea Schweitzer, PhD, is an astronomer with the Little Thompson Observatory in Berthoud, Colorado. Having collaborated with NASA on programs such as the Hubble Space Telescope and the Voyager missions, she balances her work with her personal practices of stargazing, yoga, and meditation.

Embodying the Sacred Feminine: A Conversation with Judith Ansara

Shambhala Mountain Center hosts Sacred Embodiment, Sacred Service: A Retreat for Women with Judith Ansara and Danya River, September 26–28, 2014. According to Judith Ansara, women innately understand and experience the inter-connectedness of all life, and the wisdom, creativity, and power that is part of this “knowing.” Yet, in the busyness of our multi-focused lives, it is easy to lose touch with our own depth and the capacity to rest and move away from this connection. In this interview, Judith shares some wisdom related to the experience of being embodied as a woman, and some thoughts on the importance of women gathering together in the sacred space of retreat. Watch our interview with Judith 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. ~~~   Judith Ansara, MSW, has been a pioneering teacher of applied human consciousness for 30 years. Synthesizing her immersion in Buddhism and other wisdom traditions with her experience as a …

Healing Sound: A Conversation with Christine Stevens (Video/Audio)

Shambhala Mountain Center hosts Healing Sound Retreat with Christine Stevens and Silvia Nakkach, August 29–September 1, 2014. Christine Stevens is on a musical mission to introduce people to the most ancient and transformative vehicles to support healing and release joy: Voice & Rhythm. Through guided sound-centered contemplative practices of drumming and chanting, students gather an original repertoire of medicine melodies to use personally and in shamanic, psychotherapy, and wellness sessions. In this interview, she shares her inspiration, discusses her journey, and leads listeners/viewers in a healing exercise. Watch our interview with Christine 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. Related posts on the SMC Blog: Blog post from Silvia Nakkach: Sound and the Subtle A guided exercise from Christine Stevens: Finding Your Rhythm ~~~ Christine Stevens is the founder of UpBeat Drum Circles and author of the Sounds True books Music Medicine and the Healing Drum Kit.  She has appeared on PBS, NBC, and led the first drum circle training …

Loving Your Way to Enlightenment: Discussing Relationships and Spirituality with Camilla Figueroa

Camilla Figueroa co-leads, along with Keith Kachtick, Loving Your Way to Enlightenment: Ancient Wisdom for the Modern Couple, September 12–14 There’s a Buddhist belief that a genuinely loving relationship is the practice for which all other practices are preparation.  In this conversation, we explore romantic partnership as an opportunity for spiritual awakening and cultivating unconditional love as a path to enlightenment. Camilla Figueroa, MSW and founder of Dharma Yoga Therapy recently took the time to have some discussion with us on this ever-relevant topic.  Please click below to her our conversation.  And, if you’d like to download the audio, click here and find the “Download” button. Also, be sure to check out Keith Kachtick’s recent post Ancient Wisdom for the Modern Couple: The Metaphor of Ya​b-Yum. ~~~ Camilla Figueroa, MSW, is founder of Dharma Yoga Therapy and is certified in Thai Yoga Massage, Dharma Yoga and Phoenix Rising Therapy.

Ancient Wisdom for the Modern Couple: The Metaphor of Ya​b-Yum

By Keith Kachtick Keith Kachtick leads Loving Your Way to Enlightenment: Ancient Wisdom for the Modern Couple, September 12–14 In Letters to a Young Poet, Rainer Maria Rilke makes clear that a loving, romantic relationship is the practice for which all other mindfulness practices are the groundwork. “Love is high inducement for the individual to ripen, to become world for himself for another’s sake.” The ancient Tibetan tantric practice of Yab-Yum recognizes that romantic coupling is as an opportunity for profound spiritual awakening, a practice that invites us—deeply challenges us—to love our way to enlightenment. Traditionally, in Buddhist thangkas and sculptures depicting Yab-Yum, the confluence of “masculine” compassion and “feminine” wisdom is presented metaphorically in the sexual union of a male deity, seated in Padmasana (lotus pose), with his female consort facing him on his lap. The symbolism is two-fold: Yab-Yum (literally “father-mother” in Tibetan) implies a mystical union of karuna and prajna within our own individual nature—the two Dharma wings that lift each of us to buddhahood; united, the two awakened beings (regardless of gender) …