Month: August 2014

Family Camp: A Special Retreat at Shambhala Mountain

Article by Rachel Seely, photos by Samira Caamano 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. This year’s Family Camp was SMC’s largest in many years. We had over 108 participants, which included 65 children, 27 who went through the Rites of Passage program. Join us for Family camp 2015 — click here to learn more Having that many 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 to our children. The land became a cradle for the kids to explore the phenomenal world in a …

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 …

Floral Notes and Bardo: Rise to Song

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. Days may begin in silence which may give rise to song.  It’s one way to live. I’m at my desk now, once again, after having spent two weeks in beautiful retreat with 107 other people (108 total retreatants, not including staff and teachers).  We spent two weeks in a tent together, practicing kindness.  We sang, walked the land, ate meals and celebrated together. I saw the forms of Shambhala come to life in a big way, which was reassuring and beautiful.  We received practices which I feel very good about.  I sense the potential for transformation towards more openness, love, creativity, and joyful existence — on and on. We took vows.  We all vowed to engage socially in such a way that the whole of the earth may awaken into cheerfulness.  Some of us vowed …

Floral Notes and Bardo: Shoving Off

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. This morning on the hillside, standing — symphony dawn — witnessing: my preferences are like fleeting mosquitoes in the cosmos.  Yet, wondering… how big can I be? Tomorrow I’m going into a two week, group retreat: Enlightened Society Assembly. Yesterday, I spent time in the shrine tent with Shenpen, Sensei, working on a large installation.  It felt magical in there.  It felt refreshing.  There’s good substance to the Shambhala tradition, and I pray that this two week immersion may put me into touch, a bit deeper. Today, trying to “wrap things up” and prepare for the retreat.  Deciding what ends to leave loose.  How much to scramble in order to get things tidy, and how much to let go so I can go into this relaxed and well rested. I’ll be settling back into Avalokiteshvara …

Floral Notes and Bardo: Cookin’ Onion

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. From the fringes, inwards to the core — by rubs and punches, sweat and shatter. Deepening familiarity is apparent in relation to fresh faces.  The longer I’m here, the more which is uncovered.  The more genuine the care that swells in my heart.  The more informed.  Less superficial. Onion. Meanwhile, the chipmunks are getting fat on “people food.” I’ll be here for two more years.  I’m just now feeling a bit settled.  I’ve experienced a wave of burnout, cynicism, resentment.  No hurtful eruptions, just boiling in my brain, bones.  It felt like purification. Yesterday, in Care Council meeting, where a small group of us discuss the well-being of the community, I felt so raw.  I was listening and speaking with intelligence, rather than acting.  In comparison, my caring has been contrived previously.  More tainted with want …