Month: August 2014

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.

Floral Notes and Bardo: Stepping, Steeping

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. What kind of tea? Puerh. Green or black? Green. Avajra: “Black!  Always black.  We’ve got shit to do.  Double doses of black.” Photo by Lars Greypath This morning, sitting on the porch, looking out into the woods, while the sun came up over the ridge — breezy-cool thoughts about time.  The karmic implications of decisions.  How well I hold my seat and not get swept up for minutes, hours.  It adds up. So much to do, and it remains in a cloud — lightning bolts of anxiety. One foot in front of the other. Sometimes I think I’m screwing up and sometimes I notice success. “Success and failure are your journey.” — Trungpa Rinpoche Everything that happens is a potent teaching.  It’s so noticeable here — my changes, hang-ups… messages in the phenomenal world.  There’s no …

Floral Notes and Bardo: Goodminton

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. Fly tapping, in fight, and I, sipping Red Zinger in the shade. Outside of the poorly constructed walls of self-concern, with framed paintings of pleasure adorning them, there’s a perfectly warm summer day.  Later, heavy evening sky, ablaze with monstrous-soft fluff-beasts — glowing pinks and oranges beside purple pals and mosquitoes. And, The Inscrutable World Skull Cup of SMC Delek badminton 2014 is rolling along… very well! Lots of fun, and real emotion related to competition.  It’s such a funny and absurd thing, so loose, that’s it’s quite remarkable to see people getting worked up about it.  Everything is a teaching here.  Lots of fun, of course, but undeniably dharmic as well.  Tournament bracket, team names, making up rules as we go along.  Good stuff… Last night a nice summertime community campfire — DJ Extro inside the …

Floral Notes and Bardo: Truly… Hug Trees

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. (Notes from the Four Seasons Program: Exploring Trees and Wildflowers) I hung out with plants all weekend. Photo by Jim Tolstrup And Jim… In the meadows and wetlands On the northern and southern slopes Beneath my feet around my house Dating back ages… A whole world of vibrant, fluid life in the form of plants: ancient trees wildflowers, brief I met a lot learned their names, and a bit about them New friends! All over the place! There is one version of the world on the TV news There is another version of the world in the forest, meadows, wetlands on the southern and northern slopes This experience is always available: Lay on my back, face towards the sun pretend to be a flower The wood laying around on the ground is old: Maybe several …

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) …