Month: July 2015

Andrew Holecek Discusses Dream Yoga (VIDEO/AUDIO)

When was the last time you blacked out? Last night? Is this a regular thing for you? Do you aspire to change? Are you comfortable with missing out on 1/3 of your life? If you are disturbed by the idea of regularly blacking out — some may call it “sleep” — when you could instead be enjoying vivid perception, and even progressing spiritually, you may be interested in hearing about the practices of lucid dreaming and dream yoga. Andrew Holecek has been exploring and teaching these practices for decades. Beholding his vibrant enthusiasm for the possibilities of what he calls “nocturnal meditations” is enough to shake one from the sleepy opinion that the dark hours in bed constitute “off time,” and that real life happens only when the eyelids are raised. The teachings of dream yoga challenge our conventional views of both dreams and “waking life.” Our daily experience is not as solid as we may like to think it is, and our dream life does not have to be a fuzzy and random soup of memory. …

Flora of SMC Goes Word Wide Web

Living here at Shambhala Mountain Center, I see thousands of new faces each year — people who are coming to live here, or are else visiting for the day or staying for a retreat. Although it may be impossible to form substantial relationships with all of these people, a good place to start is to exchange names. “Hello, I’m Travis.” In my experience, learning someone’s name is an acknowledgement of shared connection that rapidly opens up the possibility of greater familiarization and friendship. And so it is with the flora of the land, which is why we’re so thrilled with the recent online publishing of an ongoing research project that has been occurring here since 2014 in which Renee Galeano-Popp — a close neighbor of SMC — has been identifying and photographing the myriad plant specimens that live here on the land. Click here to check out SMC’s page on the Intermountain Region Herbarium Network website.   I learned that this is a bluebell (Campanula rotundifolia) by looking it up in the online guide. So …

An Unplanned Symphony: the Rhythms of Our Living Earth, Part 2

By Martin Ogle Shambhala Mountain Center hosts Gaia: Engaging the Rhythms of Our Living Earth with Martin Ogle, September 11-13, 2015 — click here to learn more This is the second of two installments which contemplate the “Rhythms of our Living Planet” and follow from an excerpt from the story “The Shear Pin.”  (CLICK HERE TO READ PART 1) In the brief, second installment of that excerpt (below), I lament the withdrawal from a spell of timelessness that had descended upon me at first, unwillingly and then like a magical meditation. But, in doing so, I realize our human minds naturally drift from being in the moment to leaving the moment through our abstract journey into the future or past. * The following is excerpted from In the Eye of the Hawk by Martin Ogle, 2012  I looked away, not wanting to break the spell. “It couldn’t be . . .,” I thought. But the thought itself broke the spell, and my gaze returned to the floor of the boat. It was, in fact, a shear-pin shimmering there …

Floral Notes and Bardo: How?

Floral Notes and Bardo: The Creative Chronicles of a Shambhala Mountain Resident is a regular feature on the SMC blog in which a member of our staff/community shares his experience of living as part of Shambhala Mountain Center. How? Writing in the office now, after asking permission from my fellows to turn off the flickering overhead fluorescent lights.  Now, going to put on headphones to at least discourage folks from interrupting me.  If the people on the other side of the room begin talking loudly, or at all, I’ll turn on the brown noise. Ideally, I’d write at home. Activating brown noise now. Oh, rhythm of computerized brown noise.  Soothing, on some level.  To the extent that it drowns out the chatter in English language that attacks me.  On another level, it sucks. Anyway… Ideally I’d write at home, but I’m finding it difficult to do it all — morning offerings, cleaning body, tea, journaling, pillow time with Heather, full practice session, dharma study, breakfast — and also make it down to work at a decent hour.  Coming …

Happiness Depends On Your Mind | Orgyen Chowang Rinpoche (VIDEO)

In this excerpt from a recent teaching at Frog Lotus Yoga in North Adams, Massachusetts, Orgyen Chowang Rinpoche explains how happiness depends on our minds, not external circumstances. By working with our minds through meditation we discover happiness that we can take with us everywhere we go. Rinpoche also explains how this type of inner happiness is an attractive quality and the key to building connections and community. Click here to learn more about Orgyen Chowang Rinpoche’s upcoming retreat at SMC. ~~~ Orgyen Chowang Rinpoche is a meditation master in the Nyingma lineage of the Buddhist tradition. He studied for ten years at Larung Gar in Serta, eastern Tibet, with his teacher, Jigmed Phuntsok Rinpoche, who is widely acknowledged as one of the greatest Dzogchen meditation masters of the twentieth century. Orgyen Chowang Rinpoche lives in the San Francisco Bay Area and is the founder and spiritual director of Pristine Mind Foundation (www.pristinemind.org). He travels throughout the United States and around the world teaching a broad range of audiences, including those at universities, tech companies and …

Floral Notes and Bardo: Everything is High

Floral Notes and Bardo: The Creative Chronicles of a Shambhala Mountain Resident is a regular feature on the SMC blog in which a member of our staff/community shares his experience of living as part of Shambhala Mountain Center. The hum, cranking mechanics of this lumpy old computer is so loud, it’s difficult to hear the voice.  It’s a wounded beast in the choir.  Holy jalopy. Anyway… All of these dreams… Walking in the woods one day during retreat, singing, it occurred to me — All of These Dreams — that lovely little song may be heard as an ode to the terma phenomena. Saga Dawa — long ago now.  At dawn I walked through the woods, across the land to the Stupa — made offerings, prayers, prostrations.  Hung a large Gesar flag up in the tress on the hill to the east.  Back to the nest, hung more flags all around the yard with Heather.  She made a few, which are wonderful.  A pink breezy pony flag hanging beside my blue windhorse flag.  Our distinct iconographies, minds, complimenting …