Month: February 2016

Too Much on Your Plate? Here’s Advice from a Mindfulness Teacher

I hope that your plates are full today — but not too full — and that you’re enjoying every bite. Does that seem like a tall order? In an age when we often have too much on our plates, and yet are hungry for real nourishment, the aspiration expressed above may be much easier to say than to accomplish. In the video above, I ask Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction teacher Janet Solyntjes about this conundrum, as well as about a particular, personal style of becoming stressed out. I find her responses to be very helpful, and I think that you may also. If you’d like to watch the full interview, or stream/download the audio, click here: Freak Out! Or Not: An Interview with MBSR Teacher Janet Solyntjes I hope that these teachings add a flavor of awakenment to your day, and that you’ll forgive me if I’ve piled on the food metaphors too high in this post. Shambhala Mountain Center hosts Introduction to Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction with Janet Solyntjes, March 11-13, 2016 — click …

Floral Notes and Bardo: Monkey Music

Monkey picked mind leaves rich, steamy broth in small porcelain perception Letting the music play late and saying yes to swing-set monkey bars for cowboys and young buddhists Red Fire Monkeys hanging from the ceiling in the shrine room disco balls, projector light show, laser beams, strings of twinklers thumping PA, alcohol Earlier — choreographed waltz at Shambhala Day Ball Which began winter community retreat — 7 days meditation in the morning, along with video teaching from Trungpa Rinpoche or Sakyong Mipham — in the flesh teacher who was scheduled had to drop out — sadly jamming in the afternoon — or other activities like hip hop dancing, medicine wheel leadership analysis, sex group discussion, sledding, more meditation, and so on. Good times once I got over the criticisms of how it was ut together. A big time, inspiring talk from Michael Gayner on the last day, which hit points like: in the year of the monkey we’re aspiring to communicate clearly, offer feedback fearlessly, see everyone in totality — as being on a journey, …

Cheerful Shambhala Day!

Last week we celebrated Shambhala Day — a holiday based on Losar (Tibetan New Year/Lunar New Year). It’s a time to purify, make aspirations for the new year, and honor our cultural & spiritual tradition as a community. We welcomed the Year of the Fire Monkey with festivities that began with a 7:30am walk to the Stupa as the sun rose. There we performed a lhasang (offering of juniper), chants, and ate a delicious breakfast. We then watched the Sakyong’s Shambhala Day address, streamed live from Boulder & featuring messages from Shambhala Centers all over the world. That evening we dressed in our finest for a celebratory feast and waltz performance/dance party. May 2016 bring you all joy and courage! Here are some photos from our experience:      

Healthy Commitment to Self and Other

~~~By Blake D. Bauer I used to believe that commitment and freedom could not exist together. I thought I could have one but not both. I later learned the highest degree of freedom available was only reached through wholehearted commitment. It is a vital paradox. The key distinction here that is crucial to understand, but often extremely confusing, is that we must learn to commit to loving ourselves first and thus to fulfilling our life purpose before any other form of external commitment can begin or remain healthy. Until we can commit to saying our deeper feelings, values, needs and aspirations matter in each situation, our personal and professional commitments will always result in stress, confusion, struggle or heartache — especially our intimate relationships. If you’re currently having trouble committing to an intimate relationship it’s important to be kind toward yourself as you navigate your next steps. You are feeling this way for a reason. No one wants to feel insecure, distrusting, owned, controlled, or limited in partnership. It is equally important however to become …

Understanding the Interplay Between Karma and Trauma

In a previous post, we shared the first part of an illuminating dialogue between Julie Flynn Badal and Dr. Miles Neale — a Buddhist psychotherapist.  That article offered a fresh presentation of the Buddhist notion of karma, and discussed how Buddhist psychotherapy offers a way of working with challenging habitual patterns.  Here in part two, we’d like to deepen the exploration by addressing the topic of trauma — how it is related to karma, and what some effective ways of healing may be.    Click here to read Julie’s helpful introduction to this discussion as well as the first part of this interview.  Julie Flynn Badal: In describing the hallmarks of Buddhist psychotherapy, you spoke of including the role of the body in the process of emotional healing. I’ve noticed that your meditation courses and retreats frequently include yoga. How does Buddhism view the relationship between mind and body? Miles Neale: Current neuroscience has clearly shown that unprocessed trauma is often stored somatically as fragmented, implicit memory. You can spend years in psychotherapy from the neck up, talking about past …

Lodro Rinzler Discusses Daily Meditation and Retreat

If you are reading this, you are most likely not in a cave somewhere in the Himalayas, without distraction, and devoting all of your days and evenings to meditation practice. More likely, you are a person with a job, relationships, and various commitments and interests in addition to meditation. You are a modern day meditation practitioner. Practitioner. Why do we use that word? That question is at the heart of much of Lodro Rinzler’s teachings. As he puts it, what we are practicing for, when we are sitting on the cushion, is the rest of the hours of our waking day. We meditate so that we can show up more fully: in our work, families, social gatherings, and so on. Enjoy the video above, or click below to stream the audio. If you’d like to download the audio file, click here and find the “Download” button. The idea of continuity is important here. Being a meditation practitioner is not just about putting in our time on the cushion, and then calling it quits until tomorrow’s session. …

Floral Notes and Bardo: You Can’t Be Neutral

This morning so fresh and clear, even after surprise Super Bowl party in our room last night. Drank the rest of my dark winter beer.  Darkest of the dark days are over.  Don Season complete. Today: Neutral Day, and tomorrow: Shambhala Day.  Year of the Fire Monkey is on! Let’s play! Let’s get into all of the spaces and paint. A series of things to get into. Now: Breakfast and stroke practice in Mr. Gayner’s office. — February 8, 2016 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. About the Author Travis Newbill is a writer, musician, and aspirant on the path of meditation.  He currently resides at Shambhala Mountain Center, where he handles the SMC Blog, and other marketing tasks. He also gives tours of the Great Stupa and is empowered as a Shambhala Guide — a preliminary teaching position.  TravisNewbill.com

Groundhog Day Hey Bill Murray

Rinpoche’s gaze — I know. Black ink smeared across my small plywood desk. When I pour water into small clay pot and there is over flow, or when I pour fresh-brewed oolong from pot and there is spillage, when it puddles on the desk for a moment, it releases, re-liquefies, ink which hit the desk — as spillage or splatter or follow-through — while executing Ashe previously. Heavy snow the last couple of days — two feet or so. Yesterday, Groundhog Day!  Heather shone.  She loves that strange holiday, and I do as well, thanks to her.  While the white men in top hats gathered in Gobbler’s Knob in Puxatawny, PA, Heather and I rolled around in bed, sung and loved.  After meditation, recorded a song.  I went to work.  Heather went to work too.  Here’s what she worked on: creating a Groundhog Day celebration space in the dining room featuring activities — coloring books, crossword puzzles and such — Groundhog Day fun facts, banners, flags, decorations of all sorts — including herself with a …