Month: April 2016

Pema Chodron

Stepping Out of Your Comfort Zone

In this 7-minute clip Pema Chödrön offers a convincing case for being a little more daring in our daily lives. What happens when we begin to step out of our comfort zone? We begin to get comfortable with uncertainty and our whole experience becomes more inhabitable. This excerpt comes from Pema Chödrön’s excellent upcoming online course called “The Heart of the Matter” published by our friends at Shambhala Publications. You can learn more and register for that course, which begins on June 7, 2016, and watch a personal invite from Pema by clicking here.

Writing as a Path to Awakening

By Albert Flynn DeSilver ~~~ Writing as a Path to Awakening begins with a primal human question; who am I? Who am I, really? I can not tell what I am, because words can describe only what I am not, said the great Indian mystic Nisargadatta Maharaj. We set off writing on the path to awakening by tuning into what we are not. If we are not what words can describe, and words can describe pretty much everything, then what the heck are we? This is Writing as a Path to Awakening’s ultimate question, with the invitation to write and live your way into the answer. Writing as a Path to Awakening is about how conscious living informs conscious writing (conscious creativity) and in turn, how conscious writing and creativity inform conscious living. It’s one infinite loop, the helix of return. The practice of writing is an exploration of consciousness, a practice toward deeper self-awareness, and moves us along the path of awakening to our true nature. Many of our greatest spiritual teachers from around the …

A Contemplative Meditation on Interconnectedness

Is it true that we are interconnected? And if it is, what are the implications? Based on your conditioning, and what books, talks, and ideas you’ve encountered, you may have ready-made answers to these questions. And so, a further question: On what level do you know these truths — today, right now? It’s one thing to hold a view on the level of intellect, or concept. And it’s another to experience something like interconnectedness as a living reality. In this video, from last year’s Wisdom Rising conference, Janet Solyntjes guides us in a contemplative meditation on interconnectedness. Taking the time to hold a concept in our heart-mind, allowing it to open into a personal experience — a personal knowing — is how we evolve spiritually. We hope you find this to be of benefit. Click here to learn more about the 2nd Annual Wisdom Rising: An Exploration of the Divine Feminine in Buddhism — August 17-21 About the Authors Janet Solyntjes, MA, is a senior teacher in the Shambhala Buddhist tradition and Adjunct Professor at Naropa University. A practitioner …

Tips for Entering Spring from Sara Avant Stover

By Sara Avant Stover ~~~ Be the rose that grows through a crack in the concrete Drip. Drip. Drip. Four thawing icicles hang like crystal stalagmites from the roof outside the window. Behind them, a squirrel scurries across a barren branch, leaving a quiver in its wake. It’s that strange, in-between place between winter’s freeze and spring’s thaw. All that’s alive and pulsing feels confused, trying to find it’s rhythm — including me. I place my hands on my belly, drawing my attention from the buzz in my head to the breath in my belly. My acupuncturist moves from head to feet and pulls off my wool socks. With the precision of both a painter and a surgeon, she aims her needle above the webbing between my left big and second toe. “Your liver and gall bladder need some support today,” she offers. Her voice blends into the drips and hush. “It’s that time of year,” she continues, “to take all the frustration and anger that has built up during the winter and to create …

Floral Notes and Bardo: Yossi’s goodbye party

Faces ’round the fire yearning for the sun Singing Sublime at times Reflecting on the compassion of mosh-pit culture, the vajra world, and judgmentalness towards “new-agey” teachers Extending the snap of the fingers New moon, so a million stars Oh lord — Kumbaya/Namaste SMC staff, laughing — having made it through the winter A good gathering before the volunteers, and summer, arrive. Yossi’s goodbye party. — April 7, 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

Floral Notes and Bardo: Parinirvana Poem

I heard your call and came to your doorstep Basked in your radiance and wondered about your secret quarters I sung for you, waiting, admiring your absence while unable to escape you I have stayed and relaxed quite a lot — although my bladder is full Relaxing further I know I’ll discover flakes of gold in my urine You’re in me I mine gold Perplexed is the poet beside the singing bird on a ponderosa bough Blue is my wonder surrounded by sun Gold is how gone I’ve become — April 4, 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 …