Month: August 2016

Losing a Loved One, Discovering the Highest Self

By Sue Frederick ~~~ It’s the morning of July 14, 1980. I awaken to the sounds of a mourning dove outside my window and a view of Boulder’s sacred limestone slabs reaching into the clouds; these front range Rocky Mountain slopes are where my husband and I once spent happy afternoons climbing, hiking and feeling invincible. Yesterday, this elegant and strong young man died from cancer at the age of 34. His death ended a year of unforgettable suffering for both of us. My ego tells me this is a deplorable soul-sucking tragedy. Paul was the most loving man I’d ever known and did not deserve to suffer and die before his life could unfold – before we could have our future. No one will ever love me like that again, says the ego mind. I’m alone, grief-stricken, and sick with heartbreak. I’m scarred for life – just as he was at the end. But I’m still here and he is not. This voice in my head crushes and flattens me, pushes me back into …

How to Write Memoir, Spiritual Memoir and/or a Novel: 10 Key Elements of Story Structure

  By Albert Flynn DeSilver ~~~ How to write a novel, a memoir? Honestly, I have no idea, even though I’ve written both. I’m joking. Sort of. Writing a memoir or novel is a great and beautifully complicated mystery, and yet there are some pointed things to be said to guide you along. How to write a novel, a memoir, a poem, a script, a short story, an essay. . .begins with desire, an urge, a need—to say something significant and important from your unique perspective and experience. In that regard the trick is to first connect with that insatiable drive, that gnawing need, and let it propel you forward. Add to that your biting curiosity, your burning joy for words and stories, language and song, and let the practice itself be your inscrutable guide. A novel begins as an idea, a seed, an inkling in the brain that slowly starts to take shape and form like a flower in bloom. The other trick is transferring this idea from your mind to the page and …

Hands of Hope: The Possibility of Bodily Ease in Sitting Meditation

A few years ago, my experience of sitting on my meditation cushion was changed in a dramatic, simple, and sustained way, when Hope Martin placed her hands on my spine for just a few minutes. Over the past three decades, countless students have had similar experiences, as she has gained a reputation for being a profoundly sensitive, intuitive body-worker as well as a gentle and brilliant meditation teacher in the Shambhala tradition. As she says, what she offers is highly experiential. In that space with her, a shift occurred: emotionally, in the body, in the mind. It was profound. I flash on that experience just about every time I sit to meditate, and the body, remembering Hope’s hands, relaxes into a dignified posture. The experience is elusive, and better to be experienced personally than described. But, hearing Hope speak about her work, along with some clips of a recent session I had with her (lucky me!), may bring it to life a bit more. Please enjoy this short video, and may the hands of Hope …

WATCH: Orgyen Chowang Rinpoche Describes Pristine Mind

If you’re in the mood to sit in the presence of a Tibetan meditation master as he describes the nature of mind, go full-screen and settle into the video below, which brings you face-to-face with Orgyen Chowang Rinpoche as he offers a profound and deeply personal message. Happiness, he says, is unlikely to be found by chasing external conditions. Rather, through meditation, we can discover happiness within — along with what he calls “Pristine Mind.” The latter term is central to Rinpoche’s teachings, and is drawn from the legendary Padmasambhava. Recently, Shambhala Publications released Our Pristine Mind: A Practical Guide to Unconditional Happiness — a book in which Orgyen Chowang Rinpoche teaches in depth on Pristine Mind, and offers instructions for beginning meditators up through the attainment of enlightenment. In this video, Rinpoche offers an intimate taste of Pristine Mind, and then leads a calm abiding meditation. Let go, and enjoy! Shambhala Mountain Center hosts Finding Happiness Within: Reconnecting with Your Natural State through Pristine Mind Meditation with Orgyen Chowang Rinpoche, September 2–4 — click here to learn more. About …