Month: February 2017

28,762 days

By Janet Solyntjes // This is the number of days that make up the average life expectancy of a person born in the United States. How many of these days will US citizens spend appreciating life? How will you spend this one? We are a time-conscious society. Productivity, connectivity, pressured to beat the clock—how often do we look at our iPhone or laptop to see what time it is? Do we understand what time is telling us? The clock and the calendar are both saying that we won’t be here forever. They reveal one simple truth: time only runs in one direction. An aspen tree doesn’t look at a clock to see when it is time to turn golden. The northern lake doesn’t need a timeline or deadline to tell it when to freeze or thaw. As humans, we often experience time-related stress. Rather than seeing the passing of time as a source of pressure or a reason to feel that we are too lazy, too crazy, or that we are losing our grip on …

Women, Food, and Forgiveness Part 4: What Happens When We Forgive?

By Marcella Friel // Editor’s Note: This post is the fourth in a five-part series on Women, Food, and Forgiveness by mindful eating coach Marcella Friel. Her 5-day retreat, Women, Food, and Forgiveness, opens April 19, 2017. Click here to learn more and register. “She thought she would die of shame. Instead, it was the shame that died.” ~D. H. Lawrence, Lady Chatterly’s Lover I just hung up the phone from a powerfully transformative coaching session with my client Cindy, a vibrant, super-smart woman who’s felt betrayed by her body her entire life. As a girl, Cindy loved to dance, play softball, and float paper boats in rain puddles. Gradually, her whole being shut down, and Cindy has since suffered mysterious illnesses, random accidents, and 50 pounds of excess weight. Cindy wants more than anything to recapture her youthful vitality, cultivate genuine self-love, and embrace her body wholeheartedly. At age 7, for reasons not clear to her, Cindy’s father sent her to her room without supper. Cindy lay in the dark, crying and hungry, wishing …

Wisdom & Compassion

By Katharine Kaufman // It was Kobun Chino’s birthday a few days ago. If he was still alive Fran would give him some birthday money and he’d spend it all at the Pacific Mercantile. Lesley would make him sushi. I would be his assistant, along with others. He’d show up late and drive the president crazy. Zen would be very popular at Naropa. Certain Zen Centers would disapprove of the wild lineage…but they would love Kobun. ~ But he’s not here and we are. I am. ~ In 1994 at the beginning of a three month practice period in the Santa Cruz Mountains, Michael Newhall put his two hands on my back and pushed me up the hill to try to catch Kobun Chino, who was about to drive away. ~ When you want to be on this Soto path you sew a rakasu (the bib like fabric that maybe you’ve seen, sort of short hand for a full robe). I am told in Shakyamuni Buddha’s time people used fabric from piles of discarded cloth. …

Simple is Good

By De West // Have you ever tried a new recipe that had clear instructions with simple ingredients, was an easy process and you made the most delicious meal? The simplicity it took to create the meal added to the experience…simple is good. The same experience happens with a simple movement practice: it is easy and feels so good that you want to do it again! Why is simple good? Simplicity builds confidence-you can start at the beginning and build your body awareness and when it feels safe to do so, try new movements, poses and sequences. Your body can trust simple movements and the slow pacing and then your mind can relax. Simplicity relaxes the nervous system moving us from our left brain, the thinking mind, that evaluates, categorizes and labels to the right brain that thinks in a non-conceptual way that creates relaxation, helps digestion and comes from a direct experience. It helps to be guided so your thinking mind can take a break. Keeping it simple can foster spontaneous calm, peace and …