Month: February 2019

Hope Martin and David Rome Explain Embodied Listening

For the past fifteen years, Hope Martin and David Rome have been bringing together eastern and western mind–body practices in a program they call Embodied Listening. In this recent interview with Shambhala Mountain Center, these two teachers explain how the Alexander Technique and Mindful Focusing can help people discover a greater sense of ease and naturalness in their lives, and how these practices are especially potent when engaged alongside traditional mindfulness–awareness meditation. Enjoy the full video interview below, or scroll down to stream or download the audio. Stream audio below.  To download, click here. About the Authors Hope Martin has taught the Alexander Technique for 30 years, trains Alexander teachers at the American Center for the Alexander Technique and operates Hope Martin Studio in New York City.  She is a meditation instructor and a Focusing trainer. Her particular passion is in helping her students discover how easeful, upright posture is an expression of their human dignity, confidence, and innate wakefulness. // Hope Martin Studio David I. Rome is the developer of Mindful Focusing, an integration …

An Imperfect Place to Call Home: A Letter from the Featured SMC Community Member

By Whitney Trotta // I’ve arrived. When I first set foot on the land here at Shambhala Mountain Center in June 2018, that’s what it felt like. My whole life I’ve wanted to feel like “I’ve found my place,” and could stop searching. I think everywhere just wasn’t perfect enough– too cold, too tropical and humid, too rainy, (ok, apparently weather is super important to me!), I didn’t fit in with the people, or I didn’t have a purpose. I am not trying to claim that SMC is perfect. The weather is nice enough most of the year, but these winter winds can test even the most sane of us (and that’s coming from a Wisconsinite)! And the people, as truly amazing as they are, aren’t perfect, either (me included, of course). But what I have found is that we are in this thing together, and are doing our best to be real about what it means to be human. I guess you could say, I let go of life having to be perfect, and …

Susan PIver

Susan Piver on Meditation

By Susan Piver // When you can honestly say I am comfortable in myself, the world opens up in a way you could not imagine.  You take care of your home as a gesture of self-respect. You love your body and feed it with joy and ease. Good relationships grow stronger and difficult relationships become more workable. You trust your instincts. You laugh more. You also cry more. The world of emotion is revealed as a source of richness. You go out into the world to do your work, your service, your part with confidence and resilience.  You become a source of strength for others. The path to an open-hearted life begins with the practice of meditation. In the Open Heart Project, meditation is not a life-hack. It is not practiced for self-help  or self-improvement. It is the practice of self-kindness, the very foundation of compassion, wisdom, and power.  Though there are many places you can go to learn meditation, most of them present the practice as a scientifically proven method for achieving excellence. That is great because it …

Blake D. Bauer

The Purpose of Suffering, Depression and Disease

By Blake D. Bauer // The body’s suffering is a mask the mind holds up to hide what really suffers.  — A Course in Miracles As a culture and as individuals we need to swing the pendulum of attention towards transforming our dysfunctional mental and emotional life if we want our body and outer world to reflect a healthy internal environment. But before we can take these steps we have to find the humility to open our mind, especially if our current approach is not getting us the results we want. We have to admit that we didn’t know better and acknowledge that maybe our views have been limiting or not very healthy for us. This is not about making ourselves wrong, thinking we are flawed or blaming ourselves. Rather it’s about recognizing the fact that we inherited some very self- destructive habits and beliefs from people who were doing their best, with what they knew, at the time. And now, our body, life and world is screaming out for us to finally heal our …

Expansive Nature of Love: Beyond “My little corner of the world”

By Allison C Zangmo & Anyen Rinpoche // Cultivating the expansive nature of love is the essence of the dharma.  What does that actually mean? As human beings, we are limited in so many ways.  Our physical nature is limited; when we feel physical pain or illness or the suffering of aging, our ability to love ourselves and others is also limited.  Our emotional nature is limited; when we feel personal pain and suffering, when our minds are focused on our own experience and cannot relate to the experience of others, or when we think the intensity of our suffering is unique, our ability to love ourselves and others is limited.  The nature of our breath is limited; when our breathing takes on the characteristics of our emotions, when it becomes hot, heavy, or fast-paced, our ability to love ourselves and others is limited. The nature of the everyday mind is limited; when we are too focused on the things that we think we want and need to feel comfortable and safe, our ability to love …

Paul Spiegelman

Go On A Silent Retreat? You’ve Got To Be Kidding!

By Paul Spiegelman // Like most of you, the thought of going to some remote spot and not talking to anyone for several days was not at all appealing.  Neither was the idea that I would need to turn off my phone and completely disconnect. So you could imagine the anxiety as I took the two-hour drive from the Denver airport to the Shambhala Mountain Retreat in Red Feather Lakes, Colorado last Monday. I had been invited, along with about 15 other business leaders, to attend a “transformative experience” by Rob Dube, author of donothing: The Most Rewarding Leadership Challenge You’ll Ever Take.  Rob is a long-time member of the Small Giants Community, a devotee of meditation, and a good friend.  Though I have to admit I never would have agreed to do something like this, I wanted to support Rob.  When we got to the retreat and went around the room, I found that most of the attendees were nervous participants as well.  But here we were. In the weeks leading up to the event, I wasn’t too concerned about …

Practicing Simplicity: Two Teachers on Zen

By Katharine Kaufman and Michael Wood // The beginner’s mind has many possibilities — Shunryu Suzuki The upcoming SMC retreat, “Practicing Simplicity,” is the result of an ongoing conversation between two friends and students of Zen. Katharine’s Zen practice is foundational to her work with Poetry and Contemplative Movement Arts. Michael revels in the paradoxical; learning from ontological and cultural engagements with Dharma Art and Zen philosophy. It is through our shared intuitive appreciation for the beauty of fragility and contingency of expression that we have come together to offer this weekend introduction to Zen retreat. Please join us in discovering the simplicity of Zen practice.  Michael says: In the Sôtô Zen tradition, the primary practice is shikantaza- or “just sitting.” While we do not sit as a means to an end, through the process of sitting, we find that as our thoughts settle and a  glimpse of the non-dual nature of reality reveals itself, awareness and the ability to concentrate on the precision of forms and transience of the present arises. In doing so, experience is once again …