Month: April 2019

On Silent Group Meditation Retreats: 10 Things I’ve Learned Along the Way

By Janet Solyntjes // In 1987 I participated in my first silent group meditation retreat.  It was a month-long program held at what is now called Shambhala Mountain Center (SMC).  A few friends suggested that it was the next thing for me to do on my meditative journey. For me, going on retreat was an abstract concept, a box to check off on my way to something more important.  Perhaps I had fallen under the spell of spiritual materialism – seeking higher states, an idealized state of peace, and wanting some form of credential from engaging in what seemed like a very long time to spend doing nothing. Would a month of intensive practice make me a “better” spiritual person?   In the days before the retreat began, I sensed my fear and anxiety about participating in the rigors of long disciplined days over a four-week period. I wasn’t sure what triggered the fear, but didn’t worry much about it.  The arrival day came and I got into my car to head up the mountain …

Mindful Relationship

The Necessity of Being Mindful in Intimate Relationships

By Ben Cohen, Ph.D. // Being “Mindful” in our intimate relationships is no longer an option—it is a necessity. Couples today expect a lot from their marriage/committed relationship.  We want our partner to be our lover, best friend, our go-to person when things are tough, our loyal playmate, and to share in the activities that most interest us.  This is not necessarily a bad thing, but it can be a challenging thing. In the “Romantic Love Stage,” we think it will be easy. We believe we have met “The One.”  You know… the one who will meet all of your needs, and of course they will do so forever after! The truth is, you and your partner are two different people, and you won’t always see things the same way, or want the same things. Whether it is how you clean the house, how often you have sex,  how you manage your time or your money, or how you share your feelings—differences will arise. So eventually, even in the best of relationships, “Romantic Love” turns …

Ayurveda

Shifts in Seasonal Eating: Late Winter Insights

By Kate O’Donnell // I usually travel out to India in the winters, but there were a few years recently where I wintered through in Boston to see what its all about. The main thing I noticed, in regards to general seasonal changes and Ayurvedic routines, I would like to share with you: When it is very cold, the fires recede into the core of the body, the digestion actually gets stronger, and heavier foods are craved, and needed, then digested well. I got on an enjoyable program of enjoying more oat bars and whole grain cookies and spiced milk. But here’s the thing. It was in March – and perhaps even late February for those of you who live in warmer climates – that my cravings for the cookies began to subside. BUT, I kept eating the cookies. Because it’s still not nice out, it’s still relatively cold (thought not freezing), I’m still wearing big jackets and boots- man- don’t take my cookies!? While the spring cleanse doesn’t happen until April, March proved to …

Blake D. Bauer

How to Value Yourself & Stop Hurting Yourself (Part 1)

By Blake D. Bauer // It’s often not until we allow other people to treat us horribly and therefore feel worthless or valueless that we realize our approach to life truly needs to change. Unfortunately, things have to get seriously bad, painful or out of control for most of us before we realize how important it is to honor and value ourselves consistently in every moment, situation and relationship. For those of us who often feel inadequate, insecure, undeserving or unworthy of love, we will constantly abandon and betray ourselves for the love of others to the point where we repeatedly find ourselves in situations where we feel used, unappreciated, valueless or worthless to those around us as well as to ourselves. Underneath these painful situations, however, is the empowering truth that we’re not actually victims in any way. We’re actually the ones who’ve compromised ourselves for the conditional acceptance, approval, attention and support of other people and thus we can change this self-destructive pattern. We can make a different choice now. What most of …