Month: February 2020

Forgive Yourself Now

By Blake D. Bauer // Deep down we’re all good, loving people, and yet we all live with things that we’ve said or done that we struggle to forgive. Regardless of how bad, guilty, ashamed, angry or regretful we feel about past situations or decisions, we must eventually understand that each experience was ultimately awakening us to our true self and to the purpose of our lives. If we’ve unconsciously acted in ways that have caused ourselves or others pain, it’s always because we had lessons to learn so we could evolve and grow in a loving presence and awareness. The shame, guilt, anger and regret that we still feel and store subconsciously in our body hold jewels of wisdom that are waiting to teach us about what’s most important in life – about truth, honesty, forgiveness, acceptance and unconditional love.  If we do not open to forgiving the things in our past that we still feel shame, guilt, anger or regret around, then these aspects of our lives will stop us from finding lasting …

SMC Update February 16, 2020

Dear friends, We’re nearly two years into a process of reckoning in the Shambhala community. We’ve learned of patterns of abuse of power, sexual misconduct, and harassment that have been a thread in the fabric of Shambhala culture. It is as heartbreaking as it is necessary to acknowledge and learn from this. Shambhala Mountain Center will turn 50 in 2021. In order to honor and hold responsibility for the 50 years of profound teachers and dedicated practitioners who have worked, volunteered, practiced and studied at our retreat center, we need to be willing to recognize and address these challenges. There is deep work for us to do. So far, we’ve updated and improved our Code of Ethics with the help of ethicist and therapist Dr. Cedar Barstow, instituted a grievance procedure, and launched a cycle of staff trainings on power, harassment, abuse, and bystander intervention led by Dr. Barstow, SAVA (Sexual Assault Victim Advocate Center), and The Blue Bench. While these initiatives are a necessary start, they need to be integrated with an ongoing inquiry …

Susan PIver

[VIDEO] Susan Piver Gets Personal

And that’s part of what makes her such a great teacher. She notes that she doesn’t have fancy credentials, so what she has to offer—rather than some expertise from on-high—is the way meditation and Buddhist teachings influence, and manifest within, her life experiences.  It’s helpful to hear that someone who I regard as being a serious practitioner still experiences things like claustrophobia on an airplane, or disappointment in relationships.  And, it’s also helpful to hear how these everyday bits of suffering can transform us into more gentle & delighted people if met by the touch of a practitioner.  In our recent interview, Susan discusses her personal approach to teaching and living the path, and also the importance of retreat.             ABOUT SUSAN PIVER Susan Piver is a Buddhist teacher and the New York Times bestselling author of nine books, including The Wisdom of a Broken Heart, and Start Here Now: An Open-Hearted Guide to the Path and Practice of Meditation. Her latest book is The Four Noble Truths of Love: Buddhist …

White-Knuckling and Self-Compassion

By Megan Prager // I am a recovering white-knuckler. I share this with you, because I know I am not alone. There are plenty of us “knucklers” out there that stay with pain, sometimes quite literally, until our knuckles become white. Pushing past our limits, fighting through difficulty, sometimes consciously and sometimes not. I remember several years ago being in a yoga class, and holding a pose that was both too hard and long for my body. I stayed, gritting my teeth, feeling the pain, until the teacher told us to release. Nevermind that I had to limp to my car that day, or that it took my knee several months to feel “normal” again. For this white-knuckler what mattered is that I stayed in that pose for as long as the teacher was holding me in it; staying with the difficulty, no matter the pain, in my mind equalled “success”.  Here’s the challenge with white-knuckling: it’s not black and white. Sometimes we may find that white-knuckling leads to developing strengths, discovering insights, and/or making …

Aprendiendo a Meditar en Español

Por Bruno Límenes // La vida es hermosa, dolorosa, divertida, confusa, es una amalgama de distintas experiencias. De ahí la pregunta: ¿qué tan seguido estoy presente con toda la gama de vivencias que el día a día me brinda? Esa fue la pregunta que dio a luz mi interés por la meditación. Quería entender cómo permanecer abierto a mi vida, y apenas empecé a buscar, noté que quería algo que además se sintiera como una herramienta aplicable a la cotidianidad. No quería algo que solamente funcionara mientras lo practicaba, sino que al levantarme del cojín de meditación la atención se mantuviera a lo largo del día.  Eso fue lo que encontré al llegar a mi primer retiro de meditación en el pequeño pueblo de Tepoztlán, en mi natal México. Una práctica que terminaría adquiriendo una cualidad parecida a la de bañarme cada día o lavarme los dientes, algo no tan ajeno a mi vida cotidiana. Aquello formaba parte de la manera cómo me relaciono con mi cuerpo, con mi mente y con las emociones. A …

[VIDEO] Nashalla Nyinda on Green Tara: Enlightened Feminine Wisdom in Action

Green Tara is said to have been born from the tears of the great compassionate Buddha, Chenrezig. She is the ultimate manifestation of sacred female enlightenment and activity. With one foot in the meditative posture, one in the world, she represents an ability to summon all beings from all realms and provide the swift action of enlightened feminine wisdom. In our recent interview, Nashalla Nyinda discusses Green Tara, and unpacks the meaning of “enlightened feminine wisdom in action.” About the Author Nashalla Gwyn Nyinda TMD, LMT began the study of Tibetan Medicine in 1999 and started treating with permission in 2004. She was then encouraged by her teacher, VV Thrangu Rinpoche, to complete her medical studies continuing in India. Nashalla earned her Menpa degree (Doctor of Tibetan Medicine) from Qinghai Tibetan Medical College, Tibet and The Shang Shung Institute of Tibetan Medicine in 2009. She has an Interdisciplinary Studies BA from Naropa University, with a focus on Asian Medicines and Buddhist Psychology. She has taught these techniques worldwide to Tibetan and western students, practitioners, and …