Author: smcblog

A More Sane Approach to New Year “Resolutions”

By Jonathan Barbieri // The celebration of New Years is several thousands of years old. It has always been a time of renewal – fresh beginnings throughout the world. This year, perhaps more than most in the recent past, it seems to be an important time to step back and reflect on our human capability and our aspirations. This past year has been permeated by the presidential campaign and the first year of President Trump’s Administration. It is fair to say that the energetics unleashed during this time have been of a magnitude of which we have never fully seen or experienced in this country before. Many emotions seem to rise and role in like a wave only to be covered by the next wave. There is hope, fear, despair, anger, and confusion – to name a few. We listen to praise, blame and people being denigrated. The focus is often on the negative qualities of human beings with a constant emphasis on distrusting one another and fear. In the midst of this it could …

Why a Super Bowl Champion Volunteers at SMC

By Dave Stalls // Dear SMC supporters and fans, Thank you for allowing me, and so many others, to benefit from what you have built and invested in over the years here at Shambhala Mountain Center. In July of this year, I began volunteering at SMC because, like many of you, I struggle with my emotions about the direction of our country. I was looking for a way to be of benefit in a time when it seems that not only our country, but our world is in crisis. As the former CEO of Big Brothers, Big Sisters, and the co-founder of Denver’s Street Fraternity, a program designed to cultivate brotherhood and personal growth in at-risk urban youth, I see crisis every day. I am drawn to Shambhala Mountain Center because it offers one-of-a-kind, powerful support for working with challenging situations, and thanks to you, SMC was able to host the young men of Street Fraternity this Winter, completely for free. (Check out the picture above!) As I hiked up to Marpa Point with these incredible …

How I Healed a Broken Heart

By Patricia Flores White // Do you remember the first time you arrived at Shambhala Mountain Center? I do. It was late summer, and the nights were crisp and cold in my tent. The stupa was magnificent in all its glory, sitting with a backdrop of simple Colorado aspen and pine. The wildflowers were in bloom and so were the bears! Prior to living in my beloved tent here at SMC, I lived in a small fishing village in South America where I ran a Surf & Yoga School. Tourism was thriving in our humble paradise until, on April 16, 2016, the coast of Ecuador was crushed by a 7.8 magnitude earthquake. After a solid year of nonstop recovery work and over 3,000 aftershocks, I found it harder and harder to remember the last time I laughed out loud and I gradually began to lose my sense of humor all together. I also stopped surfing… that’s when I knew it was time for me to say goodbye. This summer, when I arrived at SMC, I realized, …

The Suffering of Water

By Katharine Kaufman // When I lived on Old Stage road, on morning walks I picked up the heaviest rock I could carry. I took a few steps then dropped it. Pick it up. Hold. Let go. Repeat. Sage, an Australian Shepard mix, had his version of the same game. ~ In 1993 at Jikoji Zen Center I realized there was no end to my self-clinging. After two months I thought I should be done with new ways to suffer. My plan was to be enlightened by the end of my three-month stint. I had no idea what that was. I didn’t know that I was asking for my personal suffering to be exchanged with suffering for others. Four of us sit zazen in silent early mornings, work in the afternoon, and evenings make dinner for anyone who happens to drop by. Then we sit with our new friends. This scratches at my attachment to my darling practice like an old vinyl 45. Sure, I belong. Everyone who wanders in here belongs. In October the …

Healing Guilt, Shame and Insecurity (Part 1)

By Blake D. Bauer // Do you constantly make yourself wrong for feeling the way you feel or for desiring the things you desire in life? Do you find yourself feeling guilty after you express your emotions or after doing something just for yourself that’s not about pleasing someone else? Do you constantly fear hurting others when making a choice that’s best for you, but then find that you stop yourself and hurt yourself instead? If you answered yes to any of these questions, then you’re just like me and most people on the planet who suffer with deep guilt whereby we not only feel that we are a problem – that our mere existence is a burden – but also that we are somehow wrong, bad or sinful for wanting to be happy, well and truly loved. Is the fact that we’re surviving really enough? Should we just accept that it’s ‘normal’ to live in fear, with deep insecurity, shame and anxiety? Is asking to thrive, to achieve your dreams, to feel completely satisfied …

[Video] Mindful Eating, Emotional Safety & Weight Loss

By Marcella Friel // If you’re trying to lose weight, you’ve probably had it drummed mercilessly into your head: It’s all about calories in/calories out. Consume fewer calories than you burn and get enough exercise, and the weight will come off. If that’s true, then why do so many people lose the weight and then put it right back on? Or why do those who reach their ideal weight find that it doesn’t give them the happiness they were hoping for? What do you truly need to release in order to kiss the extra weight goodbye … forever? In this video I present the key to successful weight loss ~ and it’s probably not what you think. Take a look. Shambhala Mountain Center hosts Mindful Eating: Learn EFT to Liberate Yourself from Unwise Food Choices with Marcella Friel, January 26–28, 2018 — click here to learn more   About the Author Marcella Friel passionately promotes healing foods, authentic beauty and personal transformation. Having cooked and taught in premier meditation and healing centers across North America since …

B. Alan Wallace’s Awakened Heart Retreat at Shambhala Mountain Center

In this short clip, B. Alan Wallace gives an overview of his upcoming retreat at Shambhala Mountain Center—discussing the different practices the retreat will include and how they relate to one another and our path as a whole.   About the Author Dynamic lecturer, progressive scholar, and one of the most prolific writers and translators of Tibetan Buddhism in the West, B. Alan Wallace, Ph.D., continually seeks innovative ways to integrate Buddhist contemplative practices with Western science to advance the study of the mind. A scholar and practitioner of Buddhism since 1970, he has taught Buddhist theory and meditation worldwide since 1976. Having devoted fourteen years to training as a Tibetan Buddhist monk, ordained by H. H. the Dalai Lama, he went on to earn an undergraduate degree in physics and philosophy of science. Wallace is the author of many titles published by Wisdom Publications including Stilling the Mind and The Attention Revolution. About Wisdom Publications Wisdom Publications is the leading publisher of books, podcasts, and online courses on contemporary and classic Buddhism, mindfulness, and …

Paying Attention to One Detail: Listening

By Janet Solyntjes // Listening in Meditation How many times have you wondered what to do with the discursive mind in meditation? Before we “do” anything, it is important to listen. With what kind of ears do we listen to this internal voice – the monkey mind? Our listening is with the ears of non-identification. Listening without identifying with the words is not the same as blocking out thoughts or ignoring what is already present in the mind. To listen in this way takes tremendous gentleness and courage. Sometimes the thoughts are self-critical, sometimes they are gibberish, and sometimes they are emotionally charged. Just listen. Let them be. Can you do this for the next 10 minutes? Step 1: Settling into your body, into being present with yourself. Step 2: With curiosity, noticing the internal dialogue. Are the thoughts passing through your awareness few, many, quiet, or loud? Step 3: Listening without identifying. Opening to present thoughts with an attitude of gentle observation. Step 4: Letting go of the “exercise” and proceeding. Listening to Others …

How Not to Suffer

How to Value Yourself & Stop Hurting Yourself (Part 2)

By Blake D. Bauer // Be soft. Do not let the world make you hard. Do not let
 pain make you hate. Do not let the bitterness steal your sweetness. Take pride that even though the rest of the world may disagree, you still believe it to be a beautiful place.  — Kurt Vonnegut Learning to value the very deepest parts of ourselves is often a painful stage in our awakening, through which we finally claim the intrinsic worth of our lives in and of themselves. Regardless of how it appears from the outside, we all live with parts of ourselves that are like dark rooms in which fragments of our soul feel mistreated or abandoned, and it seems as though no one is listening to our pain-filled cries. Ironically, it is ourselves whom we’re calling out to, asking our higher self to turn on the lights and flood these dark spaces within us with a deep self-love, care and respect. When we’ve lived believing and feeling that we’re not lovable or deserving of love, …

Mindful Eating

[Video] Golden Rules of Mindful Eating

By Marcella Friel // What do we mean when we talk about mindful eating? Is it really about dutifully chewing a single raisin for hours on end? Simply put, mindful eating is about learning to pay attention — pausing to check in with yourself and discern, among other things, Why you feel like eating — are you hungry, or is something else at play? What you are eating — does this food truly nourish you? How you feel as you’re eating — are you in your body or somewhere else? How you feel after eating — are you contented, overstuffed, still hungry? In this video I present a few simple tips from the “Yoga of Eating” as presented in the ancient Indian practice of Ayurveda (and echoed in other traditional cultures) that will help you synchronize your mind and body to be fully present to the food on your plate. Shambhala Mountain Center hosts Mindful Eating: Learn EFT to Liberate Yourself from Unwise Food Choices with Marcella Friel, January 26–28, 2018 — click here to …