Author: smcblog

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 …

Shared Principles of Governance: Ensure Your Relationship’s Longevity

By Stan Tatkin // If you’re in a long-term relationship or want to be in one, I can give you straight-up advice on what to do right now to safeguard your relationship from avoidable trouble. First, let me explain why you should listen. As social animals, we depend on each other for survival on many levels: physically, psychologically, emotionally. In the wild, primates procreate and pair bond, on average, for four years: sufficient time to raise one child and protect it from the hostile environment. Nature cares not about long-term relationships. Most of us modern humans, however, do care because we are part of a society that values, even requires, cooperation, collaboration, and social fidelity to agreed-upon principles of governance. We also live a lot longer than either non-human primates or our recent ancestors. All this suggests the value of taking active steps to ensure the longevity of our relationships. Now, that’s not always easy. Romantic love waxes and wanes over time. Mutual physical attraction can dim as our bodies undergo slow but inevitable changes …

Life on the Mountain – One Woman’s View

By Tricia Cominsky, SMC Staff Member // Shambhala Mountain Center officially welcomed my arrival in September of 2017 (unofficially, five years prior, on my first visit to this magical land). As a former corporate ladder-climber and people-pleaser, these 600 acres provided a soft and safe landing place to drop those old personas and masks. As much as I have let go, there has been such abundance to receive. I am grateful to have found true community in our Sangha. They see, love and support me as I am, unconditionally. In return, I do the same for them. There’s been a good amount of showing up for each other over these past eight months. Our little Sangha has held space for each other in every sense. There has been life-changing growth and so many hearts see the monumental changes taking place. As a wise teacher once said; We don’t have to be afraid of who we are. There is such peace and grace in knowing that on the mountain we have the luxury of comforting one …

Yuval Ron

Sacred Music: The Most Powerful Medicine We Have

By Yuval Ron // This spring 2019 I will be coming to Shambhala Mountain Center to explore the inner world of Nada Yoga—the Yoga of Sound—the use of sacred music and movement in Zen and Sufi traditions, and to experience the healing powers of sound meditations. Meditation has been found to be a powerful remedy for anxiety, fear, depression, high blood pressure, and other debilitating emotional disorders. Music is the most powerful tool for meditation. The sound resonates through our body and mind. Some studies that I mention in my book Divine Attunement: Music as a Path to Wisdom have shown that humans and animals synchronize their breathing, heart rate, blood pressure, and physical movements to the rate of the musical pulse they are exposed to. In other words, when you play rapid music, breathing, movement, heart rate, etc. will become faster. If you play calming music, the heart rate drops and the process of relaxation begins. Thus, music can usher us into meditative state, even if we do not wish to go there! However, …

Shambhala Mountain Center

Insights From Four Days With Twenty Leaders Who Decided To Do Nothing

By Rob Dube // The first donothing Leadership Silent Retreat was an unprecedented success. Last week I returned from hosting twenty leaders at the Shambhala Mountain Center in Red Feather Lakes, Colorado in the Rocky Mountains to share silence together. Against conventional wisdom, this group did not come to this “conference” to learn about the latest trends in business or their industry but instead, to learn about themselves. And they did it in silence together. When I discuss the idea of being in silence for an extended period, I often start to notice people’s eyes glaze over, and if that’s you, please stay with me! Why would a busy leader take time out of their week and make the financial investment to come together to sit in silence and donothing? To do so takes a willingness to think differently about life and business. These leaders are different; they are working on one of our most challenging skills—complete awareness and full presence in life. They realized, whether through nudging or curiosity, that for each of them, …