All posts filed under: Mind-Body

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 …

[Video] Susan Piver Discusses Meditation and Writing

If someone were able to take a snapshot of your mind right now, what would it look like? If you were able to choose when this image would be taken, when would that be? What would you do to prepare? Chögyam Trungpa Rinpoche says that as we practice meditation, our thoughts become more elegant — and likewise our spoken and written words, and the myriad other expressions (or snapshots) of mind. From that point of view, the link between meditation and writing seems to be quite clear: sit, settle, allow for some clarity, and then express. Meditation can also be helpful in navigating the obstacles that come up during the writing process, such as doubt, and can help us to fine-tune our relationship to our mind and world, so that what we express in writing is perhaps more luminous than it would be otherwise. The relationship between meditation and writing is a huge topic, and there are several avenues for exploration, including practical questions like “How can one find time for both writing and meditation?” …

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 …

[Video] Winter Dathün: What Is It Like to Retreat for a Month?

In this short video, Acharya Daniel Hessey and past retreat participants share their thoughts on what it’s like to spend a month on retreat in the winter at Shambhala Mountain Center. Meditate for 7-14 days or the full month of dathün with Acharya Daniel Hessey at Shambhala Mountain Center (Dec. 16, 2017 – Jan. 14, 2018) – click here to learn more   Join Acharya Daniel Hessey and other meditators for Winter Dathun: Creating Enlightened Society (Dec. 16, 2017 – Jan. 14, 2018) – click here to learn more

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

By Blake D. Bauer // Excerpt from the international bestselling book You Were Not Born To Suffer 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 …

Mindful Eating

Mindful Eating: Why Bother?

By Marcella Friel // It’s so easy to believe that our struggles with food are our fault. It’s so seductive to blame and punish ourselves for our failed attempts to curb our less-than-mindful eating habits. However … Not only is such self-condemnation counterproductive (as in, “the beatings will continue until morale improves”), it also blinds us to the social realities that got us into this predicament to begin with. Food is the most fundamental expression of human culture. According to Zen chef Edward Espe Brown, “In cultures where eating rituals were widespread, people experienced few eating disorders. Conversely, we see that ours is a culture with few eating rituals and numerous disorders.” In our industrialized, setting-sun world, our eating rituals consist of opening take-out cartons, eating at our desks, grazing mindlessly, or chowing down microwaved meals while checking Facebook. If the purpose of food is strictly to provide nutrition for our bodies, why should we care about how we actually eat? In this video I invite you to explore the social and cultural forces that …

Follow the Threads — Mindful Awakening

By Michael W. Taft // Mille viae ducunt homines per saecula Romam When I started meditating in my teens, I believed in Enlightenment. I was going to get to the Big E, which involved having certain mind-blowing experiences. You’d see the Light, or God would open her kimono, or whatever, and after that you’d glow in the dark. I was super enthusiastic and worked really hard to do whatever I believed it took have those experiences. Months in caves in India. Pilgrimages to rivers, glaciers, and to the tops of mountains. Celibacy. Studying at the feet of masters wreathed in garlands of flowers. Mostly lots and lots of meditation. This setup for an article usually now transitions into saying that all that was a waste, and that Awakening is always available in every moment without any of that stuff. But that’s not at all how I would describe what I’ve found. Instead, I feel like, Yes, awakening is available in every moment, especially if you’ve done lots and lots of meditation. Even all those rituals, …

Judith Simmer-Brown

[VIDEO] Acharya Judith Simmer-Brown: Loving-Kindness Meditation

In this video, which originally aired as part of SMC’s Beyond Mindfulness event, Acharya Judith Simmer-Brown guides us in practicing loving-kindness for ourselves—which is, as she reminds us, the basis for having compassion for others. Join Acharya Judith Simmer-Brown for Compassion Training: The Practice and Science of Compassion for Self and Others, October 14–20, 2017, at Shambhala Mountain Center — click here to learn more About the Author Acharya Judith Simmer-Brown, Ph.D., is Distinguished Professor of Contemplative and Religious Studies at Naropa University in Boulder, Colorado, where she has taught since 1978. As Buddhist practitioner since the early 1970’s, she became a student of Chogyam Trungpa Rinpoche in 1974, and was empowered as an acharya (senior teacher) by Sakyong Mipham Rinpoche in 2000. Her teaching specialties are meditation practice, Shambhala teachings, Buddhist philosophy, tantric Buddhism, and contemplative higher education. Her book, Dakini’s Warm Breath (Shambhala 2001), explores the feminine principle as it reveals itself in meditation practice and everyday life for women and men. She has also edited Meditation and the Classroom: Contemplative Pedagogy for …