All posts filed under: Mind-Body

Beyond Suffering

Beyond Suffering: At Home In Yourself (Part 2)

By Blake D. Bauer // Through consistently living with our awareness focused on what is true in this moment, we empower ourselves to illuminate everything that is not honest, loving or healthy for us. Over time we’re able to identify the self-destructive thoughts and habits that keep us running from or not caring for ourselves. By making the choice to focus our consciousness on how we feel now, we’re empowered to bring a loving presence deep into our being, which is the only way to transform whatever is currently sabotaging our health, happiness or capacity to connect authentically now. Through relating to ourselves with this degree of kindness and honesty, we eventually realize that the inner freedom we’re seeking is already available right here in this very moment. It is simply accessible to the degree that we speak and act based on our true feelings, needs and desires today. Beyond liberating ourselves from the vicious cycles of feeling held back by the past or being worried about the future, through coming home to our breathing …

Love and Heal Your Inner Child

By Blake D. Bauer // In every real man a child is hidden that wants to play. — Friedrich Nietzsche The term ‘wounded inner child’ typically refers to the emotional pain experienced during childhood that currently remains unhealed within us. The reason it’s optimal to address this topic is because our psychological and emotional wounds from childhood are directly connected to the situations and relationships that are currently full of victimhood and blame. In order to love and heal ourselves fully, we subconsciously create experiences in the present that mirror experiences from our past, often from childhood, so we can (1) transform the associated pain that is still stored within us and (2) learn the important lessons necessary to fulfill our life’s purpose and awaken spiritually. If we have not fully healed a past experience or period that was painful or confusing, then we will instinctually create situations in the present that reflect back to us the unresolved emotions from the original incident(s), ultimately so we can make peace with our past, care for ourselves …

Mindful Eating

[Video] You Can Heal Your Broken Relationship with Food

By Marcella Friel // If you are a woman who struggles with food, have you ever wondered why your restrictive diet regimens routinely leave you worse off than when you started? There’s a core piece of the healing puzzle that those diet plans never touch. *** In this video, food and body image coach Marcella Friel shares with Mimi Valiulis, Dean of Online Studies at Shambhala Online, success stories of women who went way beyond the dieting trap to liberate their food patterns once and for all.   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 1994, Marcella now runs Tapping with Marcella, a food and body image coaching practice that uses EFT to help health-conscious adults love and forgive themselves, their bodies and their food. // marcellafriel.com For more from Marcella Friel on the SMC Blog, click here

Beyond Suffering: At Home In Yourself (Part 1)

By Blake D. Bauer // One must learn to love oneself with a wholesome and healthy love, so that one can bear to be with oneself and need not roam. — Friedrich Nietzsche Deep down, we all want to feel ‘welcome’, that we ‘belong’, and that we’re accepted just the way we are. We also want to feel appreciated, simply because we’re alive and not just for how we please others. Essentially, each of us holds a longing to feel at home within ourselves, because when we feel safe to simply be ourselves, where no one is judging us, and we can let our guard down to be vulnerable, our heart opens and allows the peace, joy and love within us to flow freely. To feel the warm embrace of unconditional love that most of us associate with the idea of ‘home’ is how we as human beings come to blossom and thrive. Even if our own experiences at home, either as children or as adults, have never been as loving or as warm as …

Susan Piver

Susan Piver on the Benefits of Meditation

By Susan Piver // A comprehensive list of all the benefits of meditation would be very long indeed. My friend and fellow meditation teacher Jonathan Foust has said that if it were a medication, meditation would be heralded as the miracle drug of the century! Some of the benefits that have been demonstrated recently through modern scientific inquiry include the following: It relieves stress (by lowering the stress hormone, cortisol). It improves focus and memory (by raising the level of gamma waves). It prevents relapse into depression by 50 percent (according to studies by Jon Kabat-Zinn, MD, and Zindel Segal, PhD). It boosts immunity (in one study, meditators demonstrated higher levels of antibodies than nonmeditators in reaction to a vaccination). It actually makes you demonstrably happier (by reducing activation in the amygdala and increasing it in the prefrontal cortex). The health benefits don’t stop there. In addition, it has been demonstrated that meditation can help with the following: lowering blood pressure decreasing symptoms in illnesses with a stress-related component (ulcers, for example) decreasing serum cholesterol …

The Practice of Dropping: An Antidote for a Busy Life

By Brian Spielmann & De West // When we’re babies, the ability to grasp, which becomes fully developed around 9-12 months, is one of the most important developmental milestones. This core skill demonstrates planning, hand-eye coordination, muscular strength, and motor skills. As adult spiritual practitioners, we have the opposite issue: how do we stop grasping and let go? Our minds are constantly grasping and fixating, creating much suffering in our minds and tension in our bodies. As Mick Jagger says, “You can’t always get what you want.” And that grasping is where samsara begins. The Buddhist and Yogic traditions both offer clear, practical instructions on how to let go fully. When we integrate these traditions, working both with our body and our mental awareness, we have a powerful dual pathway to further relaxation and sense of peace. Take a Load Off The good news is that our thoughts and emotional baggage don’t actually exist. They come and they go, and we can let them arise with no judgment or need to push them away. We …

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, …