All posts filed under: Mind-Body

Andrew Holecek

[WATCH] Andrew Holecek on Working with Fear & Anxiety; Navigating This Bardo

Andrew Holcek is a Buddhist teacher and author (and dentist and concert pianist) who has earned the nickname Dr. Death because of his extensive knowledge of the death and bardo teachings of Tibetan Buddhism. And his presentations on this universally relevant (and dreaded) topic are enriched by his unending interest in the findings of western psychology and neuroscience as well. Basically, he’s a good person to check in with if you realize that life as you knew it is over and you need a map for navigating the in-between state—the bardo.  Of course, some of the trickiest, most crucial, and most immediate tasks in navigating the bardo have to do with relating to—rather than from—fear and anxiety. It’s quite possible to do this well, Andrew says. And, if you can, this crisis, this time of uncertainty, can accelerate your spiritual and psychological development rather than initiate a spiral of regression.  Andrew offers helpful perspective, as well as one of his “emergency meditations,” in this recent interview. Enjoy the video below, or scroll down to stream/download …

How Will We Meet this Moment?

By Gelong Loden Nyima // Chögyam Trungpa Rinpoche passed away into parinirvana when I was nine months old.  I never met him but have felt my path—like that of thousands—has been occurring in the wake of his.  I practiced at places he founded, was taught and trained to teach in his lineage, and now live at Shambhala Mountain Center in a cabin on the aptly named “Stupa View” which sits in the valley beneath his Great Stupa of Dharmakaya.   The Buddhist tradition identifies the age we’re living in as broadly fortunate because teachings leading to enlightenment are alive and available, yet also troubled as it is a time when the mass amalgamations of actions arising from greed, aggression, and willful ignorance ripen into social and global occurrences of resource depletion, conflict, and pandemic illness.  Much of what we now know to be occurring, and what experts on climate change and public health expect for the future, has also been forecast in Buddhism for millennia based on this understanding of cause and effect. Similar to and …

[WATCH] Dr. Rick Hanson: “Finding Calm and Contentment in Turbulent Times”

  In this video, filmed live with Shambhala Mountain Center, Dr. Rick Hanson—the renowned psychologist, best-selling author, and meditation teacher—shares techniques and insights that are directly applicable to life in these challenging times. In addition, Rick has offered a package of bonus material to everyone who finds their way to this video. It includes a few guided meditations, as well as the first chapter of his new book Neurodharma—which just came out May 6! Click here to get the bonus material! As Dr. Hanson says: “The deepest roots of the highest happiness are in the body. At the intersection of modern science and ancient wisdom – which could be called neurodharma – we can find very effective tools for resilient well-being.” May this be of benefit. About Rick Hanson Rick Hanson, Ph.D., is a psychologist, Senior Fellow of the Greater Good Science Center at UC Berkeley, and New York Times best-selling author. His books are available in 28 languages and include Resilient, Hardwiring Happiness, Buddha’s Brain, Just One Thing, and Mother Nurture. He’s been an invited speaker at Google, NASA, …

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, …

How Do We Live in the Face of Loss, Heartbreak, and Grief?

By Melissa Lago // Pain—in the form of loss or an existential crises—whether spurred by a breakup or divorce, facing our own mortality or that of a loved one or the loss of an entire species or forest can touch us on the deepest level and sometimes break our hearts. Perhaps you are experiencing this now or have experienced this in the past. It seems that while each of us have our own unique stories, the raw experience of our pain and grief is universal.  How do we live in the face of these difficult experiences?  This is a question that I have asked myself throughout my life. And while I have had different answers at different times in my life, it is always some version of: Feel your breath. Feel your body. Notice the surfaces of your body making contact with the earth. Notice what is going on around you. What do you see? What sounds do you hear? What sensations are you experiencing? When pain cuts to the very core of our being …

Walking into Quiet

By Tim Gallati // We may not know it, but we have a well-established history with environmental noise. From 6th century Buddhist scriptures lamenting “the ten noises in a great city” to a desperate plea for quiet scribbled on a wall in ancient Pompeii, environmental noise has troubled us for millennia.* Today, environmental noise is pervasive. High volume noise like the blare of car horns in city traffic, the roar of airplanes overhead, a neighbor’s loud music vibrating in the walls; lower volume noise like the pulsating tones of data centers, the high crackled buzzing of electric wires. Environmental noise takes a toll on our bodies. The World Health Organization (WHO) estimates 1 million years of healthy human life are lost each year from traffic noise in Europe. Long term exposure to noise increases the risk of cardiovascular disease, hypertension, cognitive impairment, anxiety, hearing loss and tinnitus, and sleep disturbances. Can we develop a healing relationship with sound in a noisy world?  One can begin by seeking out a quiet place with less noise. Developing …

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 …

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 …