All posts filed under: Mind-Body

The Search for Comfort Zones

By Orgyen Chowang Rinpoche // With every blink of the eye, with every breath, we are trying to find comfort—some kind of relief from the underlying agitation and unsettledness of our ordinary mind. We look to family or friends, to some source of stimulation, or to an infinite number of other external conditions that we hope will help us. When we listen to music, watch movies, or engage in any other form of entertainment, in one way we are enjoying it, but in another way it is also an example of using our ordinary mind to find comfort. Our search for this comfort arises from the primordial fear within our ordinary mind. We are all trying to find a comfort zone, and when our circumstances inevitably change and we are no longer in a comfort zone, our secure and hopeful world is gone. Even when we are getting what we want, we worry that we may lose our comfort zones. We worry about losing our job, our family, our relationship, our health, and anything else …

Brooke Binstock

The Three S’s: Stillness, Silence, and Spaciousness

By Brooke Binstock // When the three of us; Kelly Lindsey, Marissa Knox and I got together to talk about what to center our August retreat at Shambhala Mountain Center around, we easily settled on the theme of Stillness, Silence, and Spaciousness (the three S’s).  In our incredibly busy world full of opportunities for distraction and a tendency to keep a very full, often overflowing schedule, this focus seems almost essential. I’ll speak for myself as a small business owner and I’m certain my colleagues can agree, that unless I purposefully create space in my life, the plates will keep on spinning and the tasks will continue to stack up, often to the point of overwhelm or burn-out.  We must remind ourselves that there will never be that perfect moment in life where we can create space. It is something we must do intentionally. I think part of why it is challenging to slow down and create space for ourselves is because of the demands that life naturally throws our way.  We need to make money, …

Michael W. Taft

5 Reasons Your Mindfulness Practice Has Stalled & How to Reboot It

By Michael W. Taft // It happened to me, and it’s happened to many people I know. You have learned to sit still and follow your breath. You can directly contact the reality of the present moment. You can go deep. The power of meditation practice has made itself manifest, you’ve experienced real benefit, and it’s given you a significant edge on life. But year after year, you’re practice is not developing any further. You’re not gaining new insights and it’s not engendering new and positive behaviors anymore. The wind has gone out of your sails, and you’re in the doldrums. This is the definition of being “stuck in a good place.” Don’t get me wrong: it’s much better than not having a meditation practice at all, but now you’re treading water. If you don’t change something at this point, you’ll probably remain trapped on this plateau for a very long time, even the rest of your life. I’ve seen it happen to lots of people. I’ve taught meditation to thousands of people, and in my …

Lila Yoga

A Simple Visualization Meditation from Yogacharya Erica Kaufman

By Erica Kaufman // I developed this simple meditation to help people experience a state of yoga—where the mind is clean and clear. The feedback has been remarkable.  Visualizations like this tend to free us in a profound way and we actually experience limitless support as we sit. The tools of yoga are vast and highly useful. I grew up with yoga and am energized to support you in the many ways it feeds our soul and health. Imagine the divine sweet scent of the trees at Shambhala. Close your eyes and watch your breath. Regulate your pace and make the habitat for your breath spacious by sitting with a long spine and a broad chest. Comfortably slow and deepen your breath. Continue for a few minutes. Now take note of where your mind usually goes. Ask yourself: “what are the things that have been drawing my attention lately?” See them in your mind as a slide show. Just like cards, collect these slides and set them aside for now. Allow yourself to be in …

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 …