All posts filed under: Mindful Living

A More Sane Approach to New Year “Resolutions”

By Jonathan Barbieri // The celebration of New Years is several thousands of years old. It has always been a time of renewal – fresh beginnings throughout the world. This year, perhaps more than most in the recent past, it seems to be an important time to step back and reflect on our human capability and our aspirations. This past year has been permeated by the presidential campaign and the first year of President Trump’s Administration. It is fair to say that the energetics unleashed during this time have been of a magnitude of which we have never fully seen or experienced in this country before. Many emotions seem to rise and role in like a wave only to be covered by the next wave. There is hope, fear, despair, anger, and confusion – to name a few. We listen to praise, blame and people being denigrated. The focus is often on the negative qualities of human beings with a constant emphasis on distrusting one another and fear. In the midst of this it could …

Healing Guilt, Shame and Insecurity (Part 1)

By Blake D. Bauer // Do you constantly make yourself wrong for feeling the way you feel or for desiring the things you desire in life? Do you find yourself feeling guilty after you express your emotions or after doing something just for yourself that’s not about pleasing someone else? Do you constantly fear hurting others when making a choice that’s best for you, but then find that you stop yourself and hurt yourself instead? If you answered yes to any of these questions, then you’re just like me and most people on the planet who suffer with deep guilt whereby we not only feel that we are a problem – that our mere existence is a burden – but also that we are somehow wrong, bad or sinful for wanting to be happy, well and truly loved. Is the fact that we’re surviving really enough? Should we just accept that it’s ‘normal’ to live in fear, with deep insecurity, shame and anxiety? Is asking to thrive, to achieve your dreams, to feel completely satisfied …

[Video] Mindful Eating, Emotional Safety & Weight Loss

By Marcella Friel // If you’re trying to lose weight, you’ve probably had it drummed mercilessly into your head: It’s all about calories in/calories out. Consume fewer calories than you burn and get enough exercise, and the weight will come off. If that’s true, then why do so many people lose the weight and then put it right back on? Or why do those who reach their ideal weight find that it doesn’t give them the happiness they were hoping for? What do you truly need to release in order to kiss the extra weight goodbye … forever? In this video I present the key to successful weight loss ~ and it’s probably not what you think. Take a look. 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 learn more   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 …

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 …

Getting Better at Letting Go This Season

By Sara Avant Stover // Autumn is my favorite time of the year, perhaps because I grew up in Connecticut surrounded by the splendor of changing leaves. The season’s crisp winds, golden light, and first days of school instill a fresh, buzzing, alive feeling inside. I feel inspired to complete unfinished projects before the holidays, and I love bringing out cuddly winter sweaters, woolly scarves, and cozy tights. Long walks through crinkly leaves remind me of romping in leaf piles on my way home from school as a young girl. The magic of the season extends deeper than our wardrobes, though, for during these crucial months, nature prepares for her long winter’s rest and teaches us to do the same. It is time to gather, store, organize, and wind down from summer’s high tempo and the relentless forward momentum that modern living usually demands. When the crisp winds of autumn start to blow, we need to tune in to the signal that it’s time to start slowing down. As leaves fall to the ground, they …

[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 Communicate Well in the Heat of the Moment

By Janet Mueller // I am always looking for good analogies to help people grow in their capacity to communicate with strength and compassion, especially it if can help us get a better sense of why communication can be so challenging sometimes. There is one I’ve been using recently that captures the contradictions we experience so many times with communication: While it is easy to pass the written test, we often fail the practical exam. Most of us, most of the time are pretty good at communicating. We go through life, talking with others and figuring out what we need to. But when we are in a difficult communication, when we are in the heat of the moment, all the skills and talents we usually have seem to disappear. When it comes to dealing with conflict, this seems to be the case across the board. When I ask any group – young people, professionals, parents – they all have a great list of things they could do when faced with conflict. This list includes things …

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 …

Advice for Setting New Year Intentions (Rather than Resolutions)

For the past several years, Shastri Jon Barbierri has come up to Shambhala Mountain Center to lead a group retreat designed to help people enter the new year with strength, intention, and joy.  In this short interview, Jon shares some wisdom related to this process of setting intentions rather than resolutions, as well as what he’s learned from leading this retreat year after year. Enjoy the video below, or scroll down to stream/download the audio. Shambhala Mountain Center hosts Take a Leap into 2018: Establish Your Intention and Commitment with Shastri Jon Barbieri, December 29, 2017–January 1, 2018 — click here to learn more Audio may be streamed below.  To download, follow this link, click “More,” click “Download.” Featured image by Corey Ruffner About the Authors Shastri Jonathan Barbieri is a senior teacher in the Shambhala Lineage who has taught Buddhist and Shambhala trainings extensively throughout North America for over 30 years. Jon has been engaged in several livelihood pursuits including consulting with cities and counties on workforce development, creating contemplative co-housing communities, and, most …

Cyndi Lee

Radical Inclusivity and Just Showing Up

By Cyndi Lee // The other day a friend of mine texted to cancel our lunch date. The reason, she wrote, was that her body wasn’t feeling well and was telling her it needed to rest. After wishing her a delicious nap and a speedy recovery, I couldn’t help but wonder about this conversation between her and her body. I pondered how it could be that her body is not her and, if so, who is she that isn’t a body? Of course, this brings up age-old questions about the nature of consciousness, impermanence, and the definition of the true self. But what I’m really struck with is how we separate ourselves from ourselves. The word yoga comes from the Sanskrit word, yuj, which is typically translated as to yoke or bind, to join, unite or re-unite. In other words, yoga is relationship. Of course, we know that mind and body are part of each other. You cannot have a body without a mind or a mind without a body. But sometimes we forget. One …