All posts filed under: Mindful Living

Katharine Kaufman

The Good Vehicle

By Katharine Kaufman // My father taught me how to move with wind and water. He taught me to read the direction of the wind by turning my cheek, appreciate the lines of the sail and cleats and tiller. He said, watch out, you’re luffing. Luffing is when the sail is not taught; there is bagginess in the bottom triangle of the sail. If the wind was steady, and sea calm, and if it wasn’t too cold, and the current didn’t drag the boat; that was the best thing. Sometimes we’d sing about the drunken sailor as we bailed water with a cut out clorox bottle, watched out for buoys, looked ahead for reefs, shallow places, looked at the sails, horizon, water, my family’s barefeet. ~ When I first learned about Yoga and Mediation I thought when teachers said return to what is happening now, that it was their present moment I should have. That the present was more magical, fancy, mysterious then what my present had to offer. I wanted Richard Freeman’s present moment, …

5 Things To Know About Meditating for a Whole Week

By Ryan Stagg // At the end of a recent week-long meditation retreat at Shambhala Mountain Center another participant remarked about how difficult it would be to explain her experience back home. “We sat a lot, walked in circles, and didn’t talk much,” she said with a laugh. And yet somehow after a week of performing this simple routine, often in complete silence, we all had smiles on our faces and a clear appreciation for the journey we had just completed. It was hard to pinpoint exactly what, but some transformation had undoubtedly occurred. The atmosphere in the room was simply lighter and more spacious. There is something very radical about choosing to go on a meditation retreat. In many ways it stands in contrast to the speediness and excitement of our everyday lives. It also creates a fundamental shift in our perspective—rather than seeking fulfillment externally, we resolve to sit and look inside, at our own bodies, hearts, and minds. The effects of embracing this contemplative perspective have long been promoted by practitioners and …

How a Meditation Retreat Can Change Everything

By Daniel Hessey // Acharya Bill McKeever and I led a dathün a few years ago, and at the beginning of the month–long retreat, he filled a glass of water and stirred some mud into it. It became murky and funky. You could not see through the glass, and you wouldn’t want to drink it. Even when the the water stopped swirling, the dirt remained suspended and the water opaque. Bill put the glass on the shrine, where it sat untouched for four weeks. The first week, it didn’t seem to change all that much, but on the second week you could see some sediment accumulating at the bottom—though the water was not clear. The third week, you could see through the water much better, though it was still a little brown. Then, in the fourth week, Bill picked up the glass and drank from the clear water above all the mud that had settled to the bottom. Daily meditation practice changes everything. We learn we can make friends with ourselves, our thoughts, our emotions, and …

Ayurveda

Shifts in Seasonal Eating: Late Winter Insights

By Kate O’Donnell // I usually travel out to India in the winters, but there were a few years recently where I wintered through in Boston to see what its all about. The main thing I noticed, in regards to general seasonal changes and Ayurvedic routines, I would like to share with you: When it is very cold, the fires recede into the core of the body, the digestion actually gets stronger, and heavier foods are craved, and needed, then digested well. I got on an enjoyable program of enjoying more oat bars and whole grain cookies and spiced milk. But here’s the thing. It was in March – and perhaps even late February for those of you who live in warmer climates – that my cravings for the cookies began to subside. BUT, I kept eating the cookies. Because it’s still not nice out, it’s still relatively cold (thought not freezing), I’m still wearing big jackets and boots- man- don’t take my cookies!? While the spring cleanse doesn’t happen until April, March proved to …

Shambhala Mountain Center

Insights From Four Days With Twenty Leaders Who Decided To Do Nothing

By Rob Dube // The first donothing Leadership Silent Retreat was an unprecedented success. Last week I returned from hosting twenty leaders at the Shambhala Mountain Center in Red Feather Lakes, Colorado in the Rocky Mountains to share silence together. Against conventional wisdom, this group did not come to this “conference” to learn about the latest trends in business or their industry but instead, to learn about themselves. And they did it in silence together. When I discuss the idea of being in silence for an extended period, I often start to notice people’s eyes glaze over, and if that’s you, please stay with me! Why would a busy leader take time out of their week and make the financial investment to come together to sit in silence and donothing? To do so takes a willingness to think differently about life and business. These leaders are different; they are working on one of our most challenging skills—complete awareness and full presence in life. They realized, whether through nudging or curiosity, that for each of them, …

Susan PIver

Susan Piver on Meditation

By Susan Piver // When you can honestly say I am comfortable in myself, the world opens up in a way you could not imagine.  You take care of your home as a gesture of self-respect. You love your body and feed it with joy and ease. Good relationships grow stronger and difficult relationships become more workable. You trust your instincts. You laugh more. You also cry more. The world of emotion is revealed as a source of richness. You go out into the world to do your work, your service, your part with confidence and resilience.  You become a source of strength for others. The path to an open-hearted life begins with the practice of meditation. In the Open Heart Project, meditation is not a life-hack. It is not practiced for self-help  or self-improvement. It is the practice of self-kindness, the very foundation of compassion, wisdom, and power.  Though there are many places you can go to learn meditation, most of them present the practice as a scientifically proven method for achieving excellence. That is great because it …

Paul Spiegelman

Go On A Silent Retreat? You’ve Got To Be Kidding!

By Paul Spiegelman // Like most of you, the thought of going to some remote spot and not talking to anyone for several days was not at all appealing.  Neither was the idea that I would need to turn off my phone and completely disconnect. So you could imagine the anxiety as I took the two-hour drive from the Denver airport to the Shambhala Mountain Retreat in Red Feather Lakes, Colorado last Monday. I had been invited, along with about 15 other business leaders, to attend a “transformative experience” by Rob Dube, author of donothing: The Most Rewarding Leadership Challenge You’ll Ever Take.  Rob is a long-time member of the Small Giants Community, a devotee of meditation, and a good friend.  Though I have to admit I never would have agreed to do something like this, I wanted to support Rob.  When we got to the retreat and went around the room, I found that most of the attendees were nervous participants as well.  But here we were. In the weeks leading up to the event, I wasn’t too concerned about …

MBSR Vacation

The Paradox of Pleasure

There’s a natural sacredness in the world – in the blue sky, muddy earth, the sound of leaves fluttering, faces of children at play, the feeling of muscles exerting, the change of season. We need not pursue pleasure, it’s present when were willing to experience the world directly. It’s as if our eyes have grown scales making it hard to see. When we relax the scales fall away.

Blake D. Bauer

The Search for Love, Part 2

The funny thing about most of us is that even though love is the one thing we all want more than anything in life, it’s also the one thing that scares us more than anything else. Love scares us to our core because it requires our heart to be open and vulnerable to ourselves, to other people and to the world. We fear this love we desire so strongly because it opens our heart, and when our heart is truly naked we feel ourselves, we feel others, we feel our world, and we feel the love and the pain we’ve held in, closed our eyes to and disconnected from for so long. Rather than fully feel the intensity of life, we unintentionally close our heart and cut ourselves off from the pulsating truth of what we feel because we’re scared of experiencing uncomfortable emotions like rejection or insecurity that are inherent to human existence. Of course, we’re not aware of this, but in doing so we actually reject our true self, which is the source …

Mindful Business

Going Back to the Breath: Integrating Meditation and Mindfulness With Business Leadership

By Rob Dube // It’s an interesting dynamic to find a deep connection while sitting in complete silence with a complete stranger, but that’s exactly how my relationship with this week’s donothing® podcast guest, Janet Solyntjes, began. While attending my first extended silent retreat as a student, few—if any—words were actually exchanged between Janet and myself. Despite that communication hurdle, I instantly knew my mindset as a business owner would be altered after a week with her. Possessing unmatched insight, serious wit, and a compassionate spirit, Janet has the innate ability to click with anyone from dedicated health professionals to skeptical CEOs. More than a mindfulness virtuoso, Janet fully understands today’s complex society in ways few others do. Unpretentious and fully grounded in reality, her wisdom is perfect for business leaders seeking a stronger connection to themselves and their employees. During our most stressful moments, if we can’t snap our fingers and transport ourselves to a tranquil safe space, how do we instead find it mentally? Since that first introduction, I’m happy to say Janet …