All posts filed under: Nature

Wake up to the Wild… the Wildly Good!

By Kay Peterson ~~~ As this spring unfolds, I’m struck by the environmental and social changes happening world-wide.  It feels like each of us is being called to search deep inside and decide how we’re going to take better care of ourselves, each other, and the earth. The combination of mindfulness-awareness practice with time in nature is the proverbial one-two punch for our health and well-being as well as for our ability to live in harmony with each other and the planet.  Nature provides valuable lessons for how we can live our lives in healthy balance if we pay attention to them.  When we synchronize our bodies and mind in nature with mindfulness practices, we develop a deeper understanding of that balance.  We can train ourselves to continue to open to a bigger perspective and that state of openness, vitality, and potential that exists within all of us. We’re making technological advancements faster than we can imagine, yet getting through the day seems to be becoming more and more of a struggle.  As a culture, …

Kay Peterson Discusses Mindful Hiking, Nature, and Meditation

Like trees in the forest or fish in the sea, we have an innate ability to live in greater harmony with our environment. While trying to navigate our busy, high-tech world, we can develop habits of mind that leave us feeling disconnected and unfulfilled. Delving deeply into the practice of mindfulness/awareness in nature, we turn our attention toward the subtle interplay of our thoughts, feelings, physical sensations, and sense perceptions and rediscover how we can open to our fundamental interconnection to all things. Rather than always needing to change where we work, live, or who we love, we can change our relationship to these aspects of our lives in a way that brings us greater happiness and contentment. This coming June, psychotherapist, wilderness guide, and Shambhala meditation instructor Kay Peterson will be leading a wonderfully nourishing retreat here in the powerful natural environment of Shambhala Mountain Center.  Check out the video below to hear Kay discuss the importance of tapping into the natural world, and how doing so can benefit our daily lives. Shambhala Mountain Center hosts Waking up to …

Appreciating the “Extra-Special” Harvest Moon Eclipse — Sept. 27, 2015

  By Andrea Schweitzer ~~~ The full moon of September is often called the Harvest Moon. This month our full moon will be extra-special. The Sun, Earth and Moon will be in alignment. When this happens, the Moon moves through the Earth’s shadow and a lunar eclipse is visible from Earth. On average, we see lunar eclipses about once every two and a half years. When the Moon moves completely within the Earth’s shadow, it is called a total lunar eclipse (as opposed to a partial eclipse). During a total lunar eclipse, some of the light from the Sun still reaches the Moon, but is filtered through the Earth’s atmosphere giving the light reflecting off the Moon a reddish cast. (This is the same phenomenon that makes a sunset red.) Currently there are wildfires creating smoke and dust in the atmosphere, especially in the western United States. While it is unhealthy to have so much smoke in the air, more particles in the air enhance this effect, making it likely that the Moon will appear …

Flora of SMC Goes Word Wide Web

Living here at Shambhala Mountain Center, I see thousands of new faces each year — people who are coming to live here, or are else visiting for the day or staying for a retreat. Although it may be impossible to form substantial relationships with all of these people, a good place to start is to exchange names. “Hello, I’m Travis.” In my experience, learning someone’s name is an acknowledgement of shared connection that rapidly opens up the possibility of greater familiarization and friendship. And so it is with the flora of the land, which is why we’re so thrilled with the recent online publishing of an ongoing research project that has been occurring here since 2014 in which Renee Galeano-Popp — a close neighbor of SMC — has been identifying and photographing the myriad plant specimens that live here on the land. Click here to check out SMC’s page on the Intermountain Region Herbarium Network website.   I learned that this is a bluebell (Campanula rotundifolia) by looking it up in the online guide. So …

An Unplanned Symphony: the Rhythms of Our Living Earth, Part 2

By Martin Ogle Shambhala Mountain Center hosts Gaia: Engaging the Rhythms of Our Living Earth with Martin Ogle, September 11-13, 2015 — click here to learn more This is the second of two installments which contemplate the “Rhythms of our Living Planet” and follow from an excerpt from the story “The Shear Pin.”  (CLICK HERE TO READ PART 1) In the brief, second installment of that excerpt (below), I lament the withdrawal from a spell of timelessness that had descended upon me at first, unwillingly and then like a magical meditation. But, in doing so, I realize our human minds naturally drift from being in the moment to leaving the moment through our abstract journey into the future or past. * The following is excerpted from In the Eye of the Hawk by Martin Ogle, 2012  I looked away, not wanting to break the spell. “It couldn’t be . . .,” I thought. But the thought itself broke the spell, and my gaze returned to the floor of the boat. It was, in fact, a shear-pin shimmering there …

An Unplanned Symphony: the Rhythms of Our Living Earth, Part 1

By Martin Ogle Shambhala Mountain Center hosts Gaia: Engaging the Rhythms of Our Living Earth with Martin Ogle, September 11-13, 2015 — click here to learn more To me, time is one of the most basic and profound ways we humans fit in with—and estrange ourselves from—the rest of Nature. Because of our intense awareness of the future and our ability to abstractly place ourselves there, we are blessed with unique abilities and also uniquely cursed with worry, the inability to enjoy the present, and a host of other related mental burdens. In a story called “The Shear Pin” (from my book In the Eye of the Hawk), I muse about our ability and need to inhabit two worlds of time: the “here and now” of the pre-human (and non-human) world as well as our abstracted, human worlds of past and future. The following excerpt from “The Shear Pin” finds me stranded in the wide waters of the Bush River and Chesapeake Bay during my duties as an eagle researcher. I am on a small boat …

An Eleven Minute Journey — Healing Shamanic Music

  We’d like to invite you to lovingly interrupt your current state of being by pushing play on the music box below.  Generously give yourself eleven minutes — eyes closed preferably, but while at your desk writing emails is acceptable — to experience the rejuvenating power of this music from Byron Metcalf, an award winning musician, transpersonal psychologist, shamanic practitioner, and healer. Also, we invite you to lovingly interrupt your current life trajectory by attending the upcoming retreat that Byron Metcalf will be co-leading at SMC May 1-3: Click here to learn about Shaman’s Heart: The Path of Authentic Power, Purpose & Presence ~~~ Byron Metcalf, PhD, is a transpersonal guide and educator, shamanic practitioner, researcher, and award-winning professional musician. For nearly three decades, he has been intensely involved in consciousness research and spiritual development, specializing in the transformative potential of alternative states of consciousness. As a drummer, percussionist and recording engineer, Byron produces music for deep inner exploration, breathwork, shamanic journeywork, body-oriented therapies, various meditation practices and the healing arts. As workshop, retreat and ceremonial leader …

The Healing Possibilities of Palo Santo — Sacred Plant Essence and Friend of Humanity

  Shambhala Mountain Center is glad to be hosting David Crow — author, acupuncturist, herbalist, April 3-5 as he leads Contemplative Aromatherapy: Vipassana, Ayurveda, and Plant Essences The video below offers a taste of his wisdom and what his latest book is about — the sacredness of Palo Santo, and how we may have a beneficial relationship with this and other plants.  Just watching the short video may open up a connection with the profound possibilities of plant-human synergy.  It has for me. Enjoy. SMC host’s Contemplative Aromatherapy: Vipassana, Ayurveda, and Plant Essences, April 3-5 — click here to learn more David Crow is an acupuncturist and herbalist with 30 years of clinical practice, and the author of numerous books including In Search of the Medicine Buddha. A student of the elder Kalu Rinpoche and the Dharma Master Hsin Tao, he teaches Vipassana meditation with an emphasis on understanding our biological relationship with nature. His work can be found at Floracopeia, (www.floracopeia.com)