By Patricia Flores White //
Do you remember the first time you arrived at Shambhala Mountain Center?
It was late summer, and the nights were crisp and cold in my tent. The stupa was magnificent in all its glory, sitting with a backdrop of simple Colorado aspen and pine. The wildflowers were in bloom and so were the bears!
Prior to living in my beloved tent here at SMC, I lived in a small fishing village in South America where I ran a Surf & Yoga School. Tourism was thriving in our humble paradise until, on April 16, 2016, the coast of Ecuador was crushed by a 7.8 magnitude earthquake.
After a solid year of nonstop recovery work and over 3,000 aftershocks, I found it harder and harder to remember the last time I laughed out loud and I gradually began to lose my sense of humor all together. I also stopped surfing… that’s when I knew it was time for me to say goodbye.
This summer, when I arrived at SMC, I realized, for the first time, that my heart had been broken by the earthquake.
Sitting in my tent without the distraction of internet, phone, or city life, I finally began to unpack the emotional baggage which had been accumulating in my soul over the past year.
Shambhala Mountain Center is a unique container in which you can boldly dare to explore your own self-awareness. For me, it was the combination of the SMC community, the inspiring teachers, and a deepening meditation practice which gave me the courage to sit with my sadness and grief.
But don’t get me wrong, it was hard. It drove me nuts! Sifting through my sadness was downright burly.
However, this expansive, sacred land gave me the space I needed to heal. And I am grateful to have found a home at SMC.
In this time of generosity and giving, I am proud to support this place which has helped me heal my broken heart. Please join me in my support of Shambhala Mountain Center.
Each of us have pain, and each of us have experienced our own personal earthquakes. I hope your heart is healing and I hope you know that you can always come home to this land.
If you feel so inspired, please share your own story on social media using the hashtag #ShambhalaMountainCenter
With big love shining out from SMC,
Patricia Flores White
Surf Instructor, Yoga Lover, and SMC Summer Volunteer
About the Author
Patricia Flores White is currently living and working at Shambhala Mountain Center after 10 years in Ecuador where she founded the Vive Sin Miedo (Live Without Fear) Ecuador earthquake relief project and owned Betty Surf and Yoga Studio. She is a bilingual Mexican American CSU graduate with a BS in Geology and concentration in Environmental Science and English.
Featured image by Jessie Thomas