All posts tagged: Buddhism

The Practice of Dropping: An Antidote for a Busy Life

By Brian Spielmann & De West // When we’re babies, the ability to grasp, which becomes fully developed around 9-12 months, is one of the most important developmental milestones. This core skill demonstrates planning, hand-eye coordination, muscular strength, and motor skills. As adult spiritual practitioners, we have the opposite issue: how do we stop grasping and let go? Our minds are constantly grasping and fixating, creating much suffering in our minds and tension in our bodies. As Mick Jagger says, “You can’t always get what you want.” And that grasping is where samsara begins. The Buddhist and Yogic traditions both offer clear, practical instructions on how to let go fully. When we integrate these traditions, working both with our body and our mental awareness, we have a powerful dual pathway to further relaxation and sense of peace. Take a Load Off The good news is that our thoughts and emotional baggage don’t actually exist. They come and they go, and we can let them arise with no judgment or need to push them away. We …

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 …

[VIDEO] Zen Path of the Heart

By Gerry Shishin Wick, Roshi and Ilia Shinko Perez, Roshi // Many spiritual practitioners are confused about what to do when feelings and emotions arise during meditation. Some traditions teach to treat the emotions like thoughts and let them go, returning to the breath. In Zen Path of the Heart, feeling sensations and emotions are welcomed and seen as necessary aspects of progress in the path of awakening. The sensations of emotions, when present, become the focal point of the concentrated mind and are held with nonjudgmental awareness. This gentle and kind acceptance of our present state allows feelings to come, run their course, and dissolve and transform. Allowing these emotional processes to unfold as they naturally need to heals the emotional wounds developed throughout one’s life, and thereby dissolving karmic habit patterns. Ongoing meditation develops the expansive container that can hold these emotional states without needing to eject into mental stories or repress the emotion through avoidance. The path to the recognition of our True Being must include everything: our feelings, our personality and our humanity. …

Lucid Dream Yoga

Andrew Holecek on the Science and Spirituality of Lucid Dream Yoga

In recent years, lucid dreaming has become a widely recognized phenomena, and gradually, the methods for accessing deeper dimensions of the dream world are emerging into the mainstream as well. Andrew Holecek, who has been practicing and teaching dream yoga for three decades, sees this traditional practice as a likely next stage in the Western world’s yearning for realization—which has brought yoga studios to every street corner, and mindfulness meditation to the covers of magazines in grocery store checkout lines. In this interview with Shambhala Mountain Center, Andrew discusses some of the current research on lucid dreaming, as well as the possibilities that dream yoga presents for taking full advantage of dream lucidity. He also draws parallels between the popularity of lucid dreaming and that of hatha yoga and mindfulness—as each of these three practices have their own virtues, and are also considered to be entryways into much vaster experiences within long–established contemplative traditions. Enjoy the full video interview below, or scroll down to stream or download the audio. Shambhala Mountain Center hosts Lucid Dream …

dream yoga retreat

What is Dream Yoga? Andrew Holecek Explains

By Andrew Holecek // Most people have no idea about the extent of possibilities that exist with the nocturnal meditations, an adventure in consciousness that awaits us in the darkness of the night. We begin our journey with lucid dreaming. “Lucid dreaming” is when you realize you’re dreaming, but without waking up from the dream. You’re fully conscious within the dream and can do almost anything you want within it. Lucid dreaming is the ultimate in home entertainment. Your mind becomes the theater, and you are the producer, director, writer, and main actor. You can script the perfect love story or the craziest adventure. Lucid dreaming can also be used to solve problems, rehearse situations, and work through psychological issues. From the trivial to the transcendent, lucid dreaming is a spectrum of experience mostly concerned with worldly matters and self-fulfillment. Shambhala Mountain Center hosts Lucid Dream Yoga with Andrew Holecek, May 17–21, 2017 — click here to learn more Going deeper, lucid dreaming can develop into dream yoga, and become a spiritual practice. This is …

Food Coach Marcella Friel on Buddhism, Body Image, and Forgiveness

Careful reflection or speaking with a contemplative eating coach can easily lead to the insight that our relationship with food is intimately woven into every aspect of our lives. From the gut to global society, consciousness to consumerism—what and how we eat shapes not only our bodies but our whole experience of the world. In some cases, it may be more pronounced: binging, purging, and obsessing. On other levels it may be slower, or more subtle. But every action has endless results, and the food we buy, chew, and swallow is most definitely not exempt from this truth known as karma. As a longtime buddhist practitioner and food coach, Marcella Friel has a lot to say about all of this. Far from simply designing weight–loss plans, her work of guiding people in their journeys with food involves supporting them as they confront the deepest levels of their self–identity as well as coaching them in bringing forgiveness to wounded areas of their beings.   Intense as it is, the fruition of this work seems to be well worth it, as …

Alan Watts: How to Stop Time — a short film by Jason Lee Segal

The humor and poetic sense with which British philosopher Alan Watts delivered his lectures is perhaps as celebrated as the content of the material itself — which was groundbreaking in bringing Eastern philosophical thought and spirituality to the west in the 1950s and 60s. In more recent years, this enthusiasm for Watts’s spoken word has manifested as a trend of creative online videos — fusing imagery, music, and audio recordings of the bard himself. Shambhala Mountain Center’s own Jason Lee Segal has recently published a freaking awesome contribution to this sub-genre — using visuals captured on the Shambhala Mountain land (and a few shots from surrounding mountain vistas). This isn’t the first time Jason has honored the majestic beauty of the SMC land and culture through his gorgeous filmmaking. And each time he does, it makes us want to dance! We hope this short film moves you as much as it moves us. And, check out more of Jason’s work here: http://jasonleesegal.com/  About the Authors Jason Lee Segal is a writer/director currently residing in Los Angeles, CA. He …

WATCH: Orgyen Chowang Rinpoche Describes Pristine Mind

If you’re in the mood to sit in the presence of a Tibetan meditation master as he describes the nature of mind, go full-screen and settle into the video below, which brings you face-to-face with Orgyen Chowang Rinpoche as he offers a profound and deeply personal message. Happiness, he says, is unlikely to be found by chasing external conditions. Rather, through meditation, we can discover happiness within — along with what he calls “Pristine Mind.” The latter term is central to Rinpoche’s teachings, and is drawn from the legendary Padmasambhava. Recently, Shambhala Publications released Our Pristine Mind: A Practical Guide to Unconditional Happiness — a book in which Orgyen Chowang Rinpoche teaches in depth on Pristine Mind, and offers instructions for beginning meditators up through the attainment of enlightenment. In this video, Rinpoche offers an intimate taste of Pristine Mind, and then leads a calm abiding meditation. Let go, and enjoy! Shambhala Mountain Center hosts Finding Happiness Within: Reconnecting with Your Natural State through Pristine Mind Meditation with Orgyen Chowang Rinpoche, September 2–4 — click here to learn more. About …