All posts tagged: Buddhism

How to Turn Each Moment Into Spiritual Practice

By Anyen Rinpoche and Allison Choying Zangmo ~~~ The term lojung (Tib. mind training) has been made popular by the idea of using slogans to kindle mindfulness about our state of mind and behavior. However, according to the traditional Tibetan Buddhist teachings, lojung is a much broader topic than slogans that can be put to use in our daily life. Lojung is a term that encapsulates the entirety of the 84,000 teachings given by the Buddha Shakyamuni—since the point of the Buddhist teachings is to train, tame and master the mind. As was said by the great lojung master Shantideva, author of Way of a Bodhisattva, “There is no reason to make effort at taming anything other than taming the mind.” It seems pertinent to ask why the Buddha gave so many different teachings, rather than one set of teachings that could be followed by everyone. Buddhism doesn’t take a “one size fits all” approach. It is inherently flexible and adaptable. Its many permutations ensure that it can be applied by a variety of people who …

Relax and Wake Up! Buddhist Teachers Reflect on the Wisdom of the Emotions

By James Schnebly with Jenny Bondurant & Kay Peterson ~~~ Our emotions can lock us in habitual struggle with ourselves and our relationships, yet they are also doorways to our intrinsic wisdom. Out of this understanding, helpful practices have emerged within the tradition of Buddhist tantra.  These practices are based on the understanding that emotional energy falls into five archetypal patterns, or buddha families, which contain different perspectives and relationship styles that can manifest in either a confused or sane way. Jenny Bondurant and Kay Peterson have been working with these teachings and practices for decades, and now lead retreats which provide others with the opportunity to explore the energy of their own emotions, and learn the skills needed to  befriend and welcome all states of mind, just as they are. Recently, I spoke with Jenny and Kay about how their personal relationships to the five buddha families and a bit about the upcoming retreat they’ll be leading at Shambhala Mountain Center.  They had much to say about how engaging with these teachings and practices allow us …

Understanding Karma Through the Lens of Buddhist Psychology

By Julie Flynn Badal ~~~ In the Western world, the concept of karma is frequently misunderstood. Many people take the term karma to mean one’s predetermined fate or destiny. This interpretation has a fixed and fatalistic quality, as if there is little or nothing one can do to change one’s current situation. However, through the lens of Buddhist contemplative psychology, we can come to understand the notion of karma as something more fluid and transformative. Working with a Buddhist psychologist, individuals can begin to examine how past traumas have shaped perceptions of reality and reactions to the present moment. In this way, we can begin to see how karma is not what happens to us, but what we do with what happens to us. To understand the relationship between our individual history and karma, I turned to an expert. Dr. Miles Neale, a Buddhist psychotherapist with Nalanda Institute of Contemplative Science and a popular meditation teacher at the Tibet House in New York City. His classes frequently touch upon the relationship between karma and trauma. …

Wisdom Rising

Lama Tsultrim Allione Discusses the “Sacred Feminine” (Video/Audio)

It is a widely-shared sentiment in this day and age that the world is somehow out of balance. In particular, many point to the inequality among genders — that those of the male variety seem to be more often in positions of power, and even treated better than those of other genders who occupy similar positions. All of this seems to be observably true. And yet, there may also a more subtle imbalance in regard to maculine and feminine influence in our modern world that is of equal, if not greater, importance. Buddhist master Lama Tsultrim Allione devotes much energy to reawakening the “sacred feminine.” When asked to define this phrase though, Lama often experiences a vast gap in conceptual mind, and a verbal answer doesn’t always emerge quickly — which is part of the point. The sacred feminine is mysterious, vast, empty, and yet cognizant. It is related to nature, poetry, and sacred sexuality. It is embodied, rather than somewhere “up and out there” And, according to Lama Tsultrim, it’s influence is painfully lacking …

Andrew Holecek Discusses Dream Yoga (VIDEO/AUDIO)

When was the last time you blacked out? Last night? Is this a regular thing for you? Do you aspire to change? Are you comfortable with missing out on 1/3 of your life? If you are disturbed by the idea of regularly blacking out — some may call it “sleep” — when you could instead be enjoying vivid perception, and even progressing spiritually, you may be interested in hearing about the practices of lucid dreaming and dream yoga. Andrew Holecek has been exploring and teaching these practices for decades. Beholding his vibrant enthusiasm for the possibilities of what he calls “nocturnal meditations” is enough to shake one from the sleepy opinion that the dark hours in bed constitute “off time,” and that real life happens only when the eyelids are raised. The teachings of dream yoga challenge our conventional views of both dreams and “waking life.” Our daily experience is not as solid as we may like to think it is, and our dream life does not have to be a fuzzy and random soup of memory. …

Floral Notes and Bardo: I Drowned a Tick in Booze

Floral Notes and Bardo: The Creative Chronicles of a Shambhala Mountain Resident is a regular feature on the SMC blog in which a member of our staff/community shares his experience of existing as part of Shambhala Mountain Center. Recently, Heather and I have been helping to water the seedlings for the community garden.  What seedlings am I watering right now — in the cosmic garden? Compassion feels sore and self-righteousness is a rush.  I want to strengthen my tendency and love for the former, and decrease my lustful craving for the latter.  Buddhism. Yesterday I kicked off my new schedule and was able to practice — meditation, writing — and study — buddhadharma, poetics — and do good work in the marketing office, community service, have some lesiure time and get a good night of sleep.  The leisure time was only partly leisurely. What I really don’t want to write about — and so chose to describe my routine — is the way that I’m feeling about a cultural attitude that I think ought to be …

Floral Notes and Bardo: Space Pervades

By Travis Newbill Floral Notes and Bardo: The Creative Chronicles of a Shambhala Mountain Resident is a regular feature on the SMC blog in which a member of our staff/community shares his experience of existing as part of Shambhala Mountain Center. Milky-white bliss–staring at a wall with my head in my hands.  And then, outside, wandering, mostly pausing, gazing, goal-less, bothered only when goals came to mind. Last night was the final session of our community Maitri Space Awareness exploration.  We concluded with the center of the mandala — the buddha family.  My favorite. Space allows all else to flourish.  And, as Greg said last night in his talk, there is nothing we can say about space. All colors arise in space, music, love, and all else. Ironically, I am feeling like I spend lots of time busy-hustling in order to create space.  Get this done, get that done, so that I can have some space to do other things. Last week we had community events three nights in a row.  This is great, but man… …

Principles of Traditional Tibetan Medicine to Harmonize Ourselves

By Nashalla Nyinda Shambhala Mountain Center hosts Introduction to the Principles of Traditional Tibetan Medicine with Nashalla Nyinda December 12–14, 2014 Tibetan medicine is an ancient and time tested comprehensive approach to holistic healthcare for the body, mind and emotional well-being. Focused almost exclusively on creating and maintaining equilibrium within one’s body and mind; the system aims to help one to know oneself, and thus how that relates to the external environment. There are 4 treatment methods according to Tibetan Medicine I always encourage people that the first two treatment methods of diet and behavior are the first line of defense and the most important in recovering balance or management of a condition. This is because this is done by the patient on a daily basis and is not necessarily dependent on the physician. AND IT’S EASY to both learn and apply! In the upcoming Introduction to the Principles of Traditional Tibetan Medicine weekend intensive at Shambhala Mountain Center, we will be focusing on these first two aspects of treatment and self-care. What we will …

Floral Notes and Bardo: Path in Mist

By Travis Newbill Floral Notes and Bardo: The Creative Chronicles of a Shambhala Mountain Resident is a daily feature on the SMC blog in which a member of our staff/community shares his experience of existing as part of Shambhala Mountain Center. This morning, woke up in a cloud — land, folks, houses, engulfed in mist.  Like my life, countless hidden truths, bodies, beings, outside of my limited view.  Less ambitious about trying to sort them all out, because, in the shrine room, peace, space, the moment as always — nothing to achieve.  Patient while the tale reveals itself — no conclusion, no final answer.  My journey — I’m on the Buddhist path, personally. I don’t know who’s going to fall away, or who’ll grow alongside of me — these old ponderosa pines have housed a million chipmunks, magpies, great horned owls.  A thousand bears have shit in their vicinity, and some friendly peeps have hugged their trunks. I get the feeling, in the mist, that I really don’t know. I’m glad to have made the vows …