All posts tagged: Food

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 …

Women, Food, and Forgiveness Part 3: How Do We Forgive?

By Marcella Friel // Editor’s Note: This post is the third in a five-part series on Women, Food, and Forgiveness by mindful eating and body image coach Marcella Friel. Her 5-day retreat, Women, Food, and Forgiveness, opens April 19, 2017. Marcella’s online course, “Mindful Eating: Joining Heaven and Earth at the Meal Table,” opens January 15. Contact Shambhala Online to learn more and register.   “Forgiveness is not always easy. At times, it feels more painful than the wound we suffered. And yet, there is no peace without forgiveness.” — Marianne Williamson My client Tammy was making terrific progress with her food but was still seized with anxiety whenever she had lunch with her girlfriends. While the ladies blithely ordered their fare, Tammy obsessed over the menu, pitting what she wanted against what she “should” have. When we looked into the roots of this struggle, Tammy saw herself as a teenage mom, watching her girlfriends having fun while she was swamped with a low-functioning husband and two young daughters. At her high-school graduation, young Tammy glumly …

Sara Avant Stover: Springtime Detox & Renewal Advice for Women

Women, Food, and Forgiveness Part 2: Why Is It So Hard to Forgive?

By Marcella Friel //// Editor’s Note: This post is the second in a five-part series on Women, Food, and Forgiveness by mindful eating and body image coach Marcella Friel. Her 5-day retreat, Women, Food, and Forgiveness, opens April 19, 2017.   “The weak can never forgive. Forgiveness is the attribute of the strong.” — Mahatma Gandhi In the last years of my mother’s life, I was her financial power of attorney, working conscientiously to ensure that her modest financial affairs were in order before she passed on. So imagine my bafflement at receiving $600 cable TV bills month after month—and then my rage upon discovering that my brother was watching pay-per-view pornography at my mother’s house during her visits to the hospital. I wanted to kill him. I confronted him; he refused to pay. I threatened to report him for elder abuse; my siblings said no, we’re family, we’ll take care of it—then did nothing. I tried all the tools in my spiritual arsenal to quell my boiling anger—tonglen, lojong slogans, metta practice—but there wasn’t …

Women, Food, and Forgiveness Part 1: What is Forgiveness?

By Marcella Friel // Editor’s Note: This post is the first in a five-part series on Women, Food, and Forgiveness by mindful eating and body image coach Marcella Friel. Her retreat Women, Food, and Forgiveness opens April 19, 2017.   “It’s only when we alter our eating habits out of love and respect for ourselves that lasting change has any real chance to take root in our lives.” — Katherine Woodward Thomas What It Takes to Heal When I was a natural foods culinary instructor, one of my favorite classes to teach was called “Therapeutic Menu Planning” ~ how to prepare health-supportive menu plans for those who were suffering from cancer, diabetes, obesity, and other chronic health hindrances. I always began the class by asking students first to consider what it actually means to heal. Is healing a disease the same as curing it? Can someone be cured of a disease but not healed? Can someone be healed and not cured? If so, what’s the difference between healing and curing? As we batted around our ideas, words …

Stop Cleaning Your Plate: 5 Steps to More Mindful Eating

By Marcella Friel I just came home from lunch with a friend, where I ordered Caesar salad with chicken. What arrived at the table was a mountain of romaine lettuce large enough to rival the 14,000-foot peaks in my Colorado backyard. This was not one, but at least six full portions of salad, intended for one person. I shrugged, sighed, ate a few handfuls, and pushed the rest away. And no, I didn’t take a doggie bag of soggy lettuce home to sit in my fridge before I threw it out. Leaving the restaurant, I sadly recalled Chögyam Trungpa’s words in Shambhala: The Sacred Path of the Warrior: “When people go to restaurants, often they are served giant platefuls of food, more than they can eat, to satisfy the giant desire of their minds. Their minds are stuffed just by the visual appearance of their giant steaks, their full plates.” In our modern industrial food culture, we face an unprecedented dilemma: We don’t want to waste our food; yet we’re served such huge portions we …

Floral Notes and Bardo: Like a Donair, Like an Illusion

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. It’s this way everywhere: You can’t hide from yourself, and if you try, you will only dig yourself deeper into the muck. Above is a picture of me eating a “heretical tofu ‘donair.’”  Food and photo by Adam Mitchell of Halifax. ~~~ SMC is commonly referred to as a “pressure cooker,” meaning that everything seems to happen in an intensified way — up and down, pleasure and pain.  Mental and emotional displays are especially vivid, punchy, heart-opening. It’s quite an opportunity for purification, because, not only is the experience quite potent, but there is lots of support that helps one move through it, process it, in a positive way.  Another term commonly used to describe SMC is “karmic accelerator” — meaning pretty much the same thing.  The stuff of ourselves has to be experienced.  The …

Floral Notes and Bardo: Nine Minutes Well Spent

  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. Squealing demon racing through rib-cage forest care and when I’m scared care when I’m scared of the dissolution of my constructed character-dude care care about more than my story (Characters; care-actors) I’m not able to be the way I was. I’m growing suspicious of the effort to find the right way to be Care less about it turning out right care more so I’m not so uptight Care about others Amen. The Mahayana is sneaking up on me, maybe. Last night we danced–“open to others” Nathaniel is an amazing dancer, teacher, and he has exquisite taste in music. So glad for his existence and friendship… We have a lovely shrine room with a great sound system. Last night–blues dance class. I love it. Nathanial teaches along with Kaleigh (my boss). Kaleigh is teaching me a lot, including how to …