All posts tagged: Health

Healing Sound

Freedom within the Dimensions of Silent Retreat Practice 

by Janet Solyntjes // Do you associate the practice of mindfulness meditation with freedom? How is freedom discovered within the form of a meditation retreat?  This article is intended to offer a framework in which to view silent retreat practice as a path to freedom.  The Gateway to Retreat: Motivation and Preparation  The gateway to retreat is acknowledging your personal motivation for retreat practice. Motivation is often based in a longing of the heart and a curiosity of the mind. The following questions might spark a knowing of your personal motivation: Are you seeking to bring a renewed inspiration into your life and relationships? Do you long for a deeper appreciation for your mindfulness meditation practice? Are you curious if hours of formal mindfulness and awareness practice will positively influence your sense of being human?   Having touched into the spark of personal motivation you will need to follow with some preparation.  The most important preparation involves cultivating an inner resolve to abandon any hope of fruition. Really.  Let go of hope regarding the outcomes of retreat.  Let go of fear, too. Simply attend to the three dimensions of retreat, as best you can.   The Outer Dimension of Retreat: Environment  Over thousands of years and across the globe, women and men have sought places of seclusion and quietude for engaging in deep contemplation and meditation.  What did their places of refuge look like? Picture Henry David Thoreau spending time along the shores of …

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 …

Reclaiming Rest & Honoring Winter’s Wisdom

By Sara Avant Stover // In September 2001 I spent three weeks in Nepal. One misty morning after a hearty breakfast of tsampa (a traditional Tibetan porridge made from roasted barley flour) in the village inn, my guides, friend, and I continued our trek, which we were already a few days into, along the Annapurna Circuit. One of the guides had eaten breakfast in a separate room of the inn, listening to the radio. As we began our walk later that morning, packs on our backs, he reported, “A plane crashed into the World Trade Center in New York City and also into the Pentagon in Washington, DC.” My family lived in New York City. My friend’s family lived in Washington. Fear, anger, confusion, sadness, and grief washed through us both. There was no way for our families to get in touch with us, and the next village, Marpa, where we would spend that night — and where I hoped we could make a phone call home and catch the news — was still several hours …

The Most Important Change Your Can Make for Your Health

~~~ By Charley Cropley “We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence is not an act, but a habit.” ~Aristotle What is it that clogs your arteries, puts pounds of fat on your belly and hips, ages your skin, makes your joints stiff and painful and your digestion foul? What is the root cause of developing cancer, diabetes, depression and every other malady? What is causing your body to malfunction, degenerate and become diseased? This is the million dollar question—you find this answer and you find the power to Heal. Naturopathic medicine offers this answer. Almost all disease in your body are the result of cumulative changes to your normal physiology; changes in inflammation, digestion, elimination, blood circulation, lymphatic drainage, hormonal levels, neurotransmitter balance, cellular respiration and metabolism. Physiologic assaults repeated daily turn into the pathological changes which doctors label as disease. It is your habitual behaviors that damage your body’s physiologic processes until they become diseased—and what determines your behavior is you. The overwhelming influence on your Health is you. You are Self-Healing. You don’t want to …

Radical Self Healing: A Conversation with Charley Cropley, N.D.

According to Charley Cropley, N.D., bodily sickness, like all suffering, has real, discoverable causes. The cause is not cancer, colitis, weak adrenals, or a lowered immune system. The cause of our health problems is the innocent misuse of our own body and mind. In this interview, Charley discusses his path for connecting with our ability to eat, think, move, and relate. Through our exploration of these four essential activities, he says, we will learn how to skillfully imbue our daily lives with care and free ourselves from habits that repeatedly cause harm. In this interview, Charlie explains his approach and offers inspiration for those of us who wish to take responsibility for feeling good in this life.  Watch our interview with Charlie below, or scroll down to stream/download the audio. If you’d like to download the audio file, CLICK HERE and find the “Download” button. Otherwise, you can stream the audio below. Shambhala Mountain Center hosts Radical Self-Healing with Charley Cropley, N.D., May 20-22, 2016. *NOTE: This post originally appeared on the SMC Blog August …

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 …

Qigong for the Seasons: Spring Relates to the Wood Phase

By Ron Davis Photo by Greg Smith The following has been adapted from “Qigong Through The Seasons – How to Stay Healthy all Year Long with Qigong, Meditation, Diet and Herbs” by Dr. Ronald Davis, published by Singing Dragon, 2015. Spring is the Wood Phase This is a heady, invigorating, sometimes disturbing season with wild fluctuations of energy surging throughout nature as birth, arousal, and movement. The momentum created by spring Qi gives structure and impetus to the world: young trees thrusting skyward, icy rivers flooding valleys, babies everywhere screeching with the joy of life. In humans, Qi rises like a slow tide coming up from its winter storage in the lower abdomen and moving into the chest where it stimulates the Liver with fresh vitality. As an infusion of energy, the rising Qi carries benefits as well as the potential for problems. The practice of Spring Qigong centers on using qigong exercises, foods, herbs, and meditation to nourish the Liver. In this class, you will learn how the Liver Network influences anger, kindness, communication, …

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 …