All posts tagged: Janet Solyntjes

On Silent Group Meditation Retreats: 10 Things I’ve Learned Along the Way

By Janet Solyntjes // In 1987 I participated in my first silent group meditation retreat.  It was a month-long program held at what is now called Shambhala Mountain Center (SMC).  A few friends suggested that it was the next thing for me to do on my meditative journey. For me, going on retreat was an abstract concept, a box to check off on my way to something more important.  Perhaps I had fallen under the spell of spiritual materialism – seeking higher states, an idealized state of peace, and wanting some form of credential from engaging in what seemed like a very long time to spend doing nothing. Would a month of intensive practice make me a “better” spiritual person?   In the days before the retreat began, I sensed my fear and anxiety about participating in the rigors of long disciplined days over a four-week period. I wasn’t sure what triggered the fear, but didn’t worry much about it.  The arrival day came and I got into my car to head up the mountain …

MBSR Vacation

The Paradox of Pleasure

There’s a natural sacredness in the world – in the blue sky, muddy earth, the sound of leaves fluttering, faces of children at play, the feeling of muscles exerting, the change of season. We need not pursue pleasure, it’s present when were willing to experience the world directly. It’s as if our eyes have grown scales making it hard to see. When we relax the scales fall away.

The Role of Doing Nothing When it Comes to Intentional Living and Mindfulness, with Janet Solyntjes

Janet Solyntjes is a certified MBSR teacher and serves on the faculty of the Center for Mindfulness at UMass. She is also on the faculty of the Engaged Mindfulness Institute, helping train people to bring trauma-informed mindfulness into underserved and at-risk communities. Janet has offered MBSR courses in Colorado since 2000 and has been leading mindfulness meditation retreats in the United States and internationally for over 20 years. She is co-founder of the Boulder-based Center for Courageous Living, a small business committed to promoting the inherent goodness of individuals and groups through a variety of supportive services, programs, and retreats. Here she is in conversation with Rob Dube—an avid meditator of 14 years, the author of donothing: the most rewarding leadership challenge you will ever take, and founder/organizer of the donothing® Leadership Silent Retreat. Rob is also the President of imageOne—which is ranked one of Forbes Top 25 Small Businesses in America and #1 Top Workplace in Detroit. Some of the things you’ll learn about in this interview: Janet explains the browser tabs in our …

Working with Courage: A Three Minute Practice

By Janet Solyntjes // In my early years of meditation training I was unable to sit still for long, maybe five minutes, before I would shift my body with hopes of improving my practice. My body hurt, my mind was impossible, and I was crawling out of my skin much of the time. My practice revealed glimpses of “calm abiding” and “dignity,” but it was tough going! My teachers reminded me that practice was a breeding ground for courage. Courage, I was told, becomes the seedbed for nurturing our deepest aspiration for a meaningful life and for a sane society. It takes courage to be present to the unknown, to touch what is frightening, to let go of what is familiar, and, once again, open. Now I remember to bring my heart to the cushion ~ how else will I cultivate bravery? Three Minute Practice: The Courage of this Moment Ask yourself this: What would it take for me to fully inhabit the experience of being human right now? Can I feel the sensations of …

MBSR

Wholeness and Mindfulness

By Janet Solyntjes // Nearly everywhere one turns these days the language of “mindfulness” is to be found. Its ubiquitous influence is flavoring American culture. Because my professional life is part of the mindfulness movement, I have sensitivity towards noticing the numerous references to mindfulness that are popping up in the media. What I personally find inspiring is not the “Zen” or “mindful” references dotting our media world. What is heartening is the clear shift that happens in an individual and culture each time a person opens to unconditional goodness, wholeness, and worthiness. Can you feel something shifting? Are you curious about the transformative power of the increased number of people practicing mindfulness in America? Jon Kabat-Zinn, the progenitor of Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction, speaks of the healing power of the view and practice of entering wholeness: When we glimpse our own completeness in the stillness of any moment, when we directly experience ourself as whole in that moment and also a part of a larger whole, a new and profound coming to terms with our problems …

A Contemplative Meditation on Interconnectedness

Is it true that we are interconnected? And if it is, what are the implications? Based on your conditioning, and what books, talks, and ideas you’ve encountered, you may have ready-made answers to these questions. And so, a further question: On what level do you know these truths — today, right now? It’s one thing to hold a view on the level of intellect, or concept. And it’s another to experience something like interconnectedness as a living reality. In this video, from last year’s Wisdom Rising conference, Janet Solyntjes guides us in a contemplative meditation on interconnectedness. Taking the time to hold a concept in our heart-mind, allowing it to open into a personal experience — a personal knowing — is how we evolve spiritually. We hope you find this to be of benefit. Click here to learn more about the 2nd Annual Wisdom Rising: An Exploration of the Divine Feminine in Buddhism — August 17-21 About the Authors Janet Solyntjes, MA, is a senior teacher in the Shambhala Buddhist tradition and Adjunct Professor at Naropa University. A practitioner …

Too Much on Your Plate? Here’s Advice from a Mindfulness Teacher

I hope that your plates are full today — but not too full — and that you’re enjoying every bite. Does that seem like a tall order? In an age when we often have too much on our plates, and yet are hungry for real nourishment, the aspiration expressed above may be much easier to say than to accomplish. In the video above, I ask Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction teacher Janet Solyntjes about this conundrum, as well as about a particular, personal style of becoming stressed out. I find her responses to be very helpful, and I think that you may also. If you’d like to watch the full interview, or stream/download the audio, click here: Freak Out! Or Not: An Interview with MBSR Teacher Janet Solyntjes I hope that these teachings add a flavor of awakenment to your day, and that you’ll forgive me if I’ve piled on the food metaphors too high in this post. Shambhala Mountain Center hosts Introduction to Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction with Janet Solyntjes, March 11-13, 2016 — click …

Freak Out! Or Not: An Interview with MBSR Teacher Janet Solyntjes

What does it feel like to FREAK OUT?! Becoming familiar with the early signs is the first step toward avoiding catastrophic fits of stress. Sound good? Learn more by checking out our recent interview with MBSR teacher Janet Solyntjes. Watch the video 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. Also, check out these related posts on the SMC Blog: Paying Attention to One Detail: Listening Working with Courage About the Author Janet Solyntjes, MA, is a senior teacher in the Shambhala Buddhist tradition and Adjunct Professor at Naropa University. A practitioner of mind-body disciplines since 1977, and a teacher of MBSR, she leads mindfulness retreats in the U.S. and internationally and is co-founder of the Boulder-based Center for Courageous Living. Learn more at thecenterforcourageousliving.com Travis Newbill is a writer, musician, and aspirant on the path of meditation.  He currently resides at Shambhala Mountain Center, where he handles the SMC Blog, and other marketing tasks. He …