All posts tagged: Travis Newbill

Albert Flynn DeSilver

Albert Flynn DeSilver on Writing as a Path to Awakening

Albert Flynn DeSilver is a well known poet, memoirist, novelist, and one of the foremost teachers of writing as a spiritual path.  In this recent interview, he shares insight into how the seemingly paradoxical practices of meditation (which involves dropping thoughts) and writing (which involves solidifying thoughts) are actually quite complimentary.  And, in case anyone thinks that to be a spiritual writer you must only write about sunsets, God, and geese, we asked Albert to speak about finding divinity in the quotidian moments—eating donuts, for example—and how we may awaken through writing about such experiences.    Enjoy the full video interview below, or scroll down to stream or download the audio. Stream audio below. To download, click here. About the Authors Albert Flynn DeSilver is an internationally published poet, writer, speaker, and workshop leader. His latest book is Writing as a Path to Awakening (based on his popular workshops by the same name) and will be released September 1st from Sounds True. Albert served as Marin County, California’s very first Poet Laureate from 2008-2010. His work …

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 …

WATCH: Susan Piver on Writing, Magic, and Meditation

You probably already know who Susan Piver is — because she is famous for helping people through her writing. She’s a New York Times Best-selling author of titles like How not to be Afraid of Your Own Life and The Wisdom of a Broken Heart. You probably already know that! But, what you may not know, what may come as a surprise, is that the main impetus for this writer — who has helped tens of thousands of people through her writing — is not to be helpful, necessarily. Rather, it is to discover something. If this makes you wonder about what it means to be a “helpful person” or an “artist” — good! In our recent interview, Susan spoke powerfully about the creative process and its healing potential, and how discovery is a phenomena that a writer can experience themselves, but cannot quite provide for readers. Rather, perhaps, they can set the stage. She quotes her teacher Saykong Mipham: “Don’t teach anyone anything. Help them discover something.” In a culture that seems full-up with opinion, …

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 …

Ken Wilber on Mindfulness and Why “Growing Up” is as Important as “Waking Up”

As mindfulness has grown in popularity, it’s questionable whether it’s potential as a tool for enlightenment has been sufficiently acknowledged. Ken Wilber — author, philosopher, and founder of Integral Institute — notes that mindfulness is mostly valued for it’s benefits to health, productivity, and emotional well-being. Enlightenment, he says, is not so much a part of the popular motivation towards this practice. In the video below, Wilber contextualizes mindfulness — referencing it’s origination close to three thousand years ago, and how it relates to this moment in human development. And, how modern people might relate to the idea of enlightenment… or not. Later in the video, he succinctly introduces the provocative idea that throughout human history, people have either been focusing on “Growing up” or “Waking up,” but we have never done both at the same time. Therefore, he says, this history of humanity is that of a broken species — whether we’re considering people from the East or West. I hope you enjoy the video, and, if this whets your appetite, I encourage you to check out the …

Diane Musho Hamilton on Creativity, Emotions and the Necessity of Conflict

Sitting before a blank page, waiting to decide on the opening words of this post, I’ve been experiencing a sense of unease, disruption, chaos — in mind and body. And that’s no surprise. It turns out that the space of creativity — and communication in general — is tinged with uncertainty, and that brings with it some rather challenging psychological and physiological upheavals. It’s interesting to learn about the evolutionary basis for “fight or flight” and how we’ve evolved in such a way that allows us to accomodate the gushing of adrenaline and cortizol without actually bolting from the room of lunging at a fellow human with our claws out. More to the point though… meditation is quite helpful in allowing us to not only accomodate our emotions, but to ride them in such a way that the intelligence of these energies can be harnessed and employed in the service of creativity. That’s what was happening with me as I began writing this post. And that’s what happens each time I pause and wait for …

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 …

Is Today a Good Day to Die? How Meditation and Yoga Can Liberate You From Fear

  I hope, as you read this, that you are well and free from any indications that your life will be cut short.  At the same time, I invite you to take a moment today to contemplate death. Personally, I tend to skate by much of the time without reflecting too deeply on this inevitable aspect of life.  When I do contemplate impermanence though, the beauty and preciousness of my experience of living becomes illuminated.  So, it seems to me like something worth doing, perhaps more regularly.  Maybe you feel the same way. In this video, Elysabeth Williamson offers some guidance for living in moment-to-moment, day-to-day relationship with our own death.  As she goes on to say later in the interview, the result can be incredibly liberating and joyful. Watch the three minute clip below. Click here to learn about our upcoming weekend retreat: Savasana: Exploring Our Death to Liberate Our Lives, March 13-15 If you feel inspired to deepen into this practice of contemplating impermanence and the preciousness of life, please click here to learn about the upcoming retreat …