All posts tagged: women

Sara Avant Stover: Springtime Detox & Renewal Advice for Women

Sara Avant Stover Offers Springtime Detox & Renewal Advice for Women

By Sara Avant Stover // Every woman, whether or not she realizes it, is a creative genius. Within her lives the capacity to bring forth new life and to regenerate during each moon cycle and each spring. Life, and our vitality, bursts forth in the springtime. This season calls your innate creativity to awaken and make itself known, just as a seedling pushes through the thawing soil past roots and rocks toward the light. Now your visions and deep dreaming from the winter come into being. Nature’s New Year arrives in the spring because it heralds a rebirth into a whole new you. Sara Avant Stover leads The Way of the Happy Woman Spring Detox & Renewal Retreat, May 11–14, 2017 at Shambhala Mountain Center — click here to learn more Officially arriving on March 2o with the spring equinox in the northern hemisphere, the spring exhales the intoxicating fragrance of radical possibility. Who do you want to be now? How do you want to live? What’s ready to come to life inside you? We can …

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 …

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 …

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 …

In the Company of Women: Precious Knowing

By Katharine Kaufman Home At Shambhala Mountain Center I have the good fortune to be at the Shambhala Mountain Center at this moment so I can tell you what it is like in the winter here — at least right now. Still & quiet. Today I walked up to the ridge — maybe to get nearer to the sun. There was some trudging through snow and also big patches with no snow. I rested on an outcropping of rocks. A group of deer were close to the Stupa. They looked up at me and leapt away as if gravity were no problem. Inside the Stupa I was struck by what feels like the thickness of many years of people practicing. The good humored gentleness and authentic way of the staff feels so warming. I am called back to this place. This is one of my homes. On Inspiration My idea for the women’s retreats began from my sense that it would be great to gather, and do practices on the coldest day of the winter …

Embodying the Sacred Feminine: A Conversation with Judith Ansara

Shambhala Mountain Center hosts Sacred Embodiment, Sacred Service: A Retreat for Women with Judith Ansara and Danya River, September 26–28, 2014. According to Judith Ansara, women innately understand and experience the inter-connectedness of all life, and the wisdom, creativity, and power that is part of this “knowing.” Yet, in the busyness of our multi-focused lives, it is easy to lose touch with our own depth and the capacity to rest and move away from this connection. In this interview, Judith shares some wisdom related to the experience of being embodied as a woman, and some thoughts on the importance of women gathering together in the sacred space of retreat. Watch our interview with Judith 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. ~~~   Judith Ansara, MSW, has been a pioneering teacher of applied human consciousness for 30 years. Synthesizing her immersion in Buddhism and other wisdom traditions with her experience as a …

Courageous Women, Fearless Living Celebrates Its Eighth Year

Photos by Barb Colombo Shambhala Mountain Center will be hosting the 8th Annual Courageous Women, Fearless Living retreat from August 19-24, 2014. This innovative and contemplative program was founded in 2005 and has helped over 300 women with a current or past diagnosis of cancer. Through nutrition, Tibetan healing, integrative medicine, meditation, yoga, art and community building, women are given powerful tools to meet the totality of their experience directly and courageously. “Our goal is for our participants to return home with a new circle of support and friendship; with the mental, emotional, and contemplative tools to support them in their journey through cancer; and with greater self-awareness, confidence, and appreciation for life,” says Judith Lief, one of the lead instructors of the retreat. Lief is a contemplative hospice pioneer, senior meditation instructor, former dean of Naropa University and author of Making Friends with Death.  She is joined for this retreat by a team of experts with similarly impressive credentials including Victoria Maizes, MD, Executive Director of the Arizona Center for Integrative Medicine at the University …

Way Seeking Mind: A Meditation and Yoga Retreat for Women

by Katharine Kaufman I offer a women’s retreat twice a year, on the hottest, longest days in the middle of summer, and the coldest, dark winter days. I see myself as more of a facilitator of this retreat, rather than a teacher. We arrive alone and together, 12 or 15 of us, and we simply practice yoga, sitting, sharing. Something subtle and close transforms because of this turning our discursive gaze inward. There is a luxurious break in the afternoons to hike, read, rest, or visit with each other. Transformation is not always a smooth ride. We have our practices, the support of the schedule, teachings, to hold us—and each other. My favorite part of this retreat is when we individually choose a place outdoors, and practice solo the four postures of meditation. These beautiful places we choose offer us the chance to simply be in one area in nature, with no agenda. We understand the gentle wind, grasses, texture of rocks, as good friends, not just scenery. We can lean against a tree, close our …