Discussing Running and Meditation with Cynthia MacKay (Video/Audio)

Shambhala Mountain Center hosts Running with the Mind of Meditation with Cynthia MacKay, Marty Kibiloski and Tarah Cech, August 29–September 1, 2014.

Cynthia MacKay leads popular retreats based on Sakyong Mipham Rinpoche’s best-selling book, Running with the Mind of Meditation: Lessons for Training the Body and the Mind. Geared for runners, walkers, and other athletes, the book offers fresh insights into the activities of meditation and movement, and the ways our running experience can be dramatically enhanced by working with the principles of meditation.

In this interview, Cynthia shares some wisdom she’s gained from being swift on her feet and stable in her mind.  Watch 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.

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Cynthia McKay

Cynthia MacKay has been a student of Sakyong Mipham Rinpoche for over 20 years. Inspired by her teacher’s running, Cynthia has completed eight marathons of her own, from Casablanca to San Francisco. She lives in Los Angeles where she teaches meditation at the Shambhala Center, the Men’s Central Jail, and a drug and alcohol rehabilitation facility.

Big Sky, Big Mind: Discussing Contemplative Astronomy with Andrea Schweitzer, PhD

 

Shambhala Mountain Center hosts Big Sky, Big Mind: Contemplative Astronomy Workshop with Andrea Schweitzer and Jim Tolstrup, September 5–7, 2014.

Throughout history, we have looked to the skies to follow the rhythm of the seasons and to ponder life’s mysteries. Andrea Schweitzer is on a cosmic mission to reignite our passion for the stars by using interactive, kinesthetic astronomy to experience the movement of the celestial bodies. In this interview, she shares her inspiration and and guides our gazes skyward.

If you’d like to download the audio file, CLICK HERE and find the “Download” button. Otherwise, you can stream the audio below.

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Andrea Schweitzer

Andrea Schweitzer, PhD, is an astronomer with the Little Thompson Observatory in Berthoud, Colorado. Having collaborated with NASA on programs such as the Hubble Space Telescope and the Voyager missions, she balances her work with her personal practices of stargazing, yoga, and meditation.

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.

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Judith Ansara

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 psychotherapist and leadership trainer, she teaches internationally at centers such as Omega and Esalen; and trains and coaches health practitioners and social change leaders. A master of the arts of conscious embodiment, she also leads couples retreats with her husband Robert Gass.

Healing Sound: A Conversation with Christine Stevens (Video/Audio)


Shambhala Mountain Center hosts Healing Sound Retreat with Christine Stevens and Silvia Nakkach, August 29–September 1, 2014.

Christine Stevens is on a musical mission to introduce people to the most ancient and transformative vehicles to support healing and release joy: Voice & Rhythm. Through guided sound-centered contemplative practices of drumming and chanting, students gather an original repertoire of medicine melodies to use personally and in shamanic, psychotherapy, and wellness sessions. In this interview, she shares her inspiration, discusses her journey, and leads listeners/viewers in a healing exercise.

Watch our interview with Christine 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.

Related posts on the SMC Blog:

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Christine Stevens

Christine Stevens is the founder of UpBeat Drum Circles and author of the Sounds True books Music Medicine and the Healing Drum Kit.  She has appeared on PBS, NBC, and led the first drum circle training in a war-zone in northern Iraq. Learn more on her website: www.ubdrumcircles.com/

Discussing Miksang Contemplative Photography with Julie DuBose


Shambhala Mountain Center hosts Opening the Good Eye: An Introduction to Miksang Photography with Julie Dubose and Michael Wood, September 11-14, 2014

Discover how to see the world in a fresh way and express your full and complete experience through your camera. Miksang Contemplative Photography as developed by Michael Wood and Julie DuBose teaches us how to recognize the experience of direct visual perception — direct in this case means without the filters of our habitual ways of seeing and experiencing. In the interview below, Julie DuBose offers some wisdom related to this beautiful discipline.

Learn more about Miksang at www.miksang.com, and check out some examples of Miksang photography below the video and audio boxes.

Watch our interview with Julie DuBose 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.

Click on the images below to see larger versions of these photographs by Julie DuBose.

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Mom's Hair

 

 

 

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JulieDuBoseJulie DuBose began her study of Miksang with Michael Wood in Halifax, Nova Scotia in 1998. She has been traveling and teaching with Michael since 2000 and is a teacher of all Miksang levels. She founded the Miksang Institute for Contemplative Photography in 2009 in Boulder, Colorado and Miksang Publications in 2012. Julie lives in Lafayette, Colorado.

Her first book,  Effortless Beauty: Photography as an Expression of Eye, Mind, and Heart, was released in March 2013. 

Floral Notes and Bardo: Rise to Song

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.

Days may begin in silence which may give rise to song.  It’s one way to live.

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I’m at my desk now, once again, after having spent two weeks in beautiful retreat with 107 other people (108 total retreatants, not including staff and teachers).  We spent two weeks in a tent together, practicing kindness.  We sang, walked the land, ate meals and celebrated together.

I saw the forms of Shambhala come to life in a big way, which was reassuring and beautiful.  We received practices which I feel very good about.  I sense the potential for transformation towards more openness, love, creativity, and joyful existence — on and on.

We took vows.  We all vowed to engage socially in such a way that the whole of the earth may awaken into cheerfulness.  Some of us vowed to dedicate this and all future lives to benefiting other beings until all are liberated into bliss.

We were given a Qigong practice, and I’m so grateful.  It fits right in.  All of these practices seem to be means through which we may work with subtle energies in order to realize deeper harmony — within the body and in relationship.  It’s all relationships — the skull eventually affects the belly, the flowers affect my mood, and my touch affects my partner.

Tuning in…  So that we may glide in cosmic wind with less resistance and greater stability.  Tuning in so that paradox doesn’t cause stress, but rather, wonder.

This morning I awoke, walked on the hill at dawn (down to the outhouse and back), the sage and the flowers of late summer… I lit candles and made my vows, walked down to the shrine hall and sang with my fellows…

– August 14, 2014

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PortraitTravis Newbill is a curious dude on the path of artistry, meditation, and social engagement who is very glad to be residing at Shambhala Mountain Center.  His roles within the organization include Marketing Associate and Head Dekyong–a position of leadership within the community.  Follow Travis on twitter: @travisnewbill

Floral Notes and Bardo: Shoving Off

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.

This morning on the hillside, standing — symphony dawn — witnessing: my preferences are like fleeting mosquitoes in the cosmos.  Yet, wondering… how big can I be?

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Tomorrow I’m going into a two week, group retreat: Enlightened Society Assembly.

Yesterday, I spent time in the shrine tent with Shenpen, Sensei, working on a large installation.  It felt magical in there.  It felt refreshing.  There’s good substance to the Shambhala tradition, and I pray that this two week immersion may put me into touch, a bit deeper.

Today, trying to “wrap things up” and prepare for the retreat.  Deciding what ends to leave loose.  How much to scramble in order to get things tidy, and how much to let go so I can go into this relaxed and well rested.

I’ll be settling back into Avalokiteshvara (lil’ yurt).  I’ll spend some nights with Heather.

I live here.

It’s a funny thing going into a retreat like this, which most people leave their homes far behind in order to do.  For me, it’s happening right here — where I live, work, play… I’m not leaving anything behind.

Rather than pretending that I am, I’m going with it.  We’ll see how it goes.

Gotta make an Ikebana arrangement for the yurt.  Gotta get up to the Stupa –circumambulate, refresh the offerings, light some incense, prostrate — stir up some good mojo.  I’ve ordered some real nice tea to drink during the retreat.

Ahh… excited! Going in!  Shoving off!

– July 25, 2014

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PortraitTravis Newbill is a curious dude on the path of artistry, meditation, and social engagement who is very glad to be residing at Shambhala Mountain Center.  His roles within the organization include Marketing Associate and Head Dekyong–a position of leadership within the community.  Follow Travis on twitter: @travisnewbill

 

Floral Notes and Bardo: Cookin’ Onion

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.

From the fringes, inwards to the core — by rubs and punches, sweat and shatter.

Deepening familiarity is apparent in relation to fresh faces.  The longer I’m here, the more which is uncovered.  The more genuine the care that swells in my heart.  The more informed.  Less superficial.

Onion.

Meanwhile, the chipmunks are getting fat on “people food.”

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I’ll be here for two more years.  I’m just now feeling a bit settled.  I’ve experienced a wave of burnout, cynicism, resentment.  No hurtful eruptions, just boiling in my brain, bones.  It felt like purification.

Yesterday, in Care Council meeting, where a small group of us discuss the well-being of the community, I felt so raw.  I was listening and speaking with intelligence, rather than acting.  In comparison, my caring has been contrived previously.  More tainted with want for recognition — trying to be a good “me.”  Tainted in that way, but not phony.  It’s still tainted, but it’s becoming more real.

Greg Smith and I both have Ngejung in our Buddhist refuge names.  He said that it means:

“Becoming real.”

Burning through baloney notions so that I may actually connect and be helpful.

Burning through filters of conceptual jargon, and “good boy” motivations.

Shambhala Mountain Center — a great pressure cooker, an oven in which one may become more real.

Cookin’.

– July 23, 2014

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PortraitTravis Newbill is a curious dude on the path of artistry, meditation, and social engagement who is very glad to be residing at Shambhala Mountain Center.  His roles within the organization include Marketing Associate and Head Dekyong–a position of leadership within the community.  Follow Travis on twitter: @travisnewbill

 

What is Mindful Leadership? A Conversation with Janice Marturano


Shambhala Mountain Center hosts Leading Differently: The Power of a Purposeful Pause with Janice Marturano and Dawn MacDonald October 24–26

In today’s world, we are faced with novel challenges, limited resources, and increased demands for our expertise and time. The constant pressures can deplete our mental resiliency and interfere with many of the hallmarks of leadership excellence including our ability to focus, to see clearly, to cultivate space for creativity, and to embody compassion. In this conversation, we explore how mindfulness meditation can enhance our ability to lead and live with excellence.

Recently, Janice Marturano, Founder and Executive Director of the Institute for Mindful Leadership, took some time to have some discussion around these points. Please click below to her our conversation.  And, if you’d like to download the audio, click here and find the “Download” button.

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Janice Marturano_ editedJanice L. Marturano is the Founder and Executive Director of the Institute for Mindful Leadership, a non-profit organization dedicated to training and supporting leaders in the exploration of mindfulness and leadership excellence. She founded the Institute for Mindful Leadership in January, 2011, after ending her 15 year tenure as Vice President, Public Responsibility and Deputy General Counsel for General Mills, Inc. Janice was a strategic leader within General Mills for nearly 15 years before leaving to dedicate herself full time to the Institute. She is the author of Finding the Space to Lead: A Practical Guide to Mindful Leadership and her work has been featured on the BBC, Huff Post Live, and in the NY Times, Financial Times, Saturday Evening Post, Time magazine, Success magazine and LA Times.

Floral Notes and Bardo: Stepping, Steeping

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.

What kind of tea?
Puerh.
Green or black?
Green.

Avajra: “Black!  Always black.  We’ve got shit to do.  Double doses of black.”

IMG_20140517_171045955Photo by Lars Greypath

This morning, sitting on the porch, looking out into the woods, while the sun came up over the ridge — breezy-cool thoughts about time.  The karmic implications of decisions.  How well I hold my seat and not get swept up for minutes, hours.  It adds up.

So much to do, and it remains in a cloud — lightning bolts of anxiety.

One foot in front of the other.

Sometimes I think I’m screwing up and sometimes I notice success.

“Success and failure are your journey.” — Trungpa Rinpoche

Everything that happens is a potent teaching.  It’s so noticeable here — my changes, hang-ups… messages in the phenomenal world.  There’s no escape and it’s clear as a bell — the ambiguity.

– July 22, 2014

 

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PortraitTravis Newbill is a curious dude on the path of artistry, meditation, and social engagement who is very glad to be residing at Shambhala Mountain Center.  His roles within the organization include Marketing Associate and Head Dekyong–a position of leadership within the community.  Follow Travis on twitter: @travisnewbill