Floral Notes and Bardo: Path in Mist

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, woke up in a cloud — land, folks, houses, engulfed in mist.  Like my life, countless hidden truths, bodies, beings, outside of my limited view.  Less ambitious about trying to sort them all out, because, in the shrine room, peace, space, the moment as always — nothing to achieve.  Patient while the tale reveals itself — no conclusion, no final answer.  My journey — I’m on the Buddhist path, personally.

IMG_1472

I don’t know who’s going to fall away, or who’ll grow alongside of me — these old ponderosa pines have housed a million chipmunks, magpies, great horned owls.  A thousand bears have shit in their vicinity, and some friendly peeps have hugged their trunks.

I get the feeling, in the mist, that I really don’t know.

I’m glad to have made the vows that I have.  I believe in the path, that I’ll hold to the path, that the path will unfold all around me and as I’m doing my best to stay true, my slip-ups will blossom into poignant songs of joyful-sad growing.

– September 5, 2014

~~~

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

Discussing Traditional Tibetan Medicine with Nashalla Nyinda, TMD (Video/Audio)

 

Shambhala Mountain Center hosts Introduction to the Principles of Traditional Tibetan Medicine with Nashalla Nyinda, December 12–14, 2014

Nashalla Nyinda can help you discover the powerful healing arts of Tibet through Sowa Rigpa, an ancient holistic practice spanning thousands of years.  Her students learn to return harmony to the body and mind by refining their relationship to the elements and seasons. They are given tools for identifying the three humors, for encouraging equilibrium, as well as learn how to apply general antidotes when the humors are imbalanced. The ultimate goal is to foster balance in the body and mind while encouraging a direct relationship to self. Whether Buddhist or non-Buddhist, healthcare practitioner or not, Nashalla can help you explore the time-tested wisdom of Traditional Tibetan Medicine.

Recently, Nashalla took some time to share her wisdom and inspiration. Watch our interview 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.

~~~

Nashalla-NyindaNashalla Gwyn Nyinda TMD, LMT has over 14 years of experience in Tibetan Medicine. She earned her Menpa degree (Doctor of Tibetan Medicine) from Qinghai Tibetan Medical College, Tibet and The Shang Shung Institute of Tibetan Medicine. She also has an Interdisciplinary Studies BA from Naropa University with a focus on Asian Medicines and Buddhist Psychology. She has taught these techniques worldwide to Tibetan doctors as well as Western health practitioners. Nashalla and husband, Dr. Tsundu S. Nyinda, are co-directors of the Tibetan Medicine & Holistic Healing Clinic in Boulder, Colorado.

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

Shambhala Mountain Center hosts Radical Self-Healing with Charley Cropley, N.D., October 3–5, 2014. 

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.

~~~

Be sure to check out:

~~~

Charley-CropleyCharley Cropley, ND, is a Naturopathic physician who after 35 years of practice, uses no medicines. He teaches his clients that they are endowed with Self-Healing capacities exactly equal to their condition. They learn that illness itself is what heals them. It awakens their love of themselves and guides them in the heroic work of Healing their own self-harming ways.

Family Camp at Shambhala Mountain

Picture 2Article by Rachel Seely, photos by Samira Caamano

Family Camp at Shambhala Mountain Center is a special time to appreciate and value ourselves, our children, our families and friendships, and our culture. Taking the time to focus on this aspect of life in a contemplative and supportive atmosphere is a gift that I will always cherish. And one I believe my daughter will as well. This year’s Family Camp was SMC’s largest in many years. We had over 108 participants, which included 65 children, 27 who went through the Rites of Passage program.

Having that many children on the land brought blessings of wakefulness and freedom. Immediately the children developed their own relationships to each other and the land. Parents often marveled at the feeling of being held by the land, which is no small feat when in the process of letting go physically and emotionally to our children. The land became a cradle for the kids to explore the phenomenal world in a safe and accommodating manner. Kids ran freely within the space, with only the occasional reminder to be quiet near the main shrine tent and lodge rooms. They were always on the move, having fun, exploring new things, taking risks and developing new relationships with each other, their parents, and the land itself. I was personally excited to experience the land in a new way too. It felt as if the land perked up and responded wakefully to the fresh energy of the children’s exploration and wonder. I noticed many things on the land that I had not noticed before.

Our days started with family meditation, often led by previous Rites of Passage graduates. A sense of ownership and leadership was instilled into the children’s programming from the start. We were lucky to have brilliant and skillfulPicture 3 coordinators for our 2014 Family Camp. Steve Sachs and Rachel Steele lead our program, accompanied by the Rites of Passage teachers, Kelly Lindsey and Kerry MacLean. We also had the special honor of having Acharya Dan Hessey open our Family Camp with a beautiful, simple explanation of Lhasang and Lhasang ceremony, followed by an introduction to Shambhala Meditation for children and parents. I felt this clearly established the ground for the time we would spend together. The space of basic goodness and the acceptance of vulnerability was felt and appreciated throughout the program as parents worked with their hearts and minds, as well as the hearts and minds of their children and partners. I often swelled with tears as I experienced immense gratitude for what we were choosing to do together and for our children.

The children’s program was split up into age groups for morning activities while parents were given time to themselves for practice or personal time. Each day we had a parenting circle led by Steve Sachs in which we explored parenting and child rearing from the point of view of basic goodness. We were all touched by the vulnerability and insight which arose from each other as we explored aspects of ourselves and our children that were troublesome or confusing. I left the parenting groups feeling supported, enriched, and empowered to transform aspects of my parenting style and the ways in which I view my daughter and her behaviors. Afternoons consisted of “unfettered time” and family activities. Parents and children were introduced to the theme of working with the elements, and the traditional Buddhist Maitri Rooms developed by Chogyam Trungpa Rinpoche to help us connect with nature, the elements, and the energies within ourselves. We also had many wonderful circles of singing, a talent show where fearlessness manifested abundantly, nature walks, a final banquet and an amazing dance party. We had a lot of fun!

A significant aspect of Family Camp was the Rites of Passage ceremony. The children in this group worked together all week learning contemplative arts such as calligraphy, kyudo, ikebana, poetry, bowing and lighting a shrine. They are encouraged, through their participation in the Rites of Passage program, to be in the world with gentleness and fearlessness and to begin to take more responsibility within the family and society. Parents are encouraged to trust and support their children as they let go of old ways of being together and habits holding on. These children shined as they went through the powerful “letting go” ceremony with their parents. Many parents and witnesses were touched by the significance and simplicity of the ceremony.

I really can’t say enough good things about Family Camp and the wonderful people who coordinated this program. I am fortunate that my daughter has been able to participate in Family Camp for two years at SMC. If you ask her she will tell you, “I love Family Camp.” It is something we look forward to every year individually and as a family. And now that Family Camp at Shambhala Mountain Center is growing, we will look forward to seeing other families year after year as our children grow up together and learn to be “who they are” in the world and with each other. I truly feel that having the support of this kind of family community rooted in basic goodness will not only help our children find peace within, but will help them be empowered as they face the difficulties and future of our struggling society.

FamilyCamp3Here’s what several children had to say about it this year:

“I have a much better handle on meditation. I also learned that I am a WARRIOR!! In the future, I know that I will be thankful that SMC taught me this. I will always strive to be kind, gentle, and fearless.” –Ava Keel

“I learned to appreciate the elements, love this area even more, and to appreciate all the teachers so much!” –Sheldon P. Williams

“(I learned) so so so much patience.” –Matthew

“(My favorite part was) all the love,  support, and kindness from almost everyone.” –Sierra Karsh

“I learned about fire, earth, air, water, and space. I also learned how to meditate more and calm myself down and that the warriors shout ‘Eeee!’ when they are shooting in kyuodo.” –Maxine Rhodes

 

 

4 Noble Glimpses of Fleet Maull

By Travis Newbill

Fleet Maull will be hosting the “Waking Up through Service” day of our upcoming Free Online Conference: Awake in the World – October 19-24, 2014.

GOOD-ONEIMG_3518

In our daily, weekly, and monthly lives, the opportunities for stepping out of our comfort zone in order to directly help others are many. And sadly, the excuses for not doing so can be even more plentiful. Basically, we’d rather not! So, we often abide in routines geared towards pleasure, self-protection, and predictability.

From what I’ve learned about Fleet Maull, he’s made a life out of turning that tendency on its head. If he is feeling hesitant to make a personal sacrifice in order to help someone who is in need…he helps them anyway. Apparently, this brings joy rather than regret, because it seems that the longer he lives, the more he serves, and the happier he appears to be.

Quite appropriately, Fleet will be hosting the Waking Up through Service day of our upcoming Awake in the World conference. There is much to say about this amazing person which is beyond the scope of this blog. To get you started though,  here are Four Noble Glimpses.

1. Prison Work
While serving a 14 year prison sentence, Maull says, he hit a wall of remorse upon realizing that by making selfish decisions, he’d caused a lot of pain for himself and others. He became tremendously motivated to turn things around, and so began practicing meditation, he says, like his hair was on fire. This brought him into closer touch with the needs of those around him and led him to form the Prison Mindfulness Institute (formerly Prison Dharma Network) and the National Prison Hospice. Since his release, his efforts haven’t lessened a bit. He has continued to work with inmantes, and provides heartfelt service to help those of us who are imprisoned in less literal ways as well.

2. From City Streets to Auschwitz/Birkenau
Fleet is empowered in Bernie Glassman’s Zen Peacemakers tradition to lead Street Retreats — in which a group of practitioners lives on the street for a few days — and to be a Spirit Holder at the group’s annual Bearing Witness Retreat at Auschwitz/Birkenau.

3. Consultant and Coach
As a master consultant and executive coach, Fleet helps to bring out the wisdom in individuals as well as organizations through workshops such as Radical Possibility, which takes place this coming October.

4. Service as Path

~~~

SMC_sidebar_AwakeAwake in the World Free Online Conference, featuring Sakyong Mipham Rinpoche, Roshi Joan Halifax, Tara Brach, Charles Eisenstein, Susan Piver, Lodro Rinzler and many more. October 19-24, 2014. To learn more, please click here.

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.

~~~

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.

~~~

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.

~~~

 

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:

~~~

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.

Bottle in WaterIMG_2227

_1000292

Mom's Hair

 

 

 

~~~

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.