Author: DMCBlog

Reclaiming a Healthy Mind: Meditation in Modern Life

by Loden Nyima // Many of us come to meditation to rejuvenate and recharge, to deepen and grow, or for relief from the stress, turmoil, and destabilization of modern life. While it’s not a panacea, our intuition is true that it can go a long way. It can also help inform and empower wise, kind, choices and actions that make positive change in our own lives and those of others. The good news is, our minds are naturally free, peaceful, open, strong, and brimming with insight and love trying to come out. The bad news is, we’re living interdependently with conditions in our world which may not be so encouraging to experiencing that. This is where meditation and especially even short retreats may help. We may be impacted by constant technological bombardment, toxic messaging, over-extended workplaces that rarely end at the office, a natural environment in crisis and that we spend less time in, economic and political woes, relational strains, global conflict and injustice, the pandemic, and more. These can leave us feeling exhausted, wounded, …

[VIDEO PRACTICE] Usher in the New Year with this Winter Practice

by De West Grab your bolster, block, and strap (and a blanket) and join De for this powerful New Year practice. Themes to contemplate include: How to be more fluid. What is your mission this year? Why were you on the planet for 2022 (practice of annual review)? Consider joining De and Brian for Fresh Start: Joining the Movement of Yoga with the Stillness of Meditation March 10-12, 2023. About De West De West, Certified Yoga Therapist and a Trauma-Informed Yoga Teacher is a leader in the Boulder, Colorado yoga community with over 29 years of teaching therapeutic yoga. She has developed a movement practice that allows people of all ages and abilities to experience a positive, relaxed, and transforming experience in both body and mind. Observation, listening, and respect of one’s unique anatomy contribute to her passion for helping students create more peace and freedom. De is the founder of Be Center in Boulder, CO. You can reach De at www.Be.Center Photo by Clint McKoy on Unsplash

Stop, Breathe and Embody…

By Dr. Nashalla Gwyn Nyinda Tibetan Medicine TMD (Menpa~Amchi), MA Acu. LMT & Acupressure Practitioner When was the last time you just sat and felt the diaphragm below your ribs expand and contract? Just place your hands there, on your diaphragm. Feel the air come in, invite expansion in a naturally restful way. Notice if you do, that you more easily breath into the tips of your lungs, which are all the way into your shoulders. Simultaneously you might notice how you allow the expansion of oxygen and vital energy of breath to fill your abdomen below. Rest in that breath. Repeat. Have you stopped to consider the benefits of that deep breath? We do not think about our breath much of the time. It’s run by the autonomic nervous system. Therefore, for the most part our breathing is set on autopilot mode. We do notice it in moments of rest, but more often it is during distress, panic, fear, upset and illness which hampers the breath that we notice. How often do you stop …

Permission to Value Yourself

By Blake D. Bauer // It’s a new year, already, again. How quickly did the last one pass us by? Three questions that put much into perspective are: How much did I value myself, my time and my energy last year? If I were to value myself fully today in the present, and each day moving forward, what would I say and what would I do?  How would I be living if I valued myself and my precious time on this planet? As we walk into 2023, we all can use a reminder that no one can give us permission to value ourselves; to speak, act, live and be in ways that are fully true and kind toward ourselves. Each day, in each situation, you have to be the one to say that your feelings, your needs, your calling and your health matter. Everyone is selfish and it’s ok for you to be selfish in healthy ways too, because this is what will support you to feel well within yourself and then have the resources …

Talk About It: Overcoming Toxic Loyalties, Shame & Anger

By Blake D. Bauer // Whatever you’re struggling with, whatever you feel shame or pain or frustration around, please find someone safe to talk to. Please don’t reject your inner world in the name of pride or survival or a toxic loyalty you have toward someone, because it will only make you sick or more unwell. Likewise, please do not abandon your emotional life or pain in the name of ‘being enlightened or spiritual.’ Pretending you don’t have emotions, fear or desire is not true wisdom. There is a very big difference between not reacting impulsively to everything that arises within you and repressing your inner truth in the name of a false peace. Internalizing our feelings, needs, or calling is often a crutch for a simple lack of education around how to express ourselves honestly and kindly. Embodying true awareness and love arises as we learn to fill our thoughts, words and actions with gentleness and clarity, especially when we’re triggered, hurt and angry. Many people learn from a young age that feelings, needs …

Is Going on Retreat Worth It?

By Katharine Kaufman // Have you ever attended a retreat? You know when you’ve been indoors for a long time and walk outside and the wind comes up gently and you look up. Although you know about wind and you’ve experienced this many times, it’s new. The moment—it gives itself. The bustle stops. The buzz stills. The commotion, argue, the race. The day is simple with spaces around the edges of things on purpose. You get to unravel and be yourself for yourself. The Zen folks call it, “Way Seeking Mind.” The mind seeks its own way. You arrive at the practice space frazzled or disillusioned, mildly distracted, revved up, and you go along. Nothing has been built really or progressed. Some time in the late morning, maybe after Yoga while you write a note to yourself, you notice you’re really there. Maybe you’re briefly satisfied. Jois de vivre. Retreat is kind of underneath. Always going on. Impossible to find just by saying so. Not much happens. You move, stop, write, eat, walk, sit, drift …

[VIDEO] 5 Reset Poses to Welcome Freshness

By De West // Finding time to refresh can be challenging. Take just five minutes to welcome freshness with De West. You might also consider joining De and Brian for Fresh Start: Joining the Movement of Yoga with the Stillness of Meditation March 10-12, 2023. About De West De West, Certified Yoga Therapist and a Trauma-Informed Yoga Teacher is a leader in the Boulder, Colorado yoga community with over 29 years of teaching therapeutic yoga. She has developed a movement practice that allows people of all ages and abilities to experience a positive, relaxed, and transforming experience in both body and mind. Observation, listening, and respect of one’s unique anatomy contribute to her passion for helping students create more peace and freedom. De is the founder of Be Center in Boulder, CO. You can reach De at www.Be.Center

Dakini’s Warm Breath Weekthun, March 12 – 19, 2023

By Judith Simmer-Brown // During these challenging times, I’ve taken great inspiration from the dakini lore and practices.  Introduced to me decades ago by my root teacher, Chögyam Trungpa, I have found that they infuse my life with power and meaning when navigating obstacles, heartbreak, and fear.  Tibetan Buddhist lineages have transmitted dakini lore in stories long treasured in the tradition.  In this retreat, we will turn to these stories for inspiration and guidance in our practice. Awaken to the truth of things Dakinis represent the inner spirituality of the practitioner, especially our insightful discoveries in meditation.  Because we often forget or resist those discoveries, dakinis are said to appear in visionary form in dreams or transitions to awaken us to the truth of things.  Or they invisibly escort us in our inner journeys, bringing sanity and openness.  They also work in surprising and outrageous ways to cut our habitual patterns, embarrass our concepts, and expose our spiritual potential.  They communicate symbolically, intuitively, through our own wisdom-minds. One of the simple truths the dakinis show …

The Practice I Do (Most) Every Morning

In this podcast, Sara shares the recording of a tried-and-true practice she led several years ago during a retreat at Drala Mountain Center. In it, she leads an exercise called “The Four-Part Check-In.” Those of you who have studied with Sara for a long time will be very familiar with this, and it’s also a practice she includes in both of her books. This exercise supports you in quickly assessing how you’re doing at the levels of body, heart, mind, and spirit–and what you most need to care for yourself each day. May this guided practice help you live each day more skillfully and connected to yourself. Enjoy! Join Sara for Replenishing & Revisioning for 2023 Photo by Ben White on Unsplash

The Virtues of Boredom

By Janet Solyntjes // It was the fall of 1986. I was staying with my mother during a period of transition marked by a lack of interest and direction. My mother gently asked if I wanted to see her therapist. I’m not sure how I knew that therapy wasn’t what was needed. A few days later I was driving from Minnesota to Colorado to what was then Rocky Mountain Dharma Center (now Drala Mountain Center) for a 28-day meditation retreat. The first week was enjoyable. It was autumn and the Colorado landscape was stunning. I was excited to learn the art of chanting and the ritualized movements of a Zen-inspired meal ceremony. Sitting and walking meditation practice helped me work with the thought patterns that had led me into the confused and directionless state. Hour by hour, with the instructions to let go of thoughts, my heart began to lighten. By the beginning of the third week I was less enthusiastic about the rigorous schedule. Each day followed a similar pattern: Sit. Walk. Sit. Eat. …