Author: DMCBlog

Connecting to Blessings

By Judith Simmer-Brown During the academic year 1988-89, my family and I lived in Bodhnath in the Kathmandu Valley, just outside of Kathmandu. Our home was adjacent to the powerful Bodhnath Stupa, one of the most sacred pilgrimage sites of the Himalayans. We joined the vibrant Tibetan refugee community that practiced there every day, circumambulating early in the morning and in late afternoon, reciting prayers and mantras or just socializing with friends. Sometimes we sat quietly inside one of the tiny lamp-lit shrines. Our Tibetan friends embraced our baby son and us, sweeping us along with them as they walked and introducing us to everyday devotional practices of the Valley. Invisible Waves of Blessings These months of practice deeply influenced my understanding of what is called adhishthana, the Sanskrit word for blessings (Tibetan, jinlap). The word comes from the Indian sutras that speak about the powerful atmosphere generated by the enlightened mind of the Buddha, creating a kind of force-field that made it possible for practitioners to ripen spontaneously as they absorb non-conceptually the transmissions …

Why Meditation and Yoga for Runners & Hikers?

“I drove myself with an unconscious motivation of fear. Afraid that I am not special unless I prove I am special.” ~Marty Kibiloski In our upcoming Labor Day Weekend program, Meditation and Yoga for Runners & Hikers (formerly Running with the Mind of Meditation), you’ll learn how to enjoy the journey — not just the finish line. “The people that, I think, are drawn to running are used to hard work and pushing themselves and tend to be goal-setters,” says Marty. “We start to compare ourselves to other people.” This is where mindfulness, which employs the same principles used in yoga and meditation, comes in. Mindfulness is the basic ability to be fully present. It’s a mental state achieved by calmly acknowledging and accepting one’s feelings, thoughts and bodily sensations without judgment.​ There are sound evolutionary reasons why running and walking have surged in popularity in the new millennium to become the exercise of choice for reducing stress, bringing us greater perspective, and connecting us directly to the wisdom of the body. The practices of …

Allowing the World to Come to You

Exploring the rich world of natural creativity we all share is the focus of our upcoming online retreat – AWAKE MIND: Write • Draw • Contemplate on October 8 – 9, 2022. Experience a little taste of this playful virtual adventure with this simple practice, Sky Earth Heart : A Threefold Path, offered by Barbara Bash, co-presenter of the retreat. Join Barbara and Victress for this virtual retreat in October! About the Presenters Barbara Bash Artist/calligrapher Barbara Bash has taught Brush Spirit and Contemplative Drawing workshops over the years. She was a student of Chögyam Trungpa Rinpoche during the early years of the Vajradhatu sangha in Boulder with Victress Hitchcock. Barbara was a teacher of calligraphy and contemplative art practices at Naropa University. Barbara is an artist and writer/illustrator of books including her most recent True Nature: An Illustrated Journal of Four Seasons in Solitude Useful Links View Barbara’s website Upcoming Workshops Victress Hitchcock Filmmaker/writer Victress Hitchcock was a founding member of Centre Productions, the film company Rinpoche started in 1975. Victress has been a …

Yoga Heart Opening Work

Most people are aware that yoga improves heart health by increasing circulation and blood flow. Research shows that practicing yoga can help lower blood pressure, cholesterol, and blood glucose levels, as well as the heart rate. All these benefits can add up to a lower risk of hypertension, stroke, and heart disease. In this practice video, De West shares another benefit of Yoga for your heart. The heart open practice is noticing what is happening and then being very kind to it. You’ll use your body to help you be more in touch with what you feel. About the Author 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 …

Healthy Selfishness 

Excerpt from the international bestseller You Were Not Born To Suffer by Blake D. Bauer A person who seeks help for a friend, while needy himself, will be answered first. ~The Talmud  If you’re honest with yourself, would you say you’re a selfish person or a selfless person? What do you think of the assertion that everyone is in fact selfish, regardless of how well it is masked? Could you entertain the view that some of us are healthy in our selfish tendencies while most of us are quite unhealthy and destructive, which is what gives the topic of ‘selfishness’ a negative association and leads us to deny it as a fundamental attribute of human nature?  If you really analyze it, you will eventually see that we either take good care of ourselves – which enables us actually to have time and energy for others – or we neglect our mental, emotional and physical wellbeing, and therefore live in the world with stress, resentment and a lack of joy. Our metaphorical cup is either overflowing …

Permission to Exhale

By: Brooke Binstock  As I sit to write this post, I pause to feel the wind on my skin. I look around and see people sitting at picnic benches drinking iced coffee and connecting. It is a Saturday morning in Austin, Texas. It has been an intense time in the world and as an empath, I feel it all, heavy and slow moving. I consider how difficult it is for us as a culture to just be, rest and give ourselves time to process. It is a theme I have written about over and over again in my monthly newsletter. Just rest, slow down, breathe, pause, allow…  And though it’s one thing to write and teach about these concepts, it is quite another to put them into practice.  One Big Inhale When my co-teachers, Kelly, Marissa and I got together via zoom to talk about a theme for our upcoming retreat in September at Drala Mountain, we discussed how these past few years have felt like one big inhale. An anticipation, a collective worry, a …

The Luminous Bardo of Dharmata: an interview with Andrew Holecek

“Armed with these teachings, death becomes a once in a lifetime opportunity.” What a game changer this is! All the trepidation and anxiety about death, born from not-knowing and ignorance, is replaced with anticipation. We can have control over a situation that typically has control over us. In his program, Andrew hacks into these incredibly profound Bardo teachings to make them accessible and help us recognize and prepare for bardo experiences in life and death. View the video (click on image below) to join Dhi and Andrew as they discuss some of what you’ll learn in Drala Mountain Center’s “Death and the Art of Dying: The Luminous Bardo of Dharmata” hybrid program in August 2022. Some Topics Andrew Will Cover How to remove all fear of death How to help others at the end of life The Tibetan Book of the Dead What continues after death, where do you go Where near-death-experiences fit in The “primordial distraction” Contemplations and meditations that help you prepare How dream yoga and sleep yoga help you prepare

Overcoming Resistance to Your Spiritual Practice

Sara Avant Stover Sara Avant Stover, presenter of Drala Mountain Center’s Filling Your Well: A Women’s Yoga, Meditation & Nature Retreat, is a teacher of feminine spirituality, bestselling author, and Certified Internal Family Systems (IFS) Practitioner. After a cancer scare in her early twenties, Sara moved to Thailand, embarked on a decade-long healing and spiritual odyssey throughout Asia, and has since gone on to uplift tens of thousands of women worldwide. The creator of the world’s first Women’s Yoga Teacher Training, Sara has also been featured in Yoga Journal, the Huffington Post, Newsweek, Natural Health, and on ABC, NBC, and CBS. She lives in Boulder, CO. Sara’s the author of The Way of the Happy Woman: Living the Best Year of Your Life and The Book of SHE: Your Heroine’s Journey into the Heart of Feminine Power. Useful Links View Sara’s website Check out offerings and upcoming programs Listen to Truth, Love & Beauty podcast Featured Audio Talk February 20, 2022 – Overcoming Resistance to Your Spiritual Practice With the increasing levels of uncertainty we’re …