All posts filed under: Mindfulness

5 Keys to Health, Happiness, Self-Worth & Peace

By Blake D. Bauer I never learned how to love myself. And then I did a lot of things in my life that I didn’t like or love about myself, and I ended up doing a lot of damage. I would really love to help you understand how to stop hurting yourself and how to stop letting yourself get hurt. Figuring out how to love yourself practically today and every day is the key. From the moment we wake up in the morning we are either hurting ourselves with our habits or healing ourselves with our habits. I’ve broken down self-love into five specific key steps which are habits that we need to practice on a daily basis to be truly healthy and happy and shape the life we want. Key 1 for Loving Yourself Every Day—Express yourself honestly and kindly A lot of us are living in a way where we internalize much of what we feel, need and want. Because we never really learned how to understand what we’re actually feeling, what we …

Live as a Free and Full Expression of Who You Really Are

by Blake D. Bauer What if all our suffering is a cry from our soul, from our body and our subconscious mind, asking us to love, value, and take much better care of ourselves? What if our suffering is waking us up to what matters most, to the reasons we were actually born? We experience so much pain and suffering throughout our life. You were not born to suffer. You came here to enjoy your life, to learn about love, to grow. The question that’s really important to answer is “how do I create less suffering for myself and for the people I love?”   A lot of our suffering is the result of us betraying ourselves and trying to please other people all the time. I’ve been tortured mentally and emotionally. I’ve struggled with drug addiction, and suicidal thoughts. I’ve gone through periods of not wanting to be here. I feel really lucky that I found some insights that helped me heal my heart and find deep health again…and I want to help you …

Autumn and Cultivating Equanimity

As Mother Nature changes with the seasons, human beings also experience transition. Everything from the activities we participate in, the foods we eat, and the time we go to bed, to our external/internal reflections change. With Fall right around the corner, we thought it was a good time to share Sara Avant Stover’s podcast “Reflection for the Autumn Equinox” to understand how Autumn asks us to change. Celebrate the New Year with Sara and Drala Mountain Center by Replenishing & Revisioning

Bringing Together East and West, Meditation and Movement

By Michael Sandrock Leave it to German novelist Herman Hesse to give some great insight into the life of men and women. Hesse, the Nobel Prize winner who influenced many in the 1960s in the era of consciousness-raising, wrote in his 1922 novel “Siddhartha:” Most people are like a falling leaf that drifts and turns in the air, flutters, and falls to the ground. But a few others are like stars which travel one defined path; no wind reaches them, they have within themselves their guide and path. How to find your guide and path? For many of us in the West, it is through athletics and a focus on the body, specifically long-distance running in recent years. In the East, the path included a meditation practice as exemplified by the journey of Siddartha, the future Buddha. Over the Labor Day weekend, the Drala Mountain Center will once again host a retreat that brings together East and West, meditation and movement, in its “Meditation and Yoga for Runners & Hikers,” one of many DMC programs …

Exhaling Deeply

By Kelly Lindsey It’s a beautiful sunny day in late July and I have just arrived at Drala Mountain Center for Family Camp, an annual retreat for families that I have been attending with my children for the past 20 years. Drala Mountain Center has been my spiritual home since I first set foot on this sacred land more than two decades ago. Each time I return and I glimpse the Great Stupa of Dharmakaya in the distance, my body softens. My heart opens. My breath deepens. I notice that as I exhale, a gentle sigh escapes my lips. It feels like I have been holding my breath for awhile. Living though a pandemic and bearing witness to the increasing amount of confusion and conflict in the world has at times felt like too much to bear. This is a place where I find refuge. I take a walk and begin to reacquaint myself with this place again. As I wander, I recall sacred moments of connection that I have felt throughout my many summers …

Three line expression by Barbara Bash

Creativity to Awaken Your Mind

Three line expression by Barbara Bash By Victress Hitchcock The weekend of October 8 & 9, 2022 Barbara Bash and I are leading a Drala Mountain Center online retreat:  AWAKE MIND: Write – Draw – Contemplate.  As the writing guide for the retreat, I’ve been thinking a lot about what I want to bring to this journey into the world of natural creativity. I love words. I love playing with words and constructing worlds out of words.  Let me share a couple of quotes that I feel perfectly describe what we will be doing in our two days together:  One by Flannery O’Connor: “I write to discover what I know.” And another by Mary Oliver: “Pay attention. Be astonished. Tell about it.”  As we dive deep into free writes and prompted writes and haiku we will be paying attention, exploring, discovering and telling all about it.  One of the ideas I am playing with is free form writing where we put words together in different ways to create a simple poetic expression. You can use …

The Gift of Attention

By Melissa Lago When we feel calm, we have more options about where to place our attention. One of the many gifts of yoga and mindful movement is that it can help us to calm our sympathetic nervous system designed for fight, flight or freeze, which causes stress, and activate our parasympathetic nervous system responsible for rest, which promotes an experience of relaxation, inner peace, and well-being. Since we are wired for survival, it’s natural that when we are overwhelmed or stressed, our negativity bias turns on, which is designed to keep us safe. In these moments we often notice what is out of balance in our bodies or challenging in our lives rather than what feels supportive or is working.  Many of us have had the experience of noticing when our back is sore, and then barely noticing it once it’s healed. This can be true in our relationships too. We might find ourselves focusing on the one thing that we find annoying that our partner, friend or family member is doing rather than …

Flowing with the Seasons

By Heather Lindemann The realities of living in our modern culture can often impose a quick pace that is focused on “doing.” From getting to the next meeting to answering e-mails or texts, to checking off items on the never-ending to-do list, it’s easy to get consumed by the forward-moving cadence of a “productive” life.  The natural flow of the seasons offers us another way to move through our day While the to-do list might remain, we can also align our movement, intention, and practices with the energy of the seasons as a way to slow down and harmonize with the innate rhythms of Mother Nature. By connecting with the subtle energies of the Earth, we create a flow in our daily lives that boosts our innate superpowers and fosters ease and a sense of calm within our busy and over-scheduled lives. Alignment to the seasonal flow isn’t a new concept. Ancient cultures prayed, celebrated, worshiped, and built monuments to synch with the summer and winter solstices as well as the fall and spring equinoxes. …

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 …