Fall News at the Phoenix Shambhala Center

We have many things happening at the Center this fall, including a variety of upcoming programs to the filling of four Council positions. We’re delighted to announce the appointment of Amy Kemp as Center Director. Amy comes to us with a long history of service to the Phoenix Shambhala Center, having acted as Rusung, Meditation … Continue 

An Example of Buddha’s Words in Action, by Michelle Welch

Hatreds never cease through hatred (in this world); through love alone they cease. This is an eternal law. – Buddha I found a compelling example of this thinking in action in a recent book I read – not a dharma book but the memoir Shrill by feminist journalist and fat acceptance activist Lindy West. Among … Continue 

Labeling Thoughts, by Michelle Welch

I have some trouble labeling my thoughts during meditation. I’m the kind of person who often grits my teeth when I say “thinking” to myself, and when I try to soften my voice it can come with a condescending eyeroll, “There I go, thinking again, because I’m just too dumb do this right.” So I’ve … Continue 

Lincoln in the Bardo by George Saunders, a book review by Michelle Welch

I’m often on the lookout for Buddhist-themed novels, and Lincoln in the Bardo is a new novel that received numerous critical accolades. More recently, Lion’s Roar magazine featured an interview with the author, George Saunders. I was particularly drawn to the novel after I attended a sukhavati ceremony, which is intended to help a deceased … Continue 

Highlights from Winter Weekthun Celebration by Michelle Welch

Calligraphy by Stuart Rice Characters for Man and Life in different styles. The themes for this year’s weekthun were “It’s a Wonderful Life” and joining heaven and earth. It’s a Wonderful Life, by Teresa Gregersen Chorus: Great Eastern Sun is arisin’ Great Eastern Sun is shinin’ Woh oh oh Great Eastern Sun is alive in … Continue 

Accelerating Change by Kim Kelso

Thinking about the results of the presidential election at first filled me with disappointment, dread and fear.  As the weeks unfolded, I was tempted to be forlorn.  Yet I knew from my Shambhala teachings that ignoring  or withdrawing was not the solution. As I searched for a way to maintain some sense of equanimity while … Continue 

Art and the impulse to reach out, by Michelle Welch

I love finding Buddhist themes in unexpected places, most often in books that are otherwise unrelated to Buddhism. Recently I read The Art of Asking, a memoir by rock/punk singer and songwriter Amanda Palmer, which describes not just her life and career in music but also her artistic aesthetic. It’s in part an expansion on … Continue 

The Clothes Hamper as Practice, By Stuart Rice

My name is Stuart, your Culture and Decorum representative, and I have a confession: I’m a very messy person. And I can also confess that it was my messiness that, in a Shambhala sense, provided an opportunity for wakefulness and for an on-going practice of kindness. A few years ago, when my husband Patrick was … Continue 

Storyline, by Michelle Welch

One of Pema Chödrön’s best known teachings is to drop the storyline. As she describes in Taking the Leap: “Pete has a wonderful open quality and a great sense of humor, but when he’s having one of his meltdowns, he temporarily loses all his brilliance and lets the storyline take over, as in: ‘My younger … Continue 

Synchronizing Body And Mind – By Shastri Kim Kelso

When we meditate we are practicing synchronizing mind and body.  We are giving ourselves a chance to collect ourselves.   Often our body is ahead of our mind or our mind is ahead of the body, or our body is sitting in the room and our mind is in yesterday or tomorrow or a fantasy.  So … Continue