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 

“Viral” by Emily Mitchell – a book review by Michelle Welch

Once in a while I discover things reminiscent of Buddhist teachings in unexpected places. Viral, a collection of short stories by Emily Mitchell, is another one of these examples. Like most short fiction in this literary style, the stories in this collection deal with the truth of the human condition, but the selection “Guided Meditation” … Continue 

Community Volunteering, by Ray Halowski

Shambhala vision is rooted in the principle that every human being has a fundamental nature of basic goodness. This nature can be developed in daily life so that it radiates out to family, friends, community and society. This vision offers possibilities for a culture in which life’s challenges are met with kindness, generosity and courage. … Continue 

Tonglen in Practice – By Michelle Welch

I recently had an opportunity to do tonglen, the practice of breathing in others’ suffering and breathing out what would relieve their suffering. Pema Chodron has some teachings about doing tonglen on the spot, when you encounter something in the world that upsets you.   “If you’re in a jealous rage and you have the … Continue 

Membership in Shambhala – A Treasure Hidden in Plain Sight, by Lynn Vineyard

As the current Membership Coordinator for the Phoenix Shambhala Center, I have been considering this question: What is the connection between membership and sangha? The three jewels of Buddhism are: the Buddha, the Dharma, and the Sangha. The Sanskrit word, sangha, translates to “assembly” or “community.” Originally a sangha was a monastic community of ordained Buddhist monks or nuns. … Continue