Category Archives: Wisdom Teachings

The Purpose of Suffering, Depression, and Disease

An excerpt from Blake Bauer’s book, You Were Not Born to Suffer. Blake will be presenting Unconditional Self Love, Qi Gong & Meditation at Hollyhock in August 2017.

The world breaks everyone, and afterward, many are strong at the broken places. – Ernest Hemingway

Wherever you are, please take a few slow, deep breaths into your belly. Feel your whole body, from your feet all the way up to the crown of your head, and then down to your fingertips. Please relax any tension you feel and let yourself be. Using each inhalation to open your body and create inner space, welcome everything you’re thinking, feeling and experiencing here in this moment. Please be present to your body and your breath.

Everything happens for a reason, especially health challenges of the mind and body. Although this may be difficult to accept, I’ve found that many of us unintentionally allow ourselves to get depressed or physically unwell, because we never learned how to express our emotions or care for ourselves in the ways necessary to remain healthy and happy throughout life. We learn from a young age to please others and to seek our parents’ or our caregivers’ conditional love to survive, but it’s often at the expense of being true to ourselves and it causes us very deep harm.

If we never wake up to this unhealthy internal dynamic, it eventually leads to depression, disease, relationship problems and most forms of suffering, all of which are simply cries from our soul calling us back home to ourselves, to the source of peace and strength within, and ultimately to love and value ourselves in each moment – starting now.

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Padma Meditation

By Padma Shyam, who will be presenting Padma Meditation: Finding Balance and Joy at Hollyhock in September.

Namaste! I live in the Himalayan mountains, and over the last thirty years, I’ve learned from my guru and through my own daily meditation that we are, each one of us, pure and free and forever blessed.

For years I’ve practiced breath exercises and gentle hatha yoga, eaten a pure vegetarian diet, and every single day, taken the time to meditate.

I’ve found that the single most powerful technique you can do, is the very simple act of sitting down and closing your eyes each day.

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Moving into the Unknown

By Kristen Scholfield-Sweet, from The Journey Oracle Blog, who will be presenting Moving in the Unknown with Ann Mortifee at Hollyhock in  August 23-27, 2017.

Ann Mortifee and I are teaching a session at Hollyhock, on Cortes Island this August titled Moving into the Unknown.  But before we can intend to move into the unknown and experience the Mystery, we must first believe it is possible to do so.  How do I know that I am developing a relationship with the unseen forces of nature, and the creatures who inhabit the other-than-human world?  Here are three examples from my daily life.

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Time of Transition

Atum O’Kane
Time of Transition
July 2-7, 2017

A Buddhist Valentine

By Lama Surya Das, who will be presenting  Make Me One with Everything in Vancouver on Sept 24, 2017.

Valentine’s Day is one of my favorite American holidays. The fact
that this over-commercialized day falls around the same time as Tibetan New Year reminds me to make new year’s resolutions relating to my loved ones, and to renew my commitment to cultivating warm empathetic, altruistic compassion and unselfish goodness of heart, the very essence of authentic love. These resolutions usually involve opening my heart and mind; listening better; learning to forgive and love even those I don’t like; and coming to accept and bless the world, rather than fighting with it or trying to escape from it. Through co-meditating with everything, as it appears; through intermeditation and interbeing with it–rather than against or apart from “it”– I am learning to see thru the illusion of separateness. I also remember groups and individuals who may not feel included in this so-called lovers’ day in our country,  including single people and the LGBTQ+ communities. As Zen Master Dogen says: “To study the Buddha Way is to be intimate with all things.” This is true love.

What is true love? How would Buddha love? By seeing every single being, human and otherwise, as fundamentally like himself, and thus able to treat them and love them in the way he or she would be treated. We call this infinitely benevolent, selfless love the invaluable Bodhicitta or the Awakened Heart, the very spirit and soul of enlightenment. One can find this taught elegantly in the “Loving-kindness Sutra”; in Shantideva’s classic “The Way of the Bodhisattva“; in Atisha’s “Seven Points of Mind-Training & Attitude Transformation,” and in The Good Book.

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