Ikebana: Bringing Life to Flowers

  If you have ever wondered about the unusual flower arrangements at our Ottawa Shambhala Centre, you may be interested to learn that they are inspired by Ikebana, the ancient Japanese art of flower arrangement. Ikebana, which means “bring life to the flowers,” began in China 2,300 years ago. It arose out of the practice … Continue 

The Generosity of Saying No

    What happens when you see one of those emails? You know the ones I’m talking about. It’s from someone you know, someone you like. Maybe your boss, or a co-worker. Another parent at your kid’s school. One of the folks at the meditation centre. It might be sent to a whole group of … Continue 

How Shambhala changed my life (maybe even saved it)

        I was a serial self-improver. I’ve spent more time in the self-help aisles of more bookstores than I will ever admit. I’ve tried – and failed at – affirmations, talk therapy, behavioral-cognitive therapy, Gestalt therapy, inner child work (if I find my inner child, can I use her as a tax … Continue 

Directors’ Corner – Greetings from New Co-directors

        Welcome to what we hope will be a semi-regular feature – a blog post from the Ottawa Shambhala Centre Co-Directors, Colin Cordner and Loretta Colton. We hope to use these posts as a way of keeping our community informed, to let you know where our priorities and focus are, and to … Continue 

Pain, Suffering and the Four Noble Truths with Suzanne Schecter Côté

Everyone suffers. It seems unavoidable. The Buddha taught that life is suffering, that we experience big suffering as well as ongoing minor suffering and annoyances. The Buddha also taught that there is a way to overcome suffering. How does pain fit into all that? Please join Suzanne Schecter Côté at the Shambhala Centre for a … Continue 

Une expérience sur le coussin de méditation

        Silence. Je ressens mon corps qui repose sur le coussin. Je tousse, bouge les épaules, étale les mains sur mes cuisses. Ma jambe gauche me fait mal ; je la déplace vers la droite ; la douleur s’éteint ; le silence revient. J’inspire, j’expire. Le silence n’est plus qu’un souffle, le … Continue 

Finding the Feminine in Buddhism

Finding the Feminine in Buddhism by Patricia Willoughby                                                                                    Kwan Yin When I was growing … Continue 

The Mudra of Green Tara

Green Tara Mudra. …  (Sanskrit “seal”, “mark”or “gesture”; Tibetan: chakgya) is a symbolic or ritual gesture in Hinduism and Buddhism. Most mudras are performed with the hands and fingers.  Each mudra communicates both to the person who performs it and to the observer, aspects of a particular state of mind. The most notable mudras are; … Continue 

Nature Mirrored Within

A recent  invitation to join Mark Frutkin and Hilary Samuel in a workshop entitled Nature Mirrored Within at the Arboretum was irresistible.  I always jump at any opportunity to commune with nature.  So on a Sunday morning a small group of us joined Mark and Hilary at the Arboretum. We began with  a short meditation, … Continue 

Love for All, Hatred for None

Earlier this month Suzanne Schecter coordinated a small  group of us from the Ottawa Shambhala Centre to attend the annual peace conference organized by Ahmadiyya Muslim Women’s Association of Ottawa. The theme of  the conference was the role of religion in the 21st century.   It was held at The Glebe Community Centre  and it was wonderful to meet … Continue