My Shambhala Mountain Center New Years

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“The bad news is you’re falling through the air, nothing to hang on to, no parachute. The good news is there’s no ground.” ~Chogyam Trungpa Rinpoche

Are you totally sick of starting your new year off exhausted? Are you looking to “get out of Dodge” and spend some time alone?

Me, too.

This year, I decided to do things a little differently. It’s a big year for me; I moved out west, started this blog, finished my first book and was just ready for some new beginnings. I thought to myself, Do you really want to start 2015 out by partying all night, fighting traffic and running around in a cocktail dress in the freezing cold? Um, this year, it was a no brainer -- HELL NO!

I wanted to set the stage for a self-empowered, supercharged, kick-ass rest of my year. So, I did some research and found the perfect New Year’s Eve destination: Shambhala Mountain Center. I’ve always really loved Chogyam Trungpa Rinpoche, so choosing to spend a night at his center seemed like a righteous decision.

The Shambhala center rests on 600 acres in the mountains of Colorado, on what I felt was sacred ground. When I walked up to the The Great Stupa of Dharmakaya (a large, mound-like structure built to inter the ashes of and honor the Buddhist master, Chogyam Trungpa), my heart skipped a beat. It’s a 20-minute walk from the parking lot and the closer I got, the stronger the vibe was. I mean, I could actually feel the energy of the earth under my feet. And with each step, I felt like I was growing, until it seemed like I was the size of a giant. Holy-moly!

Liberates Upon Seeing

Their motto for the stupa is, “Which Liberates Upon Seeing.” I think they nailed it. This 108-foot tall structure is actually breathtaking. The sheer magnitude of the statue is enough to stop you in your tracks. Stupas are said to bring blessings to the land they’re built on and to the people who visit them. And with everything I’d piled on my plate for the new year, I needed all the blessings I could get.

Walking into this enormous structure, I removed my shoes and sat down to meditate. In front of me stood a 20-foot-high golden Buddha. This glorious statue seemed to hold my hand as we walked into the transcendence. I closed my eyes and with zero effort, I moved past my mind and my body. The environment there is so supportive of meditation—I could feel the souls of all the visitors who had passed this way before me. It felt as though they had all wrapped their arms around me and were pouring love into my veins. In some way I could not understand, we were all together in that room. Tears started streaming down my face. How blessed am I, I thought, to have found this unbelievable place in the middle of nowhere?

Shambhala: The Sacred Path of the Warrior

By Chogyam Trungpa Rinpoche “Nowness is the sense that we are attuned to what is happening. The past is fiction and the future is a dream, and we are just living on the edge of a razor blade.”

Read the Book >

Quietly sitting there at the feet of this glorious statue of Buddha, I was experiencing peace at its deepest level.

History has shown me this level of silence can move mountains. How strange and yet magical was it that I was starting off the new year in deep meditation on one of the most sacred mountains in all the land?

This New Year’s Eve “trip” changed me forever. Driving away, I smiled to myself and thought, I’ll never go back to the way it used to be. My new way is God’s way and this New Year’s Eve was a testament to God’s will—that I live from the inside out...always.

Indeed, God has allowed me to go up to the mountain. And the view from here is truly beyond words.

Where is your mountain top?

Do you have a favorite place or spot to go within?

Let’s talk about it.