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August 2, 2009 at 1:27 PMComments: 0 Faves: 0

Shambhala - Getting Healthy in Your Happy Place

By Smarty More Blogs by This Author

Have you ever tried meditation for your health?

Before you dismiss this as a New Age or pseudo religious trend, think objectively about the ideas behind Shambhala.

"The basic tool of meditation can nurture the bravery required to look directly into one's own heart and mind."

Shambhala (also known as Shambala or Shamballa) is a branch of Buddhism that offers a new perception for our era, and is open to people from any belief or ideology. Shambhala operates on the knowledge that each person is naturally good, warm, and intelligent. In today's world, these positives are easily countered by doubt, fear and egotism. As a solution to such negativity, Shambhala provides a path of meditation and ancient principles for use in everyday life.

When properly developed, the basic tool of meditation can nurture the bravery required to look directly into one's own heart and mind. The self-awareness and positivity that can come from serious meditation will enhance the mood of not only the Shambhala follower, but also their friends, family, and community.

So, how does this relate to our health?

The techniques of Shambhala are not new to the health community, but lately have gone by a different name: Mindful-Based Stress Reduction (MBSR). Concentrating on stress-reduction, looking within oneself to find that essence of goodness, and practicing positivity all serve to reduce stress on the entire body. Most significant are perhaps the improvements on heart health. One of the central concepts of Shambhala is fundamentalism.

Although that might immediately lead you to think of certain religious sects that subscribe to a strict interpretation of text or doctrine, Shambhala's fundamentalism is the perception of every human as good, warm, and intelligent. Practicing meditation is the way to find our roots, who we actually are. Ideally, accessing this essential understanding will improve our health and wellness, which we can spread to those around us. There are a couple of schools of thought discussing what exactly Shambhala is or was. Although it is generally accepted as an idea of a place of happiness, some think that it is a hidden location in the Eastern world. Still, proponents all the way up to the Dali Lama tend to speak of Shambhala as a destination of the mind, a type of euphoria. This is probably the most practical interpretation for followers in the Western world.

Is Shambhala for me?

As with most alternative health options, Shambhala and meditation are not a quick fix. Rather, they are an investment of time and education about improving our health from the inside out. Changing behavior for long term wellness is often a better means of achieving health than drugs, as it does not encourage chemical alteration or dependency. Give Shambhala a try, and start benefiting from meditation today!


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