CT meditates: a comedy (12). Hiking at Shambhala


Our trip to Shambhala mountain center would not have been complete without some strenuous hiking up above the retreat. It sits on 600 acres of land in the foothills and is pretty spectacular. Allen Ginsburg’s remains are buried here. And hiking the perimeter trail is a wonderful 10 mile traverse, of which we did a couple miles.

Funny story: we timed our hike to leave us plenty of time to be back for our next yoga session, but as we enjoyed ourselves so much, we realized we were going to be late. We hurried back down the mountain (whooping and jumping down the sloping trails as we went). However, as we came back into the retreat area, we jogged as quietly as we could past a stately, older retreat participant, garnering us a quick glare. Nothing like RUSHING BACK to be in time for restorative yoga.

The gate to a Shinto shrine on the left, the Stupa on the right at Shambhala.

So, coming on the journey with me? I’m going to stay with a 3 minute meditation, eyes closed, with just the simple goal of spending 3 minutes in a comfortable pose, and focusing on breath. Then to watch the inevitable stream of thoughts floating by, observing each one as a puffy cloud, letting it just drift by without diving into it, and returning to my breath.

CMIO’s take? My favorite (mis)quoted line from Herbie the Love Bug: “Rushing is a cracked bowl, which knows no rice.”

Author: CT Lin

CMIO, UCHealth (Colorado); Professor, University of Colorado School of Medicine

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