Month: June 2014

Floral Notes and Bardo: Doing It, Nicely

By Travis Newbill Floral Notes and Bardo: The Creative Chronicles of a Shambhala Mountain Resident is a daily feature on the SMC blog in which a member of our staff/community shares his experience of existing as part of Shambhala Mountain Center. Arriving back here after my recent trip to New York, I felt at once inspired, refreshed, and overwhelmed.  This whole thing is a huge project: creating enlightened society.  And, there are no guarantees.  Yet, somehow, here at Shambhala Mountain Center, it has sustained for over forty years.  An ever-changing bunch of people, with their confusions and brilliance, have been doing it together for over four decades. Here we are. Photo by John Russel of SMC Colorado Front Range Style Expectations for myself.  Good inspiration versus overly-ambitious. Yesterday at lunch time, the three Dekyongs (two dropped out recently) had a meeting.  Molly laying on a picnic bench, sunbathing.  Oakes and I pulled up chairs beside her and we talked causally for twenty minutes or so.  Good vibes. The previous Dekyong meeting was an hour long, in …

Floral Notes and Bardo: Here and There

By Travis Newbill Floral Notes and Bardo: The Creative Chronicles of a Shambhala Mountain Resident is a daily feature on the SMC blog in which a member of our staff/community shares his experience of existing as part of Shambhala Mountain Center. I was away for a week, and it’s a whole new world now.  I even have a new name (a good one!): Good Highland Prankster (pictured below with Good Equanimity Sword) Photo by Laurie Amodeo No one is the same, the land is not the same.  It’s summer time.  So green.  Green: Karma energy — All accomplishing.  In the winter I felt cozy, and now when I try to be cozy I feel restless.  Time to move.  Time to shake it.  Time to sing! My dear friends Laurie and Todd came here to visit. I say: I would not be here if it weren’t for Todd.  He’s had a lot to do with turning me onto the dharma, Shambhala, etc.  This blog that I write is really just a public version of letters that I’ve been sending …

Zen Mind, Brush Mind: Kaz Tanahashi

  Kazuaki Tanahashi will be leading Brush Mind: Zen Calligraphy and Brushwork, September 11–13, 2015 A lot could be (and has been) said about  Kazuaki Tanahashi (who is affectionately known as “Kaz”) — a deeply precious teacher, artist, and activist.  Here, we’ll let his masterful bushwork do most of the talking.  Enjoy.     Zen Circles “In the Zen tradition ensos, or circle symbols, have been drawn with black ink on paper, to represent enlightenment. As the multi-colored flow of paint represents the interconnectedness of all life, each circle reflects my hopes, visions and aspirations for a world making healthier choices for the benefit of future generations.” –Kaz   Brush Calligraphy “The ideography that originated in China has been a common writing system in China, Vietnam, Korea, and Japan for centuries, although the ideographs are pronounced differently.” –Kaz   One-Stroke Paintings “Tanahashi’s one-stroke paintings … always painted in just one breath, leave a passionate swash whispered trace.” – Kyoto Journal To see more of Kaz’s artwork, and to learn more about this incredible master, please …

Floral Notes and Bardo: Slippery Fish

By Travis Newbill Floral Notes and Bardo: The Creative Chronicles of a Shambhala Mountain Resident is a daily feature on the SMC blog in which a member of our staff/community shares his experience of existing as part of Shambhala Mountain Center. Sweeping through the forest, tumbling into the valley — flowers, given by my prior-self.  Remember? Photo by Zane Edwards, Summer 2012 When I first arrived here in 2012: Sitting in Pushpa, seeing the knot of eternity, which was carved into a puja table in front of me — I knew.  Another moment, laying in bed, the week I arrived, watching clouds come up from behind Red Feather peak and dissolve in mid air, one after another.  I knew I’d live here. I’ve always had this vision of three years:  Come here at age thirty, and leave at age 33, re-enter the world.  Go off to the mountain and attain some realization, and then come back down and teach.  So holy, right? That was always the vision.  So I promised myself I’d live here for three years. …

Courageous Women, Fearless Living Celebrates Its Eighth Year

Photos by Barb Colombo Shambhala Mountain Center will be hosting the 8th Annual Courageous Women, Fearless Living retreat from August 19-24, 2014. This innovative and contemplative program was founded in 2005 and has helped over 300 women with a current or past diagnosis of cancer. Through nutrition, Tibetan healing, integrative medicine, meditation, yoga, art and community building, women are given powerful tools to meet the totality of their experience directly and courageously. “Our goal is for our participants to return home with a new circle of support and friendship; with the mental, emotional, and contemplative tools to support them in their journey through cancer; and with greater self-awareness, confidence, and appreciation for life,” says Judith Lief, one of the lead instructors of the retreat. Lief is a contemplative hospice pioneer, senior meditation instructor, former dean of Naropa University and author of Making Friends with Death.  She is joined for this retreat by a team of experts with similarly impressive credentials including Victoria Maizes, MD, Executive Director of the Arizona Center for Integrative Medicine at the University …

Floral Notes and Bardo: Mango on a Mountain

By Travis Newbill Floral Notes and Bardo: The Creative Chronicles of a Shambhala Mountain Resident is a daily feature on the SMC blog in which a member of our staff/community shares his experience of existing as part of Shambhala Mountain Center. Arriving home last week… Home is here, Shambhala Mountain Center — where I’m greeted so warmly by my friends, where Dorian wanted to hear about how my Florida trip went, then said “you’re family” and we hugged.  The elders, hugs.  Lunch together, delicious, prepared by my friends. And, here I am with a companion — Heather, who I met, really met, in the enchanted aspen grove, one of my favorite spots on the planet. Photo by John Russell And nearby the Stupa and the clear presence of lineage everywhere.  Everywhere… here, and how about everywhere else?  How about Florida?  I don’t feel so good or at home there, but there is lots more world.  To be here is safe.  There is a background attitude of : “Okay universe, I’ve come to live and serve at …