Month: November 2014

Floral Notes and Bardo: Estranged into Love

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. In the wee hours, I stepped outside the yurt to wee.  It was frosty and blue.  The moon nearly full in the western sky, so the east-facing ridge was kissed, aglow.  Everything so still, frosty.  The Stupa illuminated, and the bare aspens, unconcerned. My mantra: no rush. I’m realizing — again and again — how bent I am on doing so many, many, things.  Today at breakfast, I skipped the grapefruit, rather than inhaling it so that I could make it to meditation on time. Less and more fully. No rush. I spent some time last night in the shrine room, by myself, studying the dharma.  So cold outside, and cozy in Pushpa with my tea and the heater, and lots of space to read, reflect.  I felt connected to my journey.  When the session …

Core Skills for Nondefensive Communication

Shambhala Mountain Center hosts Emotional Enlightenment: Direct Path To Compassionate Communication with Paul Shippee, December 5-7, 2014 by Paul Shippee “Anger and blame come from the belief that other people cause our pain and therefore deserve punishment.” ~Marshall Rosenberg PART I The practice of Nonviolent Communication (NVC), also known as non-defensive communication and compassionate communication, requires a “change of consciousness.” As such it involves learning some new core skills. These interpersonal, emotional, and relational skills are new in the sense of being an alternative to familiar and habitual emotional reactivity that is often unconscious. Mindless reactivity gives rise to behavior patterns that isolate us and give rise to life-alienating experiences. The most important core skill, besides emotional awareness, is to overcome blame. What I mean by “change of consciousness” is really simple but not necessarily easy. It is, first, to see how our old habitual emotional reactions result in behaviors that disconnect us from others and ourselves. Then, when we re-connect with ourselves in a new way it might seem a bit strange and maybe difficult, …

Ten Tips for Non-Violent Communication

By Paul Shippee Shambhala Mountain Center hosts Emotional Enlightenment: Direct Path To Compassionate Communication with Paul Shippee, December 5-7, 2014 Non-defensive/Nonviolent Communication, also know as Compassionate Communication, is a way of relating to others so that everyone’s needs matter. NVC fosters connections between people rather than competition, one-upmanship or judgment. Shifting your attention to inner space rather than finding fault with what’s out there is the secret sauce for life-enhancing connections. Here are Ten Tips for NVC to get you started in the right direction: 1. Recognize and acknowledge that everyone’s basic nature is compassion and basic goodness, no matter what they are doing or saying on the surface. 2. Recognize and identify obstacles to compassion and empathy, such as unexamined beliefs, judgmental thoughts and old habitual patterns of reactive emotional behavior. 3. Cultivate emotional awareness in the present moment so that your reactivity is not projected outward onto others. 4. Become precisely aware of feelings, if you can, as they arise in the moment and move through you. You may have difficult reactive emotions that …

Bringing Your Practice Home

By Katharine Kaufman Shambhala Mountain Center hosts Bringing your Practice Home with Katharine Kaufman, November 21-23, 2014 Many poets, thinkers, and dreamers have talked about the inner voice, and a time of changing slightly what we are doing. The nudge leaves us trembling or is just a whisper, barely audible. At certain times in our lives there is a call to listen inwardly and be with ourselves. Maybe we are exhausted from busy days, or we feel stagnant in our yoga practice, or we can’t find time in our schedule to practice. Some of us travel and need a short daily boost. Maybe we want to devote an entire day each month to resting, sitting and yoga. Perhaps a close friend has died, or we find ourselves at a new intersection in our lives and our perspectives are changing. We might feel dull and would like to re-awaken our creative voice. Regardless of our circumstances, the call is there—nagging perhaps, or a faint insistence that occurs in the guise of, “I need to do something …

Floral notes and Bardo: Changes Visible in Moonlight

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. Changes visible in moonlight — the aspens and my ongoing evolution. Myself and the newly elected Dekyongs gathered in the fancy upstairs lounge of Shambhala Lodge — it always feels like a VIP room to me, compared to the rustic spaces I typically inhabit.  I shared my thoughts and experience related to Head Dekyongship and the Delek System at SMC.  I’m committed to ensuring a good, wholesome, transfer of power. We sat in a circle and through a rousing round of spontaneous insight, elected my buddy Danny to be the next Head Dekyong. I’m looking forward to being out of the position.  There’s a lot going on these days.  I’m working extra hours in the Marketng job — we all are — to bring this event to fruition.  We’re giving birth.  Meanwhile, I’m giving Stupa …

Floral Notes and Bardo: Deep Yoga, Goofing Around

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. The office is full of incense smoke and we drink fine tea in here, jump on the trampoline, and dance to celebrate small victories. The Awake in the World event has a life of its own.  We are its lovers, parents, servants, and biggest fans.  Good things are happening. Meanwhile, today we elect new Dekyongs, and establish the new Deleks. Carolyn Gimian presented a slide show to the staff the other night about the life of Chögyam Trungpa. It was cool to meet her and hear her talk personally about him. She’s done lots of work to bring his teachings to the public, and I’ve been grateful for a long time. The music is beginning to play in my bones. I picked up my guitar the other night and it felt so good — to play …

Floral Notes and Bardo: Burnt on Government

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. Within a dense tangle — stop, drop, and sing. Recently, Harvest of Peace community celebration, welcoming the autumn. The marketing department buzzing at a high frequency, like an exploding galaxy, bringing our big project into being — Awake in the World. My community work has been more demanding than ever, as a group of us has been meeting to create the Shambhala Mountain Center values statement.  Along with Care Council, Community Council, and the rest of Delek System work. I’ve been maxed out. And so, a shift… Now… each week (beginning last week) I’ll be doing an Ikebana arrangement on Friday morning, and on Friday afternoon, I’ll be going up to work at the Stupa for three hours. This week I’ll be stepping down as Head Dekyong and will be beginning Teacher Training with Greg …