Month: June 2015

Writing as a Path to Awakening

By Albert Flynn DeSilver Writing as a Path to Awakening is a dynamic and fun process using mindfulness as a way to deepen your writing practice and expand your creative potential. Spiritual practice has always brought insight to my writing—increasing the flow of ideas, the big open inclusive ideas of beauty and of being and of surrendering to a state of love and compassion. Too often we get pigeon-holed into false conceptions of ourselves. There are a million distractions, negative self talk, old voices of doubt and self recrimination often holding us back. We experience it in the form of writer’s block, in the creation of flat characters, in novels left half-written collecting dust on the table. I know if my heart of hearts when people have a safe place to express their true poetic self they can realize who they really are, and this process of awakening can change the world. If you take a look at the great spiritual teachers from around the world— Gandhi, the Dalai Lama, Amma, Thich Nhat Hanh — …

Floral Notes and Bardo: New Morning

Floral Notes and Bardo: The Creative Chronicles of a Shambhala Mountain Resident is a regular feature on the SMC blog in which a member of our staff/community shares his experience of existing as part of Shambhala Mountain Center. Swam through, grew gills, sang songs into darkness witnessed flowers of all sorts all before breakfast, all wrapped up in dawn Last night I cherished the sight of her sleeping peacefully on her back, purple pony under her arm, hands folded. Out my window now — vast.  Sky is blue, finally — two weeks of heavy mist, rain, snow — like an incubator.  Me in the bardo — left home, time in Boulder running the conference, enjoying time at Marpa House.  Saw Lady Konchuk — got dizzy, nauseous, had to get up from sadhana practice to shit.  Put-put with the crew — Beyond Mindfulness.  Good.  10 hour days of work, hysterical team chemistry.  We reached 28,000 people from 135 countries.  Brought in a bunch of money for SMC.  Good. Got home, got sick.  Crashed the new car into …

Floral Notes and Bardo: Into Earth, Into Possibility, Flower

Floral Notes and Bardo: The Creative Chronicles of a Shambhala Mountain Resident is a regular feature on the SMC blog in which a member of our staff/community shares his experience of existing as part of Shambhala Mountain Center. Image of mystery solidified into realness Heavy “other” became oppressive Revolution of skepticism, purification, cynicism Softening, imagination liberated from captivity Realness dissolves into possibility A healing week, a liberating week — with teacher Marcy Fink, and pepperred by amazing wisdom of wizard Joshua.  Oh, and high lama from Tibet. Four Dignities, and teachings, exploration of magic, possibilities.  After a retreat a couple of months ago in which I became devastatingly frustrated with the teacher and lost connection, apparently, to the lineage, this — Marcy, Joshua, and the dignities — was restorative. After the last retreat with the teacher who I found to be inadequate, having gone on solitary retreat, only for the teachings to blossom by surprise — as if someone had slipped acid into my coffee — now, okay, good. Prancing in the field together, offering fragrant …

Floral Notes and Bardo: Translucent Owls and Such

Floral Notes and Bardo: The Creative Chronicles of a Shambhala Mountain Resident is a regular feature on the SMC blog in which a member of our staff/community shares his experience of existing as part of Shambhala Mountain Center. Don’t read too loud.  Inner noise and voice.  Voice.  Voice as distinct from “thinking out loud.”  Voice as blossom of invisible beauty.  In these lines, in and out of resonant voice, in and out of ego-overlay chatter, in and out of state of genuine perception/expression.  Cracking jokes versus liberated approach articulated. I sense an inclination to write without noticing myself writing.  It’s sneaky.  It’s like coming upon a person in the woods dancing naked, totally free, and not wanting to interrupt.  Also not wanting to look away.  Trungpa talks about giving up privacy altogether.  Today I am not alone in the library as I write.  It’s rare to be alone here — in this snow globe, diorama, play-pen, dharma center.  Center? There’s always someone around the corner.  Sometimes, avoiding small talk encounters feels like some ancient Atari game, …

Floral Notes and Bardo: Nada Surf Sang

Floral Notes and Bardo: The Creative Chronicles of a Shambhala Mountain Resident is a regular feature on the SMC blog in which a member of our staff/community shares his experience of existing as part of Shambhala Mountain Center. Slush this morning, knee deep, stepping, slipping, crunching down the trail from the cabin.  Singing dharma songs, admiring stark white snow on the rocky ridges, in morning sun.  Carrying way too much stuff.  Feeling good about being early.  Later, not much later, feeling rushed because some invisible vacuum devours minutes. (Heather also made a sheep) Nada Surf sang: “Always rushing, always late.” I think that’s a terrible way to live, but I find myself in that way rather often.  Trying to slow down and also accomplish much — marketing, meditation, poetics, community, joy, relationship.  A good, really good, full, sometimes too full, life. This morning, after devouring my bowl of oatmeal, racing the clock, making a little bagel sandwhich for Heather — because she loves that and it rare that salmon spread and bagels are offered here; and …

Floral Notes and Bardo: Snow Totoro (Snowtoro?) No Poem

Floral Notes and Bardo: The Creative Chronicles of a Shambhala Mountain Resident is a regular 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 don’t want to start this post with poem Yesterday having tea up near the Stupa with dear buddy Frenchy (other people call him that), we discussed artistic engagement as path.  He is just finishing up an MFA in sculpture.  I am tip-toeing towards Naropa writing and poetics MFA program.  To do so I have to devote time every day to reading and writing — in addition to time on the cushion and studying dharma.  Devoting time, daily, as practice, to the arts feels like a departure at this point.  It feels unsanctioned.  I know I’m being a “good boy” if I am meditating and studying dharma.  How about if I’m reading poetry? This is revealing a tip of iceberg psychological complex that I believe is lurking in my mindstream.  I’d like therapy exploration someday. Anyway… it snowed …