Month: October 2015

Floral Notes and Bardo: Sink So Sweet

Slept in a house last night which has a kitchen sink — and a shower.  Fell asleep so delicious — clean body, hot shower, clean, soft sheets.  Felt like a feral cat who had been brought in and cleaned up.  Now the sun is rising out the window above the kitchen sink.  I’ve been up since 4:30.  Decided to rise despite the low number of hours in the sack because it was spring time. Spring 4-10, summer 10-4, fall 4-10, winter 10-4.  That’s what I think.  I’m moving towards a more informed and intuitive-familiar understanding of the seasons.  Waking and beginning to move, setting into motion — in the spring.  Summer — full rush, blazing.  Fall — come down, harvest.  Winter — rest. Living more according to the seasons than numbers on the clock — though they correspond, just as calendar numbers and names correspond to the seasons on the larger scale. Levels — the seasons of the day, the year, a lifetime, an eaon.  Some sense of that and acting accordingly. When’s the best …

Floral Notes and Bardo: In a Trance, in Slushy Kisses

While gazing out the window from the toilet outside the Pushpa meditation hall, I witnessed the season’s first lil’ slushy bits of snow coming down.  Then standing outside in a trance for a long moment, just now — all knowledge was washed out by the stark simplicity of the falling. I wish we would have all dropped our tasks entirely to stand outside together and witness: mystery.  So playful with its wet little slush-kisses. — October 22, 2015 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 living as part of Shambhala Mountain Center. About the Author Travis Newbill is a writer, musician, and aspirant on the path of meditation.  He currently resides at Shambhala Mountain Center, where he serves in the roles of Marketing Associate and Shambhala Guide — a preliminary teaching position.  Check out: travisnewbill.com Follow Travis on twitter: @travisnewbill

Floral Notes and Bardo: Also Honest

Flies of reality buzzing and I’m less affected now.  More easy going, maybe, more surrendered. Less… invested?  Invested in pleasure, in the success of… anything?  More… now? What I really want to say is that I’m inspired by the path of poetry.  I am excited to leave here and join Naropa.  To devote myself more fully to naked, authentic, expression.  Marketing is not that.  Marketing is important.  Marketing is my job.  I can do that.  It’s good to pay the bills — my bills, SMC’s bills.  But good not to neglect the feminine.  Good not to buy into the idea that there’s just not time for song, poesy, leisure — that we just have to grind until there’s enough money in the bank account to rest.  We could all die, with regret, thinking that way. And, also good to not shrug off my responsibilities, to not forget my good fortune — of working with such caring, inspired people. Anne Waldman spoke about a “Vow to Poetry” that she took.  She promised not to sell out. …

Floral Notes and Bardo: Rainbows in the Jaws

Ink is all dried up and back is stiff, and yet, life is moving with more fluidity — as I typed that, the laptop computer — more than five years old now and beginning to shit the bed — froze. Something like fish bones crunched between shark teeth as the ocean undulates. This morning, kissing Heather, a rainbow landed on her eye-lid. Contemplating masculine and feminine. Reflecting on the pain of becoming too rigid, ambitious, fun-deprived.  Over the summer.  Heather and I both a bit traumatized and feeling into a more balanced way of being. As I type that, my back, pulling on my brain, gripping all internal voice and saying “no.” Here I am in the jaws.  It’s a beautiful, blue-sky day outside. Autumn, which feels sweeter than ever.  Falling away of summertime squeeze, falling, falling.  Some wish here to feel sweeter in the body, to be sweeter in the voice.  The sense of charnel ground, echoes of Bhanu.  These bones crunching, unable to tell my story.  A different story, not according to plan, …

Wisdom Sky

By Anna Freundl ~~~ When I take a walk, there is a subtle shift in my consciousness, an opening. Yesterday, while walking to lunch, I looked up and saw a beautiful sight, a vast sight that couldn’t be contained to a description. Earth met Heaven. This tree had a stream of brilliance ascending from its crown. Surrounding clouds caressed the sky in this way I have never seen. There were long, patient brush strokes, and subtle shapes, as if the wind was nature’s breath painting a canvas before my eyes. My non-conceptual mind met my surroundings in this direct way, there was no question I was experiencing what Choygam Trungpa might refer to as “ordinary magic.” I believe that these are the brief moments we have that teach us enlightenment. To me, enlighten means to take off weight. When we meet nature, including our minds, for what it is in that moment, our thoughts settle simultaneous to our heart reaching out its arms as if it were coming home. When my mind began to activate …

Wisdom Rising

Lama Tsultrim Allione Discusses the “Sacred Feminine” (Video/Audio)

It is a widely-shared sentiment in this day and age that the world is somehow out of balance. In particular, many point to the inequality among genders — that those of the male variety seem to be more often in positions of power, and even treated better than those of other genders who occupy similar positions. All of this seems to be observably true. And yet, there may also a more subtle imbalance in regard to maculine and feminine influence in our modern world that is of equal, if not greater, importance. Buddhist master Lama Tsultrim Allione devotes much energy to reawakening the “sacred feminine.” When asked to define this phrase though, Lama often experiences a vast gap in conceptual mind, and a verbal answer doesn’t always emerge quickly — which is part of the point. The sacred feminine is mysterious, vast, empty, and yet cognizant. It is related to nature, poetry, and sacred sexuality. It is embodied, rather than somewhere “up and out there” And, according to Lama Tsultrim, it’s influence is painfully lacking …

Floral Notes and Bardo: Explicitly Karmic

Noticed that these flowers are thirsty, so I gave them a drink.  If only I had my shears I’d clip the stiff ones.  I left the shears with the kenzan, in my bag, in Brooklyn. What is this… here in New York City, noticing flowers, not having shears to further care for them, here in the Kalapa suite in the New York Center — 6th floor, 22nd Street, where so many flowers have blossomed for me — flowers of dharma garden, path.  All those talks from Ethan, John Baker — who is in the building now, reading Khenpo Tsultrim’s “Progressive Stages…” waiting for his daughter to finish a program for children. It’s still happening here on 22nd St., and somehow, my SMC journey has taken me here, to film these teachers, to show them to people from all around the world. I arrived at SMC, in large part, because of what has happened for me in this building, with these teachers. SG was in the room earlier. This marketing-dharma connection, which is much of my life …

Floral Notes and Bardo: So Much Left Unsung

When I heard clearly in my heart this morning that I ought to stay on the cusion for another 15 minutes instead of trying to squeeze out a blog before heading to work, I ignored it.  Now, I feel like it’s an injustice to try to squeeze out writing.  No way to do justice to what has happened over the past week: Incredible 8 hour drive through the golden foliage, winding mountain roads, with Heather.  A weekend at Wink and Max’s winery, farm, with the sheep.  Cow Bingo and the country Harvest festival.  The cool town of Paonia.  Harvest moon eclipse, soaring into bliss with wine and treats.  The journey back — the winding roads and into the deadly cliff-side curves of Estes after dark.  Survived and found a cheap motel, finished the bottle of wine, slept, and made it back to SMC in time for work. Back in the cabin, the mice running amok, their turds piling up.  My own shit… still no toilet, and further complications.  Depressing. Meanwhile, the marketing team in full …