Life at SMC
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Floral Notes and Bardo: Slip Slidin’ Away

Sadness as this moment, world we’ve built, slips away.  Two weeks from today, Heather leaves the land.  I’ll stay, and we’ll move to Boulder together August 1, after I come out of Sacred World Assembly — a big retreat that feels like graduation.

I’ll stay on with SMC, working part-time, doing the blog, email, marketing thing while I study poetry, grad school.

I’m going to sing some songs, I think.  Last night, it was raining on the cabin — oh the cabin, which was hell a year ago, overrun with mice, no toilet.  This time around mice haven’t been so bad and we’ve got a little camping toilet in the closet.  It’s still a bit of a chore to clean it out, but… legit.

This perch:

The northeast corner of the room is my zone.  We have sheets hung from the ceiling that roll down and up.  When down, they form a princess bed situation for Heather, and for me, a meditation-secret-movements, sacred space.

I’ve got a window that looks out across the valley to the north.  I am friends with the rock formations that make up the northern ridge of the valley.  I have watched the soft colors of the dawn bring them to life two-hundred times or more.  I love these characters.  And the adolescent (probably 50 years old) ponderosa that stands about 8 feet in front of my window — rather thin, waving in the breeze.  Snow, dew, or drops of rain gather on the boughs, glisten on the needles.

People pass on the road sometimes.  I watch Heather walk down to breakfast — in her so-cute outfits, wearing her backpack, walking cheerfully and casually down the hill.  Precious.  And Heather in the morning, full of color and wonder, reporting dreams, saying hello.  Those eyes, every morning: “You again!” Sleepovers every night between best friends.  Walking around the land holding hands.

Slipping away.

I came back from Florida and Heather was full of life, love, in bloom.  A wonderful week for her with friends, the community.  We’d all gone through some heavy things in the days leading up to my departure.

A week since my return and it’s been good coming back to life myself.  Florida was good, but draining.  An intense place for me.  And, of course, SMC is as well.  But, this place is strong with blessings.  We live in a unique and beautiful mandala here, with unseen energies, adorable humans, good teachings, awake land, rocks, big sky, alive space.  I’ll miss living in the mandala.

Last night, contact improv — a good group of us.  Liberating, fun, sweet.  Rolling on the floor with these people — touching toes, backs, carrying weight, being carried, skipping, howling, giggling.

Afterwards, after dropping Heather and Chelsea off at Hayagriva for ladies night, I sat in the cabin as it rained and wrote a song.  I’ll sing it and put it on the internet maybe.

— May 10, 2016

About the Author

travisTravis Newbill is a writer, musician, and aspirant on the path of meditation.  He currently resides at Shambhala Mountain Center, where he handles the SMC Blog, and other marketing tasks. He also gives tours of the Great Stupa and is empowered as a Shambhala Guide — a preliminary teaching position. TravisNewbill.com 

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