Creative Expression, Life at SMC

Floral Notes and Bardo: To the Wheel

At a picnic table the other night, hearing about how some students of Trungpa gave up on their art because of internal conflict between devotion and self-expression. And this conflict lives on in mentor(s) of mine. Something about how we may be reifying ego, solidifying samsara, by expressing mind… if we are not a buddha.

I was rolling with rebellion, and feeling so lonely, after that conversation.

At home, I flipped open to a talk Ginsberg gave at the first Naropa Institute summer:

“We’re all enlightened. Fuck that bullshit enlightenment. There is no enlightenment. If we’re going to start waiting to be enlightened to write poetry…”

I felt at ease because Uncle Allen was devoted to the whole thing, all of it: guru and poesy alike.

I feel his tender hand on my shoulder. I’m bewildered in our collective gaze. I’m dropping consonants out of nowhere into blue soup — home to birds. I know dew drops on: tip of tongue, to be given atop iris petals to friendly faeries, family. And to tell of stench in alleyways because it’s floral, floral, and rotting. Wounded-bruised afternoon of earth. Weary within beauty, to oft unaware, and so: songs of popping balloons and tender caress. Colors of some cosmic strokes from fleshy honest men.

— June 3, 2016

Floral Notes and Bardo is a regular feature on our blog in which an SMC resident shares his experience of living here on the land, in the mandala. 

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. Beginning Fall 2016, he’ll study poetry within the Jack Kerouac School of Disembodied Poetics at Naropa University.