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Floral Notes and Bardo: When Breeze Tickles Frowny Cheeks

Night before last, a mountain lion, a bear, and a bull moose were spotted — walking into a bar. And then the moose said to the mountain lion: “We are not at a bar. We are at SMC.  And the people are gonna be freaked.”

And so, much of our community meeting yesterday was devoted to talking about the wildlife sightings.  And then all sorts of people offered their non-expert opinions about what one should do if they encounter a bear, or a lion, or whatever.  Director Gayner ensured us that we would do whatever we need to do to be safe.  Maybe get a hundred air-horns so that each of us can carry one around, so that we can scare away the animals if they seem like they’re going to mess with us.

In the marketing trailer, we’re having secret meetings discussing the next online event.  It feels special to be a part of the whole thing.  There is a lot of structural business-genius propelling it as well as genuine love and inspiration to help the world.  As cynical as I’ve become lately, it took me a while to find any real connection to it.  The narrative of saving the world by making videos… is something I felt an impulse to reject immediately.  And so, I, we, had to drop into deeper levels of creativity.

What are we doing here?  What do we not want to do?  What actually brings this thing to life for each of us?

We want to see sparks fly — not in a cheap way, not for entertainment, but because the wisdom traditions have something to offer this world that is more authentic than mental tranquilizing or focusing techniques.

We are working to bring about fresh articulation.

And so, my faith in the blazing power of the dharma has been roused.

Last night, Heather and I watched Bill Maher‘s documentary (is that really what it is?) “Religulous.”  As he was doing his best to make religious people look stupid, I felt sorry for his cynical mind.  His view seemed so limited.  He takes comfort in his rational skepticism, and so he must shut out all possibilities that cannot be understood through that particular lens.

Grumpy boy wakes up when breeze tickles frowny cheeks.

— August 28, 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.


PortraitTravis 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.  Follow Travis on twitter: @travisnewbill

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