Life at SMC
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Floral Notes and Bardo: Wrapping Vapor

A million fat flakes last night, left an inch of powder. Two million thoughts about my life — grasping for certainty, hopelessly knitting because I can’t bare the frays.  Recognizing that and relaxing into the vulnerable not-knowing.  Pema would be proud.

A dream of wrapping it all up — like a Christmas present? — before dathun.  So that I can unwrap it afterwards?  What am I talking about: Naropa application and Boulder housing mostly.  I’m on the way out, though I have half a year left here.

‘Tis the season — to submit applications for grad programs and housing in college town.

Intense — waiting for mentors to confirm that they’ll write letters for me, and realizing it’s the holidays and folks are out of their business/email routines, perhaps preferring to not have tasks laid upon them.

Meanwhile — the land.  The community.  The shrine room.  The life in the nest with Heather.

Shambhala Mountain Center life.  That’s what this blog is “about.”

I had a birthday a couple of weeks ago (at Shambhala Mountain Center). 33 — Christ year, Krishna consciousness year — I’m told.  It seems.

That’s always been part of the vision: To graduate form here (SMC) when I turn 33 — like Jesus graduated into celestial savior when he turned that age.  Me: I will go down the hill and study poetry.

Stillwater (vegan savior cook) baked me an amazing psychedelic rainbow birthday cake.  The community sung to me, I blew out the candles (made a good wish), cut the cake and we all yummed out!  Such a good cake.  Drooling like Homer now.

And then the next week… why no posts in these recent weeks?  Why am I having to catch up now?  Because all morning writing time has been devoted to Naropa application work.  Now, I’m exiting: this phase.  Entering Christmas vacation.  I might even watch the Griswolds tonight.  Heather is out of town.  That’s not her kind of movie: too much mishap and mayhem.  Not her kind of humor.  It’s been interesting/challenging exploring our differences — especially the difference in sense of humor.

Anyway… Children’s Day — which is the Shambhala solstice celebration.  So lovely.  We elected a king and queen, had a pageant — I was improv narrator — songs, sweet, sweet candle ceremony — bringing light to the longest night of the year — wishing for the return of the sun (wish granted), and then cookie decorating.  I made a green gingerbread man with rainbow sprinkle face and chocolate chip nipples.  I ate not-too-many but right on the edge (perfect) cookies.  We exchanged gifts also.  The Oliver family (Amanda, Jacob and baby Oliver) made me songs (I had asked to be serenaded). Quite good!

This morning while having tea, it all dissolved. All the concern over uncertainty.  That was nice.  I wrote:

Vapor —

what happened to my concerns?
Gone as condensation.
Lost meaning. Gone.

Ecstacy of Dong Ding at dawn.

Wishing to wrap it all up before dip down to Boulder for Christmas and two weeks of dathun, and that is not happening.  Loose ends prevail.

I’m leaving two books on the table that I am almost finished with.  I will drop out of this world, and pick up the books where I left off when I return.  That’s the way it goes.

So much unfinished always.  I am sure that I’ll die with that being the case.  So — this is good practice for death.  Merry Christmas!

— December 23, 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

1606965_10154263909095154_2100377528113425384_nTravis 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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