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Floral Notes and Bardo: Agenda Like Flies

By Travis Newbill

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 existing as part of Shambhala Mountain Center.

Return to friendliness, and sing in spare minutes.  The wind is blowing like crazy, and this time is precious.


Last week we had our Fall Staff Retreat.  Janillee came up from Boulder and directed, leading us in three days of Maitri Space Awareness practice.  In the afternoons, we played — music with the peeps.  Other folks hiked, did art, or wrote creatively.

I was in a grumpy mood for much of the retreat, kind of thrown becuse I had to relate to office work.  For me, having to go into the office during retreat is like having to step out of a ballet to work on my taxes for 10 minutes.  There is nothing to complain about in the situation, I knew that.  But, I just couldn’t make myself big enough to not be grumpy about it.

People are starving and I’m throwing a little fit in my mind because I have to work for an hour during a completely luxurious day.

So silly.  But that’s the truth of the experience.  If I were enlightened, it wouldn’t matter what I’m doing at any given moment.  It’s all music, dharma, dance.  I have moments like that, but I also get grumpy and seek pleasure.

These days, pleasure is quite plentiful in my life.  Heather and I have moved into a suite on the third floor of Rigden Lodge, which includes a nice big bed, cozy heater, a love seat, another cushy chair, and… and… a bath tub.  Oh yeah.

We also have internet in there so I can listen to music again via Spotify.

I’ve been giving some care to create recreation time for myself recently.  I feel like that’s been missing.  It used to be just me up on this mountain in the holy land of Shambhala Mountain Center devoted only to meditation and the dharma.  And now, life is filling out quite a bit, and I’m appreciating the beauty and importance of taking in art, music, literature.  And, simply enjoying.

Last night I spent an hour reading the dharma.  Contemplating simplicity.

“We have a mind and we have a body, therefore we can comprehend this world.  Existence is wonderful and precious.” — Trungpa

Drop the agenda.  Live.

— November 24, 2014


PortraitTravis Newbill is a curious dude on the path of artistry, meditation, and social engagement who is very glad to be residing at Shambhala Mountain Center.  His roles within the organization include Marketing Associate and Shambhala Guide — a preliminary teaching position.  Follow Travis on twitter: @travisnewbill

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