Life at SMC

Floral Notes and Bardo: Cookin’ Onion

By Travis Newbill

Floral Notes and Bardo: The Creative Chronicles of a Shambhala Mountain Resident is a daily feature on the SMC blog in which a member of our staff/community shares his experience of existing as part of Shambhala Mountain Center.

From the fringes, inwards to the core — by rubs and punches, sweat and shatter.

Deepening familiarity is apparent in relation to fresh faces.  The longer I’m here, the more which is uncovered.  The more genuine the care that swells in my heart.  The more informed.  Less superficial.


Meanwhile, the chipmunks are getting fat on “people food.”


I’ll be here for two more years.  I’m just now feeling a bit settled.  I’ve experienced a wave of burnout, cynicism, resentment.  No hurtful eruptions, just boiling in my brain, bones.  It felt like purification.

Yesterday, in Care Council meeting, where a small group of us discuss the well-being of the community, I felt so raw.  I was listening and speaking with intelligence, rather than acting.  In comparison, my caring has been contrived previously.  More tainted with want for recognition — trying to be a good “me.”  Tainted in that way, but not phony.  It’s still tainted, but it’s becoming more real.

Greg Smith and I both have Ngejung in our Buddhist refuge names.  He said that it means:

“Becoming real.”

Burning through baloney notions so that I may actually connect and be helpful.

Burning through filters of conceptual jargon, and “good boy” motivations.

Shambhala Mountain Center — a great pressure cooker, an oven in which one may become more real.


— July 23, 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 Head Dekyong–a position of leadership within the community.  Follow Travis on twitter: @travisnewbill