Life at SMC
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Floral Notes and Bardo: Never See That Buddha Again?

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.

Genius anyway…


I woke up on Friday and enjoyed a lovely birthday — time with Heather in the morning, then beautiful Stupa session, lots of prayers for a good year ahead, lovely lunch outside, fun and games and art, surprises and hugs from the community, and finally a vegan ice cream Sunday, candles and gifts, tasty beer, at home with Heather to finish the evening.

Heather makes birthday cards for all community members when their days come around and generally promotes celebration of all possible holidays.  So, for my birthday, I was in very good hands.  Grateful.

Saturday, I was sitting on a bench downtown having some tea, gazing up at Red Feather peak to the west and decided that I could go up there if I wanted.  So I stood up and went.  I was wearing slip on shoes.

The climb was pretty steep at times, and I ended up on a big boulder that I will probably never touch again.  I had a conversation with the forest.  A wonderful view of the land, and behind me, a little cave.  I placed a Buddha statue that ended up in my pocket earlier in the day.  I’ll probably never see that Buddha again.


On the way back down my knees felt week, and I felt older than I used to.  I’m thirty-two as of the day before the climb.  I sang and felt joyful anyway.  Maybe joyful because of the inevitable disintegration of my body… but not right now!

I went back to the nest, had some hot tea and did some reading — Born in Tibet.  I’m feeling inspired by reading about Trungpa’s life in Tibet — how strict his training was, how intense his training.

Acharya Lobel told me what to do while I’m here: “Train.”

It’s been feeling good leaning into that a bit more.

— December 15, 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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