Life at SMC

Floral Notes and Bardo: Shoving Off

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.

This morning on the hillside, standing — symphony dawn — witnessing: my preferences are like fleeting mosquitoes in the cosmos.  Yet, wondering… how big can I be?


Tomorrow I’m going into a two week, group retreat: Enlightened Society Assembly.

Yesterday, I spent time in the shrine tent with Shenpen, Sensei, working on a large installation.  It felt magical in there.  It felt refreshing.  There’s good substance to the Shambhala tradition, and I pray that this two week immersion may put me into touch, a bit deeper.

Today, trying to “wrap things up” and prepare for the retreat.  Deciding what ends to leave loose.  How much to scramble in order to get things tidy, and how much to let go so I can go into this relaxed and well rested.

I’ll be settling back into Avalokiteshvara (lil’ yurt).  I’ll spend some nights with Heather.

I live here.

It’s a funny thing going into a retreat like this, which most people leave their homes far behind in order to do.  For me, it’s happening right here — where I live, work, play… I’m not leaving anything behind.

Rather than pretending that I am, I’m going with it.  We’ll see how it goes.

Gotta make an Ikebana arrangement for the yurt.  Gotta get up to the Stupa –circumambulate, refresh the offerings, light some incense, prostrate — stir up some good mojo.  I’ve ordered some real nice tea to drink during the retreat.

Ahh… excited! Going in!  Shoving off!

— July 25, 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