All posts tagged: Art

Floral Notes and Bardo: Be Befuddled or Change

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. Guitar music is floating out from the room across the hall.  It enters through the vent in the bathroom, and also seeps through the door, and the wall. I’ve been hanging out with the acoustic bass that Dorian gave me, and singing all over the place.  My art is not quite a discipline these days, but it’s very much part of life.  It’s a joy, and it’s very easy. Joshua encouraged me to be a minstrel.  He said if he ran this place he’d pay someone to just walk around all day and play music — maybe a clarinet or guitar. I asked him about finding time for dharma study and music.  He said: “Study, and then play what you studied.” Funny… I’ve been doing that — taking a phrase from the text and then singing it all …

Floral Notes and Bardo: Complete in Process

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. This all consuming glow, inviting me to go forth from self concern, to love perfectly.  A work in process that is never incomplete. Making plans and letting them drop; keeping the tires off the line; big wave picks me up–flourishing.  Then, I want that to always be the case.  Then I fall off a bit, resisting all the way.  Then, I let go.  Then, things are simpler.  Then, I have the space of mind to be organized again and flourish. Meanwhile, chaos is terrifying, abundant, and the source of all great explosions of art. Who am I to talk about the source? Some artistic activity attempts to present a tidy package.  Maybe sometimes it’s appropriate.  Much of the time though, it seems that the name of the game is fluidity.  Ever shifting life.  The dharma …

Floral Notes and Bardo: Burnt on Government

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. Within a dense tangle — stop, drop, and sing. Recently, Harvest of Peace community celebration, welcoming the autumn. The marketing department buzzing at a high frequency, like an exploding galaxy, bringing our big project into being — Awake in the World. My community work has been more demanding than ever, as a group of us has been meeting to create the Shambhala Mountain Center values statement.  Along with Care Council, Community Council, and the rest of Delek System work. I’ve been maxed out. And so, a shift… Now… each week (beginning last week) I’ll be doing an Ikebana arrangement on Friday morning, and on Friday afternoon, I’ll be going up to work at the Stupa for three hours. This week I’ll be stepping down as Head Dekyong and will be beginning Teacher Training with Greg …

Healing Sound: A Conversation with Christine Stevens (Video/Audio)

Shambhala Mountain Center hosts Healing Sound Retreat with Christine Stevens and Silvia Nakkach, August 29–September 1, 2014. Christine Stevens is on a musical mission to introduce people to the most ancient and transformative vehicles to support healing and release joy: Voice & Rhythm. Through guided sound-centered contemplative practices of drumming and chanting, students gather an original repertoire of medicine melodies to use personally and in shamanic, psychotherapy, and wellness sessions. In this interview, she shares her inspiration, discusses her journey, and leads listeners/viewers in a healing exercise. Watch our interview with Christine below, or scroll down to stream/download the audio. If you’d like to download the audio file, CLICK HERE and find the “Download” button. Otherwise, you can stream the audio below. Related posts on the SMC Blog: Blog post from Silvia Nakkach: Sound and the Subtle A guided exercise from Christine Stevens: Finding Your Rhythm ~~~ Christine Stevens is the founder of UpBeat Drum Circles and author of the Sounds True books Music Medicine and the Healing Drum Kit.  She has appeared on PBS, NBC, and led the first drum circle training …

Floral Notes and Bardo: Buddhist Jokes

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. Motion and glow — nature, from my perch on the porch, the moon moving slowly across the morning sky.  Perfect arrhythmic chorus of creatures, and myself doing nothing. A couple of nights ago, community open mic.  Buddhist jokes from our host Kyle, kirtan from Cody, Danny wowed with magic tricks and contact juggling, Dorian — so soulful.  Heather, Kate and I offered some music and an interactive experience — folks holding candles and singing spontaneous verses in tribute to our friend Chris, who is moving on. “let it shine, let it shine, let it shine…” Very sweet and a reminder of what art and music are all about — uplifting people, situations.  Accessing harmonious, deeper than the day-to-day, experience.  We offer vulnerability — a nod to sacredness. ~~~ Last night, Acharya Lobel gave a talk …

Sound and the Subtle

By Silvia Nakkach Silvia Nakkach will be co-leading Healing Sound Retreat, along with Christine Stevens, August 29–September 1 Sound as vibration has the ability to permeate all things. Sound originates in space. We live in space, breath air, receive energy from the sun and the earth at every moment, and yet, the awareness of the essential relationship with these primal elements only happens during heightened states of consciousness, when we become sensitive to the gross and subtle dimensions of these essentials. Sound travels through us, activating our bodies and our imagination, and modulating our mood in the process. We connect and process sound as information. Everything we do, think, sense, and feel, carries a vibrational frequency that creates and can change our circumstance at every moment. The most ancient cultures on the planet believed that material reality is the manifestation of primordial vibration. Even the Bible teaches that “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.” – John 1:1 Early and contemporary spiritual traditions, the mystical experiences of sages …

Floral Notes and Bardo: Explore Bananas

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. Cody is beaming, going to Rainbow gathering. Last week sitting on a bench in the sun, with Heather, a few days after I’d decided not to attend Kasung Encampment, Cody approached and introduced the idea of me going along with him to the Gathering. “Hippe Encampment,” Heather remarked. Exactly. The idea appealed to me because it was so funny, but what I really need to is settle. “The seasons are not theoretical here.” Acharya Lyon said that a while ago, and it haunts me, in a funny way.  Summer is bananas.  There are so many people here and so much going on.  It’s really impossible to keep track, challenging to keep in touch.  It’s a buzzing hive. ~~~ I slept a bit last night, after spending beautiful time with Heather.  This morning, rainbows on our …

Floral Notes and Bardo: Into Summertime

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. Saturday, a mad tea party at my lil’ house followed by naked painting and singing (just the two of us) — solstice celebration, and in the evening, a bath and early to bed. Sunday morning a pancake party at Erik and Kaleigh’s — barefoot ladies in the kitchen (ha), yummy pu-erh tea and conversation in the living room, and out on the porch, pancakes being served up.  Annabelle brought over a big pot of chai… Eventually, Cody found his way to the hammock. Photo by Ryan Stagg Life is good — summertime in the mountains. In the morning, one of those mornings, Heather and I stopped by the lake and watched river otters swim around.  They surfaced to check us out, bumped heads with each other. Yesterday afternoon, Heather and I hiked up to Marpa …

Zen Mind, Brush Mind: Kaz Tanahashi

  Kazuaki Tanahashi will be leading Brush Mind: Zen Calligraphy and Brushwork, September 11–13, 2015 A lot could be (and has been) said about  Kazuaki Tanahashi (who is affectionately known as “Kaz”) — a deeply precious teacher, artist, and activist.  Here, we’ll let his masterful bushwork do most of the talking.  Enjoy.     Zen Circles “In the Zen tradition ensos, or circle symbols, have been drawn with black ink on paper, to represent enlightenment. As the multi-colored flow of paint represents the interconnectedness of all life, each circle reflects my hopes, visions and aspirations for a world making healthier choices for the benefit of future generations.” –Kaz   Brush Calligraphy “The ideography that originated in China has been a common writing system in China, Vietnam, Korea, and Japan for centuries, although the ideographs are pronounced differently.” –Kaz   One-Stroke Paintings “Tanahashi’s one-stroke paintings … always painted in just one breath, leave a passionate swash whispered trace.” – Kyoto Journal To see more of Kaz’s artwork, and to learn more about this incredible master, please …

Floral Notes and Bardo: Flowers and Sensei, Awake

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. Speed like weeds.  Flowers like music.  Pulsating perfection, and busy bodies missing beats.  A million words, a million actions — exhausted bodies wanting to flop…  but far too busy.  A million deaths and missed opportunities, a smile, and one perfect ringing note — the bliss bell.  Soon-enough, tumbleweeds of thinking.  Busy bodies.  But, perhaps more and more often — bell. Breathe.  A weekend with Shenpen, Sensei — arranging flowers, slowing down, opening up.  Her being is her teaching.  It’s always that way.  More the wholeness than the spoken instructions. My emotional state — worked-with through arranging.  And then the arrangement as a mirror. Heaviness purified through art-form.  The energy, once challenging, now reflected, purified, no more grief about it, rather…  there it is. Flowers.  Resistance to knowing flowers, revealing ever-floral me — the fragility is too …