All posts tagged: Bhanu Kapil

Floral Notes and Bardo: Magnanimity, Bhanu, and the Back Nine

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. So sleepy this morning, both of us, and Heather said: “It’s cute that we have temples, huh? Like, my body is a temple, and my temple is a temple… And my temple is my body!” At breakfast, Director Gayner — who is in the midst of high-level Shambhala leadership retreat — in which they practice for 20 hours a day — approached Heather and I with a big grin. “Ahh! Just the two that I was hoping to see.  This is very auspicious.” We nodded, and he went on: “Magnanimity!  Do you know this word?” He’d like for us to come up with a calligraphed presentation of this word along with its definition from the 1812 Oxford English Dictionary (or something like that) as a gift for Richard Reoch, who is leading the retreat. We gladly agreed. ~~~ …

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 …

Floral Notes and Bardo: Musical Self, Peachy

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. Heavy clouds, a bit of rain — like sitting on a bench and reading dharma.  Then, cooler and calm. ~~~ I like to sit in this chair, in “my” “front yard” (yurt yard). I felt so dense yesterday, edgy.  Almost vicious.  Critical.  Arrogant.  Even with reminders all around me that gentleness is the way… how to shift?  Finally before dinner, I walked into the Japanese garden behind Sacred Studies Hall and read some teachings — reminder.  The result was that I felt less vicious. The world became almost entertaining.  Non-threatening.  I’ve noticed myself comparing myself to others recently, and feeling less-together, less-clean, less-vibrant. I sat down at the dinner table and Heather asked: “How’s your head?” “Stuffy.” “How’s your heart?” “…” “How’s your heart?” “…soft.” “Like a marshmallow?” “Like a peach.” And Kate, across the table, …

Floral Notes and Bardo: Howdy/Vanishing

  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. Snowflakes vanish from palms in a soft flash. Thus have I heard: Once, Trungpa Rinpoche asked William S. Burroughs: “Why do you write?” Burroughs: “You’ve got to do something.” Yesterday, as planned, I spent most of the day practicing meditation to give some room to the explosions occurring in my chest and brain– Sparkle bombs. Love bombs. Confusion in confetti form and twinkles of smile-inspiration. Lots happening these days. Moments ago, at lunch, Z (my teacher) said: “You look more excited than afraid. That’s a good sign.” He also said: “You’re a surfer.” That’s true. I grew up surfing mediocre waves in Florida. Now I live at Shambhala Mountain Center. The waves here are not mediocre. ~~~ A couple of introductory notes (written in pencil on confetti): I started a blog back in November after taking a writing …

HOW TO BEGIN: Some notes upon arrival

By Bhanu Kapil Some years ago, in India, I was walking down an ordinary residential street behind my mother’s house – hard-baked pink dust, wilted jasmine flowers underfoot, shimmering blue oblongs (the Himalayas) in the distance. I was very far from home, from Colorado (now my home) and from everything that might function as a kind of psychic or practical ground. Perhaps you have walked down a street like this. Perhaps you have experienced the distance as a quality in your own body. On that day, there was too much space, too many contrasts between the different kinds of colors that the world is composed of in any instant: the pale silver of the sky punctuated by the emerald and scarlet flare of a child’s kite above me dipping and tucking on a roof. Perhaps I am simply describing a kind of homesickness in reverse; the way an immigrant might experience the strangeness of not being “at home” at the instant that they find themselves in the place that they are “from.” Perhaps this happens …