All posts tagged: Chogyam Trungpa Rinpoche

How Will We Meet this Moment?

By Gelong Loden Nyima // Chögyam Trungpa Rinpoche passed away into parinirvana when I was nine months old.  I never met him but have felt my path—like that of thousands—has been occurring in the wake of his.  I practiced at places he founded, was taught and trained to teach in his lineage, and now live at Shambhala Mountain Center in a cabin on the aptly named “Stupa View” which sits in the valley beneath his Great Stupa of Dharmakaya.   The Buddhist tradition identifies the age we’re living in as broadly fortunate because teachings leading to enlightenment are alive and available, yet also troubled as it is a time when the mass amalgamations of actions arising from greed, aggression, and willful ignorance ripen into social and global occurrences of resource depletion, conflict, and pandemic illness.  Much of what we now know to be occurring, and what experts on climate change and public health expect for the future, has also been forecast in Buddhism for millennia based on this understanding of cause and effect. Similar to and …

Reclaiming Prajna

By Jamie Woodworth It’s a widely agreed upon sentiment, among both newcomers and veteran Shambhalians, that this mountain valley has a quality of spaciousness beyond its physical boundaries. It opens up and unfolds more and more as you walk upon it. The feeling is palpable in the wind, and the life—always at play—gregariously engaging. The place has “juice.” You can feel that presence when you first enter. It’s the drala. It converses with you in the moments you experience in-between yourself and the world. It’s awakened by the people who live here, over many cycles of leadership and life. And, if you follow your intuition, your felt sense of this place, you may be guided towards the place we call Prajna. Early photograph of Prajna before remodels done by the Vajra Regent and Sakyong Mipham — provided by Greg Smith. Prajna translates roughly as “transcendental wisdom.” The spirit of that word abides in the history of this site. Prajna was the home of the founder of Shambhala, Chögyam Trungpa Rinpoche until 1986, then home of …

Floral Notes and Bardo: A Big Joke

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. Last night, the moon was blazing full, everything aglow and quiet, the only sound — the aspen leaves gently quaking in soft, cool summer breeze.  I was standing on my doorstep, just enjoying, awake for a few minutes in the middle of the night. Photo by Paul Bennett  Earlier, a small group of us stood and watched the moon rise up from behind the ridge.  Huge moon.  Orange.  Clear sky. Kate and I had been discussing dharma for about two hours.  Others came in and out of the conversation, which was inspired by some notions presented in the prologue of Shambhala Principle. I believe we were on the topic of nonverbal communication, and that being so key: We’re always communicating.  We’re creating culture with each interaction.  We’re altering reality. Kate and I had been sitting …

Floral Notes and Bardo: Blissful Who-Knows-What (HUM HUM HUM)

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. Greeting my smile at the bottom of the ocean, therefore unconcerned with flotation or undertow.  Wakeful waves — only the chatter of the depths. Friday evening — Feast celebration for Trungpa Rinpoche‘s Parinirvana.  Sadhana of Mahamudra.  In the middle of the triple HUM recitation — the space of rainbow magic manifest — the Sakyong and the choir of Acharyas, appeared.  We created an isle, parted the sea.  Rinpoche came in and prostrated three times to the large Buddha, which contains his father‘s skull relic, and a picture of the Vidyadhara on the shrine along with many offerings. He gazed at the picture, whispered blessings, and tossed a khata into the seated Buddha’s opened palm (perfect shot). He offered amrita from a skull cup to each one of us.  Then, out front, he said some words …

Floral Notes and Bardo: This Time…

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. I walked along a dirt trail, beside Rinpoche, holding a white umbrella over his head to shield him from the sun. A feeling of cosmic friendship, preciousness, gratitude. Earlier in the morning I held a tray for him while he made tea offerings, after returning from his morning run, still catching his breath and sweating. The core teachers of the Shambhala Buddhist mandala are here: The Sakyong, Ani Pema, the Acharyas, the Kalapa Council.  It’s powerful, enchanting. The teachings that are occurring here these days are new.  There is a sense of quiet explosiveness.  It’s tangible.  There is a glow. After one teaching session yesterday, the Sakyong ran joyfully from the shrine hall back to his quarters, his escorts had to keep up. It’s awesome to be here for this. A couple of years ago, …

Floral Notes and Bardo: My Lil’ Spot and the Ongoing Miracle

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. “…the womb of Avalokitesvara, a vast secret silence, springtime in the Void…” –Jack Kerouac Drawn like a sketch, watercolor, drawn by a star–across the meadow, into a spot in the valley –feels like home.  I’m in my spot.  I am that spot.  That spot is my spot.  There is no better spot for me. After four months in the cushy (oh so cushy!) lodge, we’ve moved back out into the woods, into our little cabins and trailers.  I’m so glad for it.  I’d been becoming a bit attached to lodge living–a bit lazy, a bit like vacation. Now, getting back into my groovy little cabin last night, right near the Stupa, felt so good.  After being in there for a few minutes it started to overwhelm me.  It was like connecting with an old friend. …

Floral Notes and Bardo: So Many Ways to Be

  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. So many ways to be. More ways to be than I allow myself to imagine, let alone embody. My first time in Kasung uniform Friday night–like sticking my finger into a electric socket. I’ve worn some crazy things for the sake of art and exploration. The Kasung uniform shook my core–identity–as much as any outfit ever has. Wearing a wedding dress is less of a big deal, because that’s just me being weird. Painting my fingernails (which I did (Heather did) earlier in the day) is also less… Well, it’s a similar sort of thing. I like subverting norms and expectations–my own and those that others hold. I especially like playfully subverting gender norms… Wearing the Kasung uniform is extra edgy because it carries heavier connotations: I’m part of something, I have a role within a larger …

Floral Notes and Bardo: Renunciation/Blossom

  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. Wet behind the ear, mind-flower shedding petals and onto my shoulder, cool petals, living still, still connected to earth. Petals from the flower-song, becoming smaller. And not separate from fresh blossoms. Valentine’s Day–We handed out flowers from the previous night’s Ikebana class and the haikus that Heather, Tara and I made for all the members of the community. We invaded lunch-time with glittery wishes and cheer. People seemed to enjoy it. Just before lunch a group of staff gathered at the Stupa to film a Shambhala Day greeting from SMC. Nice weather, cheerfulness… A super-love day between and Heather and I and… and this is really key for me… it seemed like that situation was connected to a larger one. Like… romantic love and communal love feeding one another. That’s how we both experienced it. I hope …

Floral Notes and Bardo: Playful Culture

  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. Last night was the first in a series of classes on Shambhala Culture and Decorum. Various experienced teachers will be leading these classes for us, the community. The question is: What is enlightened culture and how may we manifest that together here at Shambhala Mountain Center? The first question posed last night was: What is culture? The class included an engaging discussion around these questions and a hilarious and educational group exercise in which we wrapped gifts for Greg Smith. The point of the exercise was to explore the difference between a speedy, accomplishment-oriented approach to living and a more organic, appreciative one. Many of us felt that our broader national culture is based on the former, which is very masculine, and that we are interested in creating a more feminine, playful, caring culture at SMC and …

Floral Notes and Bardo: Stew in Space, and…How to Rule?

  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. Clapping muscles. Fangs into popsicle–shock like a bell, breastbone. Dirt in mid air–my dirt, your dirt, our dirt. Tears, mud. How else would we know this stuff but to care enough to tumble together? ~~~ President Reoch leading a fireside chat. Everything that happens here, happens in a big way. Little things happen in big ways. It can be like throwing a dart at a barn, or being bit by a pterodactyl (rather than a mosquito). Last weekend, President Reoch lead The Six Ways of Ruling. Amazing teacher, amazing teachings on leadership from the Shambhala tradition. To begin with–leading one’s life. My life is like a stew and I don’t feel like I’m holding the bowl or spoon. I may be the steam rising off the top, or a slice of potato. It’s a rich stew–dharma practice, romance, work, and a …