All posts tagged: Emptiness

Floral Notes and Bardo: Strangely Apparent

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. Every imagined finger and face appears to be life on a sphere in clear space Last night we sat in a circle and acknowledged the ambiguity of our existence.  We looked at each other and objects in the room, and asked, out loud, about how it is that we are perceiving such things, and why it is that we seem to be individuals even though none of us can come up with a definite proof of separateness. It’s strange. It is said that we’re all here together, experiencing a similar world, because we all share a deep habit of imagining the world to be this certain way — much different than the way that fishes imagine the world. So… here we are. And… here we are. Finally, we acknowledged that there is a lot to explore and called …

Floral Notes and Bardo: Blobs of Impossible Tar and Joy

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. The appearance of muddy terrain — my toes have been squishing around, and there seems to be broken glass and blobs of impossible tar and joy mixed in. It’s been a “glitchy” few days.  That’s Heather’s word. Technology on the fritz, wave-like moods, trouble concentrating, odd dreams, surprise interruptions of all sorts.  Me thinks that Dön Season is upon us! I’ve been doing alright, rolling with it.  Trying to keep my mouth shut when it may well spew forth subtle toxins. On another note — such a nice note, series of notes — art has been arising all over the place.  Conversations with artist friends, spontaneous jams, piano music pouring out into the hallway in the lodge.  And, I’ve blocked off some time in the morning to get into some music. Last night, while Heather …

Floral Notes and Bardo: Blabbering Universe

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. There’s a lot that could be said about the voice. Pictured: Lake Shunyata We’re studying the Progressive Stages of Meditation on Emptiness.  At this first stage, the Shravaka stage, we’re investigating our experience in search of a separate, independent, lasting “self.” In my meditation I indulged and played with the voice that was articulating — internally, somehow — the teachings on no-self that I had the intention to contemplate. I wanted the voice to say these things about the five skandhas, form, feeling, and so on, and the voice obliged.  The voice says whatever I want it to say.  So I had the voice say all sorts of things to make sure this was the case.  The voice sounds like the voice that my body produces out of my mouth when I wish to speak. …

Floral Notes and Bardo: I Think I

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. The tunnel towards glory collapsed and I realized I was light. The distraction of embarrassment became a choir of angels. All along, it was just me and my guitar. Steve Seely is teaching a class on the Progressive Stages of Meditation on Emptiness, and I feel tremendous gratitude for the opportunity to study with him.  He has studied with Khenpo Tsultrim Gyaltso, who, literally, wrote the book on this subject. Steve was glowing in our first class meeting, a couple of nights ago.  He seems glad to be able to offer the teachings. Just now, I walked out of the shrine room, leaving Steve all alone in there.  He’d walked in a half hour earlier, and seeing that no one was serving as umdze, he took the seat.  There were only a couple of us …