All posts tagged: Floral Notes and Bardo

Floral Notes and Bardo: To the Wheel

At a picnic table the other night, hearing about how some students of Trungpa gave up on their art because of internal conflict between devotion and self-expression. And this conflict lives on in mentor(s) of mine. Something about how we may be reifying ego, solidifying samsara, by expressing mind… if we are not a buddha. I was rolling with rebellion, and feeling so lonely, after that conversation. At home, I flipped open to a talk Ginsberg gave at the first Naropa Institute summer: “We’re all enlightened. Fuck that bullshit enlightenment. There is no enlightenment. If we’re going to start waiting to be enlightened to write poetry…” I felt at ease because Uncle Allen was devoted to the whole thing, all of it: guru and poesy alike. I feel his tender hand on my shoulder. I’m bewildered in our collective gaze. I’m dropping consonants out of nowhere into blue soup — home to birds. I know dew drops on: tip of tongue, to be given atop iris petals to friendly faeries, family. And to tell of …

Floral Notes and Bardo: Crystal as Lotus

This morning I abandoned “other” projects and felt lighter. Only bringing the SMC beauty into being. She’s gone, I’ve wept. Shadow mood yesterday after too much low-alcohol beer the night before, after three hours of driving on farm roads — reviewing recordings — after dropping her off at the terminal, weeping, after having too much food to celebrate (?) together — last meal sort of thing. When we were pulling off the land friends came out from their offices and put dandelions in our windshield wipers, hugged Heather, skipped and danced and waved behind the car as we pulled off. The previous morning Joshua approached our breakfast table and encouraged Heather to design some things for the gift store. He expressed warm appreciation for who and how she is, how she dresses, her overall aesthetic and creative way. He wept. He said: “The more of you in the world, the better.” The previous night we had an amazing banquet to honor Heather and Sophie — land steward, who was also leaving. Toasts, feast, beauty, hugs, …

Floral Notes and Bardo: Slip Slidin’ Away

Sadness as this moment, world we’ve built, slips away.  Two weeks from today, Heather leaves the land.  I’ll stay, and we’ll move to Boulder together August 1, after I come out of Sacred World Assembly — a big retreat that feels like graduation. I’ll stay on with SMC, working part-time, doing the blog, email, marketing thing while I study poetry, grad school. I’m going to sing some songs, I think.  Last night, it was raining on the cabin — oh the cabin, which was hell a year ago, overrun with mice, no toilet.  This time around mice haven’t been so bad and we’ve got a little camping toilet in the closet.  It’s still a bit of a chore to clean it out, but… legit. This perch: The northeast corner of the room is my zone.  We have sheets hung from the ceiling that roll down and up.  When down, they form a princess bed situation for Heather, and for me, a meditation-secret-movements, sacred space. I’ve got a window that looks out across the valley to …

Floral Notes and Bardo: Yossi’s goodbye party

Faces ’round the fire yearning for the sun Singing Sublime at times Reflecting on the compassion of mosh-pit culture, the vajra world, and judgmentalness towards “new-agey” teachers Extending the snap of the fingers New moon, so a million stars Oh lord — Kumbaya/Namaste SMC staff, laughing — having made it through the winter A good gathering before the volunteers, and summer, arrive. Yossi’s goodbye party. — April 7, 2016 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 living as part of Shambhala Mountain Center. About the Author Travis Newbill is a writer, musician, and aspirant on the path of meditation.  He currently resides at Shambhala Mountain Center, where he handles the SMC Blog, and other marketing tasks. He also gives tours of the Great Stupa and is empowered as a Shambhala Guide — a preliminary teaching position.  TravisNewbill.com

Floral Notes and Bardo: Parinirvana Poem

I heard your call and came to your doorstep Basked in your radiance and wondered about your secret quarters I sung for you, waiting, admiring your absence while unable to escape you I have stayed and relaxed quite a lot — although my bladder is full Relaxing further I know I’ll discover flakes of gold in my urine You’re in me I mine gold Perplexed is the poet beside the singing bird on a ponderosa bough Blue is my wonder surrounded by sun Gold is how gone I’ve become — April 4, 2016 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 living as part of Shambhala Mountain Center. About the Author Travis Newbill is a writer, musician, and aspirant on the path of meditation.  He currently resides at Shambhala Mountain Center, where he handles the SMC Blog, and other marketing tasks. He also gives tours of the Great Stupa and is empowered as a Shambhala Guide …

Floral Notes and Bardo: Monkey Music

Monkey picked mind leaves rich, steamy broth in small porcelain perception Letting the music play late and saying yes to swing-set monkey bars for cowboys and young buddhists Red Fire Monkeys hanging from the ceiling in the shrine room disco balls, projector light show, laser beams, strings of twinklers thumping PA, alcohol Earlier — choreographed waltz at Shambhala Day Ball Which began winter community retreat — 7 days meditation in the morning, along with video teaching from Trungpa Rinpoche or Sakyong Mipham — in the flesh teacher who was scheduled had to drop out — sadly jamming in the afternoon — or other activities like hip hop dancing, medicine wheel leadership analysis, sex group discussion, sledding, more meditation, and so on. Good times once I got over the criticisms of how it was ut together. A big time, inspiring talk from Michael Gayner on the last day, which hit points like: in the year of the monkey we’re aspiring to communicate clearly, offer feedback fearlessly, see everyone in totality — as being on a journey, …

Floral Notes and Bardo: You Can’t Be Neutral

This morning so fresh and clear, even after surprise Super Bowl party in our room last night. Drank the rest of my dark winter beer.  Darkest of the dark days are over.  Don Season complete. Today: Neutral Day, and tomorrow: Shambhala Day.  Year of the Fire Monkey is on! Let’s play! Let’s get into all of the spaces and paint. A series of things to get into. Now: Breakfast and stroke practice in Mr. Gayner’s office. — February 8, 2016 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 living as part of Shambhala Mountain Center. About the Author Travis Newbill is a writer, musician, and aspirant on the path of meditation.  He currently resides at Shambhala Mountain Center, where he handles the SMC Blog, and other marketing tasks. He also gives tours of the Great Stupa and is empowered as a Shambhala Guide — a preliminary teaching position.  TravisNewbill.com

Groundhog Day Hey Bill Murray

Rinpoche’s gaze — I know. Black ink smeared across my small plywood desk. When I pour water into small clay pot and there is over flow, or when I pour fresh-brewed oolong from pot and there is spillage, when it puddles on the desk for a moment, it releases, re-liquefies, ink which hit the desk — as spillage or splatter or follow-through — while executing Ashe previously. Heavy snow the last couple of days — two feet or so. Yesterday, Groundhog Day!  Heather shone.  She loves that strange holiday, and I do as well, thanks to her.  While the white men in top hats gathered in Gobbler’s Knob in Puxatawny, PA, Heather and I rolled around in bed, sung and loved.  After meditation, recorded a song.  I went to work.  Heather went to work too.  Here’s what she worked on: creating a Groundhog Day celebration space in the dining room featuring activities — coloring books, crossword puzzles and such — Groundhog Day fun facts, banners, flags, decorations of all sorts — including herself with a …

Floral Notes and Bardo: You Can Feel Good

With Acharya Hessey all weekend as he orchestrated out of the box Level I — playing like Phil, Garcia, and Keats.  Alive and inabiting the whole space without cramping any flower in the garden. A feeling-based approach.  Distinctly expressive of this wave of teachings, energy, practices which I have been swimming in for these past four years.  This beautiful, ever-flowering offering, exploration arising through Rinpoche, especially, I believe, since his retreat in 2011.  That’s when I really entered.  I came in spring 2012, received Shambhala Meditation instruction from him that summer, as he was first rolling it out.  And that has been my journey.  Tattooed his pith instruction in my wrist (which is also the essence of Phish). Now, Acharya Hessey, who is so in tune, displaying new possibilities for the long-established Shambhala Training weekends.  Oh… such a subtle and particular thing, but outrageous, experimental, awake.  Art.  The art of teaching the Art of Being Human. Wishing, praying that it may continue to flourish. So moved by Dan’s rawness, realness.  His poetry, urgency, tearful message, …

Floral Notes and Bardo: Vegan Cheese

Monday morning — internet down! And it was down for two days — so, freak out in the business realm. The aspens were unbothered. Some wondered if they ought to meditate. In some cases, they drove off the land to find a connection. I walked around the land and took photos — a delightful activity which actually falls within my broad job description. We need photos to do the marketing. Meanwhile, it was a nice experience of connecting — with the land, with SMC, no internet needed. Especially potent since I am on the way out. Application to Naropa submitted last Friday. This weekend, we’ll head down to Boulder to meet the people we’re planning on living with when we leave, and check out the space. Just now, 49 day ceremony for Acharya Lyon — chant the Shin Kham, burn the photograph. 49 days in the bardo and then rebirth — according to tradition. I had the sense, along with others, that Allyn flew through into a good rebirth with swiftness. She was There. High realization.

I …