All posts tagged: Floral Notes and Bardo

Floral Notes and Bardo: Heat for Peace

As the door was closing, after I had bowed, on my way out, a man scratching his head in front of the shrine. UP the steps, as I was turning the corner, a peer who I secretly criticise for chanting too fast, for doing everything too fast, for trying to go too fast. I’d like to stay a few steps ahead, sometimes. Sometimes, I’d just like to harmonize. Behind me and to the left, girl, whose body sways while she meditates. Yesterday, community meeting using “Open Space Technology” — which I am a fan of. A few folks pop up and suggest topics, and the rest break into groups around these topics — whichever is most interesting to each person. Then we discuss. Some guidelines: Whoever comes are the right people. Whatever happens is the only thing that could have happened. Dammit, can’t think of the rest. And, the law of two feet: if you aren’t learning or contributing anything, you can get up and join another group. I joined a group about “Vision.” We …

Floral Notes and Bardo: Two Koi

Bowie, Bhanu, Bob — unaffiliated, in general, maybe, in a way. Approaching boundaries with antennae vibrating — when and how to go through?  Or, when is it respect and when is it enabling prejudice? Put on a show.  Take off one costume and put on another — all on film.  Witness the performativity of self, gender, and the mechanics of fame. Shambhala Mountain Center is famous, branded, and not what it seems — and, only ever what it seems — damn Buddhist. Part of my job is to make SMC famous. How to be real and skillful?  Naked and dignified?  What to reveal?  What is revealing, what is presentation, what is hiding, what is not buying into, what is… I’ll now pour some steaming hot water from my insulated Klean Kanteen into my clay teapot, which is only branded on the bottom — a Chinese character that I cannot read. Good luck, bedroom rock star, with your ethos of “not selling out,” “not playing the game.” I’ve now poured the tea into porcelain cup, entirely …

Floral Notes and Bardo: The Old Circus of Co-emergence

Imprisoned and wild, but knowledge: it’s not what it seems.  Same old restlessness, now with a glow of knowing around it.  It’s not what it seems.  And so, back and forth between bucking and break-dancing.  It’s the samsara-nirvana show.  The old circus of co-emergence. I’m on fire with opinions about SMC and some of the people here: sometimes. I’m a warm breeze of love without prejudice: sometimes. So what? I’m not feeling what I’m writing.  This has been so much cerebral blow-out.  Shall I write about the environment to ground in reality?  It is crisp outside.  Brilliantly clear and stiff with wind.  It’s a sustained high note on a flute.  A plane is streaking across the sky drawing a razor sharp line — which is a soft cloud up close.  A vajra scene within buddha pixelated pillow-verse. Heather’s on the bed, also writing.  We just met eyes and made funny faces.  Now she’s getting dressed.  She is beautiful. I had a cleansing bath last night.  I mean: hot, purifying, detoxifying.  I was on the verge …

Floral Notes and Bardo: Okay

Several strong brews in my small clay pot this morning.  Wind blowing strong outside.  Gonna brew another pot now, keep it rolling.  Two week retreat — good ride.  Shastri Solyntjes led with great experience and artistry — opened possibilities, and indeed, I experienced great resonance in the vision of the Sakyong.  And said: “I see.  Okay, I can go further.”  Which is what I needed most out of this retreat, as I’m preparing to leap into, surrender into, guru-disciple relationship with Sakyong Mipham this summer. The main thing: What I experienced, in greater depth, in relation to the Sakyong, over the course of this retreat, is that what he is presenting and guiding me into is more — not less — familiar, simple, ordinary.  It’s not something “else.”  I knew that.  And now I know it more.  I feel reassured.  Ready to proceed.  That was the gem gift of this retreat. Yesterday — first day off.  Mellow.  Lots of time with Heather — planning summer adventures and our move to Boulder.  Lovely tea-for-two party in …

Floral Notes and Bardo: Wrapping Vapor

A million fat flakes last night, left an inch of powder. Two million thoughts about my life — grasping for certainty, hopelessly knitting because I can’t bare the frays.  Recognizing that and relaxing into the vulnerable not-knowing.  Pema would be proud. A dream of wrapping it all up — like a Christmas present? — before dathun.  So that I can unwrap it afterwards?  What am I talking about: Naropa application and Boulder housing mostly.  I’m on the way out, though I have half a year left here. ‘Tis the season — to submit applications for grad programs and housing in college town. Intense — waiting for mentors to confirm that they’ll write letters for me, and realizing it’s the holidays and folks are out of their business/email routines, perhaps preferring to not have tasks laid upon them. Meanwhile — the land.  The community.  The shrine room.  The life in the nest with Heather. Shambhala Mountain Center life.  That’s what this blog is “about.” I had a birthday a couple of weeks ago (at Shambhala Mountain Center). 33 …

Floral Notes and Bardo: The Effects of Sun and Sand

On stage, witnessed, with no script–messy. Masking bewilderment with a self-soothing heroic narrative is cowardly.  Pretending to have courage/knowledge is miserly.  The rules are training wheels. You’re gonna see me scrape my knees up real nasty.  I’m a klutz.  I am going to relentlessly sing through the shakes, in hopes that perhaps you’ll be kind enough to drop your judgment and hear me.  I’ll try to hear you. Gonna take my bike out. I say such stupid things and the feedback is more vivid, the more that I practice, the more that I become sensitive to the personal quality, directness, of the whole thing.  Aggressive in such subtle ways, “We know not what we do!” Arrogant in such subtle ways, trying to hold it together.  Trying to do it.  Do what? Trying to be so smooth, to manifest according to our ideals.  Please allow lots of room for stumbling and don’t identify with dummy or genius at any point along the path, and when you do, don’t identify as a person who does, and when you do… …

Floral Notes and Bardo: Florida Boy, Be Brave!

After a summer of so much activity, movement, money spending, speed, I had this dream of holing up in this lodge room all winter long, not leaving the land at all or spending any money.  That’s pretty much what is happening, but the dream now has some cracks in it.  Some say: the cracks are how the light gets in. I’m planning to head to Boulder for Christmas with dear friends, and then to a concert in March.  Wonderful things, and troubling — because I am scared of winter driving.  Ice on roads, insane mountain curves and death-cliffs. I had a conversation with a couple of elders a few weeks ago about it, and they made the dangers quite vivid for me.  At the same time, it’s something that people do.  Each of them do it.  And they had a sense of humor around it, even though they were discussing possible death. “You’re bound to have a white knuckle experience at some point if you’re driving in the winter.” That statement made it very easy …

Floral Notes and Bardo: Soggy Cloak and Golden Strands, Entwined

Heartbroken by hearing about extreme prejudice, I imagined myself as a Muslim American who prays for peace.  I felt it deep in my heart and so I chose to add my voice to the big mix, rather than keep quiet in hopes of causing less disturbance. I said something about Donald Trump on Facebook.  First time. Immediately, a friend posted a photo below: Donald Trump with a butthole where his mouth ought to be. Then, right after that, another friend showed up. His profile picture is him standing beside Donald Trump.  He said: “What are you doing for your country, Travis?” Representatives from both sides of the spectrum. I responded by thanking friend #2 for respectfully asking that provocative question, opening up conversation.  Really! Thank you for showing up and not letting my remark drift off into the choir of like-minded people.  Thank you for reminding me who I’m speaking to. This is a dense area for me.  A soggy cloak.  Soaked in blood that may turn golden in the sunlight if I am not …

Floral Notes and Bardo: The Holiest of Hassles

A choir of Zen practitioners in brown robes, downstairs, chanting — our room is flooded by this holy resonance. Nice while in the bathtub. Stopped us in our tracks the first time we heard it. Yesterday morning, it made it impossible to get into my work. Too beautiful and captivating! The holiest of hassles. I suspect that all the hassle I experience in this life is this way. All the interruptions to my pre-conceived notions of right and wrong, all the occasions of shattered scripts. When I go into my head, into the grumpy narrative–bah humbug–I’m missing the masterpiece. But, but, the sorrowful moans of the grumpy cello of complaint! Yeah, yeah… but don’t go too far into that story. There’s been a nasty stomach bug going around the community.  It hasn’t gotten me, but it did get Ryan.  We spoke about surrender (to illness, sweat lodge, discomfort of all sorts) can allow the wisdom to flow, the message to be received.  So, from that point of view… a stomach flu is sort of like …