All posts tagged: Greg Smith

Floral Notes and Bardo: No Rush — Trickles from an Aspiring Teacher

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. Late last night I had a look around, for a towel, I had spilled my water on the wooden nightstand.  I’m not used to drinking out of glasses.  I’m not used to wooden nightstands.  I’m not used to towels, carpeting, toilet in the next room. House/cat-sitting again for Director Gayner.  A joy — purring Dorje Phurba.  Soothing kitty. Earlier in the night, I presented dharma to my fellows.  It was a learning experience.  I felt deflated afterwards, like my message was not clear, not precise.  I went through a few sommersaults of sorrow and frustration.  It was a potent process.  Charged practice experience.  It felt good, feels good.  Excited to refine my style and approach.  Glad for the opportunity to study with Greg Smith — a great mentor, friend.  A seasoned teacher.  I feel like …

Floral Notes and Bardo: And, who knows? But living…

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. Green blades of grass are popping up from the ground. Last night a deep discussion on death and impermanence in class with Greg — Fearlessness in Everyday life.  Afterwards, with Heather, connecting in presence, communicating, acknowledging a disconnect in… view, personality, life-approach, interests.  Acknowledging the possibility of splitting as well as the possibility of not.  Impermanence is not theoretical here.  None of the teachings are.  This whole place is a living, breathing, dharma lesson.  Teachings in 3D.  Maybe 4D.  I can taste the dharma here.  It rubs my shoulders and smacks me on the head.  Walking away from her, I felt relief — in imagining passing, freedom.  Now… What is freedom?   Solitude — free of mirrors?  Free to only dive into dharma?  What is dharma?  Sitting on a cushion and reading books?  I know …

Floral Notes and Bardo: Wild and Dignified

  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-Ching toss last night–“stillness.” The image of a mountain–first hexagram. Second: progress. The image of the sun rising. Greg said: Taming the mind, meditative stillness, and waiting until the right moment to act. And, when I do, it will be effective. Something about the hexagram saying: Don’t allow your hips to become frozen. You’ve got to boogie. No cave-dwelling yogi life for you right now, Ngejung Tachok. And, be with the peeps. Being a leader, you’ve got to be with the peeps, not separate from them. You are a peep. Greg was giving me an I-Ching reading upstairs in the library, meanwhile downstairs in the shrine room, the Beastie Boys, dance party. Pounding electronic music. I’d been dancing then saw Greg in the hallway and asked for a reading. He’d given the ceremonial reading for SMC earlier …

Floral Notes and Bardo: Kill the Buddha

  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. Black honest and white too pure for stars to hold. The shakier the fringes the more it may be expanding. More space-venue for exploration. Dön Season Day Two: In the morning, Mr. Cushman helped me with the Vajrasattva mantra. It’s long and hard to pronounce. In the evening when Greg lead the chants, he whipped through the mantra so swiftly that I had no chance of reciting it along with him. After a few times through (we recite “Pacifying the Turmoil of the Mamos” 21 times during Dön Season)… After a few times through I gave up on trying and instead just opened up to Greg and connected with his recitation. He was positioned beautifully, an elder master, conducting the ceremony using sacred implements–bell and dorje, displaying mudras. Later in the evening… A disagreement with teacher in class regarding …

Interview with a Meditator: Learn to Meditate

  “People realize that they can make friends with themselves and that seems to be the main point” Greg Smith started meditating in 1976 and began teaching meditation practice in 1982. In this interview he addresses some of the questions that he regularly encounters with beginning meditators, about the purpose of meditation and the Learn to Meditate program, and his own reasons for beginning this powerful practice. Beginning meditators rarely begin this practice without misconceptions of what it is that they are doing. For so simple an activity, meditation is often made out to be something it is not. “They kinda want to make their minds go away, which is probably not such a helpful approach” says Greg, suggesting that it’s more about leaning to make friends with yourself.