All posts tagged: Pema Chodron

Pema Chödrön says: “Don’t lose heart.”

This morning I had a conversation with my co-workers about some challenging circumstances that I’m in the midst of. With my description, I imagined I painted a storm cloud — complete with rumbling thunder and generally full of doom. And then I added that as dreadful as it feels, in the background is a sense that it’s a good, necessary process. In large part, I have Pema Chödrön to thank for helping to condition my mind to hold pain and terrible shit-storms of life within a view of path and awakening. In this video, she begins by relaying a most helpful bit of encouragement: Don’t lose heart. For more than a decade I’ve been turning to Pema Chödrön books in times of strife just to get a bit of encouragement like that; just to be reminded that this very moment — whatever the texture — is the process of awakening in living color. She always says: “Feel it.” And doing so allows us to know the reality of life on earth, and develop empathy for …

Floral Notes and Bardo: I Drowned a Tick in Booze

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. Recently, Heather and I have been helping to water the seedlings for the community garden.  What seedlings am I watering right now — in the cosmic garden? Compassion feels sore and self-righteousness is a rush.  I want to strengthen my tendency and love for the former, and decrease my lustful craving for the latter.  Buddhism. Yesterday I kicked off my new schedule and was able to practice — meditation, writing — and study — buddhadharma, poetics — and do good work in the marketing office, community service, have some lesiure time and get a good night of sleep.  The leisure time was only partly leisurely. What I really don’t want to write about — and so chose to describe my routine — is the way that I’m feeling about a cultural attitude that I think ought to be …

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: Funny Little Crush on a Nun

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. Pema Chödrön is on the land. A couple of weeks ago, I had a dream that her and I were walking around the land together.  At some point, we were gazing into each other’s eyes and she said something like: “We have karma like we’ve kissed before.” Like, in a past life, we were honey-buddies. A couple of days ago, when I first saw her, as we were crossing paths in our dining hall, we exchanged bows. I wish that I may say to her, somehow: “Thank you.” Who on this planet has been more helpful to me than her?  I don’t know.  And I’ve never exchanged words with her. I saw her on a street corner in Boulder once.  And now I’m seeing her, in little glimpses, here.  On my way to my office this …

Floral Notes and Bardo: NBD

  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. Pony kicking around in a big pool of honey, undisturbed, and trapped–in its own dream, sweet. NO BIG DEAL Last night we began a course called Joy in Everyday Life with David Cushman. He sat in a chair like he was in his den–with slippers and a glass of diet root beer, which he says, again and again, “is actually quite delicious, taste-wise.” He gave a great talk, and it cracked me up more than once. I know the guy. We’re pretty close. We’re friends. And, he’s a great, experienced teacher. He was a student of Trungpa Rinpoche. He’s been around for a good while–deep practitioner. Lots of wisdom. And a total, loveable, goofball. Cushman makes dharma fun, and he is also not full of shit–maybe a bit crazy. Good-crazy. These are my opinions. I’m glad to be taking …

Halloween Special: What to Do with a House Full of Demons?

“One evening Milarepa returned to his cave after gathering firewood, only to find it filled with demons. They were cooking his food, reading his books, sleeping in his bed. They had taken over the joint. He knew about nonduality of self and other, but he still didn’t quite know how to get these guys out of his cave. Even though he had the sense that they were just a projection of his own mind—all the unwanted parts of himself—he didn’t know how to get rid of them. So first he taught them the dharma. He sat on this seat that was higher than they were and said things to them about how we are all one. He talked about compassion and shunyata and how poison is medicine. Nothing happened. The demons were still there. Then he lost his patience and got angry and ran at them. They just laughed at him. Finally, he gave up and just sat down on the floor, saying, “I’m not going away and it looks like you’re not either, so …