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.
Routine is fluid, stillness is illusory.
“Logic is safe,” Joshua once told me.
The teachings often emphasize the importance of surrendering agenda, and privacy. Phish says: The trick is to surrender to the flow.
Photo by Cait Rotkiewicz
Routine has been delightfully interrupted for the past few days, as Heather and I hosted her parents — Rebbi and Thai Bui — who came to visit from the Bay Area.
Her parents are beautiful people, and knowing them deepens my appreciation for the miracle of Heather.
We borrowed our friend Yossi’s car to pick them up down in town. Apparently, the car was damaged somewhere along the way, which has been a painful thing. The staff “rental car” has recently dissolved. It’s tough being up here without a car, and it’s not a comfortable thing to borrow cars from friends, so… it seems like we need to buy a car. Feels like a good step in the direction of full adulthood, or something like that.
Since the beginning, I’ve viewed life at Shambhala Mountain Center as training for life in the world. It’s a place for “practice.” It seems like the first phase was living on my own — working, meditating, making art, being okay with loneliness, and so on. Now I feel like I’m into another phase, in which I’m exploring partnership, family and greater responsibility. Life with Heather, knowing her family, and talking about getting a car together. It feels like a natural progression.
Anyway, we picked up the Buis and met up with the Greenleafs (Rebbi’s sister, her husband and kids) and went to “The Farm,” which is a petting zoo in Fort Collins. Thai peacefully sketched the animals, the kids went crazy for the goats, I was fond of the fattest sheep and fed him most of my oats, Heather met a perfect little pony, and so on. Good times! Afterwards we played in some water fountains downtown.
The following day we went horseback riding with a friend of Shambhala, a real cowboy named Buzz. We rode off trail, on the hillsides. I’d never really ridden a horse before, and it was a beautiful experience of communing with the animal, plants, rock, sky, and my own mind and body all at once. And, I felt deeply, romantically like a cowboy for a while. I never felt more like a Coloradoan. Living at Shambhala Mountain Center, I feel like I live in a whole other world — Shambhala rather than Colorado. So, riding like a cowboy was a great experience.
That evening Heather, Rebbi, Thai, and I, hung out in Heather’s room and made art together. The next morning, a visit to the Stupa. A campfire and singing that night. And, yesterday, before sending them off, we had a nice tea party in the courtyard of Sacred Studies Hall.
This is a wonderful place to host people of the right spirit. It’s a big perk of living here. And, the Buis are wonderful people with the right spirit — warm-hearted, gentle, artists. Being involved with the Buis is a perk of my karma.
– August 19, 2014
Travis Newbill is a curious dude on the path of artistry, meditation, and social engagement who is very glad to be residing at Shambhala Mountain Center. His roles within the organization include Marketing Associate and Head Dekyong–a position of leadership within the community. Follow Travis on twitter: @travisnewbill