Floral Notes and Bardo: Trip Less

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.

In the dark, in the heat of Grandfather’s breath, I felt layers of frivolity dissolving.  There are more layers.

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So often thrown by chattering mind, entertainment-seeking — scattered.  It’s just play.  Sand slipping through fingers — colored sand.  Still, this is a precious opportunity.  So, I’d like to trip less and dance more.

Yesterday, sweat-lodge ceremony.  So grateful.  It brings me into touch — with my bones, the earth, sky, elements, and my fellows.  Refreshed afterwards, and wholesomely, beautifully tired.

After dinner, Heather and I went up to Avalokiteshvara.  My old friend Michael “had us over.”  It was his little yurt before it was my little yurt.  He’s been on the land recently doing a long retreat, and he’s been staying in there once again — which has cool been very cool for him, and for Heather and I as well, as we’ve been exploring cohabitation.

So, he had us over.

He read us poetry and a story that he wrote about dragons.  After a nice walk back to Manjushri, I slept so soundly.

– July 17, 2014

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PortraitTravis 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

Floral Notes and Bardo: My Lil’ Spot and the Ongoing Miracle

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.

“…the womb of Avalokitesvara, a vast secret silence, springtime in the Void…” –Jack Kerouac

Drawn like a sketch, watercolor, drawn by a star–across the meadow, into a spot in the valley –feels like home.  I’m in my spot.  I am that spot.  That spot is my spot.  There is no better spot for me.

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After four months in the cushy (oh so cushy!) lodge, we’ve moved back out into the woods, into our little cabins and trailers.  I’m so glad for it.  I’d been becoming a bit attached to lodge living–a bit lazy, a bit like vacation.

Now, getting back into my groovy little cabin last night, right near the Stupa, felt so good.  After being in there for a few minutes it started to overwhelm me.  It was like connecting with an old friend.  I’ve never felt more at home in any spot on this planet than I do in my little cabin on the hill, which Trungpa Rinpoche named Avalokiteshvara.

I glowed for a while.  Heather was up on the loft in the bed, enjoying my giddiness–deep giddiness.  I lit my incense and hugged the house with my energy. Ya, ya, ya… Ahh.

So glad.

And… Heather was now in my house, which was so surreal.  It’s been such a solitary, mystic, artist thing up there.  Now, she has manifested like a dream.  Before she arrived at SMC,  I sang about her in that house, her art was on the walls. Now she’s here.  Beautiful girl in my little house.  Little honey blessing.

Before we turned out the little solar-powered lantern to go to sleep, the little book on my milk-crate night-stand was calling me: The Scripture of the Golden Eternity.  My brother gave me his well-worn copy a few years back.  It’s a special book–beat-dharma from Brady.  So, the little book was calling me and I felt like there was something nice in there for the moment.  Here’s the passage that I opened up to, by chance/karma:

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The words “atoms of dust” and “the great universes” are only words. The idea that they imply is only an idea. The belief that we live here in this existence, divided into various beings, passing food in and out of ourselves, and casting off husks of bodies one after another with no cessation and no definite or particular discrimination, is only an idea. The seat of our Immortal Intelligence can be seen in that beating light between the eyes the Wisdom Eye of the ancients: we know what we’re doing: we’re not disturbed: because we’re like the golden eternity pretending at playing the magic cardgame and making believe it’s real, it’s a big dream, a joyous ecstasy of words and ideas and flesh, an ethereal flower unfolding a folding back, a movie, an exuberant bunch of lines bounding emptiness, the womb of Avalokitesvara, a vast secret silence, springtime in the Void, happy young gods talking and drinking on a cloud. Our 32,000 chillicosms bear all the marks of excellence. Blind milky light fills our night; and the morning is crystal.

This morning I woke up at 5, walked down to the outhouse singing, just like I used to (my body remembered just what to do).  I kissed Heather good-morning, made a lil’ pot of pu-erh, lit my incense and offered water on my little shrine, lit the candle, did my little lujong routine, sang a bit and then out the door to breakfast.  Feels like falling right back into the grooviest groove I’ve known in my life.  Said good-morning to my neighbor: The Great Stupa.

Mojo, mojo, mojo.  Wishing that beneficial songs, truths and beauties may come forth in this new/familiar arrangement.

May all beings know good mojo, good houses. May all beings recognize the ongoing miracle.

–March 24, 2014

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PortraitTravis 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. 

Floral Notes and Bardo: Surf’s Up, Mmm Hmm…

 

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.

At lunch:

Joshua: “You’re a surfer, riding a wave.”

Me:  Surfing has always been one of my go-to metaphors.

Joshua: Surfing has always been one of my metaphors too.

Me: Did you surf in California?

Joshua: No I went surfing once in Long Island. I sat out there for hours waiting for a wave.
It was freezing. Finally a wave came and I was frozen stiff. It passed me right by.

At dinner:

Joshua: Did you get the flowers?

Me: Yep.

Joshua: You’re all ready then.

Me: Yep. One-hundred percent. No doubt. Like a surfer in Long Island waiting for a wave.

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Lamp oblivious to what is being revealed as it simply
sits there, taking up space
obeying the commands of animate characters all around it
in an old wooden shack house,
not the Quadrapooper,
not Avalokiteshvara (my house)–
an imaginary shack
in the woods
where conversations occur between kerosene-burning lanterns
and a crazy man who is addicted to tea.
Perhaps “future me.”

~~~

PortraitTravis 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. 

Floral Notes and Bardo: Not new

 

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.

Breath over ridges under a river–
out of my mind
into my bones
a breaking guitar string in slow motion
on display

My House

The first day of the year seems like a good time to start something new. This blog is not new,
but this is a new phase.

I accidentally started it yesterday–on the last day of last year.

Today is Wednesday, which is the day of the week that I’ve been planning on not writing because we have community meetings on Wednesdays.

All the other days in the week we have a nice, long community meditation session in the morning. I like to meditate
as much as possible before I write. This morning, only a short session, and so a sense of clumsy articulation. Okay.

Today in the community meeting, Director Gayner gave an amazing presentation about the land, and SMC. The part about the Feng Shui of the land was particularly amazing. Amazing. We are part of something way bigger than any one of us. There is tremendous energy moving here. I knew that already. I want to learn more, so that I can say more, and so that I can be more deeply connected with this organism–Shambhala Mountain Center.

After the meeting, Steve Seely, one of the senior teachers on the land, said something about how he feels that he is part of something historic–that this thing is huge.

I feel that too.

~~~

PortraitTravis Newbill is a curious dude on the path of artistry, meditation, and social engagement who is very glad to be residing at Shambhala Mountain. His roles within the organization include Marketing Associate and Head Dekyong–a position of leadership within the community.