Floral Notes and Bardo: Doha Ha Ha Ha


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.

Bent out of–yet always, simultaneously–into
Kissed by whispering mountain dawn as if it were–which it is, always–
diamond-like infant, jeweled-eye child


Last night was the concluding class in a five week course working with the Shambhala teachings on contentment and meekness. The class was lead by Steve Seely, who is a very experienced teacher–having served as the Vidyadhara‘s personal attendant and later completed a three year retreat. He shared lots of potent anecdotes throughout the course. He is a treasure.

Alison co-lead the course. She breathes fire. That’s what I have to say about her teaching style, her style in general. It’s blazing.

We concluded the evening by enjoying sweets, chai, and sake together and spontaneously composing a doha–at the encouragement of Steve.

Here’s the thing:

It is so sweet to connect with my fellows, my friends, my family on this mountain, in the space of exploring the teachings, each other, and ourselves. That’s why we’re here. We work hard, and also, we get together and share the curious experience of simply being.

Here’s the doha:

The Tiger

Step, step, step. Will it ever end?
Does it matter?
Feasting on crumbs all the time,
Precious prowling and a sense of presence,
The paws pause and we enter meekly.

Rippling, rippling, rippling.
How haughty and naughty I am.
moving forward to I know not what.
It’s not important, the earth is always beneath me.
Fluid the fur, it glides over strength.
That’s not a line.

Hey, we’re content. It doesn’t matter if you write it down anyways.
Origami swan, tiger, and a cookie,
where else but Shambhala?
I don’t do this kind of thinking.
Walking on the paws of the earth, sky above,
with no delusion.
No, I’m good–basically.


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.