Floral Notes and Bardo: Sunday Stuff, Nice


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.

What is there to devour? My expectations?

Soft snow falling out the window. It’s going to pile up. We’re going to make snow beasts. We talked about it yesterday and wished for the materials. Snow, snow, snow…


Some stuff on a Sunday:

Morning meditation, wrote a bit and then my dishwashing shift, contemplating lojong slogans while scrubbing pots and pans. Afterwards, kernels klanging against a metal pot, fun music–friendly cooks helped me make popcorn. I dusted it with nooch (nutritional yeast, yum). Plans to watch a movie later.

Heather and I had lunch together, called our moms on the phone… During a lull in conversation with my mom, I heard her ask her mom:

“Have you smelled anything interesting recently?”

We did laundry and cleaned our rooms. Laundry was adventurous–I won’t say why. I will say that it was fun watching our clothes tumble around.

After our chores were completed we sat on a bench. The sky became pastel magic. We got up and walked around, stopped in the middle of a snowy meadow, layed down and watched the rest of the sunset. Then, hiked up a hill and snuggled into a rock-boulder-sofa-nook together and gazed out over the valley. Heavy purple clouds. The occasional voice-echo from somewhere. Mostly…stillness. Gently swaying pine tree beside us. Clumps of pine  trees scattered. Rock formations all around. The Stupa to the south. Stillness. How did we get here?

Before it got too dark we climbed back down the rocks, held mitten hands walking back across the meadow, across the land. Just in time for dinner–Amazing restaurant quality Italian meal, warm bread, fancy olives and all.  We sat at a corner table. It felt like a booth.

She said: “Some standards can be observed even on top of a mountain

After dinner we grabbed the popcorn and some other goodies which I had stashed and walked across the icey land again to the little Elkhorn House–which is our community hangout space.  It has a big screen TV, games, a piano, a great sound system, and sofas. This stuff was generously donated as gifts to the staff.

We made pepermint tea, cuddled up on a sofa beneath a tie-dye blanket and watched a bizarre movie. We didn’t budge when the film ended and so the DVD looped  and the movie started again. We peeled ourselves up about half way through, bundled in our coats and boots, and stepped outside. Snow. We walked across the land again–her flashlight pointed down at the ground and mine up, illuminating the snow flurries (warp speed, star-travel). Finally arriving to our clean, cozy lodge rooms. Goodnight.

It’s still snowing. This morning I hit her with a snowball. She picked it up and threw it back at me. Then we looked at the pretty snowflakes landing on the sleeves of our jackets.

–January 27                  


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.