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.
Gluten free, vegan french toast, chocolate muffins and not-cow milk, but lots of big, fat cows all over the land.
None of this is normal.
Meditation time has been moved an hour earlier and I’m off balance.
I was describing my feeling of being so out of routine lately, and how this has really started happening as teachers have been welcoming me into the mahayana. “Good job,” Zane said. “Enjoy the rug-being-pulled-out constantly, from now on.”
“Logic is safe,” Joshua told me. “Sometimes the virtuous thing to do is sleep in.”
I’m seeking balance, still, stability in mid-air. Studying teachings last night from the Sakyong about finding balance: time at the Shambhala Center, time being a householder, time out in the larger society. Sometimes one area is receiving more attention than the others, and it’s always shifting. What is path? What does it look like? Not always looking like a shrine room, church, or whatever. The whole sacred display full of poetry and meaning, and empty, beckoning me forever to dance and play. Not resisting change, emotions, or any person, and so a joyful presence. May it be so.
Oh goodness… heading to the Phish concerts — weekend camp-out. My soul-mouth is watering. Ahh… Phish!
Each morning and evening I play a Phish song for Heather, as she’s not so familiar. A couple of weeks ago, at dawn, we hiked up to the top of Marpa Point, overlooking the valley, beautiful dawn, and we listened to Gamehenge. I had been leading up to it with stories — hints that Gamehenge is the parallel dimension sister-village to Shambhala Mountai Center. (Truly, this is as close to living in Gamhenge as I could have arranged for myself.) Anyway, I told her that Icculus lives up on the top of the mountain, and midway through the story, about the time that Icculus shows up in the story, a shirtless summer volunteer came out onto the top of the peak, above us, and howled.
This is a fairytale life, indeed. I’m sure there are dragons in the air that we can’t see, and that the trees hear me singing.
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