Floral Notes and Bardo: Love is a BOOM

 

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.

A thousand things we can’t see, in our tea-cup, and yet our
reflection on the surface–warm, cooling, gone.

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Mr. Cushman sent out a homework assignment for Joy class

Question 1. Contrast “awakened heart” and “love”

On my way up to the Stupa yesterday afternoon to do chores, I let the question bounce around and eventually said to myself:

Love is a more complete exhalation
Awakened heart is a spark, love is a fire
Awakened heart is a pop, love is a BOOM
Awakened heart is a nod, love is surrender

~~~

I have felt myself become a bit slack in my Dekyong duty recently. This weekend I’m participating in a program called The Six Ways of Ruling, which will be lead by Richard Reoch, the President of Shambhala. I had the honor of interviewing him about the teachings recently. The program will present Shambhala teachings on leadership, which were only transmitted in secret until fairly recently. I feel like this may give the Dekyong-Me a needed shot in the arm.

This morning I was photographing a snow-covered tree stump, I sensed and heard a person pass by behind me. I sensed that it was President Reoch. It was. His presence is so warm, inspiring, genuine. I’m really looking forward to the teachings, and the whole weekend.

–January 31

~~~

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: NBD

 

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.

Pony kicking around in a big pool of honey,
undisturbed, and trapped–in its own dream, sweet.

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NO BIG DEAL

Last night we began a course called Joy in Everyday Life with David Cushman. He sat in a chair like he was in his den–with slippers and a glass of diet root beer, which he says, again and again, “is actually quite delicious, taste-wise.” He gave a great talk, and it cracked me up more than once. I know the guy. We’re pretty close. We’re friends. And, he’s a great, experienced teacher. He was a student of Trungpa Rinpoche. He’s been around for a good while–deep practitioner. Lots of wisdom. And a total, loveable, goofball. Cushman makes dharma fun, and he is also not full of shit–maybe a bit crazy. Good-crazy. These are my opinions. I’m glad to be taking this course with a group of friends, lead by a friend. It’s a good scene.

The other night, Heather and I read aloud from a Pema Chödrön book–a book we’re to study for the course: The Places That Scare You. It’s a good scene. We read about the contrast between being cozy in a nest of predictability and leaping into the unknown. We agreed that we like both.

~~~

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: Magic of Many Varieties

 

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.

Fire-hose full of Kool-Aid
blasting tranquility and simplicity into a bouquet of happy madness–
landing on a bed with
plush animals–hearing a bedtime story
Wake up to blood-orange sky, late in the morning
crushed ideas becoming sunsets, watching, surrendered to larger-than-my-thoughts
ART

On a flesh canvass, a wink at my foolishness. A wink of understanding between fools–friendship.

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Heather and I seeing each other through binoculars in the Stupa after community practice of the Sadhana of Mahamudra, which Trungpa Rinpoche received in a cave in Bhutan and offered to contemporary world even though/because it’s crazy and blows brains and delusion into indestructible magic-music.

Gathered in the Stupa–friends become vapor-dharma-heat. Full moon above.

Later, sake with Mr. Cushman and a few fellows–discussion of SMC adventure (that’s my attitude).

I jumped out of the conversation in order to make my 9:30 lullaby date. Afterwards, I laid awake for a bit, sake in belly, rumbling.

This morning I woke up and saw a note which had been slid beneath my door:

“Thank you for being open and available for magic of many varieties.”

~~~

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: Beeswax n’ Butterfly Crown

 

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.

Gum too big to chew
Fruity truth in my vicinity
I taste the absence. I blow bubbles all day. I feel speckles
of wakeful spit in every
po
po
pop

POP

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Heather presented me with a beeswax n’ butterfly crown. My Head Dekyong crown.

After dinner I had a lil’ evening visit with Mr. Cushman, a friend and teacher.– wine and discussion of the Hinayana, Shambhala, and…the Dekyong thing.

The Dekyong thing:

The Dekyong is the head of a Delek.

Deleks are small groups of people within the community. The idea is that these people care for one another and develop friendships, relationships. The Delek system also serves as a way for communication to flow through the community.

The Dekyong is the leader of each group, putting effort into cultivating a caring, enjoyable situation for all involved.

I am the Head Dekyong. The name of my Delek is Westside Delekatessen.

I am called upon (by myself, etc.) to help good things happen.

The Hinayana teachings say:

Cause no harm.

The Shambhala teachings say:

Engage.

It’s a bit perplexing.

GO FOR IT

Amen.

~~~

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.