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.
Last night in the library, my mala burst. It’s said that it happens at an auspicious time.
Heather and I were talking for hours, about all sorts of exploratory, self-reflecive, what-is-life stuff. She mentioned her wish for a fairy godmother. I had a thought about how the Sakyong, in a way, is my fairy godmother. At that moment, the mala — which was a blessed gift from the Sakyong — burst.
Heather said: “It happened!”
Then we fell into deep eye contact for what felt like an hour or so. Myself, experiencing such rich, almost comically mysterious, energy exchange — in the library.
Earlier in the day — in the beginning — laying on the porch, in the sunshine, without clothes. Those days are numbered now that the cool autum breezes are beginning to blow and earlier in the week we had our first snow. Anyway, soaking it up.
After breakfast we had a life-planning session: what am I doing?
I’ve been so out of routine. The wish for ryhthm — dharma, art, relationship, work, recreation…
After we made a nice list and schedule for life, I hiked across the land to the Stupa, to work with Joshua. It felt so, so good to work at the Stupa again, with Joshua. It had been a while. That’s where it all began, and that’s how it shall continue, I realized. I felt reconnected to what I’m doing here.
The Stupa embodies the whole thing, and service to the Stupa — service to the whole thing — is the point. Working with my hands, beautifying, caring for, the Stupa is tangible, real work. And, Joshua is my teacher. He is my fairy godmother. Working for him feels right — expressing appreciation, devotion. And, there is no bullshitting him at all. And, there is no bullshitting the Stupa.
So clearly: I am here to work on the Stupa.
This morning I launched my new routine. For a while, I’ve felt myself searching for a new groove, now I’m beginning to tap in. Here we go…
The colios that I brought from Brooklyn lost its leaves, at the same time that I came down with the heavy cold, in which I lost all of my leaves and am now regenerating, feeling renewed. The aspens, meanwhile, are beginning to turn — the first signs of yellow, a few leaves dropping off. Tonight a dance party for the staff and this weekend, our Harvest of Peace, autumnal equinox celebration.
I brought the colios to my desk so I can give it love all day, and it has friends — two plump jades. My desk is like a garden. My mind is like the sun. My life is blessed. Kaleigh is now running the blender, making a raw cacao bananna smoothie for me, which shall be delicious.
The crazy noise of the blender is the sound of nourishing universe.
– September 15, 2014
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