Floral Notes and Bardo: Goodminton

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.

Fly tapping, in fight, and I, sipping Red Zinger in the shade.

Outside of the poorly constructed walls of self-concern, with framed paintings of pleasure adorning them, there’s a perfectly warm summer day.  Later, heavy evening sky, ablaze with monstrous-soft fluff-beasts — glowing pinks and oranges beside purple pals and mosquitoes.

And, The Inscrutable World Skull Cup of SMC Delek badminton 2014 is rolling along… very well!

Badminton 3

Lots of fun, and real emotion related to competition.  It’s such a funny and absurd thing, so loose, that’s it’s quite remarkable to see people getting worked up about it.  Everything is a teaching here.  Lots of fun, of course, but undeniably dharmic as well.  Tournament bracket, team names, making up rules as we go along.  Good stuff…

Last night a nice summertime community campfire — DJ Extro inside the clubhouse, pumping tribal eletro-glitch hop tunes, Lars the Jedi swinging the light-saber (for real) with mastery, Danny with the fire poi, folks joking, talking, having beers, bonding.

It was a good scene.

Prior to heading to the party, prior to the evening badminton games, a conversation with Kasung Kate about the Shambhala teachings and the Buddhadharma — the distinctions and relatedness.  This Shantideva text is hitting me hard.  It’s a root text.  The Shambhala texts that I have access to are commentary on root texts (as I understand it).  I’m looking forward to getting the pure-punch.  That’ll be in the Spring, when I start receiving the terma.  Gotta fly through lots of (necessary) hoops before getting that stuff.

It can be frustrating — the feeling of impatience; wanting to be further along than I am.  But, that really dissolves in the light of wisdom.  It’s good that I’m coming along at the pace that I am.  It’s allowing me to really form a genuine relationship with the path, the teachers, the sangha, the teachings.  Devotion is arising along with critical intelligence.

I feel skeptical and devoted.  I want the real awakening, rather than a contrived experience of understanding, which is comfort-seeking.

Let’s get down to the nitty gritty!

Anyway, I also observe arrogance in my being.  I wonder what will come along and crack me open, break my heart, soften me up real good…

— July 22, 2014


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.  Follow Travis on twitter: @travisnewbill

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