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.
So many influences and I can only name a pathetically few. Many more voices I’d like to know. My own voice, only echoing…
Wonderful weekend adventure with Heather and good friend Jonathan — in his truck, we rolled down the hill into Boudler, Denver, and to the 3 day Phish concert camp-out. The music was so good… and the whole weekend…
Into town for Chihuly exhibit at the Denver Botanical garden, yummy vegan eats, rendezvous with old friends who traveled from Nashville, lots of good conversation, exploration.
The band as the center of the mandala, and 30,000 folks all interconnected — some quite off balance, some calm and aware, ecstatic, depressed, bored, and all the rest. All gathered for different particular reasons, but essentially maybe the same. Maybe having something to do with seeking happiness, good human experience.
Here at Shambhala Mountain Center, it’s the same. Sakyong Mipham Rinpoche is the center of the mandala. Or, at least, the embodiment of what is truly the center of the mandala. Something like that…
Anyway, we’re hanging together. Personally, I’m familiar with a tendency towards comfort-seeking. But then, if I stay in bed for too long, I want to tear out of the sheets, shave my head, and go swimming.
On Monday, Labor Day, after the full weekend of Phish (so good…), the three of us — J, H, and I — who had really become quite a lovely, loving crew, decided to put a cherry on top. We went to a baseball game! We had footlong hotdogs (I had a vegan one… they have vegan footlongs at the ballpark these days!) and beer. Good stuff.
I woke up the next morning with a heavy cold. Heather wrote a note to my boss requesting that my absence be excused.
I spent most of the day in a hammock, enjoying fresh air and sunshine. Did some dharma practice, blew tons of snot out of my head — which weighed about a thousand pounds when I woke up. Heather brought me meals and generally took very good care of me. Now she seems to be coming down with the same cold. It’s dissolving in my body and growing in hers.
This morning I did her dishwashing shift so that she could stay in bed longer. I missed group meditation, but practiced on my own after the dishes were done. It’s funny the shape that the path takes — concerts, ballgames, and headcolds. Washing dishes, connecting in the shrine room and showing up late to work. Working the weekend to make up hours. This is the path of fluidity.
— September 4, 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