Jun 16

“The whole point is to take care of one another. Help each other………. Men [I like to use the Jungian concept of “animus”— in this case negative animus”— rather than “men,” because it is a component that women have as well] don’t listen. They are closed off. They’ve got all the testosterone but women [I like to use the Jungian concept of “anima”— both positive and negative — rather than “women,” because it is a component that men have as well] are much more powerful. They intuitively understand the power of love and goodness and kindness…..Ego with its fear and guilt keeps people from properly helping others……  The most basic emotion is love……..”<source of quote: my doctor; July 03, 2013, Toronto, Canada> Please note: as I understand it, both positive and negative are part of ultimate basic goodness.

One of my doctors — a Canadian icon in the field of integrative medicine — is a popular lecturer and author. So I shouldn’t have been surprised by his soliloqy when I went to see him for my quarterly appointment. But I was. I mean, although he’s a voluable guy, I have never seen this display before. It is fabulous. This soliloqy goes on non-stop for three or four minutes.

I feel that his office has become a stage from which he is proclaiming the good news! The good news of basic goodness.

You see, I have I just spent a week (from May 25 – July 02, 2013) in the wrap-around sky of Juniper Hill Retreat Centre participating in a Shambhala Meditation retreat lead by Patricia Ullman Hayward, former director of Dorje Denma Ling .cropped  Pat IMG_0069

The retreat group of 11 participants is poised to experience a great paradigm shift (I think of it as nothing less than a revolution), the “push” the Sakyong is making right now to create enlightened society and introduce us to our own basic goodness.

It is only on July 03’13, the day after I return to Toronto from the weekthun, when I hear my doctor “hold forth” on basic goodness, that I realize how powerful the three-step process of Shambhala meditation is.

Another way to put this is that I feel certain that my doctor was reflecting back to me the results of a week-long practice — results that included touching the actual face of my own basic goodnes in all its many manifestations, e.g. feelings, thoughts, emotions.

Patricia told us that Sakyong Mipham Rinpoche asked her in February whether Shambhala meditation changed the culture <my emphasis>at a recent winter dathun (month of meditation). By the last day it was very palpable that we had created a culture of kindness.  The weekthun had roused my motivation and confidence. The other participants also spoke about the power and inspiration arising from touching our vulnerability, our appreciation. <source: Jacquline Larson: Back to Basic Goodness, Beginner’s Mind and Butter Tarts on a First Weekthun>

As is customary at Juniper Hill, we have our celebratory supper at the end of the weekthun. There are the toasts to our teachers. And then the entertainment.

Suzanne Bassett from Ottawa read her own poem. Here it is.

 

Szuanne Bassett 2012Take Your Seat

a story poem for drum accompaniment

by Suzanne Bassett

at Juniper Hill, May 25-June 2, 2013

 

In the jungle of my mind,
Tiger walks
on soft, strong paws,
content in her beautiful skin.

In the jungle of my mind,
Tiger sees
a waterfall of thoughts,
a geyser of emotions,
a roiling pool of memories and dreams,

May 03'06 dark orange hopes and fears,
broken battlements,
and barriers hastily erected
to protect against an unknown foe.

In the jungle of my mind,
Tiger sees
a gerbil on a wheel,
little paws turning the wheel of time
faster and faster and faster
frantic breath fast and hot.

Tiger says
Little sister
rest,
dip your tired paws
into the ocean of basic goodness.
Remember, little one,
you are worthy just as you are.
All you need is to relearn how to be.

Feel your heart, your
strong heart
whole heart
worthy heart
alive heart
remembering heart
awakened heart
warrior heart.

The blade of nowness
severs the shackles of the cocoon

And we take our seats
at the celebration, where we belong.

Home at last.

For some well-crafted descriptions of one of the participant’s experiences of the practice, please see the webpost by Jaqueline Larson, Toronto:

http://toronto.shambhala.org/2013/06/13/back-to-basic-goodness-beginners-mind-and-butter-tarts-on-a-first-weekthun/

cropped Jacks IMG_0065

Jacqueline Larson, retreat participant, and Louis Allen, one of the stewards of Juniper Hill Retreat Centre.

If you would like to make a comment, please click on the light blue-coloured Comment button at the end of the webpost.

If you found this post helpful, please share it with a friend. Then consider subscribing to the weblog by clicking on the Subscribe button in the navigation bar and following one of three sets of simple instructions.

Thank you.

Apr 28

(Prologue: I’ve got first-hand experience that a real understanding of the laws of karma can substantially change our lives for the better. I created this weblog to share information and personal experience with others. May it be beneficial!)

I am having a back-and-forth with my friend Louise about an intense situation in which I was recently involved. Her last e-mail to me was “so what [are you going to do] now?”

I hope my reply to Louise is helpful to more than myself. May it be so.

I can’t change the karma. The outcome has already been decided from my actions in previous lifetimes. There’s some karmic obstacle here.

In certain ways, this is very helpful to know. I simply stopped struggling. Instead, I continued to practice and study; to, hopefully, serve others by being emotionally nurturing; and to help people deal with crises with some insight, dignity and integrity.

On the other hand, I am left with a lingering sadness that I really cannot do anything about the situation. Once we have committed certain actions in a past lifetime, we cannot take them back. We can soften the effect. But we can’t take the actions back. The karma is going to ripen. [Added May 12’13: Of course, as senior teacher Jay Lippman pointed out to me today, you don’t know how long the karma will last. It might be for a whole lifetime. Or just a part of a lifetime.]

My lifetime has been about one choice and one choice only: simply deciding on what my response will be when the karma ripens. That’s it! What I do or don’t do makes no difference whatsoever to the outcome. Other than creating future karma, my present actions have no effect on the karma that is ripening. To repeat, once we have committed certain actions in a previous lifetime, we cannot take them back. We can soften the effect. But we can’t take the actions back. The karma is going to ripen.
 
Recognizing that I had one choice, I made it: I could be resentful, angry, paranoid, embittered, morose etc. But I decided decades ago that I would be as gracious as possible in the face of an almost overpowering amount of negative karma.
 
I knew what I was heading into before I was born. Supposed to be born around February 27th,  exactly 38 weeks after the day of conception, D-day June 6, 1944. But refuse to exit the womb. Wait until March 11th. Still only 5 lb 5 oz. I am called “5 by 5” in the hospital. Umbilical cord wrapped tightly around my neck. Doctor gets it off just in time. It is 60 degrees Fahrenheit in winter, Toronto, Canada. People are playing tennis.

Fast forward to 1956. I have a distict and very vivid memory of sitting in my bathtub at age 11 and realizing what the rest of my life would be like. It wasn’t pretty.

But there’s another factor that impinges on my life that we must consider: Up until now, I’ve only been talking about my own karma and karmic obstacles. There are other people’s karma and their obstacles as well! I cannnot change that. It is up to them.

So, Louise, back to your question “so what [are you going to do] now?”

Isn’t there some story about a princess and a frog? The frog tells the princess that he once was a human being. But then, by some evil [ego], got frog 2turned into a frog. Now the princess must kiss the frog to turn him back into a human being.

Let’s tweek that story a bit.

Frogs seem to think that they have to be in love with someone to be loving. Otherwise, they fear they may get embroiled in something they don’t want. So they hold back. Perform harmful, hurtful actions that show rejection. Become takers rather than givers. Are completely self-involved. They have lost their humanity to the forces of fear. This creates and maintains negative karma. In short, frogs put their fears before their friends.

But frogs, too, have a choice. If they are aware that they have become frogs who are stuck in their ponds, they can ask the warrior princess (heart, feeling, basic goodness, bravery) to embrace them so that that mind of fear can be put into the cradle of lovingkindess.

The frogs then awaken into full human beings, warrior princes. They put their friends before their fears.Princes understand that, no matter what type of relationship they are in, they can be true to the core of their being, which is to be kind, loving, caring, supportive. This creates and maintains positive karma.

E MA HO! Wonderful marvelous dharma.

And that’s been my positive karma — to have the great good fortune to study with the best dharma teachers.

If you would like to make a comment, please click on the light blue-coloured Comment button at the end of the webpost.

If you found this post helpful, please share it with a friend. Then consider subscribing to the weblog by clicking on the Subscribe button in the navigation bar and following one of three sets of simple instructions.

Thank you.

Apr 2
larger version

Toronto, May 26’79 – Chogyam Trungpa Rinpoche arrives to visit his students and hold a five-day public seminar

Halifax, Canada. Saturday, March 04, 2006. 19h00 AST…… Evening reception for participants of a five-day programme. Alan Sloan proposes a toast to Chogyam Trungpa Rinpoche, the Dorje Dradul. It is one of the best I’ve heard in 40 years. Alan has kindly given permission to quote his remarks.

I would like to propose a toast to what I personally feel is the essential Chogyam Trungpa. If I close my eyes and think of Rinpoche, the very first impression, the first thought is of his incredible warmth, his tenderness and amazing sensitivity to what it means to be a human being. The Vidyadhara was the most human human being I ever met.

He made us feel that being human was precious, that having a human body, heart and mind was the greatest treasure. He clearly loved his life and communicated that love to us. In his presence, every detail of perception, every emotion, thought, word, the most ordinary activities, all seemed potent and filled with meaning.

His tenderness was pervasive and penetrating. Whatever rock hard opinions his students held were illuminated and then melted, like glaciers, by the Dorje Dradul’s heat and brilliance. He loved us so passionately. His love encouraged us to be truly human, to feel everything, no matter how painful or pleasurable, exactly as it is — to respect our own experiences no matter what.

I would like to raise a toast to the ultimate human drala, to the Father and Grandfather Guru, to the kindest and most generous spiritual friend, who continues to inspire us all to be truly human and truly liberated.

To the Dorje Dradul.Alan Sloan from ALIA wksp cropped

If you would like to make a comment, please click on the light blue-coloured Comment button at the end of the webpost.

If you found this post helpful, please share it with a friend. Then consider subscribing to the weblog by clicking on the Subscribe button in the navigation bar and following one of three sets of simple instructions.

Thank you.

Mar 3

(Prologue: I’ve got first-hand experience that a real understanding of the laws of karma can substantially change our lives for the better. I created this weblog to share information and personal experience with others. May it be beneficial!)

(Note: The phrase May-to-December in the title is a take-off on “May-to-December” romances that are based on the romantic love tradition of the Middle Ages.)

Before I go into a month-long in-house retreat from March 04 to the day before Chogyam Trungpa Rinpoche’s parnirvana, I must thank Judith Simmer-Brown  (JSB) for her work on romantic love.  Had I not had her programmes and articles to refer to, my year of dangerous living <click here and here for details> could have been “dangerous” in a destructive way. As it was, I was able to navigate the dangers, not without pain, but at least with some awareness. This enabled me to use romantic love as a jump-off point to develop the beginnings of some genuine affection and appreciation for people as they are in any given moment, not for cardboard cut-outs and cookie-cutter templates.

The intelligent way of working with romantic love is to experience it fully, beginning with the romanatic passion, and then experience the disappointment and go on from there. We should understand fully what we are doing, being aware of our tendencies toward delusion when we are “in love.” <source: Judith Simmer-Brown: Romantic Vision vs Everyday Disappointment>

May this post benefit others besides myself. Read the rest of this entry »

Feb 14

(Prologue: I’ve got first-hand experience that a real understanding of the laws of karma can substantially change our lives for the better. I created this weblog to share information and personal experience with others. May it be beneficial!)

You can’t sprinkle the perfume of happiness on others without getting a few drops on yourself. <source: Anon>

There are so many expressions we use around the heart, e.g. “from the bottom of my heart,” “heartfelt,” “broken-hearted,” “heart of stone,” “won your heart,” “wear your heart on your sleeve,” “pour out your heart,” “lose your heart,” “a heart of gold,” “straight from the heart,” “the heart of the matter,” to name just a few.

It became important for me, during the past year of dangerous living, to keep a record, so that I wouldn’t have to experience it again. I offer “the heart of the matter” in this “Heart Day” webpost.

While my dream <please click here for details of dream> of February 03, 2012 sounds like a piece of erotica from a “cheap” romantic novel, I discovered during my year of dangerous living that there were two levels of meaning:

  • The outer meaning seemed to be that I had issues around romance [the heart] that I had to resolve; and
  • The inner meaning was that, unbeknowns to me, I had become somewhat numb, keeping feelings at bay. I was nesting in a cozy cocoon. A cocoon where I was not aware that I had been experiencing memories of feelings, not actual feelings themselves. A cocoon where I felt settled and happy. I had come to certain conclusions about my life. I had “made my peace” with them.

I needed a shock to wake me up.This dream, with its sexual content, provided that shock.

So the stage was set for some sort of revolution within my being.

General Level:

The most important thing I learned in my year of dangerous living was this:

Feeling is part of being human. In our aggressive and speedy society, we seem to have forgotten that. But while we neither have to indulge in nor repress our feelings — both of which can be dangerous — a courageous person touches in with them. Touch in with their energetic quality at the pre-thought level. (Click here for more information on this subject.)

…the intelligent way of working with emotions [that “is different from and in contrast to the usual approach of suppressing them or acting them out”] is to try to relate with their basic substance, the abstract quality of the emotions, so to speak. The basic “isness” quality of the emotions, the fundamental nature of the emotions, is just energy. And if one is able to relate with energy, then the energies have no conflict with you.They become a natural process. <source: Chogyam Trungpa Rinpoche: The Myth of Freedom and the Way of Meditation; publ. Shambhala Dragon Editions; 1976; Chapter IV, section 1>

To keep in touch with some basic sanity I bracketed the year of February 03, 2012 to February 02, 2013 with a collection of webposts that I called my Relationship Series. They provide a record of what I was learning, week-by-week, month-by-month:

Your task is not to seek for love, but merely to seek and find all barriers within yourself that you have built against it. <source:  poet Rumi>

We have a choice: we can either hang onto our habitual patterns. Or we can step into freshness. (Please click here for more on this subject.)

Specifics:

To repeat, the record I kept through my webposts helped me to review this past year of crisis so that I wouldn’t have to experience it again. I offer some specifics. May they benefit someone besides myself: Read the rest of this entry »

Feb 4

(Prologue: I’ve got first-hand experience that a real understanding of the laws of karma can substantially change our lives for the better. I created this weblog to share information and personal experience with others. May it be beneficial!)

(Please note: the words in a different colour are hyperlinks. Please click on them for more information.)

It is Sunday, February 03, 2013. The first-year anniversary of a dream of February 03, 2012 that was so dramatic that it triggered a year-long crisis. On the outer level, the dream appears erotic. Had it not appeared erotic, I believe that it would not have had the intense impact that it was to have on my life.(For further discussion on this topic please see webpost Is Sexual Attraction a Cosmic Joke?)

February 03, 2012 – I and a man called Alex are lying on a king-size bed together. We are in the middle of it. Fully clothed. I am propped up on my left arm facing Alex who is lying flat on his back. Our strong karmic connection with and affection for each other is obvious. Two other couples lie at each end of the bed, again fully clothed. I do not know who they are. They are lying still. But their affection for each other is obvious. He asks me “Why aren’t we together?” I reply “because I would never leave you.” He whispers “Oh God.”  I lean down and kiss him. He doesn’t move. He says nothing. Then I put my head on his chest and simultaneously, I experience a feeling of sadness.

In future posts I will talk about “living dangerously” in the sense that I went beyond my own ego on several occasions and experienced feelings to which I was unaccustomed, and an itsby, bitsy, teeny, weeny, taste of  “a perspective of freshness and innocence that provides practitioners a means of discovering delight in the challenges of daily existence.” Very frightening. Very joyful.

In this post I will describe the “anniversary dream” that I had today in the early morning of February 03, 2013, one year after the original dream described above that ushered in my year of living dangerously. (The numbers in brackets relate to the Notes on the Dream that follow the outline of the dream itself.)

Anniversary Dream: I am standing in front of a (1) fireplace mantel. (2) The room is in semi-darkness. There are many objects on the mantel. The objects are unusual, innovative, not things you can buy in a store.

(3) The one directly in front of me is a small, wooden object. I study it. What is it for? I think that I could use it as a (4) cardholder to hold the 5” x 3” cards that I have on my kitchen shrine, each one inscribed with one of Atisha’s slogans.

On my right is an object that stood out by its transcendent beauty: a collection of small, perfectly round (5) crystal objects like the marbles that children play with. They are stacked side-by-side and one atop the other such that the whole ensemble is in the shape of a circle. (6) Even though the room is in semi darkness, this crystal object shines on its own.

(7) There is some sense that I have to make a choice between the cardholder and the multi-layered crystal ball. I am leaning towards the cardholder in front of me, but keep glancing at the crystal object on my right. I do not actually make a choice. Read the rest of this entry »

Dec 23

(Prologue: I’ve got first-hand experience that a real understanding of the laws of karma can substantially change our lives for the better. I created this weblog to share information and personal experience with others. May it be of benefit!)

I usually buy my perfume in a shop where a profusion of bottles are stored in lighted, sparkling glass cabinets.

perfume-counter

But on December 23, 1997, exactly 15 years ago today, I have a rather unusal experience around perfume.

It’s a day like any other day, except that I’m starting a new job. Get up. Get dressed. Eat breakfast. Brush teeth. Put on winter things. Lock door. Go down the wooden stairs and walk north.

About half-way up the block, I notice a bottle of perfume. It’s sitting atop a garbage bag.

Being a lover of perfume, I am immediately attracted to that bottle, especially when I read the name of the perfume. Devachan. It means dwelling of the gods. (Please click here for fuller explanation.)

I am drawn by the juxtaposition of the perfume and the garbage. From ego’s smallest perfume on garbage copypoint of view, it’s sort of like beauty and the beast! Nice and not nice. Attractive and ugly. Pleasant and unpleasant. Sensual and tacky. Sweet and smelly.

Contemplating this, I realize that perfume and garbage are not really opposites as we conventionally think of them. Nor are they separate from each other. Both these phenomena arise from the same primordial ground, ultimate basic goodness. (Please click here for explanation of term.)

Seems that some entrepreneurs are discovering the same thing: one company is making perfume from garbage. (Please click here for more details.) Chogyam Trungpa Rinpoche used to remind us that whatever comes up is a workable situation. We don’t throw anything out.

After September 11, 2001, the Smithsonian discovered that there is the perfume of garbage. (Please click here for more details.)

I have renamed December 23 Devachan Day. It reminds me that it is I who have created a dualistic world. And that world is reflected back to me everytime I fixate on so-called opposites. It is this fixation that creates karma.

I have never been able to find a bottle of this lovely perfume in any store or garbage bag since 1997.

If you found this post helpful, please share it with a friend. Then consider subscribing to the weblog. Just click on the Subscribe button in the navigation bar and follow one of the three, easy-to-follow instructions. Thank you.

Dec 18

(Prologue: I’ve got first-hand experience that a real understanding of the laws of karma can substantially change our lives for the better. I created this weblog to share information and personal experience with others. May it be of benefit!)

In high school back in the late 1950’s, a pupil used the word “need” when answering our teacher’s question.

I’ll never forget the teacher’s answer: “What do you need it for?”

We were stumped! I mean, we all use the word “need” and expect that everyone knows what we mean.

It’s “common sense,” isn’t it?

Apparently not.

In my last webpost (please click here for that post) I said

I must confess that there is one area where I do not have a lot of experience: romance. A long time ago, I had decided that it was not part of my karmic path in this lifetime. I was dismissive of the idea that one “needs” a partner.

I had to question that view after a clear and vivid dream— a dream that triggered a personal crisis.

Let me clarify: I simply have become less dismissive of the idea that one “needs” a partner. Whether we actually need a partner is the subject of this webpost.

Two points here:

  • I don’t believe that we “need” much. I think that most “needs” are manufactured by our culture; and
  • The notion of romance is also a manufactured one — propped up by a huge music industry of “love songs;” movies; massive fashion industry, online dating services, books, etc. etc. In short our whole culture not only supports this notion, but promotes it. However, there is no such phrase as “falling in love” in the Tibetan language.

[For a fabulous presentation of this subject please watch this video by Dzongsar Khenyste Rinpoche on Love and Relationship, director of the award-winning movie The Cup. It takes a few minutes for Rinpoche’s presentation to begin. But it’s well worth the wait. At some points, it was a laugh every five seconds.]

I believe that we are primordially, inherently complete and whole in ourselves. We are not “half a person” waiting for someone to “complete” us.

But we are relational beings. Or “social animals,” as some would have it. That  seems to be very much part of our DNA.

So while it can be wonderful to share your life with a partner — and simultaneously practice the six paramitas (perfections) — I don’t believe that having a partner is necessary in order to live a “good” life. We can practice the six perfections everyday in any situation. Having said that:

  1. Please click here to read about the role of the paramitas in the relationship of Sakyong Mipham Rinpoche and his wife Khandro Tseyang. The article offers a helpful perspective. But if you just want to read about the paramitas, go to the last three paragraphs of the article.
  2. If you want to read a more expansive description of the six perfections, please click here.

If you found this post helpful, please share it with a friend. Then consider subscribing to the weblog. Just click on the Subscribe button in the navigation bar and follow one of the three, easy-to-follow instructions. Thank you.

Dec 10

(Prologue: I’ve got first-hand experience that a real understanding of the laws of karma can substantially change our lives for the better. I created this weblog to share information and personal experience with others. May it be of benefit!)

When I was fourteen years-old, my father used to call me “Ann Landers,” the late advice columnist. He remarked that it was amazing that I passed my school exams because of all the telephone calls I’d get everyday. (Please click here for information about Ann Landers.)

We all have particular “best ways”  that we help people. Mine is in the area of crisis support. Any kind of crisis.

Of course, my own lifetime crises help me to help others. I don’t have to have had exactly the same experience myself to be able to help others with theirs. A crisis is a crisis. Pain is pain. Suffering is suffering.

That’s the general level.

On the specific level, as I just noted, while I don’t have to have experienced the exact, same type of crisis as those who come to me for help and support, it can add depth and richness to that support.

So, before I continue, I must confess that there is one area where I do not have a lot of experience: romance. A long time ago, I had decided that it was not part of my karmic path in this lifetime. I was dismissive of the idea that one “needs” a partner.

That changed with a clear and vivid dream— a dream that triggered a personal crisis. (Please click here for the dream and the shock waves I experienced.)

Rather than adopt the usual tactics and remedies to ease my pain, I decided that I had to make good use of this crisis rather than waste it by sliding back into habitual patterns that return me back into my comfort zone, my cocoon.

In my generation (the cusp of wartime and “baby boomers”), we were taught to view feelings with suspicion. I found that I had become somewhat numb, another version of falling asleep.

When I had a game-changing dream, I made a game-changing move: I tried to ride the sh0ck waves I experienced by continuously acknowledging my feelings without indulging in or rejecting them.

……
The everyday practice is simply to
develop a complete acceptance and
openness to all situations and emotions.
……
……
source: The Vidyadhara, Venerable Chogyam Trungpa Rinpoche, excerpt from Maha-Ati text

How to do that?

  1. In seems to involve aligning myself with the energetic quality of the feeling, rather than just identifying the feeling itself, e.g. depression, joy, fear, panic etc., itself. To me, it’s like lighting firecrackers — we not only see the full-blown display of the firecracker (feeling) in the sky, but we catch the sizzle (energetic quality) too.
  2. Also, I used my own personal identity crisis to get in touch on a continual basis with my own basic goodness. (Please click here for description of the term basic goodness.)

The Ace of Cups from the Motherpeace Tarot card deck gives us a graphic illustration of these ideas:

Ace of Cups

The Ace of Cups is the gift of love — a dive into one’s deepest feelings, which are spilling over in abundance like a fountain…good [ultimate basically good] feelings are assured. The soft blues and greens [of the card] signify that peace and purity [unfabricated nature of mind] dwell here…This Ace represents a surrender [acceptance, not fighting, stuggling, rejecting] to emotions….The silver cup is the vessel, the chalice, the grail [that symbolizes the womb] — the archetypal feminine receptive mode. It promises ….[an] experience of letting go into unconditional [ultimate, primordial] love [basic goodness], the spaciousness of the open heart.

 Please note: the words in [   ] are my own.

The result of aligning myself with the energetic quality of whatever I was feeling, and getting in touch with my own basic goodness, is that I have more opportunity to live in the NOW rather than in my concept of what is happening. (Please click here for description of NOW.)

If you found this post helpful, please share it with a friend. Then consider subscribing to the weblog. Just click on the Subscribe button in the navigation bar and follow one of the three, easy-to-follow instructions. Thank you.

Sep 23

If we can communicate our own basic goodness (BG) (click here for definition) between each other, there is a greater likelihood of being kind and compassionate. This is turn creates an incredibly strong bond.{Author’s note: It’s a kind of cascading transmission: you acknowledge your own and others basic goodness, and society’s basic goodness, and transmit this awareness to others. They in turn transmit their new-found awareness to others. And so on……..} …In this (Tibetan oracular) tradition of transmission, there is great power and blessings. In this way, we are creating enlightened society, being brave, raising energy and shifting the paradigm of human existence….in this way we are able to help the world. <source: taken from my notes of Sakyong Mipham Rinpoche’s address to international sangha on the occasion of the Harvest of Peace, Saturday, September 22, 2012>

September 22, 2012 – 13h45 EST …. It’s that time again…. the Harvest of Peace, a celebration that Sakyong Mipham Rinpoche’s (SMR) intrernational sangha (group of practitioners) hold every Autumn in their respective centres.

Harvest of Peace, held around the time of the autumn equinox, is an opportunity for local communities to gather, hear teachings by Sakyong Mipham Rinpoche, and celebrate the riches of our local cultures and heritage. The Sakyong addresses the international community through a live broadcast delivered through a telephone link with Shambhala Centers around the world. <source:  http://www.shambhala.org/community/events.php>

Here is a summary of the Sakyong’s address. The theme is the creation of Enlightened Society (ES). During his retreat of 2010 in Nepal, SMR reflected on the question: Can we create good human society?

[Please note: these are my notes only. You will have to check against delivery for the complete presentation. Click here.]

  • Chogyam Trungpa Rinpoche, Sakyong’s father, coined the phrase “enlightened society (ES).”
  • There are two core principles upon which an enlightened society is created and based: (1) all individuals have basic goodness; and (2) society is basically good.
  • SMR describes his mandate as that of creating enlightened society. For him, it’s been a personal journey around what ES means.
  • the notion of ES is at the heart of  Shambhala altogether. Is this a literal place? Or a metaphor?
    • In Shambhalian terms, society has awoken and has acknowledged BG as the binding principle.
    • In geographical terms, ES is at the most western part of the east and the most eastern part of the west
  • When we see the level of suffering and tragedies, we might doubt that BG is inherent
  • (At this point in history,) we are at our most difficult moment. That’s why Shambhala teaching — with its binding principle of BG — is being introduced now.
  • We are not talking about a utopian or ultimate society. But a society based on humanity’s most inherent trait, i.e. BG.
    • BG is not a superficial trait. Not goodness against badness. We as individuals are complete and worthy at our deepest levels. BG is at the essence of our own heart and mind
  • We are entering a time when humanity doubts its own worthiness, completeness.
    • One of the components of the word “enlightened” is “complete.”
    • So we are aware of the situation we are in today, both the good and the bad.
    • We are aware of the totality of the human condition.
    • Another component of the notion of enlightenment is that we are awake, not asleep!
  • The Shambhala notion of society here means the network and inter-connectedness between human beings.
    • It is the invisible pathways between all beings.
    • Innately, we all want to communicate, share and express
    • We are constantly trying to understand who we are
    • The Shambhala notion of society is not necessarily simply rules and etiquette. But it is the notion of wishing to communicate.
      • The principle of communication is at its strongest at birth, when there was a wish to communicate with our parents.
      • How we as individuals relate to each other is at the core of society.
      • If we can communicate our own BG between each other, there is a greater likelihood of being kind and compassionate. This in turn creates and “incredibly strong bond.” {Author’s note: It’s a kind of cascading transmission: you acknowledge your own and others basic goodness, and society’s basic goodness, and transmit this awareness to others. They in turn transmit their new-found awareness to others. And so on……..}
    • So I hope everyone can reflect on this notion of society.
      • In some ways, society is one big being.
      • The nature of this giant being is goodness.
      • It is precisely at this moment that we must raise our windhorse (click here for definition) and be brave (click here for description of term).
      • We must acknowledge moments of goodness, strength.
      • We are here to uplift the word, not find endless fault.
      • At the same time, we are not overwhelmed by the challenges. We can ride them! (Author’s note: Or they will ride us.)
      • We must acknowledge that we live life for a deeper purpose (Author’s note: deeper than simply taking care of ourselves).
      • Our joys and difficulties are based on our relationship to society.
    • The principles of society are constantly being forged.
      • If we let fear and aggression taint the social consciousness, then the notion of society as being awake and founded on BG will recede and seem unrealistic.
      • As we reflect on this, we aren’t passively standing by. We manifest these principles. We believe in their inherent value.

If you like this post, please share it with a friend. Then consider subscribing to the weblog by clicking on the Subscribe button in the navigation bar. Just follow one of three sets of simple, step-by-step instructions. Thank you.

« Previous Entries