"On Basic Goodness" by
Sakyong Mipham Rinpoche
The Shambhala teachings are unique in that they present a world that we do not abandon, but rather, engage in. We understand the vicissitudes of suffering while trying to nurture our inherent basic goodness and the Ashe, the confidence of all. These teachings encourage us not to have our private stash of spirituality hidden away. They say that a genuine spiritual practice is having no privacy and laying down one's life and mind for the welfare of others. This is what we call enlightened society, enlightened world, or the kingdom of Shambhala."
~ Sakyong Mipham Rinpoche, from the Letter to the Sangha, 23 January, 2005
A basic truth of the Shambhala teachings is that we all want to lead sane, dignified lives, and that this is possible. If we look directly at our own experience, we can discover a continuity of wakeful dignity underlying all changing conditions. This wholesome, wakeful presence is referred to as "basic goodness".
The Shambhala teachings recognize that this truth of innate human wisdom and basic goodness does not belong to any one religion or doctrine.
Shambhala Buddhism is inspired by the ancient legend of the Kingdom of Shambhala, said to be a society which drew its gentle and fearless sense of social responsibility from the practice of meditation.
The legend of the Kingdom of Shambhala has been a guiding vision for many centuries in Asian culture and has parallels in Western traditions.
Shambhala represents the ideal of secular enlightenment, a view that all aspects of civilization--family, commerce, education, science, the arts, religion--can be permeated with a natural sense of sacredness.
The Way of Shambhala
"Way of Shambhala" is a complete introduction to the foundations of Shambhala Buddhism.
The program is an experiential overview of meditation practices, wisdom teachings, and contemplative arts rooted in the ancient traditions of Shambhala and Tibetan Buddhism.
Students are thoroughly introduced to meditation practice, Shambhala Training (see below), and an overview of the authentic teachings of Buddhist wisdom. This is a path of self-discovery that is rooted in the simple, but revolutionary premise that every human being has the ability to cultivate the mind's inherent stability, clarity and strength in order to be more awake and compassionate in everyday life.
By mixing the practical technique of meditation with the personal experience of insight, we can take the challenges of daily life in our modern society as opportunities for both contemplative practice and social action.
The program unfolds through four stages and is presented as a series of contemplative workshops and classes taught by experienced Shambhala teachers. These stages represent the natural progression of awakening in our life. Many of the weekends are open to the public.
This program can benefit people of any spiritual tradition and way of life.
To learn more about the Way of Shambhala courses, click here. For a complete description of our path of practice and study, click here.
Shambhala Training is a series of contemplative workshops, suited for both beginning and experienced meditators. The meditation practices introduced at these workshops are a way to cultivate increased awareness and compassion. The workshops are suitable for anyone of any spiritual tradition or way of life looking to explore the transformative benefits of meditation.
This sequential program is part of an integrated program, called Way of Shambhala (see above), that offers an experiential overview of meditation practices, wisdom teachings, and contemplative arts rooted in the ancient traditions of Shambhala and Tibetan Buddhism. The program unfolds through four stages and is presented as a series of contemplative workshops and classes taught by experienced Shambhala teachers. These stages represent the natural progression of awakening in our life. Many of the weekends and weekday courses are open to the public.
Shambhala Training Levels, The Heart of Warriorship and The Sacred Path, can also be practiced as an independent series of workshops.
To learn more about Shambhala Training, click here.
Contemplative Arts and Disciplines
As a community, Shambhala embraces a variety of contemplative arts and practices. These disciplines are inspired by Nalanda, an eleventh-century Indian university that welcomed teachings from many different traditions. Contemplative arts and practices bring beauty, vividness and wisdom to our lives and environment.
A contemplative approach can be brought into any of the arts, including design, music, dance, and poetry. Many Shambhala Centers offer arts programs or host special interest groups who meet regularly to explore contemplative approaches to education, business and health care.
To learn more about the variety of contemplative arts and disciplines in Shambhala, click here.