SAKYONG MIPHAM (photo below) is the leader of Shambhala, a global community of meditation and retreat centers. He's also an avid marathon runner who frequently retreats to study at a Tibetan monastery in India, and he writes a regular column in the Shambhala Sun.
The author of the bestselling titles “Ruling Your World" and "Turning the Mind Into an Ally," Sakyong Mipham was named one of the 30 global visionaries of our time by Planet magazine. He spends his time teaching all over the world, using his unique blend of Eastern and Western perspectives to the benefit of his students in North and South America, Europe, and Asia.
This paragraph by the Sakyong, Mipham Rinpoche, particularly resonated with me. It is often assumed that meditation in a Buddhist practice ONLY. This assumption can be no further from the truth as I have always believed that there are as many pathways to the truth as there are human beings, each with our own path to follow. What tradition or traditions we draw upon to find our own truth is of little significance, if in fact it is the truth we seek. Equally, wisdom is wisdom, and there is no denying its validity, no matter its genesis or the tradition I hails from.
“My father, Chögyam Trungpa, who brought the Shambhala principle to the modern world, was a great believer in humanity. In both the East and the West, he was always synthesizing the knowledge that he had gained, seeking to understand and compare not only what the Buddha had taught, but also the teachings of Plato, Aristotle, Jesus and those of Judaism and Islam, as well as the great minds of China -- Lao Tzu and Confucius. He particularly respected India's great ruler, King Ashoka, as well as Dogen of the Zen tradition and Shotoku Taishi of Japan. As diverse as these traditions are, each of them could be reduced in size but concentrated in intensity, to encapsulate two simple ideas: humanity is good, and that good is the nature of society.”
The Sakyong also says in his article below on self-loathing and self-aggression that, “If humanity is to survive -- and not only that, to flourish -- we must be brave enough to find our wisdom and let it shine.”
Meditation is a certain way to find one’s connection to our innate wisdom – so we can allow it to shine for the highest and greatest good of all…
Thank you, Sakyong Mipham Rinpoche for your wise words, and may the “setting sun” be illuminated by the light of our innate goodness through introspection, self-observation, meditation, and grace.
Please fine the complete article by the Sakyong, Mipham Rinpoche, below.
As always, happy meditating!
by Renata Duma, Founder, MEDITATIONWORKSforSTRESS.com
Sakyong Mipham Rinpoche: Overcoming Self-Aggression
“My father, Chögyam Trungpa, who brought the Shambhala principle to the modern world, was a great believer in humanity. In both the East and the West, he was always synthesizing the knowledge that he had gained, seeking to understand and compare not only what the Buddha had taught, but also the teachings of Plato, Aristotle, Jesus and those of Judaism and Islam, as well as the great minds of China -- Lao Tzu and Confucius. He particularly respected India's great ruler, King Ashoka, as well as Dogen of the Zen tradition and Shotoku Taishi of Japan. As diverse as these traditions are, each of them could be reduced in size but concentrated in intensity, to encapsulate two simple ideas: humanity is good, and that good is the nature of society.
Imagine what could happen if we all began to feel that we are good, and that society is good -- and to have confidence in ourselves that way. When I am teaching in the West, people talk about self-loathing and self-aggression. That is coming from a sense of unworthiness. There seems to be a lot of evil in the world, and many of us experience great skepticism about human nature. In addition, we may have been taught at home, school or church that simply by having been born, we are inherently faulty or incomplete. Without a feeling of worthiness, human society and communication naturally become vehicles of manipulation and deception, and we use every activity to shore ourselves up or to outdo someone else. Through this false sense of power, life becomes a perpetual unfolding of doubt, which only confirms the inadequacies we perceive and elicits a feeling of alienation. My father called it "the setting sun." This term describes a time when humanity's sense of dignity and purpose is diminishing, like sunlight at the end of the day. What is setting is our ability to recognize our goodness.
If humanity is to survive -- and not only that, to flourish -- we must be brave enough to find our wisdom and let it shine. We uncover it by beginning to examine our assumptions. We may never before have considered human nature, but in order to move forward as a global community, it is vital that we do it now. Is it really our nature to be fearful and aggressive, or could it be that we are actually gentle and fearless at heart? Underneath the stress and anxiety, is it possible there is peace? If our self-reflection turns up an inkling of that, we can draw power from it, daring to shift our destiny. In this way, the Shambhala principle is a socially transformative process through which confusion about human nature becomes confidence in human worthiness.
We are living in a world where global leadership in many fields is clearly necessary. To be in the vanguard, we need to understand that the purpose of being here is to engender true peace. It is not confusion that we need, but wisdom. The wisest thing to do is to realize and cultivate our nature. Let us make that primordial stroke, mixing courage with wisdom.
The above is an excerpt from Sakyong Mipham Rinpoche's new book, ‘The Shambhala Principle’(Harmony, May 2013).
More about the Sakyong, Mipham Rinpoche:
Sakyong Mipham Rinpoche is the head of Shambhala, a global network of meditation and retreat centers grounded in the inherent goodness of humanity. The Sakyong, literally translated as “earth protector,” is a dharma king and lineage holder of the Shambhala lineage, guiding thousands of students around the world in the path of meditation. With a unique blend of Eastern and Western perspectives, he teaches meditation and social transformation while also guiding a number of humanitarian projects. Born in Bodhgaya, India, in 1962, the Sakyong is the eldest son of Chögyam Trungpa Rinpoche. As a young man, the Sakyong studied with the great Tibetan masters: His Holiness Dilgo Khyentse Rinpoche and His Holiness Penor Rinpoche. He is married to Khandro Tseyang Palmo and has two children. In 2006 the Sakyong initiated the Compassionate Leadership conference and dialogues by presenting His Holiness Dalai Lama with the Living Peace Award; awarded to living examples of people who benefit humanity. The Sakyong has written many books including the national bestseller “Turning the Mind into an Ally”, award winning “Ruling Your World”, and “Running with the Mind of Meditation”. He is also an avid poet, artist, and athlete. The Sakyong’s new book, The Shambhala Principle, was released on May 7th, 2013. For more information, please visit www.sakyong.com.