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Opinion Pieces - Category Archive

Dec 19
Monday

Basic Goodness and Original Sin

Filed under Opinion Pieces

A theologian explores the relationship of two concepts key to Shambhala and Christian teachings

by Steven Shippee

adam-and-eve-798376_1280In Shambhala, the view of basic goodness is sometimes sharply contrasted with the Christian doctrine of original sin. The purpose seemingly is to highlight how much the view of basic goodness differs from the feeling of wretchedness that plagues so many of us, and for which we assume the teaching of original sin is to blame. I have noticed how many Shambhalians resonate with the contrast, and so I have no intention of dismissing any person’s negative experience of Christian teachings. One can only regret any harm done under a religious guise.

As a Christian theologian, however, I have always been disappointed both by the contrast itself and even more by the caricature of original sin (that we are basically bad) that often follows. There are at least two reasons to correct this. The first is that the Shambhala community has played a distinguished role in establishing authentic Buddhist-Christian dialogue. Trungpa Rinpoche and some of his students actually spearheaded this dialogue with a series of meetings at Naropa in the 1980s. These were marked by deep respect and mutual learning. Continue…

Entries filed under Opinion Pieces


Critical Thought, and Shopping

Critical Thought, and Shopping – HIGHLIGHT

a brief essay by guest contributor Amanda Hester It is not ‘Big Business’ with its CEOs, Walmart, outsourcing, or misguided policies that shall ultimately destroy the world, these are all just symptoms of our fear and the ignorance that comes from it. Indeed, all of our ‘demons’ ... continue
Posted December 5, 2012 by
Sit Here Now

Sit Here Now – HIGHLIGHT

by Anne-Marie Keppel, Montpelier, Vermont My ten-year-old daughter is trying to understand how her mind works. She is becoming curious of her frustrations and anxieties and becoming aware of how they sometimes take over and cause stress and unhappy feelings. Slowly and solidly, she is creating a ... continue
Posted September 21, 2012 by
Union of Dharma and Art

Union of Dharma and Art – HIGHLIGHT

photos and article by Dana Marshall In my last year of high school in Boulder, Colorado (1978), at 16 years old I had completed all the required courses so I had the opportunity to focus on what really interested me which was painting, photography, ceramics and mythology. ... continue
Posted May 7, 2012 by
Powerfully, Be Generous

Powerfully, Be Generous – HIGHLIGHT

This article is part three of a series on the practices of generosity by Jonathan Hanna. Click here to read the first article: Simply, Be Generous, and here to read the first article: Practically, Be Generous. Generosity can have two objects, the fields of benefit (sentient beings) ... continue
Posted March 13, 2012 by
The Fourth Pillar

The Fourth Pillar

by Andrew Forbes There is a void in the Shambhala community. For all the sophisticated practices of meditation, a budding governmental body, and military protection, there is something still missing from the lungta of the developing community. I feel it every time I walk into the Shambhala ... continue
Posted February 9, 2012 by
Staying Healthy on Retreat

Staying Healthy on Retreat – HIGHLIGHT

A natural approach to wellness while on retreat by Silas Rosenblatt, R Ac Anyone who has spent any time at a group retreat or meditation program is likely to be familiar with one of the many obstacles that arise in practice – getting sick. Back pain, boredom and ... continue
Posted January 18, 2012 by
Practically, Be Generous

Practically, Be Generous – HIGHLIGHT

This article is part two of Simply, Be Generous, previously posted on the Shambhala Times, by Jonathan Hanna. There are said to be three kinds of generosity: giving material goods, giving protection from fear, and giving the dharma. Throughout the history of buddhadharma the teachings have been ... continue
Posted January 9, 2012 by
Simply, Be Generous

Simply, Be Generous – HIGHLIGHT

by Jonathan Hanna Within our sangha as a whole, we often struggle with the dilemma of how to be generous in offering the teachings while ensuring the financial solvency of our centers. Individuals grapple with the same challenge, wishing to contribute financially, either for receiving specific teachings ... continue
Posted November 18, 2011 by
Protectors of Wealth and Wisdom

Protectors of Wealth and Wisdom – HIGHLIGHT

by Judy Bond Last March I wrote an article for the Shambhala Times about drilling for shale gas, which is a new technology that allows the mining of natural gas from shale formations, often thousands of feet within the earth. Such formations are widespread and ... continue
Posted August 29, 2011 by
Artfully Wedded in Britain

Artfully Wedded in Britain – HIGHLIGHT

Jennifer Holder shares her cross-national perspective on watching William & Catherine’s Royal Wedding live. As the royal wedding proceedings rest for photographs and inner-sanctum formalities, electricity is surely surging across Britain as everyone flips the switch on their kettles for tea. I myself flipped the switch, but ... continue
Posted April 29, 2011 by Jennifer Holder
 Natural Gas in Nova Scotia: What's best for all?

Natural Gas in Nova Scotia: What’s best for all? – HIGHLIGHT

By Judy Bond Last week Nova Scotia accepted bids from companies proposing to develop onshore natural gas reservoirs from shale deep under the province. Natural gas is cleaner burning than coal and oil, creates less global warming, and is locally available. But what are the pros and ... continue
Posted March 30, 2011 by
How is the oil spill affecting you?

How is the oil spill affecting you? – HIGHLIGHT

By Bill Scheffel, writing from New Orleans. Three of my walks in New Orleans took me into the Ninth Ward and the Lower Ninth Ward, the primary neighborhoods that delivered pictures to the world of people left behind, stranded on their roofs in the floods ... continue
Posted June 15, 2010 by
Inseparability of Donating Time and Money

Inseparability of Donating Time and Money – HIGHLIGHT

By Gordon Shotwell For several years now, I have staffed Sun Camp. But last summer I had to leave early because I had started working at a bank and didn’t have enough vacation days to staff the entire program. Leaving early was a heartbreaking, and for a ... continue
Posted January 9, 2010 by
Service & Shambhala Households

Service & Shambhala Households – HIGHLIGHT

By David Whitehorn Contemplating the Sakyong’s talk on Shambhala Households, I found myself thinking about the practice of service. Service is such an integral part of Shambhala that it is often taken for granted and not recognized as the profound practice that it can be. Hearing the ... continue
Posted January 4, 2010 by David Whitehorn
Kitchen Shrine at Dorje Dzong

Kitchen Shrine at Dorje Dzong

Phyllis Segura offers recommendations for a kitchen shrine, inspired by our recent interview with Sangyum Wendy Friedman and Kusung Dapon Noel McLellan on Shambhala Households. Click on images to enlarge: The offerings here are a rice paddle and chopsticks. The shrine should also contain a rice offering ... continue
Posted January 2, 2010 by Phyllis Segura

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