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Nov 10
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Our Sakyong’s Heart

A Flowering Monarch

A Flowering Monarch

Yes, cybermandala, I am awake and writing at 4:15am. The city is dark and the only ones up and about in the lobby are the kasung, preparing for the arrival of His Eminence.

I will be brief, but as many of you rouse yourselves at outrageous hours and head to your center to witness the Tenshuk ceremony – LIVE – I want to gather our hearts with one thought.

As I witnessed and participated in the group discussions and working groups yesterday, I was reminded of something I said in my blog post Sunday morning, titled Dreaming Shambhala. I wrote that we align our internal and community compasses with our dreams, and navigate by them as seaman navigate by the constellations.

Well, as I sipped Mickey-D coffee and watched a small gathering of suited people gather, I realized what our magnetic pull is. The arrows of our compass – both individually and as a community — are aligned by a magnetism:


Delegates are gathered from all over the world out of compassion. Yesterday, I listened to many people speak from their hearts. They expressed their experiences with such warmth, such an intention to benefit their local centers, Shambhala, and the world at large – that we must give credit to the guru and monarch who guides our practices and activity:

Sakyong Mipham Rinpoche.

I remember sitting in the gigantic tent at Shambhala Mountain Center with hundreds of fellow sanghas, preparing for a major event at vajrayana seminary. We were preparing our minds. Acharya Judith Simmer Brown had just finished instructing us in mahamudra shamatha, a very open and restful practice, when John Sennhauser came striding down the hill. I watched him approach – he was so purposeful that I sensed immediately that he was on duty as the Sakyong’s secretary that day.

John took off hat and shoes, bowed, and entered our shrineroom. He walked to the curiously watching acharya, and with all of us watching, knelt and whispered in her ear. We knew he was carrying a message from the Sakyong.

After their whispering exchange, Acharya Simmer Brown announced that even though we had just received instruction for one practice, we were switching gears. The Sakyong had requested that we do tonglen.

Congress engaging the heart of activity

Congress engaging the heart of activity

I have felt love for Sakyong Mipham Rinpoche in many ways, and with many textures. But in that moment, my love grew to unimaginable proportions – to levels that I had no idea a person could experience. Compassion practice was to guide us into the vajrayana. The message was clear – we have a purpose. We have a core motivation. We are a society fueled by compassion.

It’s as simple as that, folks. I see the effects of this core all around me. Some among you may hem and haw and express a few “buts” – those are of no consequence, merely thinking. The heart of the matter is that we are loved and we love in turn. Welcome to enlightened society.

To Sakyong Mipham Rinpoche. May he continue to live and teach and lead with that magnificent heart of his, that splendid heart of ours. For I am growing more and more certain every day that there is no separation here.

So as we gather our bodies and sleepy heads this morning, let’s rouse our singular heart and bathe all of us in this singular heart of Shambhala.

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