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Sep 28
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In Charge of Making Peace Possible

Sakyong Mipham Rinpoche gives a public talk, and speaks at a leadership gathering in Berlin.

Story and photos by Katja Aßmann

Photo by Katja Assman

Photo by Katja Assmann

More than two hundred people filled the beautiful hall at Villa Elisabeth in the heart of Berlin for a public talk by the Sakyong last Thursday, including many for whom this was the first time meeting Rinpoche in person. In his remarks, the Sakyong encouraged everyone personally to be in charge of making peace possible, as emphasized in the title of his talk. Since no one “out there” is actually in charge, each of us is asked to create peace ourselves. We are asked to connect with our own inherent kindness, strength and confidence, to engage with ourselves and with others in our environment – thus participating actively in society. This beautiful evening program ended with a book signing and a reception. Many of those in attendance enjoyed a cherished opportunity to exchange delighted smiles and a few quiet words with the Sakyong as he signed their books.

A few days later, leaders of the European Sangha gathered over the weekend in Berlin, discussing ideas about how Shambhala in Europe could develop. This leadership gathering centered around how many leaders working together can co-create this growing and vibrant organization. The leadership group included Shambhalians who came from all over Europe: Ukraine to Spain, Ireland to Italy. The conversation encompassed many topics: compassionate communication, creative financing, and working with people from different generations and varied backgrounds. There was a lively exchange of ideas, and the room was filled with laughter, energy and enthusiasm. The fruits of all this talking and sharing were presented to the Sakyong later on Sunday.

Photo by Katja Assmann

Photo by Katja Assmann

Rinpoche made clear that the elements of Shambhala are very important for the world at this particular point in time, saying “We need to be touched by the suffering and the needs of the world.“ He acknowledged that working with people is not easy, that even working with oneself can often be difficult. “So where do we choose to be challenged?” he asked, encouraging each person to “pick something you feel personally inspired about.” Considering questions and issues that had come up during the vivid discussions, he and the group also acknowledged that the place of “not knowing yet” can be very difficult, even tantalizing, and that spending time in that place of uncertainty is not only unavoidable, but truly necessary to the process of learning and growing.

Overall, the weekend was characterized by a strong sense of confidence and community.  People were inspired to be looking ahead and taking further steps in building the new seat of Shambhala Europe in Berlin, as well as how to be working more closely together within Europe.  Their time together was infused by the vision of Shambhala, energized by the calling to turn outward, to participate and engage, to create enlightened society.

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1 response to “ In Charge of Making Peace Possible ”
  1. David Perrin
    Oct 2, 2015

    Hi Katja,

    Thank you for this wonderful report! I’m curious about the point you highlighted of “not knowing yet”. Would you be able to say a little bit more about what exactly the Sakyong said about “not knowing” and what we can do from that place of “not knowing”?

    David Perrin

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