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Dharma Teachings - Category Archive

Nov 08

Good Society: Science, Basic Goodness, Laws and Joy

Filed under Community Articles, Dharma Teachings

Photo by Robert V. Ruggiero on Unsplash

The first part of a two-part series by Shastri Russell Rodgers


All over the world, wherever there are humans, there are societies. We have evolved different languages, customs, and even skin colors, but always, there is society. Society has enabled us to transmit knowledge and technologies. These have enabled us humans to dominate the earth, perhaps to our own detriment.

Some strands of Buddhism suggest that society itself can become enlightened. This is the basis of the Himalayan legend of Shambhala. If we are contemplating whether a society can become enlightened, or at least live in harmony with the earth, understanding the urge to “good” society is important.

Since most people don’t like to read long articles on their screens, I will split this up into two parts. In Part I, I will look at how some prominent scientists have theorized that society-building urges are built into our DNA.

In Part II, I will explore how the social undercurrents that exist between humans can be brought into consciousness as we go about our daily lives. I’ll try to explore how our sense of goodness becomes codified in societal laws, and how these can become on-the-spot channels for the expression of goodness. Continue…

Entries filed under Dharma Teachings

Be Pragmatic in Practice – HIGHLIGHT

By Sakyong Mipham Rinpoche As the great Zen teacher Suzuki Roshi said, “We are completely perfect, but we need a minor adjustment.” We have everything we need, but we have to hone it. Meditation is that honing process. What we are honing is our intention. Meditation is not ... continue
Posted June 13, 2010 by
Rainbow of Confidence in Boulder

Rainbow of Confidence in Boulder – HIGHLIGHT

By Jennifer Holder With many blessings and the help of participants, I was able to capture photos of Saturday evening’s stunning moment on my iPhone and report it to the mandala this morning. Click on the photos to see them more clearly and in a larger ... continue
Posted May 30, 2010 by Jennifer Holder

White Dove, Black Crow – HIGHLIGHT

From the column Dharma Snacks, by Cynthia Kneen I remember how a Japanese Buddhist monk in brown robes used to walk the streets of Boulder, Colorado with a strong open posture, uplifted gaze and good stride, beating a small drum. He walked all over town. People knew ... continue
Posted April 22, 2010 by

Cultivating a Healthy Sense of Self – HIGHLIGHT

By Sakyong Mipham In his journey toward enlightenment, the Buddha saw that human existence is characterized by three qualities: impermanence, suffering, and selflessness. He discovered that we suffer because we try to make ourselves solid and permanent, while our fundamental state of being is unconditionally open and ... continue
Posted April 10, 2010 by

Vidyadhara on Shambhala Households – HIGHLIGHT

[caption id=”attachment_15163″ align=”alignleft” width=”300″ Q. How would you describe the Shambhala household? VCTR: Well, very simple. Good household washes every dish and doesn’t soak them, waiting for somebody else to clean-up after you. After your meals, wash them right away. Clean after you each time, so you ... continue
Posted April 5, 2010 by
Tender Warriorship and the Good Nightmare

Tender Warriorship and the Good Nightmare – HIGHLIGHT

On the occasion of the Parinirvana of the Vidyadhara, Chogyam Trungpa Rinpoche, we offer a talk he gave at the Naropa Summer Seminar on August 20, 1979. This is the first time it has been published, and we would like to offer special thanks to the ... continue
Posted April 4, 2010 by
Lineage as the Direct Antidote for Now

Lineage as the Direct Antidote for Now – HIGHLIGHT

This twentieth Parinirvana Day Message from the Sakyong, Jamgon Mipham, was read to all Shambhala centres in 2007. One of my early memories is of a young man walking toward me down a village road in India. He was about twenty-eight years old, handsome, beaming, and ... continue
Posted April 3, 2010 by
Living in a Living World

Living in a Living World – HIGHLIGHT

You are invited to view teachings from Acharya Moh Hardin and Sangyum Cynde Grieve, courtesy of the Dallas Shambhala Meditation Center. You may view Part One in the series on this page, and then click here to view Parts Two-Six January 23-24, 2010 Being vs. Becoming continue
Posted March 21, 2010 by
The View of the Sangha

The View of the Sangha – HIGHLIGHT

By Gaylon Ferguson We are human beings walking a path of liberation, and the value of community is linked to our fundamental humanity. As Suzuki Roshi said, “Buddhanature is just another name for our human nature.” As human beings, we are strongly affected by those ... continue
Posted March 19, 2010 by Jennifer Holder

Never Give Up – HIGHLIGHT

From the column Dharma Snacks, by Cynthia Kneen Takeda Shingen was a great warrior who lived in sixteenth century Japan. He gave a very famous teaching to warriors under his leadership. He said they should develop their minds to be fu rin ka zan. Kanjuro Shibata XX ... continue
Posted March 17, 2010 by
Creating Peace the Shambhala Way

Creating Peace the Shambhala Way – HIGHLIGHT

By Sakyong Mipham It is absolutely possible to create a good human society here on earth. To do so, we need strong mindfulness and intention. As human beings, we are influenced by our environment. If we create an environment of aggression and disharmony, stress will become the ... continue
Posted March 5, 2010 by
When Concept Opens Up

When Concept Opens Up – HIGHLIGHT

From the column Dharma Snacks, by Cynthia Kneen I find contemplation powerful. When a concept opens up, we find a meaning that is deeper and richer than the intellectual activity we started with. As the mind softens and appreciates, we gain insight into the nature of what ... continue
Posted March 2, 2010 by

Announcing “Stars of Wisdom” – HIGHLIGHT

Stars of Wisdom: Analytical Meditation, Songs of Yogic Joy, and Prayers of Aspiration by Khenpo Tsultrim Gyamtso Translated by Ari Goldfield, Rose Taylor Foreword by H. H. the Dalai Lama, The XVII Karmapa From Shambhala Publications: The Tibetan Buddhist teacher who’s known for his joyous, spontaneous songs of realization presents the teachings ... continue
Posted February 12, 2010 by

How to Work with Obstacles – HIGHLIGHT

By Sakyong Mipham Whatever our level of practice, there will always be obstacles. The Tibetan word for obstacle, parche, means “what cuts our progress.” In fact, sometimes the more we are engaged in practice, the greater the obstacles become. If we understand that obstacles are part of ... continue
Posted February 7, 2010 by

Diving Deep – HIGHLIGHT

From the column Dharma Snacks by Cynthia Kneen I grew up in the Midwestern United States, from sturdy Canadian stock. Somehow my parents thought that Californians were a little silly, and to me that meant that an activity like whale watching was probably silly, too. Then I ... continue
Posted January 21, 2010 by

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