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Nov 15
Friday

Good Society Part II: Feeling the Goodness

Filed under Community Articles, Dharma Teachings

Photo by Annie Spratt on Unsplash

The second part of a two-part series by Shastri Russell Rodgers. For part one, click here.

In Part I of this two-part essay, we looked at the genetics behind the universal human impulse to create good society. The logic was this: everywhere there are humans, we form society. Therefore, it must be in our genes. The first part of this essay was basically a book review of Blueprint: The Evolutionary Origins of a Good Society, by Nicholas Christakis, a Yale professor.

Dr. Christakis proposes that encoded in our genes is a “social suite” that is common to all societies that are able to survive the test of time and circumstance. This “suite” includes : good leadership (and respect for that leadership), cooperation, learning from each other, befriending others, and valuing each person’s individuality. The genes encode possibilities: we make conscious choices as to whether to take advantage of these possibilities.

Buddhist practices that focus on kindness help to bring it to conscious awareness. Often, kindness practices focus on the heart. Sometimes, in visualization practices, there is a radiating sun, moon or seed syllable placed there. Here, radiation is a metaphor for kindness, and the visualization gives the mind something to focus on. The “Sadhana of Kindness” which is being practiced in many Shambhala Centres, has this basic structure. The post-meditation experience of this sadhana inspired me to write this essay. Continue…

Entries filed under Dharma Teachings


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
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Shambhala Warriorship and Meditation

Shambhala Warriorship and Meditation – HIGHLIGHT

By Sakyong Mipham In one of the most beautiful Buddhist poems ever written, the great Indian teacher Shantideva talks about the bodhisattva warrior. The Tibetan term is changchup sempa, “the warrior with the mind of enlightenment.” Such a warrior dedicates his or her life to others, using ... continue
Posted January 17, 2010 by Jennifer Holder
Weekly Videodhara

Weekly Videodhara – HIGHLIGHT

Infusing the Presence of Chogyam Trungpa into Your Curriculum Complied by Jennifer Holder, with Carolyn Rose Gimian, Gordon Kidd, and Denny Blouin contributing. The Videodhara By Denny Blouin Forget the mahasiddha for the west business: Just CTR in b & w and color, speaking. In your face, your brain, your blood Mainline direct, ... continue
Posted January 8, 2010 by Jennifer Holder
Seven Riches of a Sakyong

Seven Riches of a Sakyong – HIGHLIGHT

The Seven Riches of the Sakyong are traditional, universal and practical contemplations on how we can handle ourselves. They were introduced to the community by the Druk Sakyong (Chogyam Trungpa Rinpoche) at the 1978 Kalapa Assembly. The accompanying photos are of rupas given to the Druk ... continue
Posted December 31, 2009 by David_Brown

Making Room in Your Meditation Room – HIGHLIGHT

The Zen Novice finished his first meal at the monastery. Anxious to begin his journey to enlightenment he asked his Master “Now What?” The Master replied, “Now wash your bowl.” —-Zen Parable By Acharya Michael Greenleaf Michael, Can We Talk? Michael, my dear, we have to talk. No, I didn’t ... continue
Posted December 30, 2009 by

Knowing Love – HIGHLIGHT

From the column Dharma Snacks by Cynthia Kneen I’ve been thinking about love. Rumi, the Sufi poet, says of love, “Sea water begs the pearl to break its shell.” In a different context, the Druk Sakyong, Trungpa Rinpoche, said, “The dralas are eager to fall in love ... continue
Posted December 25, 2009 by
Universal Responsibility and the Climate Emergency

Universal Responsibility and the Climate Emergency – HIGHLIGHT

By His Holiness, the Dalai Lama, who was the first to sign the Buddhist Declaration on Climate Change It is difficult to fully comprehend great environmental changes like global warming. We know that carbon dioxide levels are rising dangerously in the atmosphere leading to unprecedented ... continue
Posted December 5, 2009 by Jennifer Holder
“It Works If You Work It”

“It Works If You Work It” – HIGHLIGHT

What we can learn from the discipline of people whose lives are on the line. By Bindu Wiles I have been getting up at 5:30 am to get to my desk by 5:40. I have never been a morning person — I seem to do my ... continue
Posted November 29, 2009 by Jennifer Holder

Picasso’s Picassos – HIGHLIGHT

From the column Dharma Snacks by Cynthia Kneen There is a story about a collection of paintings by Picasso that Picasso kept for himself. One of them is very small, only 7 ¼ by 5 ½ inches. It is a very dark oil painting with a figure ... continue
Posted November 22, 2009 by

Interdependence and Freedom – HIGHLIGHT

By Sakyong Mipham What keeps us from tasting our inherent wisdom? Concept. We are generally chasing one conceptual creation after another. This matrix of concept appears in many variations, but its weak point is always the same: it is fabricated. Without really looking at the nature of ... continue
Posted November 21, 2009 by Jennifer Holder
The Cool Kids

The Cool Kids – HIGHLIGHT

By Acharya Michael Greenleaf Recently, the New York Times published an op-ed piece on a conference for Social and Affective Neuroscientists (or “Neuros”) which took place in New York this past week. According to David Brooks, the writer, “the leading figures at this conference were in their ... continue
Posted October 24, 2009 by

Chogyam Trungpa on Shambhala Sun – HIGHLIGHT

Teachings by Chogyam Trungpa Rinpoche The November 2009 issue of the Shambhala Sun features two new pieces, one by, and one about, Chogyam Trungpa. Look inside the November 2009 issue. Below are excerpts and links to classic teachings by Chogyam Trungpa from the Shambhala Sun archives. One-Shot ... continue
Posted October 18, 2009 by

The Joke’s on Me – HIGHLIGHT

From the column Dharma Snacks by Cynthia Kneen Trungpa Rinpoche always asked me to help him–at Tail of the Tiger, at Naropa University, and later, as he put it, “by infiltrating the business world and telling me what they are up to.” “Please,” he’d say, “Help me. ... continue
Posted October 17, 2009 by
Offering to the Guru

Offering to the Guru – HIGHLIGHT

On one of his trips to India, the Tibetan master Marpa brought gold dust to offer to Naropa, his guru (Sanskirt for “teacher”). Traditionally, tantric teachings are not just given away; the disciple must make an offering in order to receive them. Gold was the gift ... continue
Posted October 15, 2009 by Holly

Taking Refuge – HIGHLIGHT

By Sakyong Mipham The Tibetan word for refuge means “to be protected by.” Every day we wake up and tacitly take refuge in something that we think will offer us security and protection. Most of the time we put our poker chip on the little thing that ... continue
Posted October 2, 2009 by Jennifer Holder

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