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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


Harvesting Happiness

Harvesting Happiness – HIGHLIGHT

The Tale of Meme Haylay Haylay This tale was collected by Dorji Penjore in Bhumtang, Bhutan. It is a retelling of one of the most popular tales in Bhutan. Meme Haylay Haylay was a poor old man. He liked his life, and was ... continue
Posted September 27, 2009 by

A Single Grain of Rice – HIGHLIGHT

An Indian teaching tale once told in the dining room of Karme Choling by Roger Guest, retold here by Laura Simms. There was a king in India who had four daughters. When they were old enough, he decided to go on a spiritual retreat. He left his ... continue
Posted September 26, 2009 by
Riding the Powerful Steed of Compassion

Riding the Powerful Steed of Compassion – HIGHLIGHT

Gesar’s Horse, Kyang Go Karkar In many of the great stories and myths of the world, a powerful and intelligent horse plays a significant role. The hero or heroine rides the most magnificent of steeds like a throne which is alive with the power of ... continue
Posted September 25, 2009 by

The Birth of King Gesar’s Qualities – HIGHLIGHT

To harvest peace, we contemplate the enlightened qualities required to benefit a world torn asunder by violence and greed. In the Tibetan tradition this is brought to life in the story of the birth of King Gesar of Ling, the famed hero-warrior who overcame obstacles ... continue
Posted September 24, 2009 by
Divine Lady of Gathering

Divine Lady of Gathering – HIGHLIGHT

By President Richard Reoch Among the many initiatives the Sakyong has undertaken to manifest Shambhala Vision, is the commissioning of the Rigden Lineage thangka. It is currently being painted at the Shambhala Art School in northern India by a team of artists under the direction of ... continue
Posted September 22, 2009 by Richard_Reoch

Shambhala Mahasiddas – HIGHLIGHT

From the column Dharma Snacks by Cynthia Kneen In The Sadhana of Mahamudra Trungpa Rinpoche says, “I’ve been fool enough to think that I possess my own projections.” I certainly feel foolish, and suffer greatly too, when I try to control my own phenomena. It’s not practical, ... continue
Posted September 17, 2009 by
The Power of Being Cheerful

The Power of Being Cheerful – HIGHLIGHT

By Sakyong Mipham I recently asked a Tibetan lama friend, “Who seems happier—the nomads in Tibet or people you have met in America?” He told me that since America is famous for its wealth and technology, in the beginning he was sure that he would find happier, ... continue
Posted September 5, 2009 by Jennifer Holder
Maybe You’d Better Sit Down

Maybe You’d Better Sit Down – HIGHLIGHT

By Acharya Michael Greenleaf Scientists in Germany reported Thursday that the often-described sense of lost-hiker déjà vu, of having inadvertently backtracked while wandering in the woods — is real. “People really do walk in circles,” said Jan L. Souman of the Max Planck Institute for ... continue
Posted September 1, 2009 by
A Powerful Listener

A Powerful Listener – HIGHLIGHT

By Sakyong Wangmo, Khandro Tseyang This is an excerpt from a talk by the Sakyong Wangmo at a Yeshe Tsogyal feast practice that took place in Halifax, 20 April 2009. As you know, there is a lot of meaning in Yeshe Tsogyal. I’m sure many ... continue
Posted August 30, 2009 by
There Will Be Mishaps

There Will Be Mishaps – HIGHLIGHT

By Walt Hernandez One of the Kagyu mystics once said, “Being in the Kagyu tradition, the Kagyu lineage, is like inheriting constant mishaps. Constant mishaps. That’s true. If you are actually in contact with reality, and particularly if you are in control of reality, then you ... continue
Posted August 29, 2009 by
"Wow!"

“Wow!” – HIGHLIGHT

From the column Dharma Snacks by Cynthia Kneen Society is made up of individuals. Really, enlightened society is an individuals’ community. There is no extra “thing” called society. The spark, or magic, lies in our individuality rather than our uniformity. But 2+2=5 when individuals share the same ... continue
Posted August 28, 2009 by
Part 2: When Monsters Become Protectors

Part 2: When Monsters Become Protectors – HIGHLIGHT

The Transformational Power of Storytelling By Laura Simms Click here for Part 1 This story of The Transitional Place reflects what I feel I have begun to understand about the possibility of transforming energy through story. This is at the root of what I want to continue to ... continue
Posted August 25, 2009 by
When Monsters Become Protectors

When Monsters Become Protectors – HIGHLIGHT

The Transformational Power of Storytelling By Laura Simms Shortly after 9/11, I was asked to tell stories to children at several public schools in downtown Manhattan. My task was to generate conversations with children about what they had experienced and what fears were lingering. I went ... continue
Posted August 24, 2009 by

Celebrating Sophistication – HIGHLIGHT

By Sangyum Agness Au I write this from San Francisco, as a grand gathering of family and friends of the Au Clan draws to a close. Five generations have come together to celebrate my father’s 90th birthday, from his 96 and 93 year old Canadian ... continue
Posted August 20, 2009 by
Basic Space: Manifesting the Feminine Principle

Basic Space: Manifesting the Feminine Principle – HIGHLIGHT

By the Druk Sakyong Wangmo, Lady Diana Mukpo I am delighted to contribute a few words about the meaning and the importance of the role of the Sakyong Wangmo, based on my perspective as the first Sakyong Wangmo of the Kingdom. I hope that there will ... continue
Posted August 17, 2009 by

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