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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


Creating a Sustainable Internal Environment – HIGHLIGHT

By Sakyong Mipham When the Buddha was on the verge of realizing enlightenment, he was attacked by the daughters of Mara. Mara is the seductive quality of mind that continually tricks us into thinking that the endless circle of samsara contains some kind of essence or fulfillment. ... continue
Posted August 5, 2009 by Jennifer Holder
Being Buddha

Being Buddha – HIGHLIGHT

From the weekly column Dharma Snacks by Cynthia Kneen I think a lot about society. This could be because society is the issue for Shambhala and Mahayana Buddhism, and I am part of this. But somehow it’s a deeper issue, too. Look at how troubled human society ... continue
Posted August 3, 2009 by

Dharma Beyond Words – HIGHLIGHT

From the weekly column Dharma Snacks by Cynthia Kneen A Tibetan Rinpoche once said to me, “When we first came to the United States, I thought, Are Americans crazy?! Everything doesn’t have to happen in one lifetime!” I wonder about this, too. Our culture advocates taking a ... continue
Posted July 23, 2009 by
Hold Your Seat

Hold Your Seat – HIGHLIGHT

From the weekly column Dharma Snacks by Cynthia Kneen Once I met a Chinese Buddhist Abbot, who gave me this advice. “You have to hold your seat when circumstances of obstacle arise. It is from habitually seeing external circumstances as real that they become real obstacles.” ... continue
Posted July 15, 2009 by
Prendre acte de la mort

Prendre acte de la mort

par Chögyam Trungpa Rinpoche Lorsque nous discutons de maladie physique ou men­tale, il faut reconnaître l’importance que nous accordons à notre sens de la survie. Nous voulons survivre et quand nous parlons de guérir, nous parlons en réalité de la manière de survivre. Vue sous un ... continue
Posted July 12, 2009 by

Becoming Fearless Now – HIGHLIGHT

By Sakyong Mipham In the economic hardship the world is now suffering, it is possible for us to spin out and become very dualistic. When we are not sure what is going on, we react in fear and start labeling things black and white, good or ... continue
Posted July 3, 2009 by Jennifer Holder
Treasury of Oral Instructions

Treasury of Oral Instructions – HIGHLIGHT

Celebrating the 25th anniversary of Gampo Abbey It was the heartfelt wish of the Vidyadhara, Chogyam Trungpa Rinpoche that the monastic tradition be developed and nurtured in the West. Gampo Abbey is therefore delighted that in 2009 they are celebrating the 25th anniversary of the abbey’s founding. ... continue
Posted June 18, 2009 by

Golden Fish – HIGHLIGHT

From the weekly column, Dharma Snacks, by Cynthia Kneen Once when I was living at a meditation center, a famous American writer came to visit. He asked about doing a solo retreat. I was young, junior to the venerable author, yet there I was with responsibilities to ... continue
Posted June 13, 2009 by

Seven Qualities to Cultivate Every Day – HIGHLIGHT

By Sakyong Mipham Rinpoche How do we carry a dharmic view into the day? By seeing the day as our life, and our life as the path, we learn to regard everything we meet as an opportunity to practice. There are seven facets of awakened mind that ... continue
Posted June 1, 2009 by Jennifer Holder
Acknowledging Death

Acknowledging Death – HIGHLIGHT

By Chogyam Trungpa In discussing sickness, whether physical or mental, we should recognize the importance of our sense of survival.  We want to survive, and when we talk about healing, we are talking about how to survive.  Viewed from another angle, our strategy of survival is the ... continue
Posted May 29, 2009 by

How to Work with Obstacles – HIGHLIGHT

By Sakyong Mipham Rinpoche 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 ... continue
Posted May 11, 2009 by Jennifer Holder

Equanimity in Uncertain Times – HIGHLIGHT

By Sakyong Mipham Rinpoche There are many layers to the process of enlightened society and how it manifests—and how we manifest it ourselves and in our own lives. Now we are at the point where we are looking at how we can manifest it at an earthly ... continue
Posted May 8, 2009 by
Dedicating Energy

Dedicating Energy – HIGHLIGHT

As Shambhalians, when we conclude our meditation practices or close teaching events, we dedicate any merit generated to the benefit and enlightenment of all sentient beings. What if, through conscious lifestyle changes, we dedicated the surplus of our fortunate situation to the benefit of all ... continue
Posted April 18, 2009 by

Warrior Song of King Gesar

Our earth is wounded Her oceans and lakes are sick Her rivers are like running sores The air is filled with subtle poisons And the oily smoke of countless hellish fires blackens the sun Day has become night. Fish are born deformed; birds fall lifeless from the sky Forests and plains wither Animals running ... continue
Posted April 17, 2009 by Jennifer Holder
The Joy Continues

The Joy Continues – HIGHLIGHT

Excerpted from the book Warrior-King of Shambhala: Remembering Chogyam Trungpa by Jeremy Hayward A Middle Way If there is a middle way, even in regard to death, what might it be? To try to understand this, let us look at some ideas that Rinpoche himself conveyed to us ... continue
Posted April 10, 2009 by Jennifer Holder

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