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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


Generosity Is the Foundation of Enlightened Society, by Lady Diana Mukpo

Generosity Is the Foundation of Enlightened Society, by Lady Diana Mukpo – HIGHLIGHT

From a talk given at Sky Lake Lodge, April 3-5, 2009 during the program, “Creating Enlightened Society and the Parinirvana of Chogyam Trungpa Rinpoche” Together, we are marking the 22nd anniversary of the passing of the Vidyadhara. A friend of mine recently called me and said, “Well… ... continue
Posted April 9, 2009 by Jennifer Holder
Karma and the Economy, by Acharya Eric Spiegel

Karma and the Economy, by Acharya Eric Spiegel – HIGHLIGHT

How are we to understand what is going on right now in the world? How can so many people be suffering and there be no direct culprit? As I have been contemplating this crisis and watching (and living) the enormous suffering that is it’s ... continue
Posted April 7, 2009 by Eric Spiegel
Basic Anxiety Is Happening All the Time, by Chogyam Trungpa

Basic Anxiety Is Happening All the Time, by Chogyam Trungpa – HIGHLIGHT

This is an excerpt from the first book in the Root Text Project, The Truth of Suffering and the Path of Liberation. If you purchase a copy from the Shambhala Shop, all proceeds will go to the project. We are born as human beings, as we ... continue
Posted April 3, 2009 by Jennifer Holder
Shambhala Lineage, by Chogyam Trungpa

Shambhala Lineage, by Chogyam Trungpa

Making the journey of warriorship depends first of all on your personal realization of genuineness and basic goodness. Ultimately, giving up selfishness, or ego, is only possible if you have a living, human example—someone who has already done so, and therefore makes it possible for ... continue
Posted April 3, 2009 by Jennifer Holder
Longevity Supplication for Sakyong Mipham Rinpoche

Longevity Supplication for Sakyong Mipham Rinpoche

Because the experience of chanting is very personal and the images are intended to be provocative, we offer this essay with the intention of starting a conversation. Please do contribute your reflections in the comments section. As with other longevity chants, this one is all about ... continue
Posted April 3, 2009 by
The Birthday Sadhana

The Birthday Sadhana

On my birthday a few weeks ago I had the annual profound experience of waking up in the morning and doing the simple practice known generally as “The Birthday Sadhana”. This is the same basic practice we do as a group on Shambhala Day as “Elixir of Life”. ... continue
Posted March 12, 2009 by Eric Spiegel

Essays on the Shambhala Buddhist Chants

[caption id=”attachment_504″ align=”alignright” width=”150″ This document has drawn immensely appreciative feedback. The following excerpt from the Preface might help explain why: The Kootenay Shambhala Centre is in the town of Nelson, B.C., Canada. We have had the usual disagreements about whether it is appropriate to do ... continue
Posted February 27, 2009 by James Northcote
The Wish-Fulfilling Jewel, by Sakyong Mipham

The Wish-Fulfilling Jewel, by Sakyong Mipham – HIGHLIGHT

The Buddha said, “Within your own mind, you already have what you need to succeed—the ability to put others ahead of yourself. This is called virtue, the wish-fulfilling jewel.” Whatever our situation, we can use virtue to make our life meaningful, strong, and happy. In the Tibetan ... continue
Posted February 21, 2009 by Jennifer Holder
Teachings for Times of Great Challenge, a letter from the editor

Teachings for Times of Great Challenge, a letter from the editor

Dear Shambhala Times Readers, We are facing a deep economic winter in which we are challenged to hold our seats and continue to turn outwards to help others. To inspire our practice as warriors in this world, the Shambhala Times offers these dharma teachings, filled with ... continue
Posted February 20, 2009 by Jennifer Holder
On Warriorship and the Economy, by Eric Spiegel

On Warriorship and the Economy, by Eric Spiegel – HIGHLIGHT

Over recent months the world has been in economic turmoil. There continues to be a sense of not knowing what will calm things or how to make them “right” again. It is likely that a fair number of people in the sangha have lost ... continue
Posted February 20, 2009 by Eric Spiegel
Audio: Sanity and our Real World - Money, Power and Peaceful Abiding, by Eric Spiegel

Audio: Sanity and our Real World – Money, Power and Peaceful Abiding, by Eric Spiegel

In this talk given in Albany, New York, Acharya Eric Spiegel explores how we can bring practice, study, and warriorship to this economic winter. continue
Posted February 20, 2009 by Jennifer Holder
Three Methods for Working with Chaos, by Pema Chodron

Three Methods for Working with Chaos, by Pema Chodron – HIGHLIGHT

Sometimes late at night or on a long walk with a friend, we find ourselves discussing our ideas about how to live and how to act and what is important in life. If we’re studying Buddhism and practicing meditation, we might talk of no-self and emptiness, ... continue
Posted February 20, 2009 by Jennifer Holder
Video: Compassion, by Sakyong Mipham

Video: Compassion, by Sakyong Mipham

In this video, Sakyong Mipham Rinpoche describes how true compassion for others inspires happiness in us, whatever the circumstance. continue
Posted February 20, 2009 by Jennifer Holder

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