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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


Windhorse

Windhorse – HIGHLIGHT

Dharma Teachings by Sakyong Mipham Rinpoche During hard times, people often ask me for advice. They feel destabilized and scattered. They’re often caught up in examining who they are, what the world is, and how they fit in. They’re questioning their understanding of buddhadharma, as well as their ... continue
Posted August 17, 2015 by Dan
Meditation

Meditation – HIGHLIGHT

Dharma Teaching by Sakyong Mipham Rinpoche We sometimes forget how the Buddhist teachings came into being. We forget why the Buddha left his father’s palace. Dissatisfied with maintaining an illusion, he wanted to understand his life—and life itself. Just like the Buddha, most of us also would like ... continue
Posted July 20, 2015 by Dan
Educating the Sky

Educating the Sky – HIGHLIGHT

COLUMN: Dharma Teachings by Acharya Noel McLellan originally published on broken leaf Chogyam Trungpa Rinpoche wrote a text on how to educate a prince, someone who would grow up to be a wise, compassionate, skilful, and joyous leader. The text states that the prince’s education should occur in an environment ... continue
Posted July 10, 2015 by
The Field of Stillness

The Field of Stillness – HIGHLIGHT

Photo courtesy of Jennifer HolderCOLUMN: Dharma Teachings by Roger Guest There are many ways to ground ourselves in presence. We might walk slowly and mindfully, meditate on the breath, focus on sensations within the body or place our attention on an object in the environment. Some might be ... continue
Posted June 15, 2015 by Dan
The Practice of Peaceful Abiding

The Practice of Peaceful Abiding – HIGHLIGHT

Dharma Teaching by Sakyong Mipham Rinpoche Preparing to Practice Taming our mind through shamatha meditation, or “peaceful abiding,” is the most important thing we can do. Through peaceful abiding, we learn to rest fearlessly in our natural state, which is basic goodness. We experience basic goodness when we relax ... continue
Posted June 8, 2015 by Dan
Prometheus’ Chains: The Myth of Shenpa

Prometheus’ Chains: The Myth of Shenpa – HIGHLIGHT

PrometheusCOLUMN: Dharma Teachings article by Crystal Gandrud All myths evolve in the light of intelligence and imagination (also known as basic goodness). We conceive of what conceives us in an eternal wish to know where we came from and why. The stories we tell are powerful for one ... continue
Posted June 3, 2015 by
The Dance of Fear

The Dance of Fear – HIGHLIGHT

miksang image by Charles BlackhallCOLUMN: Dharma Teachings by Roger Guest To be a warrior means to live a life without pretense. In simple terms, this requires an intimacy with reality that leaves no room for self-deception. Once, while giving a talk to a group of about thirty people, I ... continue
Posted May 15, 2015 by Dan
Ego and Egolessness

Ego and Egolessness – HIGHLIGHT

photo courtesy of the Sakyong LhadrangDharma Teaching by Sakyong Mipham Rinpoche What is buddhahood? It is the attaining of egolessness. According to the hinayana — the “narrow path” — if we attain egolessness of self, we realize nirvana, enlightenment. This is a common approach: to attain enlightenment for ... continue
Posted May 4, 2015 by
A Letter Regarding the Earthquake in Nepal from Shastri Amy Conway

A Letter Regarding the Earthquake in Nepal from Shastri Amy Conway – HIGHLIGHT

Dear Shambhala Sangha, Photo by Bob Sonne on his 2008 trip to Nepal and India As you have probably heard by now, yesterday a 7.8 magnitude earthquake hit Nepal killing more than 2,500 people with other deaths in India and Tibet. Aftershocks today have also been devastating. The ... continue
Posted April 28, 2015 by Dan
Spring of Well-Being

Spring of Well-Being – HIGHLIGHT

Dharma Teaching by Acharya Noel McLellan originally published on broken leaf “In Shambhala, the constant application of not giving up on ourselves is known as discipline. It is not that we have made a mistake and need discipline to correct it. Rather, it is that we have not made ... continue
Posted April 22, 2015 by
Becoming a Bodhisattva

Becoming a Bodhisattva – HIGHLIGHT

Sakyong Mipham Rinpoche, Dharma Teaching by Sakyong Mipham Rinpoche At the core of the Mahayana Buddhist teachings is the crown jewel of bodhichitta. This is the supreme thought, the highest possible concept that the mind can generate. Bodhichitta is the intention to bring all sentient beings to enlightenment. The ... continue
Posted April 13, 2015 by
Like a Lion Licking Your Face

Like a Lion Licking Your Face – HIGHLIGHT

Dharma Teaching by Acharya Noel McLellan originally published on broken leaf The path of the Lion is connected with discipline and joy. Do the words “discipline and joy” go together for you? Here, discipline is not about rules and their enforcement. The outer level of form, rules, protocols, manners, ... continue
Posted March 18, 2015 by
True Listening

True Listening – HIGHLIGHT

Dharma Teaching by Sakyong Mipham Rinpoche It is said that when the Buddha first taught, two deer approached, knelt down, and raised their ears. They symbolize the act of listening, a sublime way of being present in the moment. Their perked-up ears represent keen attentiveness. Their bodies kneeling ... continue
Posted March 16, 2015 by
Steadfast Clear Seeing

Steadfast Clear Seeing – HIGHLIGHT

Dharma Teaching by Ani Pema Chodron originally published in Shambhala Sun As we meditate, we are nurturing five qualities that begin to come forth over the months and years that we practice. You might find it helpful to reconnect with these qualities whenever you ask yourself, “Why am I ... continue
Posted February 28, 2015 by
Obstacles Arise

Obstacles Arise – HIGHLIGHT

Dharma Teaching by Sakyong Mipham Rinpoche In meditation, we are on a journey from here to there — to whatever we are trying to accomplish, be it mindfulness, peace, or compassion. We are developing the ability to have fuller experience of our lives. But as we gain understanding ... continue
Posted February 13, 2015 by

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