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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


Becoming One With Dharma

Becoming One With Dharma – HIGHLIGHT

Dharma Teaching by Sakyong Mipham Rinpoche We often bring the dharma into our life only when things come to a painful point — when we are facing a crossroads or experiencing confusion. Then we go into our library, dust off a book and crack it open. We try ... continue
Posted January 5, 2015 by
Natural Brilliance

Natural Brilliance – HIGHLIGHT

Leading from Within by Irini Rockwell We are singing the same song, in different languages. The Awake in the World online conference sponsored by Shambhala Mountain Center reached 80,000 people. Acharya Susan Skjei, talking about leadership, addressed three components: presence, engagement, and leading change. Acharya Fleet Maul, talking ... continue
Posted December 26, 2014 by
Bravery = Showing Up

Bravery = Showing Up – HIGHLIGHT

Monthly Dharma Teaching by Sakyong Mipham Rinpoche These days I am struck by the speed of life. As we get speedier, we do things in half steps. Therefore, the practice of whole-hearted engagement is important. How can we be steady and complete, and what kind of wisdom does ... continue
Posted December 15, 2014 by
Embodying Wisdom, Becoming Sensational

Embodying Wisdom, Becoming Sensational – HIGHLIGHT

Exploring the Five Wisdoms by Irini Rockwell A sensuous sixteen-year-old dancing; a couple in sexual union: ultimate wisdom and enlightenment are personified in the iconography of the Vajrayana Buddhist tradition by just such deities. They live in palaces, and offerings of sense pleasures are bestowed on them. Vajrayana ... continue
Posted November 14, 2014 by
Shining Confidence

Shining Confidence – HIGHLIGHT

Sakyong Mipham Rinpoche, photo courtesy of BHH StudiosDharma Teaching by Sakyong Mipham Rinpoche We are all leaders, in that each of us is leading our life. We have no choice. We are making decisions moment-to-moment, even if it’s to butter our toast. To lead our lives well, ... continue
Posted November 10, 2014 by
Inherent Dignity

Inherent Dignity – HIGHLIGHT

Dharma Teaching by Sakyong Mipham Rinpoche Throughout history, the deepest minds have come to the conclusion that there is something profoundly worthy about being human. In the Shambhala tradition, we call this the sun of basic goodness. The sun is a symbol of life, warmth, and wholeness, like ... continue
Posted October 13, 2014 by
A Picture of the Sky

A Picture of the Sky

Celebrating a collaboration between Naropa University and the University of Colorado on a Buddhist Studies Lecture Series in honor of Chogyam Trungpa Rinpoche …a course at the University of Colorado – Winter, 1971 (see part 1 here) Part 2 by John J. Baker …But there is another subtler way to ... continue
Posted September 17, 2014 by
Investigating Motivation

Investigating Motivation – HIGHLIGHT

Dharma Teaching by Sakyong Mipham Rinpoche In Buddhism, it is motivation that defines us what kind of practitioner we are. Simply put, the greater our motivation on the path, the greater our potential. Traditionally, there are said to be three kinds of motivation: small, medium, and large. Within the ... continue
Posted September 5, 2014 by
The Threefold Purity

The Threefold Purity – HIGHLIGHT

Curtis Pond in Calais, VT,COLUMN: Dharma Teachings by Ani Pema Chodron “To begin with, just give up any expectations of yourself. That’s a simple good instruction for how to do Buddhist meditation.” Buddhist meditation is about dissolving our fixation on ourselves, on the process of meditating, and on any ... continue
Posted August 25, 2014 by
In with the Bad, Out with the Good

In with the Bad, Out with the Good – HIGHLIGHT

COLUMN: Dharma Teaching On Tonglen guest article by Shastri Ethan Nichtern orginally published on Shambhala Sun “Accepting and sending out” is a powerful meditation to develop compassion for ourselves and others. Shastri Ethan Nichtern teaches us how to do it in formal practice and on the spot whenever suffering arises. ... continue
Posted August 11, 2014 by
Creating a Culture of No Mistake

Creating a Culture of No Mistake – HIGHLIGHT

COLUMN: Dharma Teaching Gentle and Tough originally published on broken leaf guest article by Acharya Noel McLellan Gentleness is nice and all, but it’s a tough world out there. We can’t always live in a protected world of soft things, kind people, and the sounds of running water. There are ... continue
Posted July 30, 2014 by
Obstacles on the Path

Obstacles on the Path – HIGHLIGHT

photosTeaching by Sakyong Mipham Rinpoche If there’s a rock in your path, you have to move it, go around it, or climb over it. The same is true in meditation, says Sakyong Mipham. You can’t just pretend obstacles aren’t there. You have to relate to them. In meditation, ... continue
Posted July 28, 2014 by
3 Ways Buddhism Can Help You Heal a Broken Heart

3 Ways Buddhism Can Help You Heal a Broken Heart – HIGHLIGHT

COLUMN: Dharma Teachings guest article by Susan Piver Nothing feels worse than a broken heart, the kind you get when someone you love ends the relationship. Feelings of shame, remorse, grief, rage, and terror can overwhelm even the most stable human being. Heartbreak has the power to reframe ... continue
Posted July 9, 2014 by
The Simple Technique that Changed My Life

The Simple Technique that Changed My Life – HIGHLIGHT

On Meditation guest article by Travis May, St. Petersburg, FL originally published on elephant journal During meditation instruction I try to convey some importance about the part of the technique that involves letting go of our thoughts and returning to the breath. But, I don’t think that I really ... continue
Posted June 25, 2014 by
Reclaiming our Sensitivity

Reclaiming our Sensitivity – HIGHLIGHT

COLUMN: Dharma Teachings article and photos by Evan Silverman, Karme Choling Recently I had the special honor and privilege to be a meditation instructor for a half-dathun (two-week retreat) led by Acharya Suzann Duquette and Shastri Ethan Nichtern. I’ve known both of them for a few years now, ... continue
Posted June 20, 2014 by

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