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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


Sakyong Address Live Online This Friday

Sakyong Address Live Online This Friday

Imagining Peace; Enlightened Society Gatherings April 26-28 Chicago Shambhala Center and Shambhala Online present Live from Chicago, Illinois, USACreating Enlightened Society: A Keynote Address by Sakyong Mipham Rinpoche Friday April 26, 2013, 7:30 pm Central (9:30 pm Atlantic, 8:30 pm Eastern, 6:30 pm Mountain, 5:30 pm Pacific) Rockefeller Chapel, University of ... continue
Posted April 24, 2013 by
So Much is at Stake, 3

So Much is at Stake, 3

Maintaining the Heart of Practice Part 3 by Acharya William McKeever photos by Jessica Bizub and Patricia Hayward Now we come to specific recommendations to continue our practice. For some of you with established practices and who have been around Shambhala for a while, this will be “old hat.” But ... continue
Posted April 12, 2013 by
So Much is at Stake, 4

So Much is at Stake, 4

Lineage Stories Maintaining the Heart of Practice Part 4 by Acharya William McKeever photos by Jessica Bizub and Patricia Hayward I am often asked to tell lineage stories, so here is one that came to mind for today. It involves a great spiritual love affair that blossomed between Trungpa Rinpoche and ... continue
Posted April 12, 2013 by
So Much is at Stake, 2

So Much is at Stake, 2 – HIGHLIGHT

Maintaining the Heart of Practice Part 2 by Acharya William McKeever photos by Jessica Bizub and Patricia Hayward Like a clay bowl tossed into the air, with no one to catch it, this life of ours is fleeting, unbelievably short. And as I have so vividly learned, while the scope ... continue
Posted April 12, 2013 by
So Much is at Stake

So Much is at Stake – HIGHLIGHT

Maintaining the Heart of Practice A Dharma Teaching in Four Parts by Acharya William McKeever photos by Jessica Bizub and Patricia Hayward In January 2012 and 2013, Acharya William McKeever attended and assisted with the winter dathuns at Karme Choling. During both of these retreats he presented two talks, which ... continue
Posted April 10, 2013 by
Relating with Grief as We Age

Relating with Grief as We Age – HIGHLIGHT

COLUMN: Aging in Enlightened Society by Acharya Emily Bower Member of the Working Group on Aging for Shambhala Grief is never simple, never clean or clear-cut. It defies description, it has many effects on our lives, it has many symptoms. To name a few of these: depression, suppressed immune ... continue
Posted February 25, 2013 by
Drala in the Grand Canyon

Drala in the Grand Canyon – HIGHLIGHT

Laura McNulty practices on the bank of the Colorado River while a friend-in-the-making fishes in the backgroundLast November, for the first time, a Drala program was held during a week-long backpacking trip in the Grand Canyon. What follows are my reflections on this unforgettable experience. The Drala ... continue
Posted February 16, 2013 by lmcnulty
Becoming a Bodhisattva

Becoming a Bodhisattva – HIGHLIGHT

Monthly 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 person ... continue
Posted February 15, 2013 by
Having Fun With Brain Science

Having Fun With Brain Science – HIGHLIGHT

Investigating the Protector Principle by Russell Rodgers, Nelson, B.C. When the subject of protectors comes up, so does the question of whether they really exist or not. The answer depends on how you ask the question. For instance, it does seem as though coincidences happen in our lives ... continue
Posted February 8, 2013 by
Protecting Relationships During Don Season

Protecting Relationships During Don Season – HIGHLIGHT

by Acharya Susan Chapman, Vancouver B.C. Because it was scheduled many months ago, by coincidence last night’s opening class of our Mindful Communication course occurred on the first day of Don Season. Around 40 people, mostly newcomers, listened to the tinkling of the bells from the Mamo chants ... continue
Posted February 7, 2013 by
The Gate of Cosmic Warfare

The Gate of Cosmic Warfare – HIGHLIGHT

Invoking the Energy of Protection by Toby Sifton, Rupon There is a sentry at the gate 24 hours a day regardless of the activity happening within. Someone stands at the edge peering out from under a tarp against rain that never seems to end, or roasts in the ... continue
Posted February 6, 2013 by
Averting the Negativity of the Old Year

Averting the Negativity of the Old Year – HIGHLIGHT

A Look at the End of the Water Dragon Year, and the Mamo Days practice time by Dorje Loppon Lodro Dorje The year end Mamo Days practice is a means of clearing up the environmental negativity of the whole year. It is traditional at this time to invoke the ... continue
Posted February 5, 2013 by
Don Season Teachings

Don Season Teachings – HIGHLIGHT

Teachings and Q & A from Sakyong Mipham Rinpoche compiled and made available by Hamish Maclaren The following two videos are from a 2008 Shambhala Online session with the Sakyong teaching about the don season. Both videos include teaching as well as question and answer and both now ... continue
Posted February 3, 2013 by
The Soil at the Root of Loneliness

The Soil at the Root of Loneliness – HIGHLIGHT

by William Brown, Los Angeles On a rainy Sunday morning twenty years ago I was leaving a diner in Seattle. Just as I passed the pay phones and touched the door, I heard a woman behind me say, “I’m just so lonely that I don’t know what ... continue
Posted January 28, 2013 by
What Now?

What Now? – HIGHLIGHT

photo courtesy of Andrea RothA teaching from a public talk at Grace Cathedral, San Francisco by Sakyong Mipham Rinpoche My father, Chogyam Trungpa, was one of the last great teachers to be trained fully in Tibet while it was still a spiritual kingdom. He told me that even ... continue
Posted December 1, 2012 by

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