It is the Shambhala view that every human being has a fundamental nature of goodness, warmth and intelligence. This nature can be cultivated through meditation, following ancient principles, and it can be further developed in daily life, so that it radiates out to family, friends, community and society. In the course of our lives, this goodness, warmth and intelligence can easily become covered over by doubt, fear and egotism. The journey of becoming fully human means seeing through fear and egotism, and waking up to our natural intelligence. It takes kindness–to ourselves and others–and courage, to wake up in this world.
The journey of awakening is known as the path of the warrior, as it requires the simple bravery to look directly at one’s own mind and heart. The essential tool for doing this is mindfulness meditation. As we continue on the Shambhala path, we learn many other practices, to help us break through the ancient crust of ego and awaken to the joy of fully living in this world. Awakening and opening, we discover the world to be naturally sacred, pure and full of beauty. We begin to see clearly the goodness and wisdom of others, and to feel compassion to help them in myriad ways.
Shambhala vision is rooted in the contemplative teachings of Buddhism, yet is a fresh expression of the spiritual journey for our time; it is available to practitioners of any tradition. Our lineage draws on the wisdom of the Kagyu and Nyingma schools of Tibetan Buddhism, as inherited by founder of Shambhala, Chögyam Trungpa Rinpoche, and his son and spiritual heir, Sakyong Mipham. In the mid-1970′s Chögyam Trungpa Rinpoche began to introduce teachings on Shambhala vision, based on his encounter with the Western world, and on the specific wisdom imparted from the Buddha to King Dawa Sangpo, the first sovereign of the legendary kingdom of Shambhala. This tradition teaches how to live in the secular world with courage and compassion.
Sakyong Mipham Rinpoche
Sakyong Mipham Rinpoche is the head of the Shambhala Buddhist lineage, a spiritual and family lineage that descends through his family, the Mukpo clan. This tradition emphasizes the basic goodness of all beings and teaches the art of courageous warriorship based on wisdom and compassion.
Rinpoche is the son and heir of the Vidyadhara, the Venerable Chögyam Trungpa Rinpoche. His background embraces both Eastern and Western cultures. Born in 1962 in Bodhagaya, India, he received spiritual training from his father and other distinguished lamas and received further education and training in Europe and North America. He is married to Khandro Tseyang Palmo, daughter of His Eminence Namkha Drimed Rabjam Rinpoche, head of the Ripa lineage.
The Sakyong has written four books, the national bestseller Turning the Mind into An Ally, the prize—winning Ruling Your World, Running with the Mind of Meditation, and the newest book, The Shambhala Principle . He is a poet and an artist. He has run marathons to raise money for Tibet through the Konchok Foundation. He travels extensively, teaching throughout the world.
“When we talk about enlightened society, we aren’t talking about some utopia where everyone’s enlightened. We’re talking about a culture of human beings who know the awakened nature of basic goodness and invoke its energy in order to courageously extend themselves to others.”
Vidyadhara Chögyam Trungpa Rinpoche
Chögyam Trungpa Rinpoche was one of the most dynamic teachers of Buddhism in the 20th Century. He was a pioneer in bringing the Buddhist teachings of Tibet to the West and is credited with introducing many Buddhist concepts into the English language and psyche in a fresh and new way.
Chögyam Trungpa Rinpoche, the former supreme abbot of Surmang Monasteries in Tibet, was known as the foremost meditation master and teacher of Tibetan Buddhism in the West. In the early 1970s, he founded Naropa University, the first Buddhist-inspired university in North America, along with over 100 meditation centers worldwide. He authored two dozen books on meditation, poetry, art, and the Shambhala path of warriorship.
“The Buddhist tradition teaches the truth of impermanence, or the transitory nature of things. The past is gone and the future has not yet happened, so we work with what is here — the present situation. This actually helps us not to categorize or theorize. A fresh, living situation is taking place all the time, on the spot. This non-categorical approach comes from being fully here, rather than trying to reconnect with past events. We don’t have to look back to the past in order to see what people are made out of. Human beings speak for themselves, on the spot.”
Read Chögyam Trungpa Rinpoche’s biography on the Shambhala International website.