This past Sunday, July 5th, Sakyong Mipham Rinpoche celebrated his 20th anniversary as the Sakyong, or Earth Protector, and leader of the lineage of Shambhala Buddhism.
Rinpoche was honored with a mandala offering, offerings of music and more at the Shambhala Center in Boulder, Colorado. Rinpoche’s remarks begin at 59:30.
The Sakyong states that it wasn’t only he that was enthroned that day, but all of the Shambhala community. We all “took our seat.” And what was enthroned was not a person, but basic goodness and human dignity.
Basic Goodness, or Original Peace as the Sakyong has also referred to it, is the fundamental state of our existence, before our conditioning and conceptual mind enters the picture. It is our innate sanity, well-being, and completeness that we can experience directly and rest in with practice and training.
This is the Shambhala Principle and what the Sakyong calls the most important question of our time: Is human nature fundamentally good or bad?
When we practice meditation, contemplation, study the teachings, and so on, when we’re able to connect with our most essential nature, we find that we are basically good. (But, don’t take our word for it.) When we realize that we are worthy and whole individuals, fundamentally, we begin to realize that everyone else is too, and so is society, as well. In some it may be deeply buried, but it’s there.
When we realize this and act from this place, the result is that we create a culture of kindness—a society that is based on the notion that all people are worthy to be on this Earth, that everyone should be treated with kindness, respect and compassion.
“People have plans, but society has to have a vision.”
Rinpoche also said that the transition is that now, instead of just looking to him, we have to all manifest these qualities too, together, as a community. We have to protect humanity and the environment.
We are all Earth Protectors.
Author: Travis May