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Lions Roar : May 2013
of view. Before bringing this perspective to the modern world, he had experienced tremendous savagery and degradation while losing his culture and country. But instead of despair and a sense of doom, he saw that human existence does not have to be mired in aggression, selfishness, and deceit. As humans, we have the worthiness to exist on planet Earth. We communicate this by creating good society, expressing genuineness and bravery. The Shambhala vision teaches that all aspects of life can be approached with appreciation, virtue, strength, and sacredness. This is the principle of warriorship: overwhelming odds do not daunt us. In fact, as more challenges arise, the courage and vigor of the warrior increase. So with the proper training, we are able to see the confusion of this dark age as an opportunity to sharpen our weapons of gentleness, fearlessness, and precision. Because of my own contemplation of basic goodness, The Shambhala Principle is written as a personal journey. The story opens one morning at a poignant moment in my development, when my father called me into his bedroom. There he gave me a hug and declared that I would be the next Sakyong, a Tibetan term meaning “Earth Protector.” The book describes my com- ing to terms with this great responsibility—from that pivotal morning to the present. Can I take my father’s instructions and ground my heart and mind in the principle of humanity’s good- ness? Can I inspire others to do the same by reflecting on this theme? I examine these challenges. However, this book is not a memoir, nor even a message. Rather, it is an invitation for all of us to reflect on our own basic goodness and the basic goodness of society. Can we rouse our energy and confidence to create a good world that is founded on this principle? My father taught that the way to effect genuine transforma- tion is not by telling others what to do but by manifesting these principles. Although at times we may feel deficient in our ability to embody basic goodness, even glimpsing such a possibility can have an immediate and profound effect on us, both personally and societally. Even without a full understanding of enlightened society, simply discussing the possibility broadens our horizons. It is my hope that in such a complicated time, the simplicity of basic goodness can become a true source of guidance. One of the book’s core messages is that how we feel about ourselves has a direct effect on society. Acknowledging our own basic goodness is the grounds for creating a culture. A culture is a community that shares similar values and principles. It is a powerful demon- stration of a group’s principles. At the same time, it greatly influ- ences the personal principles of the individuals in the group. It is clear that in our modern era, the foundations of older cultures are dissolving, even as new ones arise. These intangible shifts are based on the changing values and principles within our global community. Yet even as cultural shifts occur, the nature of SAKYONG MIPHAM RINPOCHE is the spiritual leader of Shambhala, an international network of meditation and retreat centers. His new book, The Shambhala Principle: Discovering Humanity’s Hidden Treasure, will be published in May by Harmony. Getting Off the Emotional Roller Coaster What the Buddhists Teach July 19–21, 2013 Buddhist wisdom teaches that you needn’t feel trapped on an emotional roller coaster, up one moment and down the next. Through meditation practice you can transform your experience on the spot. Teachers from Vipassana, Zen, and Tibetan Buddhist traditions show you how. visit eOmega.org/ss or call 800.944.1001 Anyen Rinpoche Polly Young-Eisendrath John Tarrant, Roshi OMEGA Copresentedby SHAMBHALA SUN MAY 2013 14