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Letter from Sakyong: Shambhala Salon
Sep 24, 2011
Dear Shambhala Community,
This morning we received a letter that the Sakyong has written for the Shambhala Lineage Festival that starts today. It is called "Shambhala Salon" and refers to the tradition of having in-depth discussions during social occasion such as dinner. He asks that his letter be read during the social gatherings/dinners that will take place in many homes, centres or groups this evening.
Kindly ensure that someone reads his letter out loud. It can then be the basis for a period of discussion and conversation. Complete instructions and guidelines for reading the letter are below, following the letter.
Good evening. I am delighted that you have gathered tonight to celebrate the first Shambhala Lineage Festival. For our community to acknowledge basic goodness as a foundational principle of society is truly a momentous occasion for us and, I believe, for the world as well.
Tonight I encourage all of you to reflect on what guiding principles inspire you. As well, reflect on the principles that guide our world today. Then engage in dialogue and conversation, both as a personal journey and as a method of creating enlightened society.
For our community, tonight is not only a celebration -- it is also a practice. Gathering and conversing is an expression of the inherent goodness of society, based upon respect and value for others. The conversation is not simply getting to the point. Rather, it is the simple enjoyment and appreciation of others.
As we engage in this practice of society, we are developing the traits of a warrior -- generosity, patience, bravery, love, and empathy. This ability to value these principles is the fabric of a good society.
Therefore, enjoy each other's company. As you gather, reflect on how Shambhalians worldwide are gathering tonight to discover and discuss enlightened society. I hope that these evening salons inspire and intrigue all of you, for it is very easy to give up hope in these incredibly challenging times. Therefore, we should not underestimate the value of what we are doing.
When we gather, enjoy a meal, and have a conversation, a powerful and dynamic human interaction occurs. How we harness and utilize this energy is society itself. Tonight, we discover the potency of who we are as humanity, and how that communal self-reflection will determine our future.
In order to initiate the conversation, I propose a question: How can basic goodness become a socially binding principle?
I leave you now to have conversation and enjoy. However, I will be listening.
With much love, delight in your feast of goodness.
KI KI SO SO!
Instructions for reading the Sakyong's letter at the Shambhala Salon:
The Sakyong has written a letter to initiate the first Shambhala Salon. These gatherings can occur at homes or at the Centres, where Shambhalians will enjoy a meal and conversation.
To initiate these salons, first recite the Shambhala meal chant, and then have one person read the letter aloud. After that, practice a two-minute period of contemplation, followed by a short bow. Then, initiate the discussion while the guests enjoy the meal and each other's company. At the end of the discussion, bow once more, and then dedicate the merit.
Guidelines for reading:
Someone with a good and clear voice should read the letter to themselves a few times before presenting it to the assembly, so that they are prepared to deliver the Sakyong's words with dignity.
(This announcement was from the Shambhala News Service)