Treatise on Enlightened Society Introduced

Sep 24, 2012

During his Harvest of Peace address, the Sakyong, Jamgon Mipham Rinpoche, publicly introduced his Treatise on Enlightened Society and launched what he called a "cascading lung" (oral reading transmission of this text) that enables the treatise to be shared person-to-person, within and beyond the Shambhala community.

"The notion of enlightened society is at the heart of Shambhala altogether," the Sakyong said. "Even our namesake, Shambhala, is inspired by a country and a society that existed. Whether we see this as a literal place on earth or even if it's a metaphor or mystery, Shambhala has to do with a society that acknowledged basic goodness as a binding principle of that society. It is said that Shambhala, geographically, was at the most western part of the east, and the most eastern part of the west. Therefore it was a mixture of east and west, north and south. Thus it was universal."

"This basic theme of society is something that all of us encounter daily,"' he said. "It is definitely challenging when we see nowadays the level of suffering and disharmony, fear, instability, atrocities and tragedies that are constantly facing society. So if ever there was a time that we doubted the inherent goodness of society,certainly it would be now. That is why these teachings on Shambhala were introduced at this time. In a sense when we are at our most difficult moment, there is an opportunity to self-reflect and wonder if this apparent aggression and selfishness that pervades is in fact human nature. It is a time for all of us to reflect. This reflection is at the heart of the Treatise on Enlightened Society."

To access the Sakyong's address, please click here.

Written while the Sakyong was on his yearlong retreat in 2010, the Treatise on Enlightened Society sets out the meaning of enlightened society and its relevance for our contemporary world. The Sakyong said he feels that the nature of the treatise itself calls for a social process of transmission, in which all Shambhalians could be empowered to both receive the reading transmission and give it to each other.

What he is calling the "cascading lung" is likely the first ever "open-source" lung in our community, whereby all people are invited and empowered not only to receive but also to give the reading transmission. The Sakyong aspires to see the text spread along genuine lines of social communication and find its way into the hearts of any human beings who are inspired by a vision for enlightened society.

To read more about the treatise and the Sakyong's vision for this process -- including full instructions for requesting and giving the lung -- please read the letter from the Kalapa Acharya, Adam Lobel included at the end of this set of Frequently Asked Questions:

As described in the FAQ document, the lung may be offered by anyone who has already received it. If you would like to request the lung and know someone who can give it to you, please simply ask them! If you would like to request the lung and are unsure from whom to request it, please contact your centre or group to ask how the lung process is being handled locally.

Anyone who has received the reading transmission may purchase the text from Shambhala Media:

Europeans can order the English text from the Primordial Rigden Shop: or by emailing

(This announcement was from the Shambhala News Service)