Message to the Shambhala Mandala

This is a very difficult time. The upheavals in the financial world are causing widespread distress, as are fears about climate change, intensified political polarization, and rising aggression. It is what the Shambhala teachings call a dark age. We experience the darkness as confusion, unhappiness, and lack of purpose.

It was for times like these that the Buddha gave the teachings on enlightened society to King Dawa Sangpo, the first sovereign of Shambhala. At present, the truth of those teachings is very clear. For a society to be truly harmonious, it cannot be based on greed and anger. When we understand this, we see that what is happening around us is literally caused by the absence of Shambhala vision.

Uplifting our minds and increasing our life-force energy begins with that vision. So I am asking all of you, as citizens of Shambhala, to rise to this occasion.

First, take these precious teachings to heart and practice them. That includes meditating for a short period every day to stabilize your mind and generate compassion. Contemplate your unshakeable karmic connection to the Shambhala lineage and reflect on your nature as the profound, brilliant Rigden.

Second, see fear for what it is: a lack of trust in your genuine being, which naturally radiates compassion and kindness. Take the big view of what is most important in this and future lifetimes: to become stronger and more realized in order to help others. Take care of yourselves, but don't hide behind the false security of self-protection. From the ground of basic goodness, open your heart and serve others.

Third, be generous. This is not a time to close down or hold on, but to offer from the natural well-spring of generosity. Be generous with those you love, but also with those you are tempted to blame or dislike. Be generous, too, within our mandala, which needs your support more than ever to proclaim the glory of Shambhala.

Practicing, serving, and giving: this is the path of the warrior bodhisattva. It is both transcendent and earthy. When we orient our minds this way, we are creating a sustainable environment. The wealth that it generates is inexhaustible.

I love you and am with you as we tread this golden path together.

The Sakyong, Jamgön Mipham Rinpoche