After the Mediation (March 11, 2022, Slow English)

Selected Quotes

On the Mediation Results

I think I’ve personally found the mediation so confusing that, actually, I think anybody can read anything into it. And just hearing about the differences between various centers, it seems that people are just reading into it whatever they want. In one center, that people can go ahead with full links to the Sakyong. In other centers, it’s, oh, we can do our own thing now. So I just find it confusing.

I think it very much depends on on the people who are on the boards and committees in the various centers, what they feel. So the direction the centers will go will be according to the people who are running those.

I’m feeling confused – don’t really know what kind of place Shambhala is any more. Getting bored with the endless confusion. Lost passion for the organisation.

I don’t think the views were all that very different. I sensed a common tiredness of the uncertainty, groundlessness, what does Shambhala mean without a lineage holder, and what does it say about a Sakyong that doesn’t talk about Shambhala?

Moving Forward

In our group, one thing all three of us said was we really want to practice the Dharma. And that all these mediations and discussions and endless points of view feels like not really what we want. You know, we came into this to practice the Dharma, not to talk endlessly about the fine tuning of what a sole member is and so forth. So hopefully we can all still find place to practice and lead practice.

We talked more about belonging and how everybody really wanted to practice together. And I wondered, you know, is that another form of bypassing? Because these are real issues that we’re dealing with. And yes, of course, the teachings is what real connections are. But rather than just focusing on that, we also have to focus on the differences, and how are we going to deal with that within our community?

If you’re able to embrace both the connection that we have with the teachings, and also embrace the differences, to me, that’s enlightened society. I think before we just stressed the the connection to the teachings and ignored the differences, pretended that wasn’t there.

When I think about if we go back to some of those guidelines for skillful means, about deep listening, and being curious, and and letting go of your own agenda, how often have we had conversations, where we felt able to be present in that way, and that others also were doing so. I do think this is doing enlightened society, and that we inevitably have differences.

Sangha and connection is important; our group members mostly share the same ideology, so it was easy to feel connection. One can feel isolated if they don’t have shared support within their group.

I’m just reminded that we are in the midst of plague famine, war, and we have a lot to offer. So I think we just need to get out of our own way and find out ways to let our light shine and look at what we have in common and not only at our differences. We have a lot more in common and all our rivers and tributaries and lineages do meet at one point.

Feeling real friendship and openness in a group even when the views are different can really be Shambhala community in itself – so important. Diverse views are needed to accommodate everyone and don’t need to be a hindrance. We also need each other financially. Zoom helps, as well as regional cooperation.