I first think about the people locally, the friends or the people I meditate with, but also the teacher, the teachers, that you share.
I haven’t met the Sakyong. What makes me belong to Shambala is not just the people studying like me, it’s the teachers. They belong to society, they work, and when they speak to us, some more than others, they’ve been through it and will speak to me. I can only speak from what I know, so it’s not the path through the Sakyong, which I’m not qualified to say anything on, but these people who guide me enough so far.
The teachers are part of my experience, they can express things more than me, but can take steps as well. We don’t always need someone above to tell us what to do. The teaching is already supplied to people in such a wise way. That’s what I like is in this community, in Shambala, is this openness. the capacity to go ahead in this stuff for yourself is very inspiring.
I was always inspired by the teachings of Shambhala. The warrior path, the warriors, this idea of courage, was a very helpful image for inspiration my life, and it’s still very strong.
A lot of the time I feel quite bereft on the path, because the path has kind of stopped for now. And my relationship to the Sakyong is bereft, like I’ve lost something very dear to me. And I don’t know how to get that back, how to make that connection, because part of me really disagrees with the way the Sakyong has been dealing with the situation. I don’t feel he’s done that very skillfully, and in terms of the community, I feel he’s kind of abandoned us.
But at the same time, I’ve never taken down the pictures of the Sakyong and Trungpa Rinpoche from above my shrine. Because every day, I feel something slightly different towards them. And one of the things I’ve realized over the last couple of years is that it’s not the end of the story. It’s not the end of the line, as it were. And every day something different unfolds.
I have been in Shambhala without being a Buddhist for a long time. I’m a little bit scared that now the direction is more to being a closed Buddhist organization or inspiration. And what I have been attracted to is an open invitation to join, although I can understand to a certain level that it is not possible to the to be open to the whole world—I mean, or to all religions or something.
I have a very hard time understanding or condoning how the Sakyong now is leading his organization, because I indeed feel he has left us. And the insight I gained this evening is that this is part of the path. That’s the part that we’re working on—that’s what we have to work with. People do different things. The universe still doesn’t want to do what I feel it should do.
In the last year, I have felt that there was this idea of we can go without the Sakyong, at least it came to my mind. And I came to the conclusion that is not possible. That is not possible. So I hope that there will be reconciliation. And I think it has to be at the top—the Sakyong and the Shambhala Board. And that’s very far away for me.
It is the wonderful people I get to meet in Shambhala, and the lovely way we open up to each other that keeps me part of Shambhala. I hope that the Sakyong will once again lead us on this path of openness and courage.
I am inspired by the tone of voice of this conversation. I got a “Shambhala-feeling.” Good to have a place to express what lives in me on this subject.
Our ability to come together in a genuine and heartfelt way is extraordinary and quite beautiful. It is the core of Shambhala that l love and will work to make our community survive. This has happened again tonight and reminds me of what is important.