Translation:

Taking Conduct to Heart: May 13, 2021

General View around Conduct

When does someone feel safe enough to bring a concern forward? That they’ll be taken seriously, that the process is fair, that they’ll be heard that there won’t be retribution? What does it take to create a safe enough space? It’ll never be totally safe, right? It always has that element of vulnerability.

Every single one of us brings a culture of our own to Shambala. And how do we mesh all the cultures, all the differences, and all the different paths and levels?

There’s a saying, The view is as vast as the sky and the action is as fine as a grain of sand. It’s very spacious, but the protectors will get you in an instant. So there’s sort of a lot of wiggle room, but there’s no wiggle room.

I would like to say these are not new principles or practices to us in Shambala. This is so beautifully working to remind us of what we already know to be true.

I have learned these principles at the feet of people who are thoroughly Shinjanged: my teachers, you know, the Shastris and Acharyas, from the Sakyong himself, from people who are in my cohort, I’ve learned them from making mistakes and being corrected.

But also a lot is just from me watching how people are, the compassion that they bring to the table. When I think about how I was 13 years ago, and I am where I am now, basically, through the love and compassion and kindness that has been have been shown to me, personally to help me to guide me, I am so grateful to Shambhala. So I do want to make that point, lest we forget it.

Bringing Conduct into the Community

The way we bring this into our culture could go one of two ways. People could feel, this makes it very safe, and I can be open and authentic and vulnerable. Or it could go the other way, which is, Oh my God, people are watching everything I do, and I have to be so super careful, and it has the opposite effect. I think it has to do with tone. We want to make sure it creates that former environment, right?

I think we need to give people scenarios that capture the verbal and the nonverbal of positive ways, to give some specifics to it. We could have people modeling it, and even including nonverbal aspects to it so that people can practice, because it is a skill.

So I feel like it needs to be, “Here’s some examples of what might come up, and how to how to deal with it. What are some appropriate ways to show you’ve been upset? And what are appropriate ways to respond?” To give specifics, examples, would help me, anyway.

Every single one of us brings a culture of our own to Shambala. And how do we mesh all the cultures, all the differences, and all the different paths and levels?

What I’m going to bring from this conversation is to really begin to have a lens of awareness about people’s social relationships, in terms of cultural differences. I think we need to start really looking.

I’ve just been thinking about the practices, and how to apply those practices and different types of Shambala environments that we find ourselves in. How do you be kind and open and warm and inviting to people that are maybe for the first time dropping in, or in the pressure cooker of a retreat environment?

These practices, as we said, they’re nothing new, but it’s just finding ways that we can remember them, and remember to breathe—to just be there, just relate to each other, human to human.

I’m just becoming aware of the notion that what restorative justice means is that when something bad happens, everybody is impacted: the person who causes the harm the person who was harmed, but also the whole community, is also part of the harm, or whatever happened. And I think there’s a whole new idea that healing has to take place. And it takes a lot of conversations for that to happen.