The Sun and The Rays Come Together

This is very much the lineage I’ve been asked to hold, and it’s actually taken us this much time to align and be strong. I see this lineage of basic goodness as the sun, and enlightened society as the rays. Put the sun and the rays together and you have brilliance. I am happy to say that the sun and the rays have come together, and it has taken thirty-six years.
Sakyong Mipham Rinpoche,
Shambhala Day Address 2015


The Sakyong’s Shambhala Day Address 2015 – click here to see/read!

The Sakyong’s address this year was truly a masterpiece of simplicity, approachability, and also a skillful foretelling of Shambhala’s road ahead.  In his mention of the sun and rays coming together, there is much to understand what that image is alluding to.  Our community has continued to grow in regards to numbers of practitioners and reach amazing depths of personal potency/integrity.  This is an example of how the sun – the lineage of embodiment of basic goodness, which is accomplished by those brave practitioners who taste their confidence day in and day out; and the rays – the Shambhala community cultivating a culture of kindness are coming together.

After serving as the Garsung (head Dorje Kasung of a program) for Sacred World Assembly this last summer, I am certain that many of our blossoming Sangha (Buddhist community), those who have dedicated themselves in the Way of Shambhala, are a powerful sign that our Denver center flourishes with many centers.  Boston, LA, the Bay Area, Chicago, Rocky Mountain Shambhala, and so many more areas across the globe are offering the heart of the Shambhala practice and study path along with cultivating a powerful community.  Please take a look at what happened in our Shambhala mandala (20min long):

Year of the Wood Horse in Review 2014-15 Video

If you would like to contribute to our Shambhala Day Fundraiser, please do so here.  This Shambhala Day, we are supporting the Unified Giving, which impacts all of the Shambhala mandala.

Another way that you can contribute is in this entry into the new year, is to return to the powerful practice of reflection and aspiration.  The following instructions are questions from The Letter of the Morning Sun, which was a seminal letter from our Sakyong during his year long retreat in 2010.  Please write this down for yourself to reflect on over the Wood Sheep year.  A practice calendar is an excellent place to do so!  You can purchase them at SMCD’s bookstore for $5.

Wood Sheep Practice Calendar

Making an Aspiration for the New Year of the Wood Sheep 
an excerpt from The Letter of the Morning Sun by Sakyong Mipham Rinpoche

In any case, it is clear that Shambhala’s main asset will be its people. Therefore, I hope that as a community we can work on our own culture and society. Can we be truly kind and generous with each other? We certainly are not bringing anything new to the table by just complaining about the world; we ourselves need to think of solutions and alternatives. Each wrong we see should engender a deeper commitment to our kindness.

Within my retreat, I have pondered three questions that have been very provocative and illuminating. These questions have led me to write this letter. I would like to ask each of you as a Shambhalian to contemplate them and send me your answers before the conclusion of my retreat. Not only is this a very meaningful exercise, it also allows me to see your feelings, insights, and commitment to our vision. Thus, as we enter into the next era of Shambhala, we can begin with unity, rapport, and clarity.

1. What personal commitment will you make to practice and study?

Since personal training and transformation is a lifelong journey, it is the method by which we constantly remind ourselves that, as beings with tremendous potential, it is up to us to constantly see each day as an opportunity to deepen and grow—that in fact the journey itself is the joy of life.

2. What will you offer to Shambhala?

Shambhala is a profound lineage, but its goodness and glory depends solely on the commitment of its warrior students. This sublime wisdom is our responsibility.

3. What do you aim to do in the world as a Shambhalian?

The ultimate purpose of Shambhala is to benefit the world, to reawaken basic goodness in all of humanity. This is the way we can manifest fully as warriors and benefit the world.

If all Shambhalians can contemplate these three questions at this critical juncture, it will help clarify and strengthen who we are, what Shambhala means to us, and how Shambhala can actually manifest in the world. I feel that if we as a community can take a moment and separate ourselves from the current of our lives to contemplate these questions, such communal self-reflection could considerably help clarify and strengthen our entire mandala. This in turn will give us depth of mind and character to take our vision into the future.

These three questions have been incredibly beneficial for my own path. Through contemplating them, I have realized that my clarity and commitment has grown. As we move forward as a community, and as our connection deepens as teacher and students—as well as warriors of awakenment and human beings—a healthy, strong, and more loving bond can occur. I feel pleased that I am able to communicate this with all of you; our rapport is healthier than ever before. For many years people expressed their feelings to me, and now I feel like there is trust and love for me to express my feelings to you; certainly my love for all of you has grown tremendously.

Click Here to View Full copy of the Letter Of The Morning Sun

compiled & written by Nathan Railla, who is the Shambhala Meditation Center of Denver Director.