The Shambhala Lineage Festival held in September was an opportunity to explore how, as Shambhalians, we can personally, communally, and globally take basic goodness as the guiding force in our lives. It asked the question – with the world at a social and environmental crossroads – can we arouse our bravery and confidence to truly establish enlightened society?
The Festival arose out of the responses sent to Sakyong Mipham Rinpoche by those in the Shambhala community who contemplated the questions he posed in “The Letter of the Morning Sun”. In that letter, he asked us to think about how we would like to apply basic goodness to our lives, to the vision of Shambhala, and to the world. Many of the responses he received expressed a wish to be able to make a formal commitment to the vision of creating enlightened society.
The Shambhala Vow
Hundreds of Shambhala members became the first people to take the new Shambhala Vow with the Sakyong as an acknowledgement and proclamation that basic goodness is the essential nature of humanity. The vow celebrates a person’s connection to the Shambhala Lineage and to the practice of meditation as a way to realize that goodness more fully. It is open to people of any religion who have made such a connection to Shambhala.
The Enlightened Society Vow, the second of the two new vows the Sakyong has introduced, goes further, stating that basic goodness is the nature of society itself. In addition to proclaiming that view, taking the vow is making a commitment to work tirelessly towards realizing a society of greater goodness. The Sakyong welcomes our more advanced students who have either been to, or are near to attending, a Sutrayana Seminary or Warrior Assembly, to take this vow.