The Sakyong has created the Way of Shambhala curriculum for the beginning of our Shambhala Buddhist path and has transmitted many new practices and texts for the Scorpion Seal Assemblies, the most advanced part of our path. Now he has turned his attention to Sutrayana and Vajrayana Seminary, which lie at the middle of our path. The Sakyong has renamed these two pivotal programs. Sutrayana Seminary is now called Enlightened Society Assembly and Vajrayana Seminary is now Sacred World Assembly.
The Enlightened Society Assembly is a Shambhala mahayana program that emphasizes the intrinsic goodness of all beings and society, practices that rouse bodhicitta and compassionate openness, and confident activity that engages fully in the world. In particular, living up to its name, this assembly will focus on how we can create enlightened society on the spot, at home, in our city and nation, and wherever we go.
Participants in the Enlightened Society Assembly also receive and practice the Shambhala Sadhana written by the Sakyong. This practice helps us contemplate these commitments and deepen them over time. The Enlightened Society Assembly brings this sadhana practice together with our previous Shambhala practices, including the dignities, drala, and windhorse practices. As always, this assembly will integrate study, practice, and community, and will expand our inquisitiveness and understanding of the Shambhala Buddhist teachings.
Enlightened Society Assembly will be offered at Karme Choling, February 4-19, 2012 by Ashe Acharya John Rockwell and Acharya Eve Rosenthal. The prerequisites for the Enlightened Society Assembly remain the same as for Sutrayana Seminary.
Sacred World Assembly will be led by Sakyong Mipham Rinpoche with Shambhala acharyas, as usual, and will continue to introduce students to the vajrayana world. Students will receive the traditional vajrayana transmission and begin their Shambhala ngondro – the preliminary practices for receiving the Rigden Abhisheka and beginning Werma Sadhana practice. The Sacred World Assembly is a complete entrance into the sacred outlook of Shambhala.