A Bodhisattva-Warrior Community Weekthun
My last post indicated that I was struggling with the ‘whole Shambhala Thing’ since the news about Sakyong Mipham Rinpoche broke. I did a lot of soul-searching before I arrived at my decision to maintain my connection to the Shambhala Sangha. I am doing so with an open mind and heart, secure in the knowledge that the teachings are valid. The head messenger is not at this stage worth my time, but the community is worth supporting.
I stayed away from Shambhala for 6 months while I sorted out my feelings. Over that time I kept up with my daily (almost daily!) meditation practice, and with reading the Dharma.
I have determined that the revelations about the Sakyong are a Dharma Gate more than anything else. The news has been a wake-up call to the entire Sangha, and I refuse to turn my back on my refuge vows over a fallen guru.
I went back to Shambhala for a Shambhala Meditation day. I met up with my closest friend in the sangha. We took refuge on the same day and have been in many classes together. When she saw that I had returned to the Centre, she burst into tears–in a good way–because she was afraid that I had turned my back on the community. We had a good talk, and I mentioned that I planned to go on retreat–a Winter Intensive weekthun December 26-31.
I am looking forward to the Weekthun for three reasons. First, it will be great to be re-immersed, along with other like-minded people.
Second, the daily topics, like Tonglen, are of great interest to me. I love tonglen practice.
Third, as a Bodhisattva Warrior Weekthun, I think it will be a valuable tool in preparation for taking my next vow, the Bodhisattva Vow
The Bodhisattva vow is the vow taken to liberate all sentient beings. Taking this vow is to be placed in the service of others.
I am doing a lot of reading on the way of the Bodhisattva, a guide to cultivating the mind of enlightenment, and to generating the qualities of love, compassion, generosity, and patience.
Along with taking the bodhisattva vow, my 2019 project is to devote the year to the practice of Lojong and its 59 ‘slogans’, designed as an antidote to suffering.
“Lojong (Tib. བློ་སྦྱོང་,Wylie: blo sbyong) is a mind training practice in the Tibetan Buddhisttradition based on a set of aphorisms formulated in Tibet in the 12th century by Chekawa Yeshe Dorje. The practice involves refining and purifying one’s motivations and attitudes.
The fifty-nine slogans that form the root text of the mind training practice are designed as a set of antidotes to undesired mental habits that cause suffering” [Wikepedia]
The hilarious thing is that for the last year or so, I was practicing Lojong without even knowing it! I was displaying Pema Chodron’s compassion cards in my office without even knowing that the 59 cards matched the 59 slogans. D’oh! I should have read Pema’s instructions more carefully!