Open Dojo

December 4, 2011 by     Print This Post Print This Post

by Mark Szpakowski

Practice room at Juniper Lodge, Windhorse Farm, Nova Scotia

An ongoing question for various types of Buddhists, especially those who have been in a relationship with someone they consider “enlightened”, is how to carry on in the absence of such an individual. This certainly affects the Vajrayana students of Chögyam Trungpa Rinpoche, with whom they were in a student/master relationship, and whom they considered the authoritative center of an enlightened mandala.

Trungpa Rinpoche’s first teachings on mandala referred to it as society. It is not surprising, then, that the Shambhala [1] students of Trungpa’s secular manifestation as Shambhala King feel the same issue: if you had some glimpse, through his leadership, of what an enlightened society could be, how can you carry on and realize that vision in the absence of such a figure? Is enlightened society possible without an enlightened leader?

In both cases these are profound and edgy questions, and also deeply disturbing to those for whom democracy is the best answer yet to the question of how to govern.

One venue where this has been explored, whether willingly, wittingly, or not, has been at the Alia Institute. Alia – Authentic Leadership in Action – originally the Shambhala Institute for Authentic Leadership, was founded by a group of the Shambhala students of Chögyam Trungpa, who felt that the vision of a society that acknowledges and embodies both the secular and the sacred – beyond religious affiliations, including Buddhism – was worth realizing. The Institute welcomed those who, in technical Shambhala vocabulary, were warriors: those with a strong personal discipline of awareness, openness, and care, without aggression. Beyond welcoming, the Institute discovered such individuals already out there, who also welcomed the Institute back into their own spaces. Over the course of a decade, the Institute grew to not just include, but also to be coming from these individuals and their particular roots. Program after program, the participants built and held a container which felt open yet precise, not ignoring but kind, to the point yet playful. This was done as a cyclically recurring, and somewhat nomadic, community, with several programs a year, many in Nova Scotia, but also throughout the world.

The Open Dojo is one term that has emerged from this. It refers to a space of group practice that does not belong to anyone. It is no man’s land (to use a phrase Trungpa used in this context). It is a practice ground of listening, communicating, and acting. At the same time it is uncompromising, not swayed by wishful thinking and the sly fudging of ego. It is authentic – and its source and guardian is not one central figure, but a community of diverse practitioners. The Dojo is a container for practicing the way. The amazing thing is that it is possible for people, coming from various contemplative and leadership traditions, to recognize each other, and to recognize ground cultivated and allowed by them individually and collectively, held without ownership. This is a challenge – including and especially for those who feel they are holders of an authentic practice DNA that needs protection.

From this point of view, the Open Dojo is the heart of enlightened society. This is true for those who experienced that possibility through the presence of what seemed to be an enlightened being manifesting as leader. It is also true for those who never had such an experience, and may not believe it is possible or desirable, but who nevertheless have aspiration for and experience of Open Dojo.

Does that mean that the idea of a society ruled by a monarch – who, classically, joins heaven, earth, and man – is passé? Looking around us, we certainly see lots of anti-open-dojo patterns in a parade of dictators, kings, powerful individuals and their family dynasties, not to mention elected rulers. But that suggests something further.

How is it that so many smart, tough people in a two decade span late in the 20th century were willing to see Chögyam Trungpa as an enlightened leader? Sudden rememberance: because that person embodied the Open Dojo. He was embodiment of no man’s land: he lived the space where any trace of pretence and ego was obvious, and could not survive. If you thought you knew him, you quickly learned different. This is a scary, yet magnetic, place. Unblinking, yet nakedly genuine – and also attentive and kind.

It comes down to the same thing. At the heart of enlightened society is the Open Dojo, whether held by the group or embodied and held in a single individual. If the erstwhile ruler is not an Open Dojo, the people sense that, and ultimately he or she can neither command nor rule. The inner and personal space of the ruler must itself be no man’s land. To re-coin an old phrase, no man’s land and king are one.

It goes further, of course, because individuals must also hold themselves that way: otherwise, they cannot recognize the presence or absence of the Open Dojo. Before you can consider an external king, you must be king of yourself [2]. And to recognize open space that is genuine yet not owned by any one individual – a group Dojo – you have to a) recognize such spark in yourself, b) recognize it in others, and c) gradually realize that it is b) more than a) that is the path and the goal.

Something interesting opens up here: if the citizens or subjects are not themselves kings and queens of themselves, then even with the most enlightened leader the vision of an enlightened society will not be realized. We cannot get away from it – it is our ground that must be first cultivated and realized in its own open nature.

The Open Dojo is not mythical. It is not the extraordinary of long ago fable or Hollywood movie. It is the extraordinary of the ordinary, whether at an Alia Institute gathering, or at – can we dare – an Occupy the Future gathering, or your next get together. It is necessary for monarchy as well as socialism as well as democracy. It is more essential than any of those forms, because it is the heart of their success, if any.

A final note, in Buddhist language: In 1968 Chögyam Trungpa gave a talk in which he said that Maitreya, the buddha of the future, would not be an individual, but society. For both the religious buddhist, looking up to a “master”, and the secular enlightened society advocate, yearning for enlightened leadership, this is provocative. It says something about how we think, and hints how future society can shape itself.


[1] I am using the term “Shambhala” here in the way Chögyam Trungpa used it, pointing to the idea of an enlightened society that brings together both secular and sacred outlook, inclusive of but not dependent on any one religious tradition. This is not to be confused with “Shambhala Buddhism”, in which Shambhala teachings distinguish a particular form of Buddhism. For an excellent concise summary of Trungpa’s Shambhala vision, see the just published article Ocean of Dharma,  Shambhala Sun (January, 2012]).

[2] Paraphrase from an attendee’s interchange with Trungpa at 1973 “Nine Yanas” seminar in San Francisco.


1,253 Responses to “Open Dojo”

  1. James Elliott on July 6th, 2015 5:23 am


    No you didn’t mention Mahasiddhas, you mentioned yogins, implying they, by virtue of… I don’t know what, have or had the ‚right‘ attitude. I just took it to an extreme to make a point. Even Mahasiddhas… like that.

    John, neither the yogis and yoginis, nor the mahasiddhas and crazy wisdom teachers, nor you or me or anyone you respect, has had exactly the right attitude when they started. Period. If we did, we wouldn’t need to practice. Hence the need for a lot of the practices like Ngöndro or Tonglen for example.

    For myself, mindfulness is just a word. If they aren’t claiming they understand what the Buddha taught, if they don’t claim they are doing it better, or that they have improved it in some way, are not making claims of spiritual enlightenment, who cares? It would be responsible to say from where those therapies were derived, but still… who cares?

    I think basic mindfulness, forget about understanding the true nature of mind, I mean basic mindfulness, like what we are thinking, how that effects what we are doing, and the real possibility of transforming negativity (or neurosis) simply through the power of direct observation is of enormous benefit, and sorely lacking in significant ways, putting aside completely access to higher teachings.

    I talked with a lama once who had been trained in Tibet. He was what we came to call a “Puja lama”. He was taught to do funeral rituals and the like to raise money for his monastery. He said there were lots of rituals like that, and small practices, like a mantra to protect you from harm, or while traveling, or to attract wealth etc. that are given out to people easily. He said it didn’t matter very much, in terms of what we consider ‘genuine practice’ or true understanding of dharma, because until one meets one’s teacher, it’s all dross for the ego anyway. Even if it’s a genuine teacher but one to whom you don’t have a connection.

    I say let them eat cake! Eventually when they are in pain due to cavities, they’ll seek a real doctor, and will be well prepared for contemplative disciplines.

  2. James Elliott on July 6th, 2015 6:02 am


    It isn’t happening yet. It should happen.

    “Enlightened Society” has become a buzzword, never defined in anything but the fuzziest of terms, or in ways that are unreasonable (like: “a society where everyone is already enlightened.”)

    The Greek thing is amazing. They have now voted NO to austerity, without saying no to Europe. Even main stream media is announcing it as “A NO to aid conditions, a YES to democracy.” That’s f_____ amazing!

    Chomsky predicts they’ll be attacked for not towing establishment lines, but Greek leaders have been so transparent, explicit and articulate about not being able to acquiesce to decisions made behind closed doors with bankers and politicians, decisions that even the EU experts themselves have said are untenable and destructive, that they won’t be easy to oust. (Something in the order of 90% of all aid to Greece from the EU, was funneled back to pay off European banks. And they still have the temerity to call it aid for Greece.)

    This vote made this last weekend was almost like a vaccination against a political coupe instigated by the EU, because what the EU really wanted was to destroy this regime’s legitimacy. It’s not a guarantee, but… the democratic legitimacy of this regime is now internationally established. The EU might just throw the bums out, but apparently legally they can’t.

    Also watch the Podemos party in Spain, which is heading towards the same situation as Greece: growing debt, stark austerity measures, and a fed up citizenry. They have a major election this November.

    This is all scaring the bejeezus out of the establishment Cabal in Europe which has for all intents and purposes been transferring huge private debt into the public sphere and making pressure to squeeze taxpayers to pay it, people who had not a thing to do with creating these enormous debts. The EUs been much more closed door about it, more secretive and opaque, but it’s the same that was done in America in 2008/2009 when all relief went to banks, and less than zero was done to improve the economy or employment.

    The EU wants to make an example of Greece, because next will be Spain, Portugal, and then Italy. But they may be forced to change the EU.

    A more enlightened society? I have no idea. More ‘just’ than established regimes? Very likely.

  3. rita on July 7th, 2015 3:35 am

    Dear James et al,

    Yes thank god for the Greeks-that ol democracy thing comes up at times for sure and under such duress the Greek nation-a marvellous outcome. Let’s hope the rest of the European countries take heed as to what has happened.

    Re ‘Enlightened Society’…yes I dont know fundamentally either –but does anyone out there-despite the diktat being promulgated about it now. But any way one could go with that ‘I dont know’ premise and look around at what is happening in the world generally and at one’s own actions within it too. So that’s what I am doing at the present time –not following things I followed in the past going in a criss-cross manner with my intuition about things and people, in CTR’s terms being and living in the phenomenal world-coming up roses sometimes and coming up nutty at other times too-there really are no guarantees as the Man said despite people’s feelings about who should be at the top of all these institutions.

    And just maybe too there should be a re-evaluation of what once was in connection to the world as now, where so many institutions are crashing and dissembling-this seems to me to be the religious process in essence-the push and pull of being in this very lively world.

    So dunno take a stab at Enlightened Society in maybe some different ways than was done in the past, worth a shot, even with modest Frome…so humorous the little group there.

    Aka the technological revolution re dispersing information to the populace will investigate in reference to your last post too, but it seems to be part of the solution in allowing people access to change, and in the intervening years since leaving SI-listening to speakers on the net re governance has been a very enlightening experience in the mundane sense, so thank god for the net also. Yes we really are in a very Open Dojo world as Mark writes of.

    Practically here am involved in inter-faith matters now and organising too the Buddhist convention for the region, both things at times disappointing and awe-inspiring at the same time, but worthwhile endeavours for engaging with the world at large. However, too hoping to relate to other western teachers evolving out there in a less hierarchical sense than of the past-only at the beginning of these relationships so dont know what will come of them.

    So I guess I am somewhat like in Beverly Webster’s position wanting to discuss A suite when Trungpa was dying in Halifax….hmmmmmm and finally, finally realising no more questions haha…yes interesting film Crazy Wisdom….hoho….will have to watch it a few more times.


    Rita Ashworth.

  4. John Tischer on July 9th, 2015 5:00 pm

    An interesting guided meditation….

  5. rita on July 10th, 2015 2:12 am

    ha -u could sell that one to SI-they cud make ze app…plus it looks like SI publicity…got any more!.best Rita

  6. John Tischer on July 10th, 2015 3:50 pm

    Rita, Ha…we both know that that video is too un PC for Sham. Inc…..
    but, I think VCTR would have thought it was funny!

  7. rita on July 12th, 2015 3:11 am

    Ha yeh joking aside…dharma so far from pc’ness…even ‘religion’ so far from pc’ness, history in the West does not proceed linearly and in a clear manner, the Reformation taught us that.

    Trungpa’s nirvana is still doing its thing it would seem-the ‘humpty-dumpty’ dance and many further things may come into existence. Yes couple these two factors together the inexhaustible change in western society and the eastern influx re ideas about Emptiness etc – and who in the end really knows what will happen? No safe havens anymore, no certainties and as Mr T. said ‘no guarantees’, perhaps many still have to learn or apprehend this.

    So much more going with what I feel good about here in a more rounded emotional sense, and abhorring structure because even through the passage of my own life re industry, class, politics, capitalism itself can see them all breaking down.

    Indeed mindfulness to get back to the point maybe touching into this and slightly evolving things a touch, but I agree there could be many charlatans within this movement too as per your vid, but on the edge of things we may get a few true teachers, as happened with the rise of George Fox in 17th century England. Best Rita

  8. John Tischer on July 24th, 2015 10:03 am

    All I Have (to do) Is Dream

    Fantastic, fascinating,
    this dream called life
    once the overdream,
    the overlay, the web
    of thought that tries
    to snare reality, in vain,
    has been swept away.

  9. John Tischer on July 29th, 2015 2:52 pm

    another poem….might as well…some one might look at this site someday and/or get tired of me….


    Most medicines and other pills
    people take are cosmetic.
    Some medicines actually cure
    diseases…penicillin, insulin, high
    blood pressure medication, to give
    a few examples.

    But let’s look at some others.

    Chemo therapy and radiation
    for cancer have horrible success
    rates. They are cosmetics for
    dying people to think that they are
    being treated and everything is
    being done for them.
    How reassuring.

    Painkillers are cosmetics for pain.
    All the psychedelics are cosmetics
    you smear on reality. They can be
    beneficial because they show that
    reality is not solid, but they wear off
    and you’re left with the same old face.
    The revelations vanish like an opium

    An exception to this is Ibogane, which
    does cure physical addiction to opiates,
    but when it’s over, one returns to the
    same circumstances that caused one to
    become addicted in the first place.
    Good luck with that.

    So, real change in humans is
    not possible through drugs.
    Have a nice trip.

  10. rita on August 2nd, 2015 2:03 am

    John et al… the ‘trip’ motif has anyone listened to Dzongsar Rinpoche’s lectures on rebirth at Berkeley. I have been ploughing through it…here the analogy of ‘tripping’ relates to ones mistaken views about Reality…see

    Felt quite heartened listening to this debate at first, then after some reflection even though the discussion pristine and pure thought later how indeed does this at all relate to ‘enlightened society’. In fact Dzongsar very ‘traditional’ and not exploratory re the West-think my kind of thinking here rests on newer exploration of form/s that Trungpa undertook in his lifetime re Art, actual organisation of western society etc. However, Dzongsar despite all his connections to film, western institutions etc is ploughing the same path aka Tibetan tradition and he seems to think this the most exact thing to do without much qualms on this.

    Bit perturbed about this re dharma in our present age, think the future of dharma in the West will be more engaging re different form/s here, and of course this relates too to less stringent connections with Drala.

    Well best. Rita

  11. John Tischer on August 7th, 2015 4:18 pm

    Well, this site seems pretty….dormant now, for the lack of a better euphemism,
    so, I thought I’d interject a joke that VCTR was particularly fond of.

    A man was visiting his friend in Vermont. His friend had a beautiful farm. He was coming for dinner and
    he complimented his host on his beautiful house. They sat down to dinner and were just starting their salad,
    when a pig walked through the room. The pig had two wooden legs. No body seemed to notice, so, at first, the man didn’t say anything to his host. After the salad, they had the main course…German roast duck. The pig continued
    to wander in and out of the room. After a few minutes, the man’s curiosity got to him and he asked the host. “I see you
    have a pig here in your house?” The host replied: “Oh, yes, we love that pig and we take very good care of him. It’s
    almost like he’s part of the family.” The man asked: “What’s so special about that pig?” Host: “Oh, there is no other pig like that….I was plowing the field and the tractor turned over on me, trapped me under it. That pig came and pulled me out from under it….that pig saved my life!” “That’s amazing,” said the man. “No, you don’t understand. The house caught on fire, and the pig dragged us all out, and gave some of us CPR! The Ambulance driver passed out on the way to the hospital, and the pig took over and got us there!! There is no pig like that!”

    “Well, that’s an incredible story, ” said the man, “But.I was wondering, why does the pig have two wooden legs?”

    The farmer paused for a moment, as if he had just heard a stupid question. Then, he said:

    “I’ll make it simple.” said the farmer.”A pig like that you don’t eat all at once.”

  12. rita on August 10th, 2015 3:04 am

    JT, James et al,

    Chug a chug…here is a longer lecture on science, religion, practice, governance etc found on the web which talks of Open systems. It is quite dense and not for the faint-hearted haha but it does say some very interesting things about all these matters, and it is great that the lecture is being given under the auspices of the Tillich name.

    Tillich still interested in because he posits the merging of the sacred and the secular aka shambhala and in his life-time proselytized this from the 1930s, so this discussion been going on for a long time in the west.

    Re the conclusion at the end of the lecture re systems /religion slowly changing and meeting re inter-faith not so sure about this in this regard the religious dimension seems to change at times in immediacy for example in the Tibetan tradition re terma and in the Christian context re revelation.

    At the moment myself exploring inter-faith, dont wholly agree with where it is coming from at present but nevertheless it does offer a more Open state than those being posited by the religious dimensions out there at present. Perhaps I am in my Merton phase hoho-yes wonder what he could have materialised re governance and practice if he had lived.

    Yes it seems to me that stasis abounds aka Trungpa, because people holding on to what was in the hope that things will somehow work out or the wild embrace of the ‘New’ aka SI, which when one really comes to examine it is the old repackaged for a world not quite sure of itself yet.

    Again this is why still miffo-ed that we are listening to stuff like the rebirth thing from Berkeley. Dzongsar should be on a platform with his detractors in the West, things have inevitably moved on and a more Open system is coming into being, whether shoved in to samsara by materialism, Christianity, technology or other forces out there-yes the systems of old will not suffice for what is occurring now, nor will the running to other lamas either.

    Well here is the lecture.

    Best Rita Ashworth

  13. rita on August 31st, 2015 4:02 am

    Yes here some bank holiday viewing re way the ‘religious’ discourse seems to be going at present.
    Jean Luc Nancy, the French philosopher incredible find on the net. He somewhat engaging with Christianity in a deep philosophical sense in positing I believe its connection to ‘lack’ baseness to existence, which could be synonymous with many dharmic ‘explanations’ of Reality. In this respect his philosophy tending to Open systems.
    He is incredible and ingenious philosopher, had a heart transplant and still going…..thank god. So yes exploring his theories in how enlightened society could come down-a lot of his thought like Tillichs. Tillich’s arguments are that Protestantism would lead to exploding the sacred/secular divide-well this described in his book the Socialist Decision, and then he posits after this this would lead into a chain reaction with other ‘religions’. Yes Tillich a game changer like Fromm. I wonder what is going to happen-things seem to be subtly brewing.
    Great Lecture from EGS.

    Best Rita

  14. Damchö on September 18th, 2015 1:29 am

    Just poking my head round the corner to share a link of my own…

    I’ve been listening to the album this song is from and have to say it’s one of the most dharmic CDs to have been released in awhile. (Not remotely in any kind of “preachy” way of course but simply flowing naturally out of the songwriter’s mind and heart — she lived for three years at the Insight Meditation Society, it turns out.) The song is “Oh Hope, My Tired Friend,” from the CD “Making Me Break” by Heather Maloney. She’s from Northampton, MA and has been touring all across the US over the past few years. And getting ever-increasing recognition, including making SPIN magazine’s list of the “five artists to watch in 2015.”

    I feel like people occasionally cover fear/fearlessness in songs but hope rarely gets looked at…

    Impermanence, fragility, tenderness suffuse her music. This one’s a real jewel:

  15. John Tischer on October 26th, 2015 12:02 am
  16. John Tischer on October 28th, 2015 1:09 pm

    The Meaning Of The Term “Dark Age”

    The term “dark age” referes to the times
    the world is now living in. The term comes
    from Hinduism, but is familiar to the Buddhists,
    and is refered to in Christianity as the “end
    times”. So, people for millenia have seen this

    So, what does it mean?

    There are two terms that refer to experience
    that are relevant. One is “natural order”, which
    refers to the tendency of nature to ballance
    and regulate itself in a harmonious, self-per-
    petuating way. The other is “common sense”,
    which refers to humans ability to see things
    clearly and relate to them in accordance with
    natural order.The term “dark age” refers to the
    breakdown of the natural order on the macro
    level, as well as the breakdown of common
    sense on the micro level.

    The breakdown of the natural order is evident
    in the whole world. The creation of radioactive
    isotopes is the epitome of this phenomina.
    These are elements not naturally found in
    nature, that have no use in the natural order,
    and only serve as elements of destruction of
    that order. Althought it may be the essential
    metaphor for this breakdown, the breakdown
    is seen in the imballanced way humans treat
    the environment altogether, and, it’s subsequent

    The breakdown of common sense is also
    completely manifest in human society. Instead
    of a goal of an harmonious relationship with
    nature, which also indicates harmonious society,
    human ego has metastasized into grotesque
    form, intent on conquest and control, totally
    self centered and self destructive, with absolutely
    no concern for the natural order.

    What will happen? There is nothing that can be
    done to reverse the current trend on the macro level.
    This is the dark age, the age of darkness, and that’s
    that. On the micro level, however…on the individual
    human level…something can be done. That is, one
    can wake up to the current worldwide situation and
    not be a contributor to the problem….a news anchor…
    a hollywood actor…a child molesting, psychotic
    politician…a New Age Guru…a soldier…a CEO…the
    list goes on and on. So, on the micro level, we can
    see that the dice are loaded. There are so many
    people exacerbating the darkness of the age
    because of their unconscious relationship to the
    situation that exists, that they seem to have the

    As stated by Gurdjieff:

    “It is precisely in unconscious involuntary
    manifestations that all evil lies. You do not yet
    understand and cannot imagine all the results
    of this evil. But the time will come when you
    will understand.” G.I. Gurdjieff 1916

  17. rita on October 30th, 2015 7:27 am

    John not read much Gurdijieff, but in an English literature sense Forster talks of much the same degradation of civilisation in his story ‘The Machine Stops’ which I watched on British BBC production in the 1960s. Here the people live underground and have become physically unable to walk and they never go out into the outside world, in fact the outside world is completely alien to them.

    Yes British TV amazing in the 60s, the Battleship Potemkin for example really scared me –the steps scene –could not watch it and hid behind the couch-innocent days as they say. And then of course the H G Wells film ‘The Shape of Things to Come’, another magnum opus which talks of the ‘sleeping sickness’ in society. So yes many Edwardians aware of what was happening re industry in the various European countries and around the world.

    And as for the world now….well last Friday was in the pit of history because the Chinese Premier came to town and the local council threw out the proverbial red carpet. To some extent I felt like I was in China, the main square was packed with Chinese people. Anyway did my bit for Tibetan and Chinese human rights by holding up poster about these situations there, but what was more disconcerting was the unbelievability by the Chinese students that we were doing such a thing. Now that was one of the weirdness’s of the predicament but also by the side of me had north Korean refugee who of course had completely different take on the occasion for sure. So yeh the world came to my abode a bus ride away.

    However, I do believe we need to trade with China that is inevitable but we have to do it from a position of strength and not weakness. I believe this is the way Trungpa did things-and I sorta remember some story by Michael Chender when I was in Halifax about this, so yes it would be interesting to hear more about this story as can not remember the full details of it.

    Anyway chugging along with stuff over here with allies as some other people term them-so yes do have many sanghas of sorts happening….wonder how they will all work together to some extent….still investigating this enlightened society thing as pebble in nut. Best Rita

  18. John Tischer on November 7th, 2015 10:03 pm

    Religion And Philosophy

    Religion and philosophy are garbage.
    The study of them is called “garbage collection.”

    Buddhism is neither religion, nor philosophy.
    It is a path, (road map), that utilizes practical
    and concrete means to awaken the natural,
    organic wisdom inherent in all human beings.

  19. rita on November 11th, 2015 3:30 am

    On a brighter note folks from the chinese premier thingie last week, in some meditation groups locally that I am working with, so another outbreak from the nether regions of the Mancunian republic and an engagement with Open Dojo. Plus of course working with loads of other people to foster much wider discussions of enlightened society. I wonder what we will come up with, things are becoming very lively indeed.

    Aka the Chinese premier thingie my advice is if he comes to your city get to the place early otherwise the place can become very stage-managed and red, however, we rabble-rousers in Mancunia did manage to tell him the city was not for sale, as shown in this little clip

    Ok I might sign up to Ocean if they put forth some of CTR’s talks on Shambhala, yes let the debates begin again. I might even write something on enlightened society and shambhala myself soon.

    I am proceeding with dharma on the principle of CTRs advice….i.e. ‘If you landed in Cape Breton with out your credit cards what would you do?’ Aha so in this vein working with other people to foster local takeover of buildings through ‘community asset transfer’ to the public so perhaps some forms of Open Dojo could be practiced within them – worth a few shots and sure similar things could be undertaken abroad with the State stepping back from services.

    Plus Kasung wise has anyone seen Wolf Hall by Hilary Mantel, almost as good as Machiavelli haha!–worth watching, politics in the raw……so centre/fringie. Best Rita

  20. John Tischer on November 16th, 2015 10:23 pm
  21. rita on November 25th, 2015 2:54 am

    JT re our Age aka your post, for example, where is the discussion of wealth redistribution, land reform, the madness of the military in these times etc.
    It seems to me as we go along with the legacy of CTR and his interests in our society and his profession of a more engaged human being with Fromm and others, that we are talking about a radical connection to life.
    I can now see this radicalness being played out in many UK dharma organisations and I am also fomenting discussion of this dissent in a good sense too ha.
    Most religious discourse at this time seems to me be in somewhat of a fog about things because it is not allowing a sense of Open Dojo to mature as Luc-Nancy the philosopher elucidates so well, yes the fogginess is exemplified with what has occurred in the States re holding on to what was and in the ‘creation’ of the New. Dunno from my feelings now things seem to go forward re deep discussion, practice, in a holistic manner so that is why still involved with the bods in the UK re open discussion.
    Yes we have to become more fundamentally engaged with the Great Questions of life out there and not so holed up in our silos, so am breaking down those silos and re-engaging with the Great Washed and Unwashed out there. Well best. Rita

    ps…We have a dharma group….jeez whatever dharma may mean in the coming age, but it is urban to the core –the ‘foreign dralas’ indeed….things are much more passing over and somethings coming into sight from corners of eyes.

  22. John Tischer on March 15th, 2016 2:25 pm

    Acharyas emeriti and deceased are no longer mentioned on the Shambhala website. Mermelstien is the latest one that has “retired”. So now most of the “old guard” is either retired or no longer active. Now, they are even not to be remembered, even as SMR stalwarts. This, to me, is not surprising, since, as that list gets longer and longer, it begins to look bad for the Org.. The fire has almost gone out of this site, as the older students distance gets greater and greater from what used to be the real “Shambhala” of VCTR. SMR once commented in a talk that VCTR’s students didn’t really “get it”, which was not only an insult to his father and his legacy, but was a profound “tell” of SMR himself. As the USA moves ever closer to anarchy, VCTR’s admonitions to leave the country where he established Shambhala look
    ever greater prophetic. I met a Polish gentleman here in Tepoztlan who has lived for some time in Halifax, and is a great admirer of how VCTR’s students have adapted to Nova Scotia, and the contributions they have made there, changing the various aspects of landscape…political, social ect., for the better. It seems these people haven’t needed the confinements
    of an organization, especially this one the way it has gone, for quite some time. This also speaks to VCTR’s vision and wisdom. This is the brilliance of his Buddha activity, and, to my mind, nothing else.

  23. rita on March 16th, 2016 4:58 am

    John this ES thing is not over until the proverbial fat lady sings.

    I do know this to be the case because of my ‘own’ meditational experiences and connection to Shambhala in the 70s. And historically too religions and their coming to be in society fluctuate and we are everso in transition times.

    SI to me at present is the Tibetan thing playing out one of its last tunes, until other things arise in so many places on this earth-perhaps this connected to tribal definitions of shambhala teachings. Yes so many indigenous peoples doing their bit to bring this about and I am making connections to people who come from these traditions.

    ES not limited to the Buddhist dimension as CTR stated several hundred million times!

    Also not been idle on the meditation front either myself with contributions to founding of meditation group and greater connections to dharma people in the city as a whole. In addition wider afield making connections to networks that foster ES in the secular context and here the practice of meditation could be definitely fostered.

    I dont know what is fully happening in NS, but lots of movement in the UK to establish a more rounder connection to all things meditative beyond our silos.

    It would be great to know if anyone in Halifax or NS generally is thinking of going out on their own re groups as to some extent Andrew has done in NF, yes what Mr A is doing somewhat replicates my own feelings about how ‘we’ whoever ‘we’ are should proceed. Best Rita

  24. John Tischer on March 21st, 2016 12:11 am

    Hi Rita,

    Once again, looks like we have our own website here.

    SI to me at present is the Tibetan thing playing out one of its last tune,

    Disagree. The Tibetan thing is not played out at all, in fact, there are some young (meaning early forties) teachers that are dynamite. And, don’t forget, SI has dissociated itself from the “Tibetan thing”, so it’s not representative of what’s happening elsewhere.

    Here’s one:

    Shambhala is doing whatever it’s doing. How relevant it is is anybody’s opinion. But the Tibetan traditions…at least Nyingma and Kagyu, seem to be healthy. There are quite a few teachers in their prime I wouldn’t hesitate to recommend. I don’t know what you can point to so far as “New Age” or new developments for that matter, that have much going for them. The exception would be in the area of plant medicine, which is quite active south of the USA, and is helping with opiate addiction among other benefits. Some people involved with it like to glorify it a bit as a spiritual endeavor, but it’s
    not going anywhere with that, it seems to me. Of course, I’m not in England, so don’t know what’s going on there….just haven’t heard much. It was never a hot bed of Buddhism like USA, or France and a few other places in Europe, was it? Who is this Andrew person you speak of?

    On the other hand, I know of a few old dogs that are still teaching people
    outside of Shambhala Org., (’till they get found out, I guess). And I met a 24 year old man here in Tepoztlan recently who has read everything by VCTR, and considers him his teacher, so, that still goes on.

    Nothing “new” is going to happen, I believe, because it’s the “old” things, the paths and the practices that can never be equaled or replaced. I can’t imagine having better teachers than I’ve had: VCTR, Khandro Rinpoche, and now, Keith Dowman. Tell me anyone outside the Buddhist umbrella that comes close to equalling any of those.

  25. rita on March 24th, 2016 3:41 am

    John here is the nub of my argument for what it is worth

    It’s the enlightened society thing, none of the Tibetans seem to me to be in this area of philosophy for wont of a better word about how life should go.

    As for SI -too hidebound by structure-god how many tiers can you create both meditationally/governmentally. This is not how deep politics is going now, it is more horizontal as in the Middle East with the Arab Springs or social breakdown in the west, but deeply politically people are abjuring linear hierarchies. Everyone is waking up! Yes ES more dynamic ‘principle’ than has been pictured in the US.

    Re the S.American connection-am meeting some western people in the UK about this, but conversations need to go on, i.e. how do indigenous tribes construct society, need more research.

    Also in last 4/5 years as well as checking out dharma, also checking out constructs of society both western/eastern. It has been some journey going on with this re research. Lately been considering the Chartists who wanted annual parliaments, that’s close to some aspects of the shambhala teachings re the local level. So yeh Brit social history does surface some interesting debate.(Check out this lecture from Paul Foot on this, )

    So yeh one meditation group formed and might at a tad be forming another one in a secular context for wont of a better term also-early days with this but had interesting connections with people about the sacredness of secularism. Kerchunk elements of revolution may happen!

    Andrew-referring to Andrew Safer in Newfoundland –seems what he is doing in NF down to earth and collates with where people are at aswell.

    As for the Tibetan thing too, if it does not change soon re structure, it maybe slipping away in the next decades. Thus we really have to investigate CTRs secular teachings properly now folks and not be swayed by what is happening in SI which I dont see going anywhere in our world now as a concrete forward movement in society- yes it is so over and has been for many of my CTR friends I have learned on the net.

    Re the Brit thing,could be that a kind of new religion the phrase that Mr Perks used some time ago-could surface here in an Open Dojo way-a fair number of religions have come into being here in past centuries. Hey presto Open Dojo despite orgs. Interesting that u ended up with Mr D-he a Brit.Best Rita

  26. John Tischer on April 3rd, 2016 1:53 pm

    Parinirvana of Chogyam Trungpa, Vidyadhara 2016

    You’re still dead,
    still alive in my heart.
    Time and space
    are not an obstacle.

  27. rita on April 5th, 2016 5:26 am

    Fyi for people there is an interesting podcast on the Wisdom Publications website, on Bhikku Bodhi’s forthcoming book on the Buddha on Social Harmony. Very interesting discussion of how the Buddha himself worked with people in authority in his own time, which could serve to enlighten people about how to progress with the enlightened society theme.
    For myself increasingly I see more emphasis of the Buddha’s teachings interacting with secular society in a more profound manner than has been done at present.
    The Buddha somewhat stood outside of the political context because of course he was a monastic, but he did influence how governance was done, yes if he was an actual revolutionary he may have not succeeded as well at the time-skilful means as they say. But for our own time I think a more revolutionary consciousness will hold more sway as institutions, ways of living of the past dissemble in this interconnected Age.

    Best Rita

  28. John Tischer on April 5th, 2016 3:15 pm

    as Terrance McKenna said, “novelty” just means “change” so, it could include Fukushima. In the same way, revolution seems imminent, and we all know
    how they transpire historically, and their effects on humanity, so, not really, to me, something to look forward to with starry eyes.

  29. rita on April 6th, 2016 3:07 am

    Aha…it all depends on how we look at the revolution thing, of course I am not talking about the revolutions in purely the western context, although they too did somewhat create many new ways of thinking and connection. However, if we couple peoples growing awareness of the world at large now with a meditative basis that is free from many oldish structures of the past something else will come into actual reality.
    This seems to parley with the actual way dharma ‘evolved’ in the Buddha’s time with the growth of the Mahayana, that is so well written about in Stephen Batchelor’s book ‘Confessions of a Buddhist Atheist’ which puts the historical Buddha in the context of his times and indeed Batchelor even says in this book that the Buddha was into creating a society.
    What came about later in the Indian continent with Ashoka was a Buddhist influenced kingdom but with the proviso of the treatment of all religions on an equal footing with the allocation of funding to these people aswell, so this has echoes to me of an Open Dojo like society, which actually worked in avoiding war and creating some sense of social justice. I was quite surprised when in a book I actually saw the extent of Ashoka’s kingdom-it virtually covered India and of course from this society it allowed him to send emissaries to the rest of the Far East and some in a western direction too. So to some extent I think behind the back of CTRs thinking right from the beginning was the desire for an actual country to replicate the Ashokan experiment/challenge, so this is revolution. But it has to be a revolution that is open to the many, it has to be focussed as Christianity was in the beginning into going beyond its original adherents, we need some one like Paul to start that debate off-what needs to be retained, what will be disposed of in our own cultural and social times.
    I tepidly of course am investigating all this momentum over in GB but I do know the revolution is happening for real in the deep political and religious contexts from my own contemporaries in the UK, yes so many revolutionary journeys happening out there, wonder what will come of them. I am really looking forward to reading the Bodhi book-that monk is pure joy to listen to. Best Rita

  30. John Tischer on April 7th, 2016 2:21 pm

    Asoka was a thousand years ago, so, you’re thinking about the past as the future. And, it’s the Kali Yuga, as we know. Kalu Rinpocha once said to an audience that Buddhists wouldn’t be born at the height of the dark age when cannibalism would be endemic. Don’t like throwing water on your theories,
    but you definitely seem out of touch with reality, as all New Agers seem to be.
    Don’t forget, VCTR was as enlightened as Buddha, and he only had a few thousand students. Buddha himself said that after each 500 year period after his death, the teachings would be twice as hard to hear…so thats 25x harder than at his time. It’s not that we shouldn’t try to help others and pass on the teachings, but it’s hard when everyone is glued to their cell phones. There still are great teachers emerging, like Anam Thubten, but hoping doesn’t do much good. Actions speak much louder than words and speculation. With respect. J.T.

  31. John Tischer on April 7th, 2016 2:25 pm

    …sorry, that should be 1024x harder…..2 to the power of 9.

  32. John Tischer on April 7th, 2016 4:42 pm

    a math friend corrected me….should be 512x harder. Still, that’s a lot harder.

  33. rita on April 8th, 2016 3:21 am

    I take your point that it is harder to practice, even noticed that in my life and things have become coarser in the last 25 years.
    Re KR I saw him in London, he was sprightly tho advanced in years, he rushed in to the room like a young man, can not remember tho what he spoke about, but his energy was enormous it filled the room. But I am taking a rest from the brocades at present..ha.
    Re Ashoka it is useful to know what occurred in that time, how things played out, and it does give one a sense of the largesse of dharma, born out of a state of angst about war. But as to what will be the dharma of the future I still think it rests on the enlightened society theme, ‘foreign dralas’ and all that.
    It seems to me the collision of events/space/need ‘creates’ terma-yes the ‘expectation’ that CTR had when he received SOM. And I think there is a longing in people for something Beyond which will manifest in a grandiose but simple connection with Reality-so not dismissing that outside of the Buddhism.
    So I can not count myself as a rock-bottom dharma nut at present. I dont really know where things will surface now from the ether as it were, perhaps it could be from indigenous cultures, I just get the sense at this time that ‘traditionalist’ dharma is going under, it is not immediate enough, but still reading the shambhala book to get a sense of what is occurring. However, I still have the feeling that SI is limiting re the society to come and the structure/Art does not fully correlate with our cultures.
    So in the last few years have been researching other modes of thinking and indeed the theologian Tillich saw much the same thing too as CTR the merging of the secular/sacred in Protestantism and then that happening in all religions – well this could be the case as the individual is in such an Open Space re Protestantism. Yes Tillich was emphatic that such sacred/secular equalities could not happen in other forms of Xtianity, interesting-correlates maybe with CTR ending up in waspish US. This is an interesting lecture from Tillich which places the individual in this Open Space and his ‘theory’ of Ultimate Concern. Worth listening to
    As for the New Age-well there are new agers and baloney new agers, so not dismissing some of them out of hand, as CTR I think did not. Well best Rita

  34. Damchö on April 10th, 2016 2:56 pm

    John, wait, no, only 32 times harder, I think (?!) There have been five 500-year periods since the Buddha’s death, and 2 to the fifth power is 32. So … there is some hope for us after all!

    Your point stands, but I’m not sure I entirely agree. There’s an enormously greater chance today that a given person from a non-Buddhist culture might come into contact with the dharma than at any previous point in time, isn’t there? In the year 800, or 1400, or even 1800 there was virtually no chance at all. Not until the twentieth century did Buddhist teachings begin to really spread across the West, and arguably not until the 1960s did they start to become easy to contact (at least, as far as the US goes, on the coasts). But today, literally *billions* of people have internet connections and can actually watch, listen to, and read enormous numbers of teachings online.

    True, there are all kinds of other problems, very much including distractedness as you mention. But the present day is both very dark *and* full of unique potential, as I’m sure you’d agree. It’s like every day now is a festival where the effects of our thoughts, words, and actions are multiplied a great many times. But that works in both directions. So we need to seize the moment and make it happen.

    That’s how I see it anyway. The “Kali Yuga,” at the end of the day, is a human invention based on speculation and numerology. We’re humans too, and if we really, really wanted to, we could create a different reality.

  35. John Tischer on April 10th, 2016 3:29 pm

    No, Damcho…

    2500-2000 BCE is one
    2000-1500 BCE is two
    1500-1000 3
    1000-500 4
    500-0 5
    0-500 AD 6
    500-1000 7
    1000-1500 8
    1500-2000 9

    Don’t forget, Buddhism was dominate in Asia…all those countries. You’re right, it didn’t get to the West till around the late nineteenth century. But now we see it’s influence diminishing throughout the world. I don’t like it either.

  36. Damchö on April 10th, 2016 3:33 pm

    But the Buddha died in the 5th century BCE, not the 25th…

  37. John Tischer on April 10th, 2016 3:42 pm

    you’re right……my bad

  38. Damchö on April 10th, 2016 3:55 pm

    No worries — I get plenty of dates wrong. The main point is just to encourage a bit more hope (in the good sense)!

  39. rita on April 11th, 2016 3:00 am

    I take both your points what was re dharma is diminishing, that is a fact I have observed in my own brief existence. But also but not only aha people are talking to each other about certain aspects of dharma that somewhat transcend merely sects, here we can see the growth of the mindfulness movement and increase of western philosophical interest in dharma.

    But as for what now goes on for dharma on the internet so many lamas setting out their stalls as it were, not much dialogue going on between us. So if one looks to the history of ‘conventional’ religions that dialogue has to return, and in our own era it will have to include people we can do business with in an Open Dojoish sense. This is why I do believe CTR left the shambhala teachings so wide open and why what some of us got too has to be open, flexible, accommodating. So this is why have been studying in the last few years open systems which are more and more coming in to being in our Reality.

    In addition if one also looks at the development of Christianity we can see how it went into open system mode after Christ’s death, so this also why the interest in Tillich/Protestantism-there is a parallelness to how dharma might go in the world as to how Christianity went-so how can we say if the secular/sacred divide goes in this dimension that it would also not go in dharma-this why Tillich so interested in some aspects of the dharma and of course he also visited Japan towards the end of his life.

    But any way I am experimenting re practice, not going back to the market stalls, too closed when all around us is the alluring quality of complete openness at this time, and this is not new age foolishness it is merely recognising what is occurring, as I expect Mark saw too with the development of Alia. Best Rita

  40. John Tischer on May 17th, 2016 2:06 pm

    Radio Free Shambhala is a great place to rant….I wouldn’t put it on my blog…somebody might actually read it. But for those actually interested in our beloved Chogyam Trungpa and stumble across it, it serves a good purpose.

    It’s hard to tell what’s taking place in Shambhala.Org these days from the propaganda it puts out. One way I’ve found is to go to the website and look at the activities of the Acharyas. Hayward, the Loppon and Pema Chodren aren’t teaching anything in the Shambhala Org this year. It’s telling that the most senior of The Vidyadhara’s students, teachers close to him, are not active in the Mandala. One could draw conclusions. Also, we know that Larry Mermelstein was fired as an Acharya…the first, I think.

    The only other way to find out about Shambhala is to go to programs. I have an internet friend who also did Shambhala levels in the early days. He recently has gone back to the Shambhala center where he lives, and has taken a few levels
    because he wanted to do some sitting practice. He tells me what the attitudes of the people running the levels is like, and the atmosphere. I consider him to be somewhat impartial. Some teachers convey the old feeling…some not at all. There are group attitudes and assumptions he feels are creepy and cultish.

    I was watching Gladiator the other day, the movie wherein Russell Crowe
    plays the Roman soldier appointed by the Emperor to be the protector of Rome upon the Emperor’s death, but who is usurped by the Emperor’s degenerate son before his appointment can be made public.

    The only parallel I’ll make to Shambhala is that there is nowhere in VCTRs
    teachings, even in the political treatise, that mentions a recourse when the Sakyong himself becomes corrupted. There is no “Protector of the Empire” in Shambhala. The only feedback the Sakyong gets is when his subjects self-exile, as so many of us have.

    Maybe this is not a bad thing. The nature of Shambhala is that it is organic:
    when causes and conditions for it to arise, it is there…if not, it is not there.
    If rain and sun, the crops will grow. A revolution is not necessary.

  41. Mark Szpakowski on May 18th, 2016 7:09 am

    RE “there is nowhere in VCTRs teachings … that mentions a recourse when the Sakyong himself becomes corrupted”, there is this from VCTR’s comments about his will:

    David Rome: If any of us feel that the Sawang is doing something wrong, making a mistake or acting in the wrong style, what approach should we take?

    VCTR: Advisory.

    Recall also that the role of a minister is to advise.

  42. John Tischer on May 18th, 2016 1:55 pm

    Thanks, Mark

    Yes, well after I wrote that, I recalled that the Kasung Ki Kyap might be the only one that in any way has that power.

    Given the way the situation has been on the ground for so many years, it seems that after the Regent debacle, the elder hierarchy lost any will to try
    to administer Shambhala in the vein prescribed by the Shambhala teachings. And what hierarchy there is now seems to be solely a business model.

    For me, there’s hardly enough juice about it left even to joke about it. But I might take odds on which Acharya is the next to leave.

  43. rita on May 19th, 2016 3:02 am

    Fired, interesting.

    Shambhala as Organic. Discuss as they used to write in English O level exams…ha. Orange shall be worn when doing the writing.

    Advisory – myself I tend to ask people who are a bit testy/argybargy about how I should go now, begun to like a lot alt. views, goes for a rich open dojo.

    Ah well.

    Best from the UK. Rita

  44. John Tischer on May 26th, 2016 1:55 pm

    I forgot to mention a couple of other senior teachers no longer active in the Shambhala mandala…Dale Asrael and Martin Janowitz.

  45. rita on May 27th, 2016 5:02 am

    Yeh fired interesting, if that is indeed the case, what would you have to do to get fired from SI?
    I vaguely remember that there was something called in foregone years aka Vajradhatu the Upaya Council where disagreements, cases etc were discussed? Has that gone by the board now? I still think you would need this if ever something else re a new revisioning of shambhala came into being, it would ensure a balance of powers operating in a meditative secular society, which we seem to be going into at the this stage. Yes I saw a report in the Times recently that Christianity losing members as the years go on.
    Also interesting developments re , however, what of shambhala persay? Can this organisation cover it in anyway? Heres hoping we really get what VCTR originally wanted that is shambhala centres devoid of much former dharmic practices from what I can gather of his thoughts on this.
    Re Dale and Janowitz could be many reasons why they are not active, I await more information on this. But it would be interesting if they go to, Dale much involved in teaching meditation teachers, so wonder who they would appoint in her place?
    Ah well myself getting advice from lots of places hoho…its quite wondrous at times, makes for a more enlightened pace of life!

    Best Rita

  46. John Tischer on June 4th, 2016 1:36 pm

    Death….So What?

    If you don’t know
    the meaning of life,
    you won’t know
    the meaning of death…
    that’s just common sense.

    Life is a temporary illusion,
    a mirage,
    a magic trick…

    Seeing it as solid and real
    is a big self deception….
    the biggest, and the cause
    of much unskillful action.

    “He’s fighting for his life!”
    Why didn’t he pay more
    attention when he wasn’t

    Dying is like breathing…
    natural, necessary, and
    usually unnoticed…taken
    for granted or ignored.

    When I was young, I was
    afraid of death because I
    wasn’t ready. Older now,
    I look back at my life and
    see it was a good one,
    nothing to be ashamed of,
    I did the right thing, so, no
    regrets, I could die right now.

    How many people, right now,
    depend on an invisible,
    illusory future, that, once they’re
    there, life will be exactly the
    way they want it? How many
    people have it all, right now,
    and think it will never change?

    Everything depends on
    a little red bird,
    a red wheelbarrow,
    the truth in front of you,
    in life and death.

  47. rita on July 6th, 2016 2:04 am

    Dear Tisch,

    Hello from Brexit and House of Cards land ha. Yes I wonder if finally we are watching the beginning end of parliamentary democracy as we know it, gadzooks n all that! Could have told the politicos that last year when did debate at election period and one dialogued with the people at the proverbial grassroots-yeh they definitely did want change re political systems.
    Anyway nuff of that have you seen
    Yes the bods at the Rime Society in Boulder are inviting a Rinpoche, Khentrul Rinpoche that is, there to speak on Shambhala, very interesting. I have been checking him out on the web and in one talk he definitely does say that Shambhala teachings are somewhat outside of the dharma, this all depends on what Rinpoche you ask about this he states. Its rests on the premise that teachings on the Kalachakra are so beyond our conventional notions of Space/Time-so a kind of lifting out of the our org. dimensions to say the least.
    In addition there is an established tradition in Tibet called the Jonangpa who concentrate on the Kalachakra teachings, they have not been heard of before because only now are their monks coming out of Tibet. So they are a separate sect from the four main schools. Anyway been in contact with this website to see what they up to but as they are in the land of Oz, no feedback as of yet.
    Re all of the above and ‘our’ notion of Shambhala aka VCTR, well there is the connection of Shambhala as being outside of Buddhadharma, but we have not emphasised the Kalachakra teachings, but heyho that could change at the present time due to divergences re the Shambhala teachings as a whole. So we need to dialogue with these lamas about Shambhala for sure. Heres hoping they come to Halifax and of course the Greater Brexitland ha!
    Meanwhile thinking big as rfs has as its banner headline seeing if can go in with some other groups here and do the Kalachakra ceremony which would be a big deal for the city, but could be done in the spirit of social harmony at this time, o well a little musing on this.
    Well best from Brexitland! Rita

  48. John Tischer on July 8th, 2016 8:22 pm

    Hey Rita….

    Welcome back to “our” site. I hope Whomever authentic comes to the States
    and does Whatever good teaching they got. The Dark Age isn’t getting any brighter just now. Instead of looking for a good boat to ship across to the other
    shore, we’re lucky if we can grab onto a life preserver, at this point. I feel anyone who hears a word of authentic dharma at this time is more than lucky.
    Good for Rime society…and good for to attract people in any way to the dharma. We need all the help that can be had.

  49. rita on July 10th, 2016 2:52 am

    Thanks for your comment John re the post about seeing Shambhala from this perspective. I hope the Boulder Rime Society videos the talks with Khentrul Rinpoche and puts it on the web and then can upload to rfs. I look forward to hearing these teachings and seeing what discussions take place.

    It is also interesting to explore the connections between these teachers of the Kalachakra with Trungpa Rinpoche in situ in Tibet itself as they also were located in Kham as it states on their website. Did Trungpa Rinpoche in fact have connections with these teachings as indeed pre leaving Tibet he wrote a long treatise on Shambhala, possibly some of the Jonang teachings could have been mentioned in this treatise. So if that occurred as a possibility how would the Jonang have ‘influenced’ Trungpa – could he have met Jonang teachers indeed? Yes cultural and ‘religious’ history is a strange and often comes down to us through legends, in the UK, for example, we have the legend of the Green Man found in nativistic ‘religions’.

    Another good thing is also noticing the art with the Shambhala Kings on it from this website, so the depiction of these Kings has a long history from India to Tibet so I hope we can explore that too, and how that art could inter-relate with our own culture. Yes back to that ol chestnut of iconography again, but perhaps maybe could do more re the Shambhalian art than at this time the dharmic iconography-well could be the case because of the King/Queen thing. Archetypes maybe in Jungian terms?

    So yes much rich discussion could take place, re the similarities between Jonang and what Trungpa Rinpoche gave us in the recent past.

    Also just read on that the Karmapa has some land on Cape Breton at Baddeck and it has just been ‘consecrated’ with a monk from Kccl going there for this purpose, wondering if this has been gifted by a sangha member or someone else, is called Karma Samadhi Ling. Yes Baddeck quite close to Gampo Abbey, and it is very interesting that much dharma activity is now heading for the ‘island’.

    Well best from the Greater Brexitland. Rita.

  50. rita on January 26th, 2017 8:15 am

    Ps Tisch is the wall to keep the Yanks in not to keep the Mexicans out hoho! Looks like the US is going to be awash in oil soon with the oligarchs.

    Hope u can report from the borders and elucidate what this all means for enlightened society as you watch the concrete ascending.

    Best also from brexit GB –they are going nuts over here too!