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Shambhala Meditation

Chogyam Trungpa, founder of Shambhala meditation and Shambhala International states in his teachings about the Shambhala Vision and Shambhala meditation that all humans possess fundamental natures of warmth, intelligence, and goodness.  These natures are often suppressed, but can be cultivated and expanded through deliberation and the practice of Shambhala meditation.
 He has stated that “the Shambhala meditation teachings are based on the premise that there is a basic human wisdom that can help to solve the world’s problems.”  This wisdom is not presumed to emanate from any one culture, religion, or practice of rumination.  The goodness and warmth of each person can be covered by fear and egotism.  The journey to becoming fully human requires that one see through this fear and wake up to discover the natural intelligence.  The journey of awakening is called the path of the warrior, because of the bravery required to face one’s own mind.  The Shambhala path of meditation requires the practitioner to also learn many other practices of reflection.  This consideration helps us to break through old habits and ego, to awaken fully to the joy of living in the world.

The following point of view is taught by Chogyam Trungpa. In Tibetan Buddhism, Shambhala is a legendary mystical kingdom hidden beyond the peaks of the Himalaya mountains.  Several ancient texts speak of this kingdom, including the writings of the Zhang Zhang culture, which preceded Buddhism in Tibet.  The word Shambhala is from Sanskrit, meaning “the place of tranquility.”  This place is thought to be a society where all inhabitants have achieved enlightenment through contemplation.  The location of this mystical society is unknown, but it is often said to be in central Asia, to the north or west of Tibet.  Alternatively, Shambhala can be said to be a kingdom of the mind and meditation practice.  In these views, Shambhala is the enlightened society that all people, regardless of faith, can aspire to and realize. 

Though Shambhala meditation is rooted in Buddhism, it is a new expression of the spiritual journey.  Shambhala meditation is available to and practicable by members of any tradition.  This important tradition allows its practitioners to live in this secular world with courage, compassion, and joy.  The Shambhala teachings permit the connection with natural powers and the energy of the world.  Combining various traditions into an elegant whole, this path is contemporary, yet effective.  Through following the tradition of Shambhala meditation, it is possible to retain the natural birthright of intelligence, wisdom, and compassion.

By Karen Basfield

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