Dear Shambhala Students,
I hope that this letter finds you doing well in your practice and life.
It has been quite some time since I have had the opportunity to see many of you. However, you are continuously in my thoughts and heart.
Like a mist, you are always present.
Like a dream, you appear but are elusive.
Like a mountain, you remain an immovable presence in my life.
It has been moving to receive your many letters, messages, and poems, which have expressed how you are doing, the challenges you have been facing, and how your practice, retreats, and programs are going. You have also been asking how I am, and how the family is doing. We are all doing well. This time has also given me the opportunity to do retreats, pujas, and other practices for the well-being of everyone.
Recently the Shambhala Board asked to meet with the Sakyong Wangmo and me, and we were able to re-connect. In our meetings, they shared updates on the organization with us including the progress that has been made on the Care and Conduct Policy, the finances, and the state of the community. We appreciated hearing these updates and are supportive of the Board’s leadership, their efforts on behalf of the community, and the direction of these initiatives.
We also discussed different supplications from students and practice centers for teachings and abhishekas later in the coming year. I expressed to the Board that our lineage is based on practice, and that I would continue to support students on this path. If students make heartfelt supplications for teachings, then naturally I will do my best to fulfill their wishes.
In fact, during this time of instability in the world, it has become even more clear that the teachings, and particularly the practices of Shambhala based on the termas, are more important than ever. Certainly, I intend to do whatever I can to make sure that these teachings and practices are able to continue so that this and future generations will benefit from them.
This has been a difficult and uncertain time. Many of us have struggled about how to go forward. However, I feel that deepening our commitment to practice and the lineage is a powerful way to move ahead. I know that many of you feel the same way, and I invite you to join me in this effort. The best way for us to do this is by strengthening our connection to these teachings through practice.
Therefore, I encourage you to continue your own path of practice, or to begin again at the beginning. You can do this by contemplating basic goodness, stabilizing your mind, reflecting on the four reminders, taking refuge in the three jewels and awakening bodhicitta, looking at the nature of mind and the nature of fear and fearlessness, arousing lungta, invoking the dralas, deities, and protectors, and calling upon the lineage.
In fact, it is through practice that we can stay connected. This lineage of practice is the heart of the Shambhala teachings.
I make deep aspirations for your well-being, for the well-being of Shambhala, and of the world.
With love and blessings,
In the news
|23 Jan 2020||The Coast||Pema Chödrön calls out Shambhala leader over sex abuse|
|18 Jan 2020||The Washington Post||Famed Buddhist nun Pema Chodron retires, cites handling of sexual misconduct allegations against her group’s leader|
|16 Jan 2020||Shambhala Times Community News Magazine||Letter from Ani Pema Chödrön|