Being the World
My first posting to my first blog!!!
The concept of ‘being the world’ is that we are inseparable from the world we live in, and that the change we want to see in the world is within us, and we must live and act today as if we are already living in the world we dream of.
Part of this ‘world’ is conceptual (and visionary), and in trying to ‘be the world’ means I have to start with changing myself, so that through me the world I dream of may emerge.
Changing myself is certainly challenging. Many times I am confronted by my own incongruence of what I say and what I do. As I learn and grow with others who are on similar journeys I am also faced with the ever evolving and ever emerging vision of the world.
This journey is sometimes full of joy and sometimes full of frustration but always full of learning. In this space I share my thoughts, feeling and experiences of trying things out in the world. I would like to meet you in this virtual space we have created so that we may link hands and minds and learn from each other in our journey.
I like the mythology of the Shambhala Warrior that explains the journey of people like you and me.
Coming from almost twelve centuries from the Tibetan Buddhist tradition, ‘Shambhala’ has many interpretations. It is thought to be a mythical kingdom hidden somewhere in Tibet. There is reference to the Shambhala prophecy. Some thinks it is the inner spiritual transformation of people across the world, some think it is an external event that will unfold at a particular time. The explanation I like best is the one where it is prophesied that there will come a time in the history of the Earth and the history of human beings, a time of great danger, violence and destructiveness, and as earth’s living beings fights for its survival, the kingdom of Shambhala emerges.
The concept of Shambhala and Shambhala Warriors is so beautifully written in Joanna Macy’s 'Coming Back to Life, practices to reconnect our lives, our world' (reference 1 below), and I quote her here (as I am hoping it will motivate you to read the rest of her book).
“You cannot go there, for its not a place; it’s not a geopolitical entity. It exists in the hearts and minds of the Shammbhala “Warriors”. Nor can you recognize a Shambhala Warrior when you see her or him, for they wear no uniforms or insignia, and they carry no banners. They have no barricades on to which to climb to the enemy, or behind which they can hide to rest or regroup.”
It is thought that the work of the Shambhala Warrior is most important at this particular time in human history, when the Earth is reeling from the impact of human activity, when humans are at war with each other in every corner of the globe, when the economic and financial system that dictates the way people live starts crumbling and when the actions of human beings annihilate other human beings.
Shambhala Warriors know that the ills of this world are “mind made”, and “in this time, the Shambhala Warriors go in to training”. They train using the weapons of compassion and insight.
“You have to have compassion because it gives you the juice, the power, the passion to move. It means not to be afraid of the pain of the world. Then you can open to it, step forward, act. But the weapon by itself is not enough. It can burn you out, so you need the other – you need insight in to the radical interdependence of all phenomena. With that wisdom you know that it is not a battle between “good guys” and “bad guys,” because the line between good and evil runs through the landscape of every human heart. With insight into our profound interrelatedness – our deep ecology – you know that actions undertaken with pure intent have repercussions throughout the web of life, beyond what you can measure or discern. By itself, that insight may appear too cool, too conceptual to sustain you and keep you moving, so you need the heat of compassion. Together these two can sustain us as agents of wholesome change. They are gifts for us to claim now in the healing of the world.”
This way of being, is similar to the description of the Tempered Radical (reference 2 below). Tempered Radicals are people who are part of a system and works from the fringes, from within, to create change.
The mythology of the Shambhala Warrior and Tempered Radical fills me with energy and self empowerment to act, to change and make a difference.
It teaches me to be compassionate towards those who maybe hurting themselves and others, but also have the power to use my own wisdom and insights to awaken them. I can be humble and be compassionate towards my own human fallibilities, when I find I am incongruent in what I say and what I do. It is an opportunity for me to raise my awareness of that gap, and the existence of that gap in others, and see how I can be authentic in my own actions.
It reminds me to do what I do, with responsibility for the purity in my intention and for the impact of my actions. It liberates me to be without attachement to the outcome of my actions. Small steps I take could have big impact. (There is so much more to explore about what I have just said in this paragraph - so more about the 'why' and 'what' of what is said will be posted later).
This blog is a space for me to 'word my world’ in to being and to explore and share my experiments and adventures in the world as I journey to find my Shambhala Warrior within. It is a space to invite your comments and stories so that we may both enrich each other as we co-create the world we dream of.
Welcome fellow Shambhala Warrior!
(1) Macy, J. M., & Brown, M. Y. (1998). Coming Back to Life : Practices to recconect our lives, our world. Gabriola Island: New Society Publsihers, pp 60-61
(2) Meyerson, D. E., & Scully, M. A. (1995). Temered Radicalism and the Politics of Ambivalence and Change. Organization Science , 6 (5), 585-600