The Wisdom of Shambhala


There’s always the primordial dot: that spark of goodness that exists even before you think. We are worthy of that. Everybody possesses that unconditioned possibility of cheerfulness, which is not connected purely with either pain or pleasure. You have an inclination: in the flash of one second you feel what needs to be done. It is not a product of your education; it is not scientific or logical; you simply pick up on the message. And then you act: you just do it.

That basic human quality of suddenly opening up is the best part of human instinct. You know what to do right away, on the spot —which is fantastic. That is what we call the dot, or basic goodness and unconditional instinct. When you have an instinct of the real instinct, you don’t think: you just feel, on the spot. Basic trust is knowing that there is such a thing as that spark of basic goodness. Although you might be in the worst of the worst shape, still that goodness does exist.

From trust comes renunciation. Renunciation is traditionally a term for rejecting or giving something up. But in the Shambhalian use of the term, renunciation is not giving up something like alcohol or cigarettes or sex. Renunciation here is connected with knowing—or with a general sense of discrimination. Discrimination, from the dictionary’s point of view, might mean throwing away something bad and picking up on something good. But discrimination in the Shambhala world means clear seeing or clear thinking….Renunciation doesn’t mean that you develop one-upmanship and criticize or reject others who haven’t practiced. We simply take pride in our own life, our own existence, our sparkiness, brilliance, fearlessness and warriorship. The joy of basic goodness is the key to that.

Excerpt from The Wisdom of Shambhala

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