Coming to us across twelve centuries, the prophecy about the coming of the Shambhala warriors illustrates the challenges we face in the Great Turning–which, from the signs foretold, many Tibetans believe is this very time–and the strengths we can bring to it.
The prophecies tell of a time when all life on Earth is in danger. Great barbarian powers have arisen. Although these powers spend their wealth in preparations to annihilate one another, they have much in common: weapons of unfathomable destructive power, and technologies that lay waste our world. In this era, when the future of sentient life hangs by the frailest of threads, the kingdom of Shambhala emerges.
Perhaps you may be one of the Shambhala warriors. Find out what they do, and what their weapons are, here:
According to the great Buddhist teacher Choegyal Trungpa, the kingdom of Shambhala is not a place. It exists in the heart and minds of the Shambhala warriors. Now is the time when great courage–moral and physical courage–is required of the Shambhala warriors, for they must go into the very heart of the barbarian power, into the pits and pockets and citadels where the weapons are kept, to dismantle them. They must go into the corridors of power where decisions are made.
The Shambhala warriors know that the dangers threatening life on earth arise from our own decisions, our own lifestyles, our own relationships.
So in this time, the Shambhala warriors go into training. They train in the use of two weapons: compassion and insight. Both are necessary. 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 that 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 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.
Adapted from Coming Back to Life, by Joanna Macy and Molly Young Brown (New Society Publishers, 1998). Copyright (c) Joanna Macy and Molly Young Brown. Reprinted by permission of New Society Publishers.
Adapted from Coming Back to Life, by Joanna Macy and Molly Young Brown (New Society Publishers, 1998).