Shambhala Sun | May 2014
Who Are We, Really?
Although the world gives us plenty of evidence to the
contrary, human nature is basically good, says SAKYONG MIPHAM. Believing in humanity’s basic goodness is our hope for the
the deepest minds have come to the conclusion that there is something
profoundly worthy about being human. In the Shambhala tradition, we call this
the sun of basic goodness. The sun is a symbol of life, warmth, and wholeness,
like the wisdom that is naturally within the mind. When we practice the view of
basic goodness, we enter the heart of being human by connecting to our inherent
Right now there
seems to be a not-so-subtle feeling that humanity is bad. The tragic stories we
read in the news are often a sign that people are not connecting with their own
and other people’s goodness. The moment we do not respect ourselves or others,
we have bought into a system that destabilizes our dignity as individuals and
as a society. For what is society but a network of relationships among people?
How we conduct our
lives is based on our values and understanding of ourselves. Through the
ceremony of daily life humans collectively perform, we contextualize our
existence and come up with a sense of self-identity. At the same time, our environment
has a tremendous influence on our sense of who we are. Based on this feeling of
self-identity, we determine how life will proceed. This is what the Buddha
Sakyong Mipham Rinpoche’s most recent book is The Shambhala Principle: Discovering
Humanity’s Hidden Treasure.