Creating Enlightened Society

grandmothers' wisdom

“On the altar in my hermitage in France are images of Buddha and Jesus, and every time I light incense, I touch both of them as my spiritual ancestors. I can do this because of contact with (Martin Luther King, Jr., Thomas Merton & others) these real Christians.” ~Thich Nhat Hanh, from Living Buddha, Living Christ

I experienced a burst of inspiration attending the Creating Enlightened Society conference sponsored by Shambhala. Being amongst exotic religious symbols and those who practice with them felt a little uncomfortable at times, but I acknowledged the feeling, while also acting on feelings of curiosity and safety. Here are passages from a few of the teachers.

Sakyong Mipham Rinpoche is the head of Shambhala, a global network of contemplative communities, grounded in the power of creating enlightened society in everyday life and the inherent goodness of humanity. “To create enlightened society requires being where light meets darkness, where love meets fear. To be with where we are as a global community, cultivating inner development, aware of its impact on society. Go beyond personal and spiritual borders. Gratitude for our lineage; someone else has experienced this and we are a continuation.” “Are we brave enough to invite differing opinions, beliefs, emotions, and accept them, even if we don’t like them? Can we move out of ‘I’ towards the ‘we’?”

Chade-Meng Tan is a Google pioneer, an award-winning engineer, a New York Times bestselling author, and corporate meditation trainer. “It’s all about letting go. Using skillfulness in the effort. Consider sleeping, which is also a process of letting go, we cannot force it. Meditation, like sleep, requires that we create conditions which allow it to happen naturally.” Meng has set creating world peace in his lifetime as an aspiration. This informs his actions of training engineers and managers at Google and other corporations to experience meditation’s benefits of peace and insight. “Sit for at least one breath a day. Create some momentum. Over time, meditators will dominate corporations because wisdom and compassion create greatness.”

Rev. angel Kyodo williams is a maverick spiritual teacher, founder of Center for Transformative Change and an author. “We can get lost in this big idea of creating an enlightened society and get stuck, thus not fulfill our fruition. Get in touch with our own hearts and ground our heart’s yearning. Can we explore ourselves and be vulnerable with others; expose our heart, create a collective aspiration, create dharma communities that express the universal truth of our basic human goodness?” “We must take steps together, offering our physical presence.”

Throughout the conference, during presentations and breaks, I felt a sense of ease and acceptance with those liked minded, and those with other perspectives. Stepping outside to enjoy the brisk, wet winds off the SF bay offered sudden alertness to senses. I will carry with me a continued practice of manifesting thoughts and feelings of belonging, over separateness. I’m interested in knowing what has inspired you lately. And how to continue moving towards an enlightened society.

More info about the event and speakers at . Below is a short inspiring clip from angel Kyodo williams.


9 thoughts on “Creating Enlightened Society

  1. brucethomasw

    David – thanks you for the summrary of this conference and the links as well. I listened to the clip from Rev. angel kyodo, and then visited the conference website, and listend to the clip by Bishop Andrus, on subtle activism. This is very helpful to me personally. You ask near the end of the post “what has inspired you lately?”In answering this there are 2 things:

    1) Last night, I watched a video with my wife called “King – go beyond the dream to discover the man”. In the documentary Condlleza Rice spoke of her being kindergarten friends of one of the 4 little children who died in a church bombing during the civil rights movement. My wife and I discussed the video this morning. Reading your post about and listening to angel kyodo, about repsect for each person, irregardless of their politics or whatever – that is diificult for me – but I realize it’s essential. An ex klu klux klan member spoke humbly and with introspective remorse, about his experiece, especially in being forgiven by the family of a person he was partly responsible for murdering. I was also so inspired how Martin Luther King, came out against the vietnam war (againsat much advice), naming triplet injustices of racism, poverty, and militarism. With my own personal struggles being male in the male dominated culture, I’m sure if Martin was alive today he would add to that list – patriarchy, and probably eco-cide. And although this isn’t an inspriation, I never realized how young he was – how young he died.

    2) Another inspiration happened for me this past week where I live in BC Canada. For the first time ever, a member of the green party was elected to our legislature – Andrew Weaver is a cliamtatolgist from University of Victoria. I was so inspired about this, that I wrote a complete post about it – even including the Dalai Lama! Here is a link to it. I’m pretty sure you won’t mind, as it is ultimately it’s about interconnectednsss, and enlightenment too!

    Your empowering post, is the first and only blog I’ve looked at and read today. You have so insprired me, that now I am now going to turn off my computer and go out to our garden – and as I work there, I will do so with joy and in meditation. Thank you for helping me personally, in working towards wholeness – and to be a more loving and respectful person.

    Peace to you, and all . In friendship . . . Bruce

    1. smilecalm Post author

      Enjoyed your post, Bruce. Appreciate your compassionate actions and sharing. Humbled knowing that these words offered some inspiration today. Seems you’ve taken to heart the notion of removing the obstacle and finding common ground and harmony. I’ll follow your lead regarding being more loving and respectful, david

  2. mkesling63

    This is a great post and video. You had me all the way until the end of the video. I was going to reblog it now no. Profound responisilbity is not any individuals. It is the profound resposibility to guide and and let go. I see here a very dangerous line with me. Poeple need to learn their way to become their own peacekeepers. Practice what you preach. If you are so sensitive to take everybody home with you to appoint you self appoint yourself a savior, you have more issue then the others. People are capable of chossing their own saviors and hero’s.

    1. smilecalm Post author

      Thanks for sharing. I understand and agree that it’s difficult to accept all of what others believe. Still we do are best to live in harmony. Be well.

      1. mkesling63

        Sure it is without constant conversion demands on every audience. Good Luck. It was great I like this blog but the preacher you hired there really turned me off. It is my profound duty to keep myself not somebody else to keep me as an adult.

  3. harulawordsthatserve

    I’ve beem imspired by re-visiting some wonderful poetry, by Hafiz, Rumi and others of that ilk. I’ve been inspired by how a close friend has been so present and compassionate with the recent death of her sister. I’ve been inspired by the invitation to talk to a small group about my ‘inner life’ and what that means to me, which made me realise how important it is to let that inner life beome wholly integrated with the outer, by expreissing that peace, compassion and love we find within. I’ve been inspired by being in the company of another friend’s newborn baby son.

    1. smilecalm Post author

      I’m inspired by your open hearted sharing. To feel connected to others, offer true presence and feel valued for the gift I may offer also inspires me. Wonderful to also touch the beautiful words of Persian spiritual ancestors. Offering you a smile Harula!

  4. Pingback: The Versatile Blogger Award! | Blazing Light, Love's Song

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