“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 http://www.creatingsociety.com/ . Below is a short inspiring clip from angel Kyodo williams.