Walking down the streets of New York City we make a choice every single moment about how to engage with ourselves and the world around us. We may choose to narrow our gaze down at the gritty sidewalk, succumb to the claustrophobia of surrounding strangers’ bodies, avoid eye contact, or feel isolated by looming skyscrapers. But in doing so we become be tight, rigid, and inaccessible—building barriers between others and ourselves.
But there is another option. We could notice the sparkle in the pavement beneath our feet, feel our bodies moving through the vibrant space of the city, and look up and out. We can choose to breathe, feel and simply be—to invite the world in rather than resist it.
This richness and present moment awareness is always available, but it’s easy to forget in the midst of our fast-paced city lives. How do we stay grounded in ourselves and connected to others in our busy day-to-day existence? How can we address the immense challenges that face our world if we’re struggling to find contentment in our own frantic lives? Sakyong Mipham Rinpoche—an American raised, high Tibetan lama and head of the Shambhala Buddhist lineage—will visit New York City this November to discuss these very issues.
On Friday, November 8, Sakyong Mipham will give a public talk called Rising to the Challenge, sign copies of his latest book The Shambhala Principle, and discuss elements of his book that makes ancient wisdom from the past accessible and relevant in the twenty-first century. It details the potential of humanity to cultivate enlightened society in this very moment by connecting with our innate brilliance and wisdom—a basic goodness that exists within the core of every individual.
In The Shambhala Principle, the Sakyong writes:
“Basic goodness is not something that is experienced only in deep meditation. Rather, it is alive, humming through the universe as an elemental energy that is very ordinary.
Obstacles and challenges may arise, but they do not reduce the enlightened qualities at our disposal. If enough of us can feel our goodness, then, in a period of difficulty, society will not break down but actually become stronger.
As more of us discover our goodness, it will reverberate, and good society will occur, creating perpetual inspiration, movement, and success. Nowness will be celebrated. It will become the basis of schools and education, the economy, and even agriculture. This will happen because humanity has consciously reactivated its goodness, the latent power within all our everyday drama, speed, and stress.
If we can reprioritize our values and return to a natural balance that incorporates our worthiness, we will recognize that the true gold standard of humanity is goodness, from which confidence and virtue arise. This is how we will enrich the future of humanity.
Acknowledging our own worthiness and goodness, we can share it with others as a universally human expression.”
And together—by touching our own hearts, cultivating clarity of mind, and celebrating our human existence— we can create enlightened society in this very moment, even in the busy streets of New York City.
To discover more, join Sakyong Mipham Rinpoche for Rising to the Challenge on November 8 at the New York Society for Ethical Culture at 7 pm. Tickets are available here.