Rise and Thrive



Basic Goodness and the Shambhacolypse



There is no need for self-improvement.
All these trips that we lay on ourselves—the heavy-duty fearing that we’re bad and hoping that we’re good—never touch our basic wealth.
They are like clouds that temporarily block the sun.

But all the time our warmth and brilliance are right here.
This is who we really are.
We are one blink of an eye away
from being fully awake.” 

 Pema Chödrön

What a spring and summer!
I don't know how to begin to describe the insane amounts of ups and downs, openings, hysterics and groundlessness that has been losing 4 people to death and Shambhala as I know it. And somehow, other than being completely exhausted, I'm doing really really well, and I hope as you read this, that you are too. Here's why.

When someone we have put on a pedestal, followed completely, devoted our lives to and more....falls from grace....it's a long way down. For everyone involved
I have spent hours sobbing wondering 'what have I been doing with my life, what have I been devoted to? Now how am I going to save the world and wake up? Is everything I believed in a lie?' 
I have taken the Sakyong's photos down from my wall, I have stopped doing the practice he gave me, stopped studying his books. I don't know how long this will last but for now, it's what I have to do. 

What I have been doing is letting my heart break wide open for the loss of the teacher and path I thought I could trust completely. And for all of us, who have wanted so badly for someone to have all the answers, all the means to help us wake up, only to be betrayed. It's a big big loss. I imagine you either are or have gone through it too. 

But then I went up to Shambhala Mountain Center to co-teach Rites of Passage at Family Camp, our annual retreat for families, that my family has staffed or taught for 11 years. Meanwhile, my son spent 8 days at Sun Camp, a sleepaway camp for kids above the Stupa, pictured above.

Here's what happened: a full felt sense of Basic Goodness permeated the land, our hearts, our lives. All these families and children and caregivers, coming together in service of waking up our hearts, being together, playing, honoring the land and the ancient art of meditation.

This has given me a re-awakened trust in the teachings. Basic Goodness. Just because some very misguided and broken people in our lineage have made some big, ugly, harmful mistakes, does not mean that the Buddha's message- that we all have Basic Goodness- is diminished. This knowing that we are whole, complete, worthy, and enough- just as we are. That there is not fundamental problem with who we are. Imagine if the whole world knew this? Imagine if we related to each other and our planet from this sense of our own goodness?

No one really knows how Shambhala will re-emerge, if the Sakyong will come back as our leader and teacher, or how we will move forward. And I don't know if I want to be a part of it. I am sitting in the groundlessness of not knowing what comes next, how my own path will move forward, etc...but I know, in my bones and cells and being- that Basic Goodness is here to stay.

So my friends, dance your Basic Goodness. Let your body move you and speak to you of your own inherent goodness. Your enoughness. Your worthiness, just as a human, on this planet. Let your body dance your fundamental okayness as you are. Because you are.