Shambhala Day Letter from Jesse Grimes

Shambhala Day 2016 logo

Dear friends and Shambhalians,

Last summer I participated in the Magyal Pomra Encampment in Nova Scotia.  I have such vivid and powerful memories of standing shoulder to shoulder in the cold, the rain, the heat, and raising good head and shoulders. Memories of irritation and heartbreak, giving way to kasung confidence and memories of simply being.

Shambhala is opening hearts everywhere. I see it every day, and I feel it in my own heart. The beauty, potency, and power of Shambhala touches something raw in us, and as we open our hearts, even just a little, we let the world in, and we connect with what is really happening.

And it’s intense. A lot of beautiful things are happening in our world, but the intensity of the pain and aggression we see can also be totally overwhelming. Shambhala has given me the tools to not shy away, but to bring my heart and engage with the world in its rawest manifestations.

That’s the simple magic of what we do, in Kasung practice and in life. We bring our hearts to the world, and we dance with it. Sometimes with tears streaming down our faces, sometimes with pure joy. And sometimes, we fall short of our aspirations. We close off and we resist. We stop dancing.  This happens all the time, we are so hard on ourselves, which does nothing but perpetuate the cycle of suffering.  For me the key decision is whether we decide to shut down or to get up and keep dancing.

The real heart offering of Shambhala is that it gives us permission and confidence to be fully human. The core of Shambhala is the conviction in the basic goodness and worthiness of human beings and human society. We can be gentle with ourselves and others. We can open our hearts to the dance again and again.

Every time I turn my mind towards the teachings, read the dharma, do a program with a teacher or the Sakyong, the truth that is taught resonates so deeply with me. I am so inspired to continue to open my own mind and heart, and to work in the world for the benefit of all beings.

Yours  in the vision of Shambhala,

Jesse Grimes
Pillar of Protection: Dorje Kasung