8 comments on “my take on shambhala buddhism

  1. The dedication of merit is not something that Shambhala Buddhism thought up. It's common to all forms of Tibetan Buddhism, in fact all Mahayana Buddhism. The idea is that accumulating merit is an egotistic activity, Dedicating merit is undercutting ego. Since enlightenment is about transcending ego, you can't push it away with one hand and grab it with the other.

  2. shambhala buddhism, and tibetan buddhism in general, considers itself to be vajrayana buddhism–not mahayana. regardless, wherever the dedication of merit came from–and i made no claims as to its origin–i'm discussing the role it plays in shambhala buddhism. but now that you mention it, i suppose it would play a similar role in any sect that has an artificial (non-merit-based) hierarchical structure.what exactly do you believe accumulating merit is? what is one doing when one is accumulating merit? how would you define merit?the word "merit" might mean something different to you than it does to me.

  3. You post reminds me of gold standard libertarians. You’re taking your supposed principals so seriously and literally that you’re mad as hell over a non-issue. You have reasoned yourself into a rage. But when you look at the structure of any organization, you need to look at the results. I mean, sure, the Shambhala structure can be seen as kind of goofy. So is the Pope. So is a decentralized structure with varying incompatible dogmas. So is a leader elected democratically by a majority of people who make no effort to understand issues. In my experience, SB provides not just comfort, but education, training, and a space for spiritual growth to many, many thousands. The message of kindness and mental discipline is wonderful. Centers are free, accepting, open to everyone. In this troubled world, that’s a pretty good deal.

    • hi jeff! thanks for commenting! i agree with most of what you’ve said. i have only three objections; first, i found your use of the phrase, ‘supposed principals’, mildly offensive. it seems to imply that because my principals differ from yours, they do not actually qualify as actual principals, and i am therefore kidding myself if i think of myself as a principled person–which i do. my second objection is that i’m not actually angry–nothing even close to raging…more like frustrated and disappointed. to be fair, i admit that my attitude when writing this article was fairly abrasive. i’ve considered editing out the vulgarities but haven’t ever gotten around to it–mostly because i have almost no readership whatsoever, so why bother? and third, i do not agree that this is a ‘non-issue’. as far as i can tell, your argument is that the good stuff about sb outweighs the bad stuff–so i should just stop complaining (perhaps you also think my reasoning is flawed, but if so, you give no arguments to back that up). but i criticize sb because i think sb is not only worthy of criticism but also worth criticizing. i actually agree with all the nice things you said about sb. i could write another article–a longer one even–discussing all the things that i like about sb, but most of that is already being said by many other people. i think it’s important to give honest heartfelt criticism to the people and institutions we respect.

  4. wow! the shambhala upaya council actually ‘liked’ this article! i’m sincerely honored! thank you!

  5. Here my take on this. I have never been involve in shambhala buddhism but I always wanted to try it. I think that not all religions are for everyone. It is all about what you believe in your heart. It is about what is going to help you on your path to success and true enlightenment. That is my take on all this.

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