This is the story of a retreat I did at Karme Choling in the winter of 1977. That retreat was a bone rattling experience for me, but I was too young at the time to fully appreciate how it was going to change my life. Well, here I am on the fortieth anniversary of that retreat, and it certainly did change my life, so it might worth sharing a bit of that story before I fade away.
Goodness belongs to all, inherently. In fact, we are goodness itself, in our bones and in our heart. We possess natural warrior-ship, bravery and gentleness. However, we are often obscured from our own goodness and innate, warrior virtues; in such moments, we cannot see our goodness, and we do not feel it. The greatest task we could undertake in this life is to bring out our basic goodness and warriorship, to manifest truly and to be of service to others.
Chogyam Trungpa creates a subtle link to the power of this Shambhala ancestral sovereign and that is why I was interested in exploring, on this latest journey to the Forbidden City. But the best part of the story was in something special the emperor created and also that he gave the 5th Karmapa something that links Chinese history to the Kagyu lineage forever. My journey there is part of that link.
The vision of Shambhala is not a vision of something seen, but rather a way of seeing and perceiving and acting in the context of the phenomenal world. The Kingdom of Shambhala is an innate and spontaneous longing to realize the freedom of the awakened state within the context of our existing social life.