We have the incredibly great fortune to have encountered the precious teachings of the Buddha as well as living teachers who offer us the opportunity to study those teachings and assist us in training in them. Such a situation is a source of rejoicing that fills my heart with gratitude. It doesn’t matter that the path is long and difficult; it is the journey itself that is important.
When we buy a piece of meat, doesn’t the supply-chain economy react to replace it in the grocery aisle, where it otherwise would not? If hundreds of tantric Buddhists shopped in the same Whole Foods outlet, perhaps that would be the case. But if we relatively few tantrikas are thoughtful and selective, we not only are very unlikely to add to the toll of lives lost to consumption of meat by our twice-monthly small purchase, but likely will be substituting our purchase for that of another person who lacks our motivation and purpose in forming a compassionate and aspirational karmic connection with the being whose flesh has been slaughtered.
There are several lineages of transmitting realization alive today. The Indian master Tilopa is the forefather of many of them, especially those that combine inner yoga with a totally naked and open mind. Enjoy a eloquent and poetic story centered around this outstanding master.
Each time I try to grasp the past, present or future, they slip through my fingers as if trying to grasp air. Try it for yourself. Can you find the now? Can you find the present moment? If we really investigate and look closer, we start to see that both the now and the present moment can not be found.
The stories and legends presented in the Shambhala tradition are not myths as such since we only refer to such material as myth when they no longer have any accepted credence. Rather, the stories of the four ancestral sovereigns are closer to the epic tradition.