Letter from Sakyong Mipham Harvest of Peace, 2010

Through the pure act of bravery that we must rouse the confidence to acknowledge our basic goodness.

Sakyong Mipham Rinpoche


Within the universe of the mind everything is possible.
Within the chasm of the heart, everything is contained.
Within the precious body, radiant energy pulsates.
Within the world of dynamic coincidence, auspiciousness is ever-ready. This is the gift of the Dorje Dradül. Let us worthy Shambhalians wake up every morning with a vast mind, an inconceivably large heart, and a body full of intention. Let us create a world endowed with peace and dignity, and ornamented with auspiciousness.

I wish all of you a profoundly good Harvest of Peace day. Peace is the cornerstone of the Shambhala movement. As the great Mahatma Gandhi said, “You must be the change you wish to see in the world.” We as Shambhalians must embrace this maxim for the age of materialism. For in this time of insatiable self-satisfaction, the ever-ready fingers of mistake are ready to be pointed at others. It is therefore through the pure act of bravery that we must rouse the confidence to acknowledge our basic goodness.

Then, instead of pointing our finger at a world of seemingly endless mistakes and problems, we can place our hand on our heart. If we can do this with bright eyes and a slight smile, it will immediately reduce the speed of the setting sun, and begin to cripple the beast of materialism. At that moment, we can finally take a deep breath, and that inconceivable gust of wind will fill our lungs, bringing vitality to every pore and channel of our body. Then, with massive confidence and uncontainable cheerfulness, we can exhale. This exhalation is not simply a sign of exasperation or relief, but rather of enthusiasm and energy.

The elixir of the mind and heart that we have now tasted is none other than our own potential. With it, we realize that we are not stagnate creatures, but rather living, potent, powerful beings who have universal knowledge within us. When we dare to break free from the status quo of just getting by, then we have truly stepped onto the path of change. This is what is known in Shambhala as self-liberation.

Tasting our own potential through warriorship gives us the breadth of mind, softness of heart, and toughness of body to not constantly be lured into the endless melee of one seduction after another. When we stand firm and realize that we are of noble, enlightened birth, we can rise above the constant, discursive voice of self-doubt.

It is this ability to occasionally lift up our head, look around, see where we are going, and see what we want to be, that marks the beginning of this change. Since the path of transformation is riddled with blind spots, it is essential that we embrace the fellowship of other warriors. In this way, self-deception and aggression have few places to hide.

At this juncture of Shambhala time and space, it feels as though we are at the cusp of a new day. The birth of Shambhala vision is upon us, with the sole purpose of reawakening inherent trust in the goodness alive within all beings. Even though this goodness may seem buried within the vaults of aggression and turmoil, it is in fact just below the surface. Like a good friend, goodness has not given up hope in us; therefore, we should not give up hope in goodness.

With the arising dawn of human potential, it is time for our little world of Shambhala to take fragile steps into the greater world of unpredictability. We must now pay heed to our own credo: that sacredness and goodness can be created on this earth. A world of sacredness is not made simply by a whim. Rather, like a universal sword of goodness, it is forged. With the hammers of gentleness, discipline, and joy, we pound our character so that it remains ever resilient through the vicissitudes of life—and able to find its way through the spiritual wilderness.

Thus, when we remain loyal to the heart of Shambhala—manifesting genuineness—then we ourselves become beacons of goodness, a repository of integrity and inspiration. At that moment, peace is not a word floating in space, nor is it an elusive theme, too sublime to approach. Rather, it is a very real entity that circulates within our own flesh and bones. Thus, as Shambhala warriors of do-ability, we cannot become sleepish, but rather we must constantly have mental alacrity for every moment of life. We must not let the shackles of dullness and irritation hobble our windhorse.

On this day of peace, we must wake up and realize that the future of humanity lies within our very own hands. Therefore, the future depends on where we place our hands. If we place our hands on the weapons of selfishness and anger, we reduce our life-force, flame others’ aggression, and bring havoc to the world. However, if we place them at our heart, we will find the elixir of goodness and confidence. Then the Great Eastern Sun can shine, illuminating the world. Thus, on this day, I encourage you to find your heart and discover that goodness. You will be surprised: it has not gone very far. If you allow yourself to smile a little bit, you will feel that it is right there. It is right here.

With love and blessings from retreat,

The Sakyong, Jampal Trinley Dradül
18 September 2010