Former teacher at Boulder's Shambhala accused of sexually as

The impulse to believe the absurd when presented with the unknowable is called religion. Whether this is wise or unwise is the domain of doctrine. Once you understand someone's doctrine, you understand their rationale for believing the absurd. At that point, it may no longer seem absurd. You can get to both sides of this conondrum from here.

Re: Former teacher at Boulder's Shambhala accused of sexuall

Postby admin » Mon Aug 26, 2019 12:01 am

As sale of Boulder’s Marpa House closes to keep Shambhala solvent, residents say they feel misled: Developer says he’s at total loss on suggestions of impropriety
by Madeline St. Amour
The Denver Post
PUBLISHED: August 8, 2019 at 10:08 am | UPDATED: August 8, 2019 at 10:45 am

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Marpa House in Boulder pictured on July 30.

The real estate developer who closed on Boulder’s Marpa House reportedly visited residents and offered to help them try to buy the house so it would remain a cohousing community.

The Community of Marpa House [COMH], a group that tried to save the historic property, in a statement said it “felt misled by the actions of John Kirkland.”

Kirkland, along with other developers, closed on the property Wednesday, buying it for $4.9 million. The Community of Marpa House group made an offer for $4.2 million after initially offering $3 million.


Kirkland said he was “taken aback” by the residents’ statements. In an emailed statement, he said he contacted the Shambhala Interim Board’s co-chair when he learned of the “magnitude” of Shambhala’s financial issues.

Shambhala, the Buddhist organization founded in Boulder that owns the house, announced months ago that it was going to sell the property to pay off its debts as it navigates a “difficult period” stemming from accusations of sexual misconduct involving former members.

The organization said it planned to sell the house to the developers, who put in a higher initial offer. The residents will be able to stay through Nov. 9, with free rent for the last 90 days, which Kirkland proactively offered to accommodate residents, Rob O’Dea, spokesman for the project.

Marpa House was founded in 1973 and houses about 40 people in the University Hill neighborhood. Several neighbors have said the residents of Marpa House are great people to live near, and they don’t want the property redeveloped into student housing.

“As a long-time Boulder resident, I fully understand and appreciate the importance of this property to its immediate neighbors, the University community and to Boulder at large. It has been a great honor to work with the board of Shambhala to craft this purchase in a manner that addresses their immediate needs,” Kirkland said in an emailed statement. “I look forward to meeting with neighbors in the coming months as we begin to shape our plans to invest significantly in the property and return it to a condition more reflective of the beautiful surrounding homes and original character as it was built in the 1920s.”

The Interim Board’s co-chairman, John Cobb, said the organization is sad to let go of the property, but that it takes “comfort in Mr. Kirkland’s appreciation and respect for this property and trust that he will work to ensure that it will continue to add value to the Boulder community.”

Kirkland previously was involved with a development of student apartments called Oak House. Construction on those apartments were not finished for fall 2014 move-in, according to previous Daily Camera reporting, so several University of Colorado Boulder students were left scrambling to find a place to live.

The developers who bought Marpa House submitted a preapplication review to the city of Boulder in July through Tom Jarmon, vice president of the Eric Smith Associates, P.C. architecture firm. It proposes converting the property into 16 three-bedroom apartments resulting in 48 occupants.

Kirkland and four others visited Marpa House on June 14 after expressing interest in buying the property, according to Community of Marpa House’s statement.

Group members then realized that Kirkland was the same person who in April had visited and had dinner with them. Kirkland first contacted the group via its website, which offers a way to submit messages. The Daily Camera obtained a copy of the submission, which reads “I would be interested in providing financing for the Marpa House,” and is signed John Kirkland.

On April 23, Kirkland met with two members of the Community of Marpa House (COMH), who both have confirmed to the Daily Camera the interaction described in the statement, along with another resident who observed the interaction. He reportedly brought two bottles of wine and had dinner with the residents.

“During that dinner, members of COMH explained its mission to purchase the Marpa House from the current owner so that the property could continue to operate in the community as it is now,” the statement says. “Mr. Kirkland was given a tour of Marpa House, and stated several times that he wanted to help support our efforts to purchase Marpa House as a community. He also offered to look over some of our financial models and share his insights.”

The community members provided information to Kirkland that included communications with Shambhala’s Interim Board and the group’s proposal, including the offer price.

“COMH felt comfortable sharing this information based on Mr. Kirkland having said that he intended to help with COMH’s efforts to purchase the Marpa House,” the statement says.

Kirkland also left a voicemail for a member, which the Daily Camera obtained. In it, Kirkland says he hopes his meeting with them was “helpful” and explains that he would be taking measurements of the exterior of the house because he thought the appraisal information was not correct, so he wanted to verify it “for you guys.”


Kaleigh Isaacs, a member of the Community of Marpa House, came home to find Kirkland measuring the exterior of the building, she said.

“I asked to speak with him privately as something felt off and some residents were uncomfortable. When I asked him directly if he had any other interests in the property he said that he ‘was not interested in purchasing Marpa House for his own or others’ purposes’ and that he just wanted to help our community group with our efforts,” she said in an emailed statement.

Kirkland, however, said in his statement that he took part in the sale to help the organization.

“Together (with the Interim board), we quickly structured an all-cash sale, for a value greater than their property appraisal would support, and on the accelerated timeline necessary to allow Shambhala to cure their imminent financial crisis,” he wrote. “My understanding was, and has always been, that the residents of Marpa House were Shambhala members and adherents first and, as beneficiaries of Shambhala’s subsidized housing for 40-years, were completely aligned with Shambhala’s desire to avoid complete financial ruin. … After the efforts I’ve led over the past several months to help Shambhala close on this sale, I’m disappointed and quite frankly at a total loss for how to respond to their residents’ suggestion of impropriety.”
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Re: Former teacher at Boulder's Shambhala accused of sexuall

Postby admin » Mon Aug 26, 2019 2:16 am

Our Precious Human Chance: Rock Concert Commentary
by Venerable Gyatrul Rinpoche
March 4th, 2018
©2018 Vimala

NOTICE: THIS WORK MAY BE PROTECTED BY COPYRIGHT

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Rinpoche was watching a crowded Bad Company concert on television one morning and gave the following commentary. Several times as he watched he placed his palms together and said prayers and mantras to bless the beings who were being shown on the screen. Later in the day he also referred to it multiple times, again and again shaking his head in compassion and saying how we sentient beings waste our time, either by not having the dharma or by not practicing it, and so “destroy ourselves.”

Look at this, how many thousands or millions of people are all there together! Look at us, such sentient beings!

We do have the precious human body, speech, and mind. Everything! We can connect to the dharma. We are lucky in every way.

…BUT we don’t go directly into our liberation. We do have the freedom to liberate ourselves, but we don’t grab that and use it. One way we choose it. Then instantly we don’t want to. We don’t want to be awkward. We only want to be slick and go on our own smooth road, deeper and deeper, more and more slippery.

Having connected to the dharma, you can benefit other sentient beings; you can benefit yourself, too. But we don’t want to go straight into that. We twist that, and then at the last minute, when we are dying, then finally we see. Finally we want to go straight. Finally we see what is precious, that what we got was the key to freedom. At that time we would be happy to do it, desperate to, even, but it’s too late. Right now we have that key. What do we do? We drop it. We don’t want to use our freedom key. We don’t want to go to liberation. We want to go deeper and deeper into samsara. That way we will never be liberated.

But that is what we want—to go deeper and deeper into suffering. We think that will be wonderful! We think we will find every happiness there! Look at these people. Why did they all come there, to that place? Was it for something meaningful, some reason? No, nothing. Look at how many people there are! My goodness, so many, like ants, all desperate. For what? Why did they all come? Useless!

These funky old men playing the guitar or whatever, they think they are young and handsome still—sorry, mister! Too late! Actually, more than too late—you look like you never were! Especially that one, embarrassing! All the ladies dancing up there, just about dying to gobble them up—more embarrassing! Everybody is working so hard, trying so hard, doing all these things. For what? Maybe for a little money or fame. A few pennies, maybe. Look what they do for that—so much! Look at how many people, you can’t even count them! Like a huge group of animals.

These people, they don’t know the dharma, they don’t have a connection to it, they don’t know what they are doing or what they are losing. They don’t have any chance or any knowledge or any key. They are just like children playing, or like animals, without thinking.

But we have no excuse. I don’t know what we are doing—practicing the dharma, or connecting to the dharma, or hugging the dharma, or whatever you call it, but it is for liberation. It is for something meaningful. But what do we do? We think our liberation is so meaningful, we turn away from it. We turn our back on it, we turn to the other side, instead. How come you do these things? Because you want a big name? A few pennies? How come we are willing to turn our whole chance at liberation upside-down for just one penny? How sad we are, we sentient beings! We destroy our own chance at liberation.

Look at so many people! Young, old, everybody is there, thousands and thousands. One way they don’t have dharma, so they don’t know what to do or not. But one way, still they could think a little bit, still they could consider how to be a good person, at least. Still they could check to see what is meaningful and what is a waste of time. What is their dharma? Kissing and hugging. What is their liberation? Maybe having sex, drinking, smoking dope. That is their big liberation. Then they think they really got something. Oh, poor sentient beings—how come they are so upside down? [Rinpoche placed his hands together and said Vajra Guru mantra for a few minutes.]

Poor sentient beings! They got it exactly wrong. Their thinking is exactly wrong thinking. They exactly didn’t get it! They got it…exactly…NOT!

For us, particularly right now we have freedom. We have connected to the dharma, just this much—maybe one inch. We have connected to the Buddha maybe just like one touch, one instant, and then we jump away or flinch like we were burned. We say mantra, maybe OM MANI PEME HUNG, OM MANI PEME HUNG, maybe one or two, and then we stop suddenly as if we are afraid someone will catch us. Even when we start, right away we stop our dharma and start our samsara again. Like Reagan said, “Here we go again!” That way we exchange our chance to be liberated for the chance to stay in samsara.

When it comes to the dharma, we always have hesitations and doubts, we are shy or unsure. When it comes to samsara, we go straight, directly into the middle, without hesitation, like it is our own place, our own house, our own chair. With the dharma, it looks like we are afraid to touch it, afraid to look at it, afraid to say one word, afraid to listen. We hug and kiss samsara but are afraid to touch one hair of the dharma.

That’s not how it’s supposed to be. It looks like we don’t know how to practice. How do you do it? First we study, then we contemplate, then we meditate on it. That means we go inside it. The dharma becomes our place. Of course it’s not push-button! Of course at the beginning the dharma is outside and we don’t understand, we have so many questions and so much doubt, it is really uncomfortable! Then slowly slowly as we hear the teachings and read the books, then we start to know it a little bit, like a place we have been before. Then we contemplate and think about it more and more, then we start to get a little more comfortable, like wearing your own pants or your own shoes. You do know them, you do know they fit you, so you just put them on without any hesitation. Like that. Then you practice and go deeper and deeper and then the dharma is becoming really your own place, like your own home. You know each part, each table, each chair, and really you are the most comfortable there, better than anyplace else. Then when really you meditate and realize, even more than your own place, the dharma is becoming YOU! You recognize your own nature. That way you learn, from outer, to inner, to secret, stage by stage.

Why don’t we learn that way? Is it because the dharma doesn’t work? Does it have some fault? No, no. It is because of ourselves—we don’t go into it deeply, straight. We just give it one touch and then jump away. We face toward our liberation for one second and then we turn around and run the other direction.

There are many so-called lamas and practitioners everywhere who have some little understanding of the dharma or who have done some little bit of practice, but then slowly they change. They turn to face samsara. Instead of looking for the dharma they start looking for a little money, or some ladies, or the ladies looking for some guys—maybe slowly, slowly, just a little bit, one penny, one or two ladies. Slowly they exchange their dharma for samsara again. The money—that becomes more important than the dharma. The ladies or the guys—they become more than our liberation.

We do this! We trade benefitting ourselves for harming ourselves, and engage in that. We think that will be our highest liberation.

Look at these people—millions, almost! Wow! They are human beings. But what are they doing, what is number one for them? All the funky guys hugging the ladies, all the ladies hugging the guys, desperately, nakedly. KON CHOK SUM KHYEN—Three Jewels, you know! Hold us in your compassion, we are such ignorant beings!

Look at the funky one singing! Poor guy! GURU RINPOCHE KHYEN—Guru Rinpoche, you know! May you bless all the beings!

Oh, look at this one—it looks like maybe he has a little money, he is dressed up fancy. Is your money going to liberate you? What do you think—is your money going to take you up, or bring you down? Think carefully! I will tell you: Down, only—because you lose your freedom, lose your chance to practice, lose your liberation. Why? Because you are only looking at your money. That way your money actually steals everything from you.

All of you who are trying to practice, trying to learn the dharma, trying to study, be careful! Maybe you are doing good right now, but we are nothing stable. If you get a penny or two, then it’s easy to end up upside-down for many thousands of eons.

This material is being made available as a free download by Vimala Treasures.
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Re: Former teacher at Boulder's Shambhala accused of sexuall

Postby admin » Sat Aug 31, 2019 2:39 am

Sex, scandals and betrayals: Charles II and his court: It is said to have been one of the most hedonistic courts in English history – a sexual merry-go-round of flirtation, seductions and infidelities. RE Pritchard explores the sexual liaisons of Charles II and the men and women at his court...
by History Extra: The official website for BBC History Magazine, BBC History Revealed and BBC World Histories Magazine
December 18, 2015 at 10:22 am

[T]he nearest Western model on which to base a Shambhala household seemed to be the courts of European monarchs, with a touch of Asia thrown in the mix; I suppose that if he wanted a more homegrown approach, Rinpoche could have suggested organizing his life around the model of the American White House, which is really another take on a European court, but he was not attracted to this bastion of democracy as a role model for himself or his students.

-- Dragon Thunder: My Life with Chogyam Trungpa, by Diana J. Mukpo with Carolyn Rose Gimian


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King Charles II - Portrait - National Portrait Gallery

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Portrait Of Charles II - (after) John Michael Wright


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Evening Party - Time of Charles II, 1850. A satirical illustration of King Charles II (1630?1685). King Charles II (163-?1685) was know as the 'Merry Monarch'. He had a great fondness for women and had many mistresses. From The Comic History of England by Gilbert Abbott A. Beckett, illustrated by John Leech [Bradbury, Agnew & Co., London, 1850.] (Photo by The Print Collector/Getty Images)

Drawing on a wealth of evidence by contemporary observers, such as diaries, memoirs, letters, gossip and satire, Scandalous Liaisons: Charles II and His Court recounts the king’s many mistresses, including Barbara Villiers and Nell Gwyn. Here, writing for History Extra, Pritchard introduces you to the pleasure-seeking world of Charles II’s court…

Most people think of Charles II as the ‘merry monarch’, with his perky Cockney mistress, Nell Gwyn (perhaps the Barbara Windsor of her day), at the centre of a court remarkable for its gaiety, extravagance, and amorous entanglements. The poet John Dryden, always agreeable to the ruling classes, described it as a “laughing, quaffing and unthinking time”, but it is clear that there was widespread disapproval of this ‘brave new world’, as is suggested by the title of poet Samuel Butler’s Satire upon the Licentious Age of Charles the Second.

For those who heretofore sought private holes,
Securely in the dark to damn their souls,
Wore vizards of hypocrisy, to steal
And slink away in masquerade to hell,
Now bring their crimes into the open sun,
For all mankind to gaze their worst upon,
As eagles try their young against his rays,
To prove if they're of gen'rous breed or base;
Call heav'n and earth to witness how they've aim'd,
With all their utmost vigour, to be damn'd,
And by their own examples, in the view
Of all the world, striv'd to damn others too; ...
For men have now made vice so great an art,
The matter of fact's become the slightest part;
And the debauched'st actions they can do,
Mere trifles to the circumstance and show....
That reconciles all contrarieties,
Makes wisdom foolishness, and folly wise,
Imposes on divinity, and sets
Her seal alike on truths and counterfeits;
Alters all characters of virtue' and vice,
And passes one for th' other in disguise;
Makes all things, as it pleases, understood,
The good receiv'd for bad, and bad for good;
That slyly counter-changes wrong and right,
Like white in fields of black, and black in white;
As if the laws of Nature had been made
Of purpose only to be disobey 'd;
Or man had lost his mighty interest,
By having been distinguished from a beast;
And had no other way but sin and vice,
To be restor'd again to Paradise....
To b' out of countenance, and, like an ass,
Not pledge the Lady Circe one beer-glass;
Unmannerly refuse her treat and wine,
For fear of being turn'd into a swine,
When one of our heroic adventurers now
Would drink her down, and turn her int' a sow.
So simple were those times, when a grave sage
Could with an old wife's tale instruct the age;
Teach virtue more fantastic ways and nice,
Than ours will now endure t' improve in vice; ...
For men are grown above all knowledge now,
And what they're ignorant of disdain to know;
Engross truth (like Fanatics) underhand,
And boldly judge before they understand;
The self-same courses equally advance
In spiritual and carnal ignorance,
And, by the same degrees of confidence,
Become impregnable against all sense;
For, as they outgrew ordinances then,
So would they now morality agen....
So those that think, and do but think they know.
Are far more obstinate than those that do,
And more averse than if they 'ad ne'er been taught
A wrong way, to a right one to be brought;
Take boldness upon credit beforehand,
And grow too positive to understand;
Believe themselves as knowing and as famous,
As if their gifts had gotten a mandamus,
A bill of store to take up a degree,
With all the learning to it, custom-free,
And look as big for what they bought at Court,
As if they 'ad done their exercises for 't.

-- Satire Upon the Licentious Age of Charles II, by Samuel Butler


Samuel Pepys recorded the king dancing to a popular tune of the time, ‘Cuckolds All A-Row’, which well suggests the cheery, heartless, amoral world of the royal court.


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Two middle-aged Dharma matrons appear to declare the transcendent nature of their trysts with the tantric master.

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A cuckold declares that he was jealous – of his wife’s relationship with Trungpa! He wished he could get that close!

-- Crazy Like a Fox – In “Crazy Wisdom,” Trungpa’s Heirs Sacrifice Truth to Profit, by Charles Carreon


Restoration comedies provoked uneasy laughter about adultery and cuckoldry [an act of adultery committed by a married woman against her husband]. Performances such as these reflected a preoccupation of the upper classes, where young people were married off at unsuitably early ages, in pursuit of money and estates. A wealthy young heiress was considered valuable property, to be secured by any means. On several occasions, men carried off young ladies in coaches, either to marry them or extort money from their relatives.

In Charles’s day, steely-eyed mothers and prospective mothers-in-law were constantly on the hunt for a bride. While Charles was a young man in France, his own mother, Queen Henrietta Maria, worked hard to find him a suitable wife: aristocratic – preferably royal – with money to support him and his indigent entourage, and to finance Charles’s soldiers in England.

Various German princesses were wheeled out for examination – in person or through portraiture – dismissed with Charles’s favourite oath, “Ods’s fish! They are all dull and foggy”. Just before Charles’s restoration to the throne in 1660, Cardinal Mazarin’s niece, Hortense Mancini, seemed a strong contender for the role of Charles’s wife, but the Cardinal ultimately decided Charles was not a good investment (though some years later Hortense became one of Charles’s mistresses).

While this business was going on, a series of courtiers’ young wives loyally laid themselves down for their (prospective) king, with a view to present or future rewards; Charles was always generous to those who did him service, even when he could not really afford it. These young women, like most of the women in Charles’s life, would have been generally dismissed as ‘buttered buns’ – that is, as women who had been recently possessed by other men, and not to be taken seriously.

One such woman was the young Lucy Walter, previously mistress to Algernon Sidney in London, then to Robert Sidney in Holland, probably at the court of Mary, Princess of Orange (sister of Charles). This relationship caused great anxiety to Charles’s advisers, especially Edward Hyde (later Earl of Clarendon) and his mother, who feared Charles might marry a commoner with a bad reputation.

Lucy bore Charles a son, later the Duke of Monmouth. Lucy also bore another child, not by Charles, and the affair fizzled out before her early death in November 1658. Lucy was replaced, very promptly, by Mrs Barbara Palmer, better known as Barbara Villiers, later Countess Castlemaine and Duchess of Cleveland – titles earned by her own efforts in the bedroom.

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King Charles II’s mistress Barbara Villiers, Duchess of Cleveland, Countess of Castlemaine, c1660s. (Photo by The Print Collector/Print Collector/Getty Images)

Charles had many mistresses in both France and England. One of his servants, Thomas Chiffinch, used to bring them up to him via the back stairs to his room. Charles also had liaisons with many actresses: Mistress Knight, Mistress Weaver;

Rinpoche had also invited Sara Kapp to accompany him, a runway model well known in both New York and Europe. Sara was famous for having pioneered a certain look on the runway, and she became the model for mannequins at Saks Fifth Avenue in the eighties. Later, she was the first "Princess Borghese," the face of the Borghese line of cosmetics.

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-- Dragon Thunder: My Life with Chogyam Trungpa, by Diana J. Mukpo with Carolyn Rose Gimian


and one, Moll Davis, was given a house; a pension of £1,000 a year; and an expensive ring.


His Holiness blessed a small white gold tiara inlaid with diamonds for me (a gift from Rinpoche).

-- Dragon Thunder: My Life with Chogyam Trungpa, by Diana J. Mukpo with Carolyn Rose Gimian


Moll’s rival, Nell Gwyn, once put a powerful laxative in her competitor’s food when she was due to be in bed with Charles.

One woman who didn’t want to sleep with Charles was the beautiful young Frances Stuart: she held on to her virginity, despite all Charles’s pleadings, and eventually eloped with the Duke of Richmond – much to the king’s fury.

Another lady put in Charles’s way was the celebrated Italian beauty and sexual adventuress, Hortense Mancini. She was ‘imported’ by Ralph Montagu, the English ambassador to France, who was hoping to supplant Barbara Villiers [with whom the king had lost interest] and further his own career. Unfortunately for Ralph, Hortense was not interested in political manoeuvring, only in gambling and sex; her affair with Charles did not last long.

A philandering brother

While in France with Charles in May 1660, the king’s brother, James, Duke of York, enjoying the licentious atmosphere of the court there, had an affair with Anne Hyde, the daughter of the future Earl of Clarendon, the king’s chancellor. Anne went through a form of marriage with him [possibly not performed by a priest, but by verbal promises only]. By the time the couple returned to England, Anne was pregnant, and despite colourful stories accusing her of promiscuity (spread by courtiers friendly to James), James had to marry her properly [by chaplain], which wrecked his chances of marrying a wealthy foreign aristocrat or princess.

As for public opinion, most people likely tended to agree with the Earl of Sandwich, who told Pepys that, among his father’s many sayings [his father was the previous Earl of Sandwich] was one, that “He that gets a wench with child and marries her afterward, it was as if a man should shit in his hat and clap it on his head”.

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Anne Hyde, Duchess of York, who became the first wife of James, Duke of York, the future King James II. She was the mother of two later queens of England, Mary II and Anne. (Photo by The Print Collector/Print Collector/Getty Images)

Anne had a difficult time at court, sneered at for being a commoner and suspected of being a social climber, but she behaved with courage and dignity. James’s marriage did not hinder his continual, relentless philandering, however. A distressed Anne took to comfort eating, becoming increasingly larger, while James’s energetic activities in the hunting field (and bedroom) kept him thin.

One of James’s early affairs was with Lady Anne Carnegie, later Countess of Southesk, who, as Anne Hamilton, had been a teenage friend of Barbara Villiers, a lady who is remembered as being one of the most notorious of Charles’s many mistresses. Trying to be discreet, James apparently took the precaution of visiting the lady only formally, accompanied by a third person (who would wait in an outer room). On one occasion, the person playing gooseberry was Richard Talbot, a courtier and friend of both Charles and James.

While waiting, Talbot looked out of the window, and saw a man whom he recognised coming into the house. Talbot, who had been abroad, did not know that Lord Carnegie, Lady Carnegie’s husband, had been made Earl of Southesk. “Welcome, Carnegie, dear old friend! Where the devil have you been? Why are you here? Are you, too, after Lady Southesk? If so, you had better go away, for I must tell you, the Duke of York is in love with her, and is even now inside, in her chamber.”

The dumbfounded earl was hustled downstairs, out of his own house and into his carriage. Talbot went back, impatient to tell the couple the amusing story of the hopeful visitor. He was very surprised that his story gave them no pleasure at all, and was only annoyed that Carnegie had changed his title to Earl of Southesk without telling him.

The story does not end yet. As Pepys and others at court heard, when Southesk realised his wife was sleeping with the duke, he went to an infected whore in order to get the pox. Southesk then deliberately infected his wife, who in turn transferred it to the duke. Pepys thought this “the most pernicious and foul piece of revenge that ever [he] heard of”. Whether or not the story was true, the duke did contract the pox, which he in turn transferred to his other partners.


At a meeting of several hundred Buddhists in Berkeley, Calif., on Dec. 15, Mr. Tendzin was questioned about AIDS and his sexual relationships. According to a tape of that meeting, he did not deny that he was infected wtih the virus or that he had AIDS. He indicated that he may have infected others and that some people knew of his illness before reports of it spread through the community. Asked why he did not realize he could infect someone else with AIDS, he replied: ''It happened. I don't expect anybody to try to conceive of it.''

-- Buddhists in U.S. Agonize on AIDS Issue, by Dyan Zaslowsky


Royal mistresses

Many court ladies sought the prestige of becoming a royal mistress, if only for a while. One such woman was the pretty young Margaret Brooke, who indicated her willingness to James early on, but would not go further until she was safely married. At 18, she charmed 50-year-old Sir John Denham: a tall, thin, stork-like poet and gambler, who bet against the odds by marrying her. Almost immediately Margaret became James’s very public mistress. This was a situation the court wits relished, and many lampoons and vulgar verses circulated, mocking the unequal marriage and cuckolding. This was too much for Sir John, who, for a while, went mad, reportedly telling the king that he was the Holy Ghost.

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Margaret Brooke, Lady Denham, c1660s. (Photo by The Print Collector/Print Collector/Getty Images)

Soon after this, Margaret fell seriously ill; on her deathbed she accused Sir John of poisoning her with a chocolate drink. A post-mortem analysis was performed but, not surprisingly, no traces of poison were found. The story of poisoning was, nevertheless, widely believed. Some thought Sir John was responsible, while others blamed the Duchess of York [Anne Hyde, daughter of the Earl of Clarendon].

Let us now return to Barbara Villiers, who was recognised as the pre-eminent court beauty. Passionate, demanding, insatiable (sexually and financially), and violent-tempered, she dominated Charles and court life – poor Catherine of Braganza, brought from Portugal to be Charles’s queen, stood no chance against the glamour queen of the court, (not least because Barbara was notably fecund and Catherine proved barren), screwing vast sums of money from the king, while being openly unfaithful.

Barbara’s many lovers included actors such as Charles Hart (Nell Gwyn’s first lover); Jacob Hall, a muscular gymnast and acrobat; the court ladies’ ‘cock of the walk’, Harry Jermyn; and the youthful John Churchill (later Duke of Marlborough). Barbara was generous in rewarding her lovers (with Charles’s money), though the swaggering boasts of one, John Ellis, were cut short when she had him castrated. Not surprisingly, Barbara was widely hated. One ballad included the verse,

Next comes Castlemaine,
That prerogative quean;
If I had such a bitch I would spay her;
She swives like a stoat,
Goes to’t leg and foot,
Level coil with a prince and a player.


‘Prerogative’ suggests Barbara’s arrogance, while the Oxford English Dictionary derives ‘level coil’ from the French lever le cul, or ‘hitch-buttock’.

Barbara’s overbearing behaviour, her dreadful public reputation, and the sheer expense of paying her costs and gambling debts, meant that her power and influence over the king eventually declined, and as she spent less time at court, other mistresses superseded her.

Some of these mistresses were deliberately put in the king’s way by court politicians hoping for indirect influence, usually in vain. One such woman was Nell Gwyn, who rose from very humble beginnings to theatre stardom. She became a long-term favourite of Charles, enjoyed not only for her sexuality but her wit, entertainment value, and good nature.

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c1670, English stage actress Nell Gwyn, mistress of King Charles II. She bore the king at least one illegitimate son. Original Artwork: Engraving by Walter L Colls, from an engraving by Valck after a painting by Sir Peter Lely. (Photo by Hulton Archive/Getty Images)

More important, emotionally, to Charles was Nell’s great rival, from the opposite end of the social spectrum, Louise de Kéroualle. Louise was brought from the French court, and openly took part in English court politics, hoping to promote French interests. Nell constantly mocked and abused her: ‘Squintabella’ was one nickname, for the slight cast she had in one eye, as well as ‘the weeping willow’, for her tendency to weep when thwarted or upset. Once, when Louise had been appointed Duchess of Portsmouth (as a reward for her sexual favours) she said condescendingly to Nell, who was looking particularly fine, “Nelly, you are grown rich, I believe, by your dress; why woman you are fine enough to be a queen”. Nelly riposted, “You are entirely right, madam, and I am whore enough to be a duchess.”

As it was, at the end, as Charles lay on his deathbed, his thoughts were likely with both women. Louise, he said, he loved and always had, and added, according to legend, “Let not poor Nelly starve”.

The fact was that in Charles’s later years (only in middle age, as we would understand it), his sexual appetite – and, it was widely rumoured, sexual capability – declined, so that more of his leisure time was spent sailing and fishing, while his women settled for a quieter time at court (while picking up other lovers along the way).

By the end of Charles’s reign, there was an increasing sense of weariness and disgust at what was seen as a degenerate court. In 1683, even one of the previously most debauched libertine courtiers, Charles Sackville, wrote a lengthy satire, or diatribe – beginning:

Go on, my muse, and with bold voice proclaim
The vicious lives and long detested fame
Of scoundrel lords, and their lewd wives’ amours,
Pimp statesmen, canting priests, Court bawds and whores…


The picture Sackville sketched was harsh, but not without truth. Certainly the court had devoted itself to pleasure and selfishness, superficial gaiety covering corruption. A good time was had, but it was not really a good time. The intrigues and liaisons were often regarded even then as scandalous; but perhaps, at a distance of more than 300 years, they retain some value as entertainment.

R E Pritchard is the author of Scandalous Liaisons: Charles II and His Court (Amberley Publishing, 2015). To find out more, click here.
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Re: Former teacher at Boulder's Shambhala accused of sexuall

Postby admin » Sun Sep 01, 2019 6:18 am

Letter to the Kalapa Council Regarding the Nalanda Translation Committee House
by shambhala.org

This letter reflects one position of an important conversation that is occurring in the Shambhala community. While it isn’t the view of San Francisco Shambhala, it is published here for the sake of transparency and bringing forth the conversation. There are possible inaccuracies in this letter as well as varying opinions on the subject.

Dear Kalapa Council,

First, we deeply appreciate your service to the Shambhala mandala, and in particular, your dedication now, in this difficult period.

As we’ve come to learn, Shambhala has pressing debts and is in need of cash. You have announced your intention to solve the problem by mortgaging a house in Halifax, which is the headquarters of the Nalanda Translation Committee (NTC), with its huge research library of Tibetan and English dharma books and files, where an inventory of their publications resides and from where these are shipped to practitioners the world over, and where the translators meet to work. Larry Mermelstein, the director of the Committee, is a rent-paying resident of the house. (The NTC, incidentally, has been self-supporting since its inception, relying solely on donations and the sale of publications.)

The property was gifted to Nalanda Foundation of Canada, the sister organization to Shambhala, 32 years ago by Shambhala’s most generous donor, Martha Bonzi. The Council controls both organizations and plans to transfer the funds from Nalanda (not a church) to Shambhala (a church).

We understand that Martha Bonzi has donated more than $7 million in gifts over 35 years. Her generosity has literally enabled many of Shambhala’s most central institutions to survive and thrive. (These include the Halifax Shambhala Center and Gampo Abbey, as well as the legally independent Naropa University.) She gave the house for the use of the Translation Committee and its use only — for its work translating the dharma, and as its primary asset, supporting future decades of work. She did not make a formal gift restriction out of her trust for the commitment made by Shambhala, and she clearly stated that the house was never to be mortgaged or sold.
This intention was made crystal clear at the time of the gift in 1986 and repeated with equal clarity in writing in early 2013 and 2015, when Shambhala first attempted to mortgage the property. To their credit, the leadership at the time honored Martha’s wishes. Whether the asset remains one of real estate or is sold someday, the commitment made to Martha in light of her wishes was that the resource would be solely used for the ongoing work of the NTC.

We learned of Shambhala’s recent mortgage plan last week in a letter about Shambhala’s finances from its finance director, Ryan Watson. The news about the house was in a single sentence at the end of the fourth paragraph, where it was easy to miss its import. There has been no clarity as to the amount that is planned to be borrowed, but it has been rumored that Shambhala needs $500,000 in the very near term, a very significant percentage of the value of the house and one that will cost at least $3,000 per month over 20 years.

This is not only morally wrong but is self-destructive. Shambhala is, unquestionably, ethically bound to abide by the express wishes of the donor. This is deeply counterproductive if the goal is to rebuild trust though a stated interest in transparency. Shambhala will need generous donors to become sustainable. Why would any future donors contribute to an organization that ignores the intentions of the most generous among us?

As disturbing as this violation of trust is, the reason given by the Kalapa Council for choosing to burden the Nalanda Translation house with a large debt rather than looking at other options is extraordinary. The Kalapa Council stated that “real estate assets that are no longer core to our operations will be mortgaged and may need to be sold.” The only named real estate is the NTC headquarters. Proceeds are meant to be used to retire debt and provide a financial cushion for unnamed use in the future. Please consider the profundity of this message to the sangha. This is not a matter of disposing of unimportant real estate but is gutting the 32 year old financial model that ensures NTC’s ongoing ability to work—to translate and produce material at a cost affordable to the sangha—and to train a new generation of translators. The issue is not whether a house in Halifax is “core to our operations.” Rather it is whether the NTC is core, and if it is, a commitment to protect, rather than undermine, its work is what is needed. Your proposed plan from our point of view does not appear to be the product of strategic thinking. That may be difficult to achieve in a rapidly changing environment that includes leadership changes. But that is all the more reason not to undermine the NTC and to come up with a Shambhala-wide way to address the short term financial needs.

Does the wider Shambhala community — newer students, older students, all of us — still need the work of the Nalanda translators? Is it still “core” to the primary mission of Shambhala — the teaching and practice of Shambhala and Buddhist meditation through accessible root texts?

Nalanda translators have, over their 43 years of existence, made it possible for many thousands of us to study and practice the Kagyu and Nyingma teachings and the Shambhala termas and teachings, including seminal texts like the Werma Sadhana — work that was pioneering, elegant, and profound. As Trungpa Rinpoche said (in 1981) of the translators’ work: “We are continually producing a rain of wisdom at this point.”

But has that rain of wisdom dried up? Is the work of translating Tibetan dharma into English finished, completed? Not by a long shot.

According to Larry Mermelstein there is enough work to keep the translators busy for the rest of their lives. What’s left? So much. Many hundreds of pages of Trungpa Rinpoche’s own writings from Tibet, which were gathered over a period of 20 years by his nephew, Karma Senge Rinpoche, who traveled to wherever Trungpa Rinpoche had been, and found over 90 Tibetans who had kept these writings safe, hidden them, treasured them, for more than a half-century. He has collected over 175 texts, more than 600 pages — a significant portion being termas (treasure teachings) and practice liturgies, along with meditation instructions and pithy advice — all written by Trungpa Rinpoche before escaping Tibet when he was 19. (But then, this was a mahasiddha, a man who was writing dharma and discovering termas beginning at the age of 3!) These include profound and advanced teachings on mahamudra and maha ati, as well as his early Shambhala teachings and termas. There is, in addition, a huge collection of the newly discovered writings of Khenpo Gangshar, one of Trungpa Rinpoche’s primary gurus, a mahasiddha in his own right.

In addition, the translators are training younger people, students of the Tibetan language and new members of the Committee, to continue the work of translation into the future. Harry Einhorn and Tillie Perks, both second-generation Shambhalians, are among their newest members. This was how it worked in the time of Padmasambhava and of Marpa, with his perilous travels to India to gather teachings and return to help plant Buddhism in Tibet. And now it has come to America and the West. Trungpa Rinpoche, seen by many as the second Padmasambhava, worked to plant the dharma here, for us and for those who come after us.

These teachings are the Vidyadhara’s great gift. They are the birthright, the heritage of all of us, all Shambhala practitioners. They are, quite literally, our treasures. They are for the future, for people 100, 1,000 years from now. If you think about it, that is what remains — the teachings. That is why Buddhists honor dharma books, wrap them carefully in brocade and put them on their shrines. The teachings are where the dharma indelibly resides. We must not impede and disrespect the work of the translators — and crucially, we must not violate the stated intentions of a donor who realized the crucial importance of the translators’ work, making the Buddhist and Shambhala teachings accessible to us all, and who honored it by giving them their primary asset, a house to keep, to work in, to have as security. The Nalanda Translation headquarters belongs to the Nalanda Translation Committee. It violates integrity, and common sense, to mortgage it to pay debts not of their making. That is not a legality; it is a moral and dharmic imperative.

Respectfully,
Barbara Elizabeth Stewart & Miriam Tarcov
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Re: Former teacher at Boulder's Shambhala accused of sexuall

Postby admin » Sat Sep 07, 2019 2:12 am

Part 1 of 2

Kanyu, Fengshui and Court Energetics
PART II: ON THE ENERGETICS OF SHAMBHALA CENTRES

Based on the teachings of Eva Wong
Editor: Peter C. van der Molen
Version: 13012012

NOTICE: THIS WORK MAY BE PROTECTED BY COPYRIGHT

YOU ARE REQUIRED TO READ THE COPYRIGHT NOTICE AT THIS LINK BEFORE YOU READ THE FOLLOWING WORK, THAT IS AVAILABLE SOLELY FOR PRIVATE STUDY, SCHOLARSHIP OR RESEARCH PURSUANT TO 17 U.S.C. SECTION 107 AND 108. IN THE EVENT THAT THE LIBRARY DETERMINES THAT UNLAWFUL COPYING OF THIS WORK HAS OCCURRED, THE LIBRARY HAS THE RIGHT TO BLOCK THE I.P. ADDRESS AT WHICH THE UNLAWFUL COPYING APPEARED TO HAVE OCCURRED. THANK YOU FOR RESPECTING THE RIGHTS OF COPYRIGHT OWNERS.


Table of Contents

• INTRODUCTION
• SHAMBHALA
• SHAMBHALA CENTRES: THE COURT PRINCIPLE
• COURT ENERGETICS
• SACRED SPACE OF THE SHAMBHALA CENTRE
• PROTECTOR PRINCIPLE
• COLOPHON

INTRODUCTION

As human beings we aim at leading a happy and meaningful life, in which we not only need to care for ourselves and those around us, but also want to develop in a spiritual sense in order to work with our daily experiences. Many traditions over many millennia have aimed at providing the conditions for a happy life and spiritual development. In Asia some traditions stand out in this sense: in Tibet it is the Buddhist spiritual path and the Warrior traditions that have evolved over many lifetimes. In China the Daoist path and the wisdom traditions of K'an-yu and Fengshui have provided the means for spiritual development as well as the means to live harmoniously with the land.

In their efforts, Sakyong Mipham Rinpoche and Eva Wong strive to bring these traditions together to shape a bright and clear path for spiritual development as warriors in the modern day world.
In this document we will discuss Sacred Space, or the spatial conditions that will allow us to connect with our Basic Goodness or Buddha Nature, through meditation practices, rituals and ceremonies. The depth of the connection made depends of course on many factors such as effort, insight, wisdom and karma. But apart from the mental space, it also depends on the physical space one is in.

In this document we focus on the Shambhala Court principle and its energetics. This knowledge will help us with its application in our Shambhala practice centres.

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SHAMBHALA

Introduction


Throughout history, men and women have aspired to create societies that enable them to live dignified and decent lives with care for each other and our surrounding world within a flourishing culture. This is the vision of Enlightened Society of Shambhala.

Shambhala is a community of people practicing the Shambhala Buddhist traditions of enlightened living, as well as other contemplative disciplines. These practices bring into our ordinary lives a natural sense of goodness, fearlessness, and humour.

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The Shambhala Buddhist teachings are practised and studied in a worldwide association of meditation centres founded by Vidyadhara the Venerable Chbgyam Trungpa Rinpoche and now directed by his son and spiritual heir, Sakyong Mipham Rinpoche.

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A practicing tradition

The Shambhala community draws on a wide variety of contemplative traditions. The core practice is mindfulness/awareness meditation. Instruction follows the tradition of oral transmission from teacher to student-an unbroken lineage that goes back twenty-five hundred years.

Buddhism is an ancient teaching based on the practice of meditation and study of our minds and lives, to awaken our true nature, enlightenment. The Shambhala teachings, taught by the Buddha to the first King of Shambhala, are teachings on how to live in the world, with an open heart and a fearless-awake mind. The ground of both these teachings is the practice of Mindfulness/Awareness meditation, and we offer thorough training in meditation in our Shambhala Centres and programs.

Contemplative Disciplines

The spiritual path and our practice of meditation are not an escape from the world, but a way to wake up to the world and appreciate its wealth. Therefore, in addition to meditation, we also use other forms of contemplative disciplines such as art, archery and photography to work with our minds and experience the world fully.

For more information:

Shambhala worldwide: (http://www.shambhala.org/
Shambhala Europe (http://www.shambhala-europe.org/
Sakyong Mipham Rinpoche (http://www.mipham.com/
Shambhala Publications (http://www.shambhala.com/

SHAMBHALA CENTRES: THE COURT PRINCIPLE

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The view


The Kingdom of Shambhala, which culture and teachings arose from the four great ancestral lineages of India, Tibet, China and Japan - aims at creating enlightened society for all sentient beings. This is based upon the principles of fearlessness and gentleness and grounded in the meditation practices of mindfulness and awareness.

In our Shambhala Tradition, our practice as human beings has to do with connecting heaven and earth. That is the task of humanity, and being human is very much connected to bridging the gap between heaven and earth. In our tradition we talk of the energy of the Great Eastern Sun, a basic energy which is always available to us. We connect to that energy through invoking drala. Working with the three aspects of drala: ultimate, inner and outer, are ways in which we overcome aggression and experience the Great Eastern Sun. We want to invite the dralas back into the world, they have left because of the degradation of the world. We can connect with dralas everywhere, but some places it is easier to do this. And some places more connected to the specific dralas of the Shambhala world. Shambhala dralas are particularly concerned with overcoming aggression.

Chögyam Trungpa initially translated Tibetan drala into an English compound word, wargod. He termed this "not the best translation," but its provisional use was to establish dralas as "gods who conquer war rather than propagate it."

-- The Drala Principle, by Bill Scheffel


In order to facilitate spiritual development the principles of Sacred Space and Court are used. The description follows the logic of Outer - Inner - Secret. However, since the underlying view and principles of court and sacred space are discussed in the 'Secret' section - this will be presented first. Then the application of these principles in 'Inner' and 'Outer' will clearly follow from the previous.

It is this view that guides our path to fruition, without which we would not know what it means to live and work and meditate in a court - a place of wakefulness.

Introduction to the Court principle

The Kingdom of Shambhala, which culture and teachings arose from the four great ancestral lineages of India, Tibet, China and Japan - aims at creating enlightened society for all sentient beings. This is based upon the principles of fearlessness and gentleness and grounded in the meditation practices of mindfulness and awareness. In this sense, the modern day Shambhala tradition as founded by Dorje DraduI Vidyadhara Chogyam Trungpa Rinpoche, is a direct heir of the ancestral lineage of King Gesar of Ling, who represented Shambhala on earth.

In part of the Indo-Tibetan Vajrayana Buddhist tradition, thirty-two Kings of Shambhala reside in a mythical kingdom.

-- Kings of Shambhala, by Wikipedia


In this tradition, the secular and spiritual are combined - based on the vision of the Rigden, the vision of the family of Basic Goodness / Buddha Nature and the Vajra Principle of indestructible space.

Shambhala is therefore lead by a Sage King - Sakyong Mipham Rinpoche - who is as his title says: Protector of the Earth, a meaning that reaches beyond the mere notion of kingship. The Sakyong is celestially appointed and joins heaven and earth together in establishing enlightened human society. The court of the Sakyong is the manifestation of the Buddhist and Shambhala lineages and its principles of meek, perky, outrageous and inscrutable.

The Sakyong needs a Court to fulfil his role - which is to join Heaven, Earth and Humanity. Here this means that Heaven is the vision of establishing the will of the Rigden - the salvation of the world through creating an Enlightened Society, based upon the notion of Basic Goodness. Earth here is the understanding of the local Dralas - how they work, how to interact with them in setting up the container for court, practice and study. Finally Humanity is the aspect of Enlightened Society or Enlightened World. So the Court is a place that serves as a binding factor, it prevents chaos and a place to raise lungta! The Court gives a sense of belonging, of care, of sangha and a reminder of bodhicitta.

Much information on court is already published in 'The Court Vision and Practice'. As it says in it's foreword, the aim of that document is 'to free this world from the dark age of materialism, and to promote great vision and the splendour of vast mind beyond poverty and pettiness (...)', This is also an interesting way to look at the role of the Court.

The court principle has six aspects with regards to its energetics, how it is manifested. In that sense these aspects describe the court as a mandala - or geometry of power: the alignment of the energetics of power at all its levels. The description of the court principle is found in great detail in the sacred texts as the Ghuyagarbha Tantra and in the 'Golden Sun of the Great East'.

Functions and structure of the court

These relationships within the court revolve around the Sage King, who is the centre of the court. He has people on his left and right sides, everyone at his or her appropriate position and distance: ministers, governors, generals, advisors, etc. When a king receives his subjects - the relationships are clear, visible and therefore natural hierarchy can arise. In this context the order of Heaven <-> Earth <-> Man can be equated with King <-> Ministers <-> Subjects. This is also clear from the description provided in 'The golden Sun of the Great East': 'In Kalapa, the capital, the dharma king of Shambhala first executed the primordial Ashe. On his right sat ministers on tiger-skin seats; on his left, queens on leopard-skin seats; before him, dapons on bear-skin seats; surrounding his domain, the Rigden dralas (..,)'. When a king receives his subjects - the relationships are clear, visible and therefore natural hierarchy can arise.

In the context of a Shambhala Centre this notion of a King, his advisers and subjects can be translated into the order of Heaven <-> Humanity <-> Earth. This means that people (humanity) are appointed to a certain post within the centre and they are responsible for translating the view of the teachings (heaven) into the actual workings of the centre (earth). There is a large responsibility that comes with such a post. The right people should be appointed to the right post, for mismatches can cause harm .. In 'The golden Sun of the Great East': 'If the horse has no saddle, there is no dignity in riding. If the sun had no rays, the people would be blind. If the warrior has no sword, the blessings of the dralas cannot be gathered (...)'.


In a Shambhala Centre it also means that people should have a proper seat, not only on a board or as a title, but also a real physical seat. This means that a number of people - especially the director and the Rusung - should have a desk in an office from which to work. The function pertains to the role and position and duties individuals hold within the court: who does what.

A Shambhala Court should be viewed as a mandala, another expression of the word 'container.' In a mandala different levels exist all of them connected through a bright and clear path. In the table below, the various levels of the mandala are indicated according to the various traditions as well as the functions and activities of those levels.

Shambhalian / Drala: Outer Court / Lu / External Kalapa Court

• Buddhist: Nirmanakaya
• Dorje Kasung: Perimeter / Ramparts
• Properties and Activities: This is the level of the mundane world and deals with the concrete every day aspects of people's lives and activities. Activities here are of planning, outreach, education and administration.

Shambhalian / Drala: Inner Court / Nyen / Internal Kalapa Court

• Buddhist: Sambhogakaya
• Dorje Kasung: Bailey

• Properties and Activities: On this level the environment, people and their activities are all seen as energy fields and fluxes of energy. Perception at this level is just radiance and luminosity. Activities here are meditation practice and teaching and study of the Dharma.

Shambhalian I Drala: Secret Court / Lha / Ultimate Kalapa Court

• Buddhist: Dharmakaya
• Dorje Kasung: Keep / Donjon
• Properties and Activities: This is the level which consists of nonconceptual space and which cannot be described further. The activity here is related with the higher vajrayana practices, with lungs and transmission.

In 1978, the Dorje Dradul talks about the Cosmic Mirror accommodating everything since it has NO middle and NO fringe. This in contrast to the notion of mandala - which means 'centre and fringe'. However the reason for the existence of the Court is to act as a mandala principle, in which things can be centralized rather than diffused. So the mandala principle is there to guide us on a relative level in working with something similar, but boundless on an absolute level).

COURT ENERGETICS

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Space


This aspect has two parts: a) the mundane part: what will bring out the energy of the land that supports practice; and b) the space that the court creates by itself.

The energy of the land:

All places on earth carry energy. Some places carry more energy than others and it may come in terms of beneficial, neutral, wrathful or even malevolent. Selecting the appropriate location on the land will have a strong influence on the spiritual practice that takes place there, for good or for bad. Jamgon Kongtrul the Great (1813-1899) pointed these aspects out in his guides to retreat and to pilgrimage. In his book 'Sacred Ground', Jamgon Kongtrul Rinpoche has written extensively on pilgrimage and sacred geography. In his book he for example discusses at great length how a particular scared [sacred] place originated; what different categories of sacred places exist; a proof of the existence of sacred places; descriptions of the particular place itself and how it appears to both lay people, initiated ones and exalted ones; how that place was blessed and its energy opened; the features of the place how to perform a pilgrimage there and what the benefits of that pilgrimage are. In particular that last aspect is interesting since it clearly and repeatedly and from many sources states that 'One day of meditation in these places, Brings one closer to attainment than a year of meditation in on ordinary place '.

Now the great Tibetan teachers are first and foremost practical people who do not want to waste effort on the spiritual path. They understand that one needs all the help one can get to attain enlightenment and walk the bodhisattva path. The teachers, the teachings and the sangha are crucial, as is one's effort and diligence. But what Jamgon Kongtrul here also clearly shows is that the physical location where one practices can literally make - or conversely break when in the wrong spot, although he doesn't say that - the accomplishment of one's practice. In Tibet entire volumes were filled with descriptions of such sacred sites along the lines of Jamgon Kongtrul's chapters above. Lists of sacred sites were sometimes found as 'terma' or treasure texts, hidden in magical places such as rocks, lakes or the sky, by Padmasambhava or Guru Rinpoche as he is called, or by his consort Yeshe Tsogyal.

The very spaces we use for practice should be a physical representation of and support for the spiritual path we are following. The structure of a space follows the sequence of three zones: Outer - Inner - Secret. These are connected by the bright and clear path. When such a structure is in place, practitioners know where they are, and where they are heading and gives them clear guidance on this path of transformation of attitude. In addition to this structure of three zones and their connection, is the principle of protection. Good protection allows energy to be gathered and collected and not run out. Protection in this sense deals with ensuring the possibility for practice and safeguarding the accomplishment of the practitioners.

The space created by the court itself:

When a court is in place at any location: its energetics are generated by the container and the people within it. These energetics are created through activity, ceremony and ritual, all performed in the proper way, at the proper moment by the appropriate people. A good example is the mandala of Magyel Pomra Encampment by the Dorje Kasung.

Time

This aspect is the same as in the principle of timeliness by Sun Tzu. When the preconditions for a situation have been set up - then the fruition will come at the right moment. The skill is to choose the precise moment when to initiate which action. If the window of opportunity is missed - then we cannot capture the energetics. All comes down to building up the right set of preconditions - so that when the moment comes, everything is in place and can be set in motion in order to achieve the best result.

Sun Tzu, in his work 'The Art of War', devoted much time in explaining the need to build up that potential energy and its release. He equates it to the drawing of the bow and the release of the arrow. In chapter 5 of his work he writes: 'The rush of water, to the point of tossing racks about. This is shih. The strike of a hawk, at the killing snap. This is the node. Therefore, one skilled at battle: his shih is steep. His node is short. Shih is like drawing the crossbow. The node is like pulling the trigger (...)'. So only when one knows how to set up the preconditions and when to actualise the motion - one is able to bring out all inherent possibilities and energies of a situation.

Ambient

This is equated as the state of constant preparedness. The state of sustained energetics, maintaining a constant preparedness for the arrival of the court - is like a constant background hum that has the potential of actualisation, but has not actualised yet. It sits ready for action every moment of every day.

Preparedness Movement, in U.S. history, a campaign that began prior to U.S. entry into World War I (April 1917) to increase U.S. military capabilities and to convince the U.S. citizenry of the need for American involvement in the conflict and ongoing military preparedness. Almost immediately after the outbreak of hostilities in Europe, a small number of Americans—former president Theodore Roosevelt being among the most prominent—sought to persuade the administration of Pres. Woodrow Wilson and the population at large that the country must prepare itself for war. The fate of occupied Belgium served as an example of what could happen to an unprepared country. Roosevelt wrote two books on the subject, America and the World War (1915) and Fear God and Take Your Own Part (1916), that helped popularize the Preparedness Movement.

-- Preparedness Movement, by Encyclopaedia Britannica


The state of constant preparedness can be equated like a bowl with food: an elegant and functional container has been created - the food sits ready and all that needs to happen is that is [it] will be picked up and eaten. When a centre is in a state of constant preparedness: there is no nervousness, no panic, no anger or frustration. When the Sage King arrives at any given moment: there is no problem at all - Sakyong Mipham Rinpoche can arrive and take his seat in this part of his Kingdom of Shambhala.

Emergent

Energy like a spike of power. When the Sage King - Sakyong Mipham Rinpoche travels with his court - there must be a constant state of preparedness through having set up the preconditions to receive him. There must be a ground present. When that is the case, then a sudden spike of power will happen: something flares up out of this and dissolves again. Because of the preconditions that were set up, because of all preparedness - the power that bursts forth has no choice but to go forward and do it. The mandala is pregnant and the only thing that can happen next is giving birth. Sakyong Mipham Rinpoche in this case is like a key turning a lock. If there is no lock to be turned - there will be no progress and the key lies idle.

lock and key theory: The lock and key theory was dreamt up in Liverpool, England by an un-named genius. It states that a guy is like a key, and a girl is like a lock. A key that opens many locks is a master key, yet a lock that is opened by many keys is a shitty lock. This theory is rarely favoured by females... for some reason.

--urbandictionary.com


It is like executing the stroke of Ashe: after having set up the ink, paper and brush - after having gone through the preliminaries - the stroke is inevitable, it must happen. Afterwards there is nothing to go back to. The stroke has happened, we fold up the paper and discard it. However the surge of emergent energy, of power is used in our personal transformation because we have set up the environment so carefully and with attention to every detail. A beautiful description is given in 'The golden Sun of the Great East': 'The king held the fearless brush, soaked in the ink of mercy. He touched it to the tip of his tongue, invoking the dralas of the past, present and future. First he placed the A dot (...) up to: At that moment the Eastern Sun matured (...)'.

The whole

When all parts are in place: when a space has been set up in the proper manner: Outer - Inner - Secret plus its connecting Bright and Clear Path, with good protection; when the appropriate ceremonies have been performed; when all officials and participants are in their appropriate position, doing the right things; when conducted at the proper time and as a result of constant preparedness: all of these accumulated will through their amplification - when the Sage King comes and takes his seat flare as a spark of emergent energy. Given the preparedness and container - this emergent energy is then available to transform the world.

Lha, Nyen and Lu

The principles of Lha, Nyen and Lu are at the heart of the Shambhala teachings. In 'The Letter of the Golden Key', the Vidyadhara Chogyam Trungpa Rinpoche devoted a substantial part of the text to these principles. In fact the text states that if the order of these three is not obeyed - damage will follow: 'If the order of Lha, Nyen and Lu is violated, slander arises and windhorse weakens; a kalpa of sickness and war is born (...)'.

However, we should realize that the principles of Lha, Nyen and Lu apply to more levels than the one illustrated: ranging from the position of the Shambhala centre in the landscape down to the organization of the shelves in a cupboard. Ideally one needs a good proportion of all three principles, as there are three levels of practitioners: in 'The Letter of the Black Ashe', the Dorje DraduI described the warriors who went to the highland mountains and erected crystal palaces to live in. Others went to the lands of lakes and islands and started to live there. Finally the last group went to live in the pleasant plains. All these are practitioners of different accomplishment, but all have their role in society.

The space of the court

All places on earth carry energy. Some places carry more energy than others and it may come in terms of beneficial, neutral, wrathful or even malevolent. Selecting the appropriate location on the land will have a strong influence on the activity that takes place there, for good or for bad. This is particularly true for spiritual practices.

The very spaces we use for practice should be a physical representation of and support for the spiritual path we are following. The structure of a space follows the sequence of three zones: Outer - Inner - Secret. These are connected by the bright and clear path. When such a structure is in place, practitioners know where they are, and where they are heading and gives them clear guidance on this path of transformation of attitude.

In addition to this structure of three zones and their connection, is the principle of protection. Good protection allows energy to be gathered and collected and not run out. Protection in this sense deals with ensuring the possibility for practice and safeguarding the accomplishment of the practitioners.

When a court is in place somewhere: the container and the people within it generate energy. These energetics are created through activity, ceremony and ritual, all performed in the proper way, at the proper moment by the appropriate people.

The seat of the king

For the Sakyong, to facilitate his contact with the sangha on his travels, there must be a constant state of preparedness in the whole mandala to receive him. There must be a ground present. So when a Shambhala Centre is in some constant state of preparedness for the Sakyong to arrive, then when he does, a sudden burst of power can happen: something flares up and dissolves again. Because of the preconditions that were set up, because of all preparedness - this power that bursts forth has no choice but to go forward and do it. The mandala is pregnant and the only thing that can happen next is giving birth.

All comes down to building up the right set of preconditions - so that when the moment comes, everything is in place and can be set in motion in order to achieve the best result. Sun Tzu, in his work 'The Art of War', devoted much time in explaining the need to build up that potential energy and its release. So only when one knows how to set up the preconditions and when to actualize the motion - one is able to bring out all inherent possibilities and energies of a situation.

This constant state of preparedness also has another effect: the presence of the Sakyong is more immediately felt in the Shambhala Centre. If we view Shambhala as a mandala, then is has by definition a centre and a fringe. The Shambhala Centre is an actual mental and physical gate into the Shambhala mandala. As a fringe, it should reflect the centre, reflect the embodiment of the Shambhala lineage: Sakyong Mipham Rinpoche. By being prepared for his arrival, that connection becomes alive and powerful.

So when all parts are in place: when a space has been set up in the proper manner: Outer - Inner - Secret plus its connecting Bright and Clear Path, with good protection; when the appropriate ceremonies have been performed; when all officials and participants are in their appropriate position, doing the right things; when conducted at the proper time and as a result of constant preparedness: all of these accumulated will through their amplification - when the Sage King comes and takes his seat flare as a spark of emergent energy. Given the preparedness and container - this emergent energy is then available to transform the world.
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Re: Former teacher at Boulder's Shambhala accused of sexuall

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Part 2 of 2

SACRED SPACE OF THE SHAMBHALA CENTRE.

Introduction


A practice centre is not just the container for the practice and the teachings, it is also a physical representation of the path we go. We come in as new students and start with getting into contact with this world of Shambhala. That is the outer situation. Then we our first interview and start settling down in the practice. We practice, we study and meet with the sangha, we share meals, we pay dues, we join meetings - all of this belongs to the inner situation. Finally we progress in our path, we enter the Vajrayana teachings or higher Shambhala teachings. All of this is considered the Secret aspect. Our centre should reflect that particular path: Outer -> Inner -> Secret. So when we choose a new location, this should be kept in mind.

No centre can do without a leadership: the executive committee and the director and Rusung should all have a place where they can have a seat. This comes straight from the view on the Shambhala Court as outlined above. From these seats (read: desks) it is possible to help the community and help bring the centre forward. By denying these people a seat: one invites confusion and internal strife and problems. The view that can be generated for the centre is dependent on the actual view you have from the place itself. The more expansive your field of vision, the further you get; conversely - a small or limited view will not help you forward very much.

In the same vein: viewing the centre as a mandala - the fruition of any type of activity, you hold in a particular place - the radius of its impact - will also depend on the shape of that location. Your environment either amplifies or diminishes the effect of your work. The view and aspects of court energetics outlined above have clear implications on a practical level in our Shambhala centres. A few are worth mentioning here shortly:

Well positioned and designed Shambhala centres, are a powerful form of sacred space that will attract and guide many practitioners on the path of practice of meditation. In order to make this happen, below a number of aspects are discussed to realise such a space.

The following are a number of key points to be aware of when selecting and working with a space, in order to make it a suitable place for our practices. They themselves are not enough to select a space - one really needs the advice of an experience Kanyu practitioner for this. But for those centres that have received a consultation, or are about to receive a consultation, these points might serve as helpful guidelines.

It is also very important to remember that the dralas will not come solely because of the energy of the land and the way we set up the space. It depends very much also on our activity. We are aware of these teachings from our Shambhala tradition - the importance of the environment and the space, being brave and dignified, engaging in our practice in a genuine manner, and refraining from neurotic or harmful activities. Without this basis of right activity, we will not be able to invite dralas into our space.

Outer, inner and secret

In terms of a Shambhala centre, the Outer/Lu is represented by the reception, social space and kitchen, the director's room and the administration. The Inner/Nyen is formed by the Shambhala/Buddhist general shrine room and the teacher's room. Finally the Secret/Lho is formed by the Vajrayana/Werma shrine rooms. This order should be kept in order to maintain harmony.

As mentioned above: the principles of Lha, Nyen and Lu apply to various levels: one being the position of a Shambhala centre in the landscape. For example a centre that occupies a place that is dominated by Lu is not suitable for the meditation practices we use. It will mean one has to move. A centre in a place that is very Nyen is solid, but the development will stay rather basic. A place that is very Lho also is suitable for a few very advanced practitioners only. Ideally one needs a good proportion of all three principles. However the principles of Lha, Nyen and Lu apply also to more detailed matters within the centre itself and practical application of this follows below.

Location of the Shambhala Centre

Within the Shambhala mandala we have many centres, all with a different role. More is said on this topic in a separate document. The aims and efforts within any particular centre should be in accord with its role within the mandala on a larger scale.

Outside of the Shambhala Centre.

A Shambhala centre should be visible. Our logo's, symbols and pins are not just convenient ways of figuring out 'who is who', but are seed syllables and should be regarded and treated that way - both in putting up and in taking down. In practical terms - this means setting up clear, elegant and functional signs on the door(s) leading to our centre. It also means making an effort in publishing the existence of the Shambhala centre.

Organization of space within the centre.

The way a Shambhala centre is structured, according to the principles of Outer - Inner - Secret plus the connecting Bright and Clear Path, as well as the protection will strongly influence the practitioners and their efforts on the path. Wrong lay out may lead to people leaving very quick, people getting 'lost' in the practice and in the organization, no progress on the path or even - in the more extreme cases - to the formation of factions and divisions within the local sangha - with all nasty politics associated with that. A strong Outer - Inner - Secret zoning, and an inviting connecting Bright and Clear Path will help practitioners along, inspire them and make them full part of the sangha.

Organization of hierarchy.

In the section on 'Function' of the court energetics, the importance of seats was clearly laid out. This is also very relevant on the local level of the Shambhala centre. Within the centre, the Executive Committee has the responsibility of maintaining good view, order and care for the possibility for people to practice. This comes with a host of details that need to be attended whilst maintaining this larger view.

The Executive Committee therefore needs a space where it can convene and have meetings. Especially the director of the centre and the Rusung as head of the local Dorje Kasung squad need to have a real physical place - a desk - where they can sit down and do their duties. This is not the same as an administrative desk - these are three separate places. Now not all circumstances permit having three desks, but at the very least both the director and the Rusung need a seat. This is not a luxury!

Centre and fringe, and the state of constant preparedness.

A Shambhala centre is not just any place where one can practice meditation or learn how to arrange flowers. It is an integral part of the entire mandala of Shambhala. Because mandala means 'centre and fringe' - the central Kalapa Court is reflected in the local Shambhala centre. It is both a gate to the Kingdom of Shambhala, as well as a place where the Sage King might appear to visit his subjects at any moment.

When the state of a local Shambhala centre degrades - it reflects back on the mandala as a whole and on the Court in particular. It is like a pool: when through practice and effort the initial small mandala widens from a small pool into a large lake: blessings can travel faster from the middle of the lake to the shores - reaching a wider public. Conversely - poison from the shores travels to all other parts of the lake more easily too!

A state of constant preparedness means that all aspects of Outer - Inner - Secret plus the connecting Bright and Clear Path, as well as the protection and hierarchy are in place and function well. Scenarios, resources and finances lie waiting for those moments when the King will arrive. People are trained and ready. Then the presence of the Sage King is felt everywhere, even during his absence. That constant preparedness will guide and inspire practitioners and transform the atmosphere.

Land

Land carries energy. Mountains carry more energy, which can be powerfully conducive to practice, but also harmful if too wild. Rivers and bodies of water carry energy associated with wealth and enterprise. Overall, land energy can be either helpful or harmful for a spiritual place.

Looking at the location of monasteries in Asia, it is clear to see that they are in specific places where the energy is conducive to practice. Identifying such places and whether land energy is beneficial or harmful requires a lot of training. Common sense, however, is a good starting point.

Access and location

The location of our centre, needs to be established in relation to the key sources of land energy typically available in cities - rivers, waterways and lakes, and also mountains, hills and ridges, etc. Also need to take heed of major roads and railroad tracks - these can cut the energy-flow.

Since our teachings are about helping others, it is important that people can reach us easily. This means that our space is easily locatable and easy to reach. It is also important that it is close to the community - if most of the community have a hard time getting there, then they will not come and if the community is not there, then the space will be dead. So the place we are looking for is in streets that have a lively but not overly crowded atmosphere. People should be walking there. Also a centre should preferably be visible from the street and not being hidden in a courtyard. Also a building should preferably not be on a T-junction or at a corner.

Usually we have need for a Shambhala Buddhist shrine room, a Vajrayana shrine room, interview rooms, and a kitchen, an office etc. Some groups find they need to take a large space in an out of the way, sometimes decaying area. Unfortunately, it is hard for new people to come to such a space, and it is hard to invite dralas into a decaying area. Such groups and centres often get stuck there for a long time. Decaying space - decaying buildings or a building in an environment with a lot of decay is not good - it contributes to a general loss of energetics within the centre.

Narrow streets have no view/horizon. Far vision means good horizon, the distance you see equals how far is your vision, If not far you always pay attention to little details in front of you, be completely buried; like thinking whether there is enough toilet-paper and not about how the program can be better.

Architecture

Architecture of a building or a space can strengthen or destroy positive energy. Both the external and the internal architecture/layout have an effect, and we need to be aware of this. Generally triangular shapes and sharp lines are more connected with aggressive energy and are not helpful. Regular or rounded shapes are more beneficial. Good architecture on a powerful land energy can not only significantly strengthen such a power spot - but combined with sacred activity there, this can make a power spot into a sacred place. A place where we can invite dralas.

Perimeter

The perimeter defines our space - it defines what is inside and what is outside. This perimeter can be the edges of our space physically (simply the walls) or we can also extend it out by using signs, markings etc to mark the boundary of our space.

Approach

When practitioners approach a place of practice, it is important that they are already prepare their mind for the practice. This can be conscious, or simply through the style of the approach. We know about how to prepare ourselves for our practice through our use of the Post Meditation Hall. Equally, before entering our buildings, people always walk through an approach. This may be walking along a loud, dirty street with a simple doorway, or an long dark corridor and an entry into a courtyard. Both of these affect the state of mind of the person arriving, and their experience of our space. Thus it is very important to work with the approach and ensure that it is accessible and inviting.

It is also important to be aware that the first experience someone has of the dharma, is what they experience in their approach. If they walk into an office space - then that is the first impression of a practice place. It would be better if they arrived in a space with some Dharma Art, some heraldry and flowers. The type of art used should match the use of the room involved: so for example one can use a flower arrangement for the entrance to the Shambhala shrine room, and an Buddhist image in the approach to the Vajrayana shrine room.

Signs, heraldry and logos

Signs serve to make people aware where we are. On a more deeper level, they can mark the boundary to our space, and also act as seed syllables - they represent the teachings. Thus they also affect the mind of the person arriving. Clear, prominent signs with the Shambhala Sun on them are very important.

Our heraldry and symbols are very potent, and the Vidyadhara and the Sakyong spent a lot of time thinking about them and creating them. We need to use them appropriately. It is good to display the Shambhala Sun prominently at the entrance and at each boundary to clearly display the symbols. For example, before the shrine room, we could display the Dharmadhatu Evam symbol, or the Shambhala Training symbol. In the community room, there could be a small Dechen Choling symbol above the Dechen Choling calendar.

A Shambhala centre should be visible. Our logo's, symbols and pins are not just convenient ways of figuring out 'who is who', but are seed syllables and should be regarded and treated that way - both in putting up and in taking down. In practical terms - this means setting up clear, elegant and functional signs on the door(s) leading to our centre. It also means making an effort in publishing the existence of the Shambhala centre.

Gates and protection

Gates mark the threshold between spaces. They serve to focus energy going from one space to the next, and also to act as a protection. Walking through a gate is walking through an energy threshold. In demarcating our space into Outer, Inner and Secret, we need to work carefully with gates. Gates (such as doorways) can be strengthened by adding protection (such as pictures of mahakalas) as well as heraldry or banners.

Protection is a very important issue in a Shambhala Centre. Protection does not mean shutting out or turning people away: it means the proper way to welcome practitioners in. The teachings and the teacher and the people practicing need a space that is both a safe place to be in - without disturbances or accidents - and that will promote and keep the results of the practice - the accomplishment of the practitioners should not be lost or corrupted from and through the space. Also the practice space should be a proper container that will amplify the teachings when they are being given and practiced.

Protecting the practice situation is a responsibility of all sangha-members but in particular of the Dorje Kasung. A Shambhala Centre should have at least a few people who practice on this particular path, lead by a Rusung. For further information one should make enquiries through Shambhala Europe.

Zones

As was stated above: a Shambhala centre is the physical manifestation of our spiritual path and should therefore be structured according to the principles of Outer - Inner - Secret connected by the Bright and Clear Path. In addition there are the principles of protection, which guard the teacher, the teachings and the practitioners and their efforts on the path. So within our own building, we need to think very clearly about these three zones. The order of Outer - Inner - Secret are matched by the principles of Lu - Nyen and Lho respectively. In terms of a Shambhala centre:

• The Outer/Lu is represented by the welcoming space and reception, the social space, administration, director's seat and kitchen. This could also be the space where art can be exhibited.
• The Inner/Nyen is formed by the Shambhala/Buddhist general shrine room and the interview rooms and the teacher's room.
• Finally the Secret/Lho is formed by the Vajrayana/Werma shrine rooms.

Following the warning in the traditional teachings on this topic, this order should not be confused or peril will result. However, we should realize that the principles of Lha, Nyen and Lu apply to more levels than the one illustrated: ranging from the position of the Shambhala centre in the landscape down to the organization of your shelves. For example a centre that occupies a place that is dominated by Lu is not suitable for the meditation practices we use. It will mean one has to move. A centre in a place that is very Nyen is solid, but the development will stay rather basic. A place that is very Lha also is suitable for a few very advanced practitioners only. Ideally one needs a good proportion of all three principles.

Applying these principles of Outer - Inner - Secret and Lu - Nyen ond Lho provides us with a clear ordering of the functions of our Shambhala Centre. For example it implies that we should house the highest (Lho) practices (Tantra -Werma) in the innermost or Secret parts. In the first place this serves to provide a reminder of the progression of the spiritual path. Secondly if these practices are not given any space, this means they will never increase in strength and have more people practicing this. This in turn will mean that the sangha will get spiritually stuck. Finally suppose there is Lu activity in this Lha space: it could for example mean that young inexperienced students take over from older practitioners, which would lead to serious disruptions within the sangha.

When looking at temples or monasteries of different Asian traditions, when can see some different ways of laying out these three. Some use the linear approach, with each space successively following on from the previous - this is more connected to direct paths to realization - Zen or Vajrayana. Other traditions use the mandala layout of concentric rings - with the Outer being outermost, and the Secret being innermost and in the middle the Inner. This model is more associated with gradual paths. Typically, because of the layout of our centres, we use either the linear approach, or simply a basic separation with no clear order. Below a number of additional aspects are indicated that we can think about:

Do we have these three spaces Outer, Inner and Secret and are they clearly defined and delineated? No clear demarcation of Outer/Inner and Secret - often results in it being hard to bring people into the community. If one fixes a problem of people drifting straight out the door, another associated problem may be that they come but never go deeper. They do not become members. At the same time, older students do not feel welcome, because the energy of the centre has been taken over by newcomer energy. Clear demarcation of Outer, Inner and Secret areas makes it experientially clearer to people that there is a progression on the path. In addition, older students feel more welcome and comfortable.

Are there real boundaries (gates)? Boundaries serve to make you aware of the transitions on the path and serve for protection.

Are spaces correctly sized for the community: for example many communities have a large shrine room, an office and no space for the community. Thus there is space for the advanced practitioners, but no space to invite in new members - alternately, there is often only a tiny space for the administration - can the space for the administration support the proportionate amount of responsibility.

No community space - some centres have a monolithic shrine space, but no space for the community etc. This means there is no space for people to gather, but also no boundary between the outside word and the Secret space. It is better to get a series of smaller rooms, and perhaps rent an additional space for the one large program a year.

There is no post meditation space. This post meditation space is very important, because it creates a container. The possibility to reflect on what they have been doing. We need some kind of transformation.

Confusion of spaces - Mixing use of spaces. Using shrine space for dancing or other very different activities. Hard to build up energy in a space.

The corridors are long and dark: you don't know where you're going, where the end point is. People grasp in the dark. These dominating corridors are a perfect spot for ambush, traps, attacks, intrigues, people spying others, backstabbing. It creates many dark activities. The whole politics is controlled from back, in secret. Because incoming people don't have a long view and don't see the different levels of practice, they don't know there are all these practices and after a few months go home. Sitting they can do at home, after all.

Energy flows straight through the door to the meditation hall. This happens when the shrine room opens straight out to the exit. The outside world energy flows right in, it is hard to build up any energy in the shrine hall, and people spill right outside again - they do not stay or return (let alone become members). It is hard to contain any energy.

Light - good natural light is very beneficial for people's well-being.

Cellars - not good for spiritual practice - a lot of Lu energy, hard to invite dralas.

Neighbours

Activity generates energy, which can affect us. Since neighbours engage in activity, we need to be aware what out neighbours are doing. Butchers, pornography shops etc are not helpful neighbours. Residences and businesses can be neutral (depending on what is going on there) and healing activities can be beneficial.

Activity and sharing space with others

Activity creates energy. We perceive activity and it affects our minds. Thus spiritual practice can strengthen the energy of a space, and even make a potent sacred space out of our centres. Equally, harmful activity can be detrimental to us. Thus we need to be very aware what kind of activity goes on in our centres, and what activity goes on around us.

In is important not to mix too many activities in spaces. Thus the shrine room should be mainly used for practice, study and feasts. Where possible, meetings and large social gatherings should be held outside, in the community area. Equally it is not so good to use a shrine room for dance or totally different activities.

Based on the above points about activity and neighbours, we need to think carefully about how we share spaces with others. If we can mark a clear perimeter, and we can ensure that our spaces are not used for entirely different purposes, then it is fine. If not, it will be harder for people to enter into our community and deepen our practice.

When a building is too small - one must make economic use of the space. This means sharing the same room for various practices. One has to know that every practice leaves a certain amount of its energy in the room. So if you do a lot of taking down and setting up, you might loose what you have build up so diligently. You should then figure out a clever plan what practices/usage can be shared with what.

In the same vein: when a building is too expensive - subletting / room sharing etc. etc. is all brought forward as a solution. It might be from a financial point of view, but it might not be from a practice point of view. All for the same reasons as above. Subletting might be useful, but only when certain conditions are met!

It is recommended doing some research on the history and previous owners of this building. See if there have (not) been any violent crimes or tragedies in the past. The presence and nature of those could help determine if this is a proper practice place and if something has happened: what to do about it.

Visible and invisible energies

The way to assess the building of the Shambhala Centre is through analysis of the various energies present. These can be separated in visible and invisible. Visible means you can see or touch it and generally relates to:

The external architecture: what the building looks like - beneficial or harmful architecture.

The internal partitioning: what room or space lies where; size of each one.

The Flying Stars method of Fengshui provide information on the invisible energies, at work in the building. Fengshui (literally: 'wind and water') is a Taoist art, that aims at aligning the efforts of mankind, with the resident energies of heaven and earth. In Fengshui these energies are studied and applied by means of landforms, dates and directions. The invisible energies are created the moment that the house is built or rejuvenated when substantially renovated (this is a time component) and through the front and rear compass directions of the house (directional component). The data gathered through the building date and the compass-direction, are used to create a so called 'Flying Stars' chart. This chart reveals these hidden energies of the building and is projected on the floor plan of the building in question. This enables us to provide information on:

• Type and distribution of energy pattern in the building.
• Nature of the energy in each part of the building.
• Agreements or conflicts with present usage of spaces.
• Prediction of energy patterns for future years.
• Specific interaction of building with occupants.

Based on the evaluation of the exterior, the interior and the Flying Stars, an assessment can be made of positive and negative influences. These influences are from around the building, part of it and inside. The following suggestions can be provided:

• Best use of each room.
• Placement of shrines and furniture.
• Enhancing positive situations.
• Countermeasures for negative and harmful situations.

The interpretation of these charts and the application of its information requires substantial training and experience. During a consultation such a chart was made and explained. If one searches for a new place, a new charts needs to be made for a prospective centre and interpreted in the proper manner.

Conclusion

All centres have their role within the larger context of the Shambhala mandala. We should make an effort to work on positioning, developing and supporting Shambhala centres at key locations in accord with this larger view. In addition - well designed Shambhala centres, are a powerful form of sacred space that will attract and guide many practitioners on the path of practice of meditation.

PROTECTOR PRINCIPLE

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Introduction


What is protection? Who is a protector? And what is being protected? Protection is a form of guardianship. Guardianship is intimately tied to spiritual practice. Before we can practice, we need to make sure that the practice space is protected. The mandala is a type of protection circle. With its gates and concentric circles of power, the mandala protects all those who practice within its circle when it is properly constructed and empowered. If the protection circle is breached, then not only will the practitioners be exposed to attacks, but dharma energy cultivated during practice will dissipate. Consequently, the practice is compromised as best.

Protectors

Protectors can be understood in several levels. Here the Shambhala terminology of the Three Courts is used to illustrate this.

Outer

• In the lowest level, which is the Outer or Kalapa Court, the Shambhala Court mandala and its protectors are embodied in the physical space of the macrocosm of the Shambhala Centre and the microcosm of each shrine or meditation hall. The nature of this court is indestructibility; the qualities of it's inhabitants are skilful means, daringness and patience.
• In this level, the manifesting protectors are the Kasung. The Kasung station, garrison, and gate keeper form the protection circle of the Outer Court.
• Thus, they are linked to the Outer Sakyong and the qualities of Just and Powerful. Protection here is related to mundane aspects such as the safety and integrity and dignity of the physical surroundings of the Shambhala Centre or Court. It also relates to preventing mishap or accidents to occur or loss of dignity and respect for the environment.

Inner

The next level of protection is embodied in the Inner Court, which is the domain of the dralas. Here, we are working with the energies of protection rather than the physical protector personnel. The nature of this court is complete luminosity; the qualities of it's inhabitants are gentleness, fearlessness and prajna.
• In this level, the manifesting protectors are the deities - for example Mahakala or Rahula. The Chakrasamvra protection principles and the Boddhisattva warriors are also dominant in this level of protection. Without these protector deities, the protection energies of the drala level cannot be realized.
• Protection at this level is linked to the Inner Sakyong and the quality of Brilliance. Here protection revolves around the Three Jewels:

• The teacher: protecting the body and the manifestation of the teacher and his immediate surroundings.
• The teachings: protection so that the teachings can be heard, practiced and studies, but also that they are not lost, diluted or corrupted.
• The sangha: protection from falling into the traps of ego: waking up from habitual patterns.

Secret

The highest level of protection is embodied in the Ultimate Court. Here there are no forms, but only eternal awakening. The nature of this court is the cosmic mirror; the qualities of it's inhabitants are primordialness, unchangingness and braveness.
• The eternal awakening and the forever dawning of the Great Eastern Sun, and the Great Blade of the Primordial Ashe are the protectors.
• Forever present, without needing to be invoked or invited, this is intrinsic protection, and is linked to the Ultimate Sakyong, identified with the Rigden's mind, and synonymous with Profundity.

When all three levels of protection are aligned and in place, the Outer, Inner, and Ultimate Courts are connected, and the Shambhala Court blazes with the ground, principle, and energy of the Profound, Brilliance, Just, and All-Powerful.

When protection is in place the Sakyong, the Dharma, the practitioners (the sangha),and the enlightened society of Shambhala are guarded from attacks. Attacks originate in ignorance, passion, aggression, and attachment. In other words, when we look at attacks closely, we always find ego to be at the bottom of them all. Thus, we can say that the protectors are essentially protecting us from ourselves.


Expression

When we examine the icons of the protection deities, such as Mahakala, we find that the deity is wrathful and is stomping on or tearing apart grotesque beings. These images are used as metaphors:

There are no police in our sense of the word. Evil-doers are publicly sentenced. The punishments are pretty drastic but they seem to suit the mentality of the population. I was told of a man who had stolen a golden butter-lamp from one of the temples in Kyirong. He was convicted of the offence, and what we would think an inhuman sentence was carried out. His hands were publicly cut off and he was then sewn up in a wet yak-skin. After this had been allowed to dry, he was thrown over a precipice.

We never saw any punishments as cruel as this. As time has gone on the Tibetans seem to have become more lenient. I remember witnessing a public flogging, which I thought was not severe enough. The condemned persons were a monk and a nun belonging to the reformed Buddhist Church, which enforces celibacy. The nun had cohabited with the monk and had had a child by him, which she killed when it was born. Both were denounced and put in the pillory. Their guilt was publicly announced and they were condemned to a hundred lashes each. During the flogging the inhabitants begged the authorities to show mercy, offering them presents of money. This produced a reduction of the sentence, and sobs and sighs of relief were heard among the crowd of onlookers. The monk and the nun were exiled from the district and deprived of their religious status. The sympathy shown by the whole population towards them was, to our notions, almost inconceivable. The sinners received numerous presents of money and provisions and left Kyirong with well-filled sacks to go on a pilgrimage.


-- Seven Years in Tibet, by Heinrich Harrer


• The grotesque beings are the manifestations of the persistent blindness that keeps us from seeing and realizing the true nature of mind and phenomena.
• The wrathfulness of the deity expresses the invincible and all-victorious power of wisdom and compassion.

• When the deity has one head, it expresses the uncompromising power of the absolute truth; when it has three heads, it expresses the trikaya and the transformation of the three mental poisons of desire, ignorance, aggression, and ignorance.
• If it has two arms, it expresses the union of wisdom and skilful means; if it has six arms, it expresses the six paramitas of generosity, discipline, patience, diligence, concentration, and wisdom.
• If it has two legs, it expresses the inseparability of the space of Dharmadhatu and the awareness of vidya; if it has four legs, it expresses the boundless qualities of love, compassion, joy, and impartiality.
• The sharp and pointed wings express the power of penetrating wisdom and the ability of the Ashe to cut itself.
• The three eyes express the perfect knowledge of past, present, and future.

If the protector deity is compromised, then all of the above manifestations will be compromised.

Image

The grounding of a protector deity is necessary to manifesting its power. The protector deity exudes an aura or circle of protection, emanating from the centre outward. By grounding, we mean focus and stability. Just as the job of a security guard in a building is compromised when we ask the guard to hang our coats and get our hats, the job of Mahakala is hampered if we distract him. His ambient protection energy is always present, even when there is no one in the space. His emergent protection energy is heightened when practitioners are present. Ambient protection energy is less affected while emergent energy is affected more by disturbance and distraction.

Protector shrine

Our activities around a protector shrine need to be understood in the context of protection principles. It is not simply about usage of storage space and activity. When the space under the protector shrine is used to store objects related to sacred activity, the protection circle of the Mahakala is extended to protecting objects stored underneath his shrine - sacred texts, bell, dorje, cymbals etc. Thus, storing sacred objects under a Mahakala shrine is actually beneficial. However, when the emergent energy of Mahakala is most potent (during a meditation session, or feast, or sadhana), disrupting the space by opening and closing cabinet doors can severely compromise the protection circle that the Mahakala is providing.

COLOPHON

This overview is a small reminder of the various aspects that have been addressed during the consultation by Eva Wong. It is based on notes made during several consultations throughout Europe between 2002 and 2006.
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In their efforts, Sakyong Mipham Rinpoche and Eva Wong strive to bring these traditions together to shape a bright and clear path for spiritual development as warriors in the modern day world….

The way a Shambhala centre is structured, according to the principles of Outer - Inner - Secret plus the connecting Bright and Clear Path, as well as the protection will strongly influence the practitioners and their efforts on the path…..

A strong Outer - Inner - Secret zoning, and an inviting connecting Bright and Clear Path will help practitioners along, inspire them and make them full part of the sangha….

A state of constant preparedness means that all aspects of Outer - Inner - Secret plus the connecting Bright and Clear Path, as well as the protection and hierarchy are in place and function well…..

a Shambhala centre is the physical manifestation of our spiritual path and should therefore be structured according to the principles of Outer - Inner - Secret connected by the Bright and Clear Path…..

Kanyu, Fengshui and Court Energetics, PART II: ON THE ENERGETICS OF SHAMBHALA CENTRES, Based on the teachings of Eva Wong, Editor: Peter C. van der Molen


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Communist Party of Peru - Shining Path
Partido Comunista del Perú - Sendero Luminoso
Abbreviation PCP
Leader Abimael Guzmán
Founded Late 1960s
Armed wing People's Guerrilla Army
Ideology Communism
Marxism–Leninism–Maoism

Anti-revisionism
Gonzalo Thought
Political position Far-left
International affiliation Revolutionary Internationalist Movement
Colours Red
Slogan ¡Viva la Guerra Popular!
¡Guerra Popular hasta el comunismo!
Long live the People's War!
People's War until Communism!
Party flag
Image
Politics of Peru
Political parties
Elections

The Communist Party of Peru – Shining Path (Spanish: Partido Comunista del Perú - Sendero Luminoso), more commonly known as the Shining Path (Spanish: Sendero Luminoso), is a communist revolutionary organization in Peru espousing Marxism-Leninism-Maoism. When it first launched the internal conflict in Peru in 1980, its goal was to overthrow the state by guerrilla warfare and replace it with a New Democracy. The Shining Path believed that by establishing a dictatorship of the proletariat, inducing a cultural revolution, and eventually sparking a world revolution, they could arrive at full communism. Their representatives stated that existing socialist countries were revisionist, and the Shining Path was the vanguard of the world communist movement. The Shining Path's ideology and tactics have been influential among other Maoist insurgent groups, notably the Communist Party of Nepal (Maoist Centre) and other Revolutionary Internationalist Movement-affiliated organizations.[1]

Widely condemned for its brutality,[2][3] including violence deployed against peasants, trade union organizers, elected officials and the general public,[4] the Shining Path is regarded as a terrorist organization by Peru, Japan, the United States, the European Union, and Canada, which consequently prohibit funding and other financial support for the group.
[5][6][7][8] Since the capture of its leader Abimael Guzmán in 1992, the Shining Path has declined in activity.[9]

Name

The common name of this group, the Shining Path, distinguishes it from several other Peruvian communist parties with similar names (see Communism in Peru). The name is derived from a maxim of José Carlos Mariátegui, the founder of the original Peruvian Communist Party in the 1920s: "El Marxismo-Leninismo abrirá el sendero luminoso hacia la revolución" ("Marxism–Leninism will open the shining path to revolution").[2]

This maxim was featured on the masthead of the newspaper of a Shining Path front group. Due to the number of Peruvian groups that refer to themselves as the Communist Party of Peru, groups are often distinguished by the names of their publications. The followers of this group are generally called senderistas. All documents, periodicals, and other materials produced by the organization are signed by the Communist Party of Peru (PCP). Academics often refer to them as PCP-SL.

Origins

The Shining Path was founded in 1969 by Abimael Guzmán, a former university philosophy professor (his followers referred to him by his nom de guerre, which was Presidente Gonzalo), and a group of 11 others.[10] His teachings created the foundation of its militant Maoist doctrine. It was an offshoot of the Communist Party of Peru — Bandera Roja (red flag), which in turn split from the original Peruvian Communist Party, a derivation of the Peruvian Socialist Party founded by José Carlos Mariátegui in 1928.[11] The Shining Path first established a foothold at San Cristóbal of Huamanga University, in Ayacucho, where Guzmán taught philosophy. The university had recently reopened after being closed for about half a century,[12] and many students of the newly educated class adopted the Shining Path's radical ideology. Between 1973 and 1975, Shining Path members gained control of the student councils at the Universities of Huancayo and La Cantuta, and they also developed a significant presence at the National University of Engineering in Lima and the National University of San Marcos. Sometime later, it lost many student elections in the universities, including Guzmán's San Cristóbal of Huamanga. It decided to abandon recruiting at the universities and reconsolidate.

Beginning on March 17, 1980, the Shining Path held a series of clandestine meetings in Ayacucho, known as the Central Committee's second plenary.[13] It formed a "Revolutionary Directorate" that was political and military in nature and ordered its militias to transfer to strategic areas in the provinces to start the "armed struggle", despite the revisionism instituted in China by Deng Xiaoping and its economic success since 1978. The group also held its "First Military School", where members were instructed in military tactics and the use of weapons. They also engaged in "Criticism and Self-criticism", a Maoist practice intended to purge bad habits and avoid the repetition of mistakes. During the existence of the First Military School, members of the Central Committee came under heavy criticism. Guzmán did not, and he emerged from the First Military School as the clear leader of the Shining Path.[14]

The year 1980 was the first year that Rinpoche instituted a formal skirmish, rather than relying on random attacks by outsiders. The camp was divided into two armies, one led by the Vajra Regent Osel Tendzin and the other by the Kasung Kyi Khyap David Rome. Before the action commenced, Rinpoche asked each of the commanders to agree to a number of rules, and they were asked to sign a document saying they would adhere to these rules. After the commanders signed off on the rules, the two opposing armies would be marched up into a series of highland meadows where the skirmish would take place. Each participant would be given a certain number of small flour bags, which they could use as "weapons." When someone was hit with a flour bag, he or she would be "dead" and would have to remain out of action. All of this was outlined in the rules. There were other rules, such as, if the opposing team gave water to someone who had been hit, that person could join the opposing army. One rule, the most important tenth rule, was only visible on the carbon copies of the document signed by the heads of the armies. Either commander could have discovered this rule; but neither did, as it was not visible on the top copy they signed.

During the battle, the two commanders were responsible for their armies' strategy; and the soldiers were expected to follow their commands. The Regent's strategy was quite aggressive; he had his army attack the other group quickly. He had many "hits" with the flour bags and killed many of the opposing team. David Rome seemed quite lost and somewhat fearful in his approach, and as a result, he marched his army into the hands of the opposing team, where they were largely slaughtered. A small band from David's army (which was led by Mitchell and included the Sawang in its ranks) did escape the first battle and spent hours trekking around Marpa's Point, trying to avoid capture or "death." In the end, they staged a final futile assault on the Regent's army and were all "slaughtered." Watching one's comrades falling down in the midst of the hazy flour smoke was quite realistic for people. They saw firsthand the devastation that war can bring. On the other hand, for many of the participants the skirmish seemed to be a lighthearted game, a fun way to spend the day.

At the end of the day, following the final battle of the skirmish, a vivid rainbow spread across the sky, filling the entire meadow where the last action took place with light. Rinpoche and his party had set up their camp that afternoon on a large outcropping of rock in the middle of this field, where he could watch the dramas unfold. When a member of either army "died," he or she was sent to Rinpoche's camp, which became known as Bardo Rock.

After the final battle, he directed all of the Dorje Kasung members to return to the main camp. There the skies opened up and the rain fell in sheets. In the midst of this downpour he discussed the results of the day's skirmish and graded the performance of the armies and their leaders. As he began to speak, people's mood changed drastically, as they began to realize that they had missed the point. Lacking a microphone, Rinpoche had to yell in order to be heard over the noise of the downpour. He was standing under a tarpaulin, but the troops had no such protection from the weather. They were being soaked by the rain. No tape was made of Rinpoche's remarks, but a "scribe" took notes, writing at a frantic speed to catch his words. Rinpoche told the assembled students that in fact they had all lost. No one had understood the main point of the exercise. At this point, he revealed the hidden rule, the tenth rule, which was the fundamental message he was trying to convey. This rule read: "Lack of proper strategy, causing greater loss of life, is cause for loss of battle." Then he explained to everyone, "Our task at Encampment is to rewrite the Oxford English Dictionary so that the meaning of the word war would be 'victory over aggression.'"

Rinpoche said that before the skirmish began both armies looked quite good with their various pennants and flags flying and their energetic sense of windhorse. He gave both armies a point for that. However, the Regent had a Buddhist problem, because his approach was to kill others. He lost a point for that. David Rome had a Shambhala problem, because he allowed his own family, his own troops, to be sacrificed. He lost a point for this. Mitchell was graded down for having had the right idea and then going against his better judgment. He had the idea that he and his small band should surrender, but instead, they attacked the Regent at the end of the day, and all were killed, including Rinpoche's son. Mitchell, as the commander of this ragtag band, was also marked down for allowing the Sawang to be killed in battle. Nobody got a passing grade.

Rinpoche's remarks were an utter shock. Many of those assembled started weeping, recognizing the aggression they had put into the exercise and the problems they had overcoming it. Rinpoche told everyone that they would have to go back the next day and conduct the entire exercise again. People were exhausted, but he was not interested in how tired they were. Indeed, both armies marched back up the hill the next morning. Rinpoche switched the commanders, so that the Regent led what had been David Rome's army, and David led the Regent's original troops. They conducted a skirmish with hardly a shot being fired.

-- Dragon Thunder: My Life with Chogyam Trungpa, by Diana J. Mukpo with Carolyn Rose Gimian


In 1992, Guzmán and other leaders of the Shining Path received life imprisonment sentences for their role in the Lucanamarca massacre, among other charges.[15]

Guerrilla war

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Shining Path poster supporting an electoral boycott

When Peru's military government allowed elections for the first time in a dozen years in 1980, the Shining Path was one of the few leftist political groups that declined to take part. It chose to begin guerrilla war in the highlands of the Ayacucho Region. On May 17, 1980, on the eve of the presidential elections, it burned ballot boxes in the town of Chuschi. It was the first "act of war" by the Shining Path. The perpetrators were quickly caught, and additional ballots were shipped to Chuschi. The elections proceeded without further problems, and the incident received little attention in the Peruvian press.[17]

Throughout the 1980s, the Shining Path grew, both in terms of the territory it controlled and in the number of militants in its organization, particularly in the Andean highlands. It gained support from local peasants by filling the political void left by the central government and providing what they called "popular justice", public trials that disregard any legal and human rights that deliver swift and brutal sentences, including public executions. This caused the peasantry of some Peruvian villages to express some sympathy for the Shining Path, especially in the impoverished and neglected regions of Ayacucho, Apurímac, and Huancavelica. At times, the civilian population of small, neglected towns participated in popular trials, especially when the victims of the trials were widely disliked.[18]

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Poster of Abimael Guzmán celebrating five years of People's War

The Shining Path's credibility was helped by the government's initially tepid response to the insurgency. For over a year, the government refused to declare a state of emergency in the region where the Shining Path was operating. The Interior Minister, José María de la Jara, believed the group could be easily defeated through police actions.[19] Additionally, the president, Fernando Belaúnde Terry, who returned to power in 1980, was reluctant to cede authority to the armed forces since his first government had ended in a military coup. The result was that the peasants in the areas where the Shining Path was active thought the state was either impotent or not interested in their issues.

On December 29, 1981, the government declared an "emergency zone" in the three Andean regions of Ayacucho, Huancavelica, and Apurímac and granted the military the power to arbitrarily detain any suspicious person. The military abused this power, arresting scores of innocent people, at times subjecting them to torture during interrogation[20] as well as rape.[21] Police, military forces, and members of the Popular Guerrilla Army (Ejército Guerrillero Popular, or EGP) carried out several massacres throughout the conflict. Military personnel started to wear black ski-masks to hide their identities and protect their safety, and that of their families.

In some areas, the military trained peasants and organized them into anti-rebel militias, called "rondas". They were generally poorly equipped, despite being provided arms by the state. The rondas attacked the Shining Path guerrillas. The first such reported attack was in January 1983, near Huata, when ronderos killed 13 senderistas in February, in Sacsamarca. In March 1983, ronderos brutally killed Olegario Curitomay, one of the commanders of the town of Lucanamarca. They took him to the town square, stoned him, stabbed him, set him on fire, and finally shot him. The Shining Path's retaliation to this was brutal. In one of the worst attacks in the entire conflict, a group of guerrilla members came into town and going house by house, massacred dozens of villagers, including babies, with guns, hatchets, and axes. This action has come to be known as the Lucanamarca massacre.[22]

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Areas where the Shining Path was active in Peru

The Shining Path's attacks were not limited to the countryside. It mounted attacks against the infrastructure in Lima, killing civilians in the process. In 1983, it sabotaged several electrical transmission towers, causing a citywide blackout, and set fire and destroyed the Bayer industrial plant. That same year, it set off a powerful bomb in the offices of the governing party, Popular Action. Escalating its activities in Lima, in June 1985, it blew up electricity transmission towers in Lima, producing a blackout, and detonated car bombs near the government palace and the justice palace. It was believed to be responsible for bombing a shopping mall.[23] At the time, President Fernando Belaúnde Terry was receiving the Argentine president Raúl Alfonsín. In one of its last attacks in Lima, on July 16, 1992, the group detonated a powerful bomb on Tarata Street in the Miraflores District, full of civilian adults and children,[24] killing 25 people and injuring an additional 155.[25]

During this period, the Shining Path assassinated specific individuals, notably leaders of other leftist groups, local political parties, labor unions, and peasant organizations, some of whom were anti-Shining Path Marxists.[4] On April 24, 1985, in the midst of presidential elections, it tried to assassinate Domingo García Rada, the president of the Peruvian National Electoral Council, severely injuring him and mortally wounding his driver. In 1988, Constantin (Gus) Gregory,[26] an American citizen working for the United States Agency for International Development, was assassinated. Two French aid workers were killed on December 4 that same year.[27] In August 1991, the group killed one Italian and two Polish priests in the Ancash Region.[28] The following February, it assassinated María Elena Moyano, a well-known community organizer in Villa El Salvador, a vast shantytown in Lima.[29]


By 1991, the Shining Path had gained control of much of the countryside of the center and south of Peru and had a large presence in the outskirts of Lima. As the organization grew in power, a cult of personality grew around Guzmán. The official ideology of the Shining Path ceased to be "Marxism–Leninism–Mao Tse-tung thought" and was instead referred to as "Marxism–Leninism–Maoism–Gonzalo thought".[30] The Shining Path fought against Peru's other major guerrilla group, the Túpac Amaru Revolutionary Movement (MRTA),[31] as well as campesino self-defense groups organized by the Peruvian armed forces.

Although the reliability of reports regarding the Shining Path's atrocities remains a matter of controversy in Peru, the organization's use of violence is well documented. The Shining Path rejected the concept of human rights; a Shining Path document stated:

We start by not ascribing to either the Universal Declaration of Human Rights or the Costa Rica [Convention on Human Rights], but we have used their legal devices to unmask and denounce the old Peruvian state... For us, human rights are contradictory to the rights of the people, because we base rights in man as a social product, not man as an abstract with innate rights. "Human rights" do not exist except for the bourgeois man, a position that was at the forefront of feudalism, like liberty, equality, and fraternity were advanced for the bourgeoisie of the past. But today, since the appearance of the proletariat as an organized class in the Communist Party, with the experience of triumphant revolutions, with the construction of socialism, new democracy and the dictatorship of the proletariat, it has been proven that human rights serve the oppressor class and the exploiters who run the imperialist and landowner-bureaucratic states. Bourgeois states in general... Our position is very clear. We reject and condemn human rights because they are bourgeois, reactionary, counterrevolutionary rights, and are today a weapon of revisionists and imperialists, principally Yankee imperialists.

— Communist Party of Peru, Sobre las Dos Colinas[32]


Level of support

The Shining Path quickly seized control of large areas of Peru. The group had significant support among peasant communities, and it had the support of some slum dwellers in the capital and elsewhere. The Shining Path's Maoism probably did not have the support of many city dwellers. According to opinion polls, only 15% of the population considered subversion to be justifiable in June 1988, while only 17% considered it justifiable in 1991.[33] In June 1991, "the total sample disapproved of the Shining Path by an 83 to 7 percent margin, with 10 percent not answering the question. Among the poorest, however, only 58% stated disapproval of the Shining Path; 11 percent said they had a favorable opinion of the Shining Path, and some 31 percent would not answer the question."[34] A September 1991 poll found that 21 percent of those polled in Lima believed that the Shining Path did not torture and kill innocent people. The same poll found that 13% believed that society would be more just if the Shining Path won the war and 22% believed society would be equally just under the Shining Path as it was under the government.[34]

Polls have never been completely accurate since Peru has several anti-terrorism laws, including "apology for terrorism", that makes it a punishable offense for anyone who does not condemn the Shining Path. In effect, the laws make it illegal to support the group in any way.[35]

Many peasants were unhappy with the Shining Path's rule for a variety of reasons, such as its disrespect for indigenous culture and institutions.[36] However, they had also made agreements and alliances with some indigenous tribes. Some did not like the brutality of its "popular trials" that sometimes included "slitting throats, strangulation, stoning, and burning."[37][38] Peasants were offended by the rebels' injunction against burying the bodies of Shining Path victims.[39]

The Shining Path followed Mao's dictum that guerrilla warfare should start in the countryside and gradually choke off the cities.[40] The Shining Path banned continuous drunkenness, but they did allow the consumption of alcohol.

Government response

In 1991, President Alberto Fujimori issued a law that gave the rondas a legal status, and from that time, they were officially called Comités de auto defensa ("Committees of Self-Defense").[41] They were officially armed, usually with 12-gauge shotguns, and trained by the Peruvian Army. According to the government, there were approximately 7,226 comités de auto defensa as of 2005;[42] almost 4,000 are located in the central region of Peru, the stronghold of the Shining Path.

The Peruvian government also cracked down on the Shining Path in other ways. Military personnel were dispatched to areas dominated by the Shining Path, especially Ayacucho, to fight the rebels. Ayacucho, Huancavelica, Apurimacwere, and Huanuco were declared emergency zones, allowing for some constitutional rights to be suspended in those areas.[43]

Initial government efforts to fight the Shining Path were not very effective or promising. Military units engaged in many human rights violations, which caused the Shining Path to appear in the eyes of many as the lesser of two evils. They used excessive force and killed many innocent civilians. Government forces destroyed villages and killed campesinos suspected of supporting the Shining Path. They eventually lessened the pace at which the armed forces committed atrocities such as massacres. Additionally, the state began the widespread use of intelligence agencies in its fight against the Shining Path. However, atrocities were committed by the National Intelligence Service and the Army Intelligence Service, notably the La Cantuta massacre and the Barrios Altos massacre, both of which were committed by Grupo Colina.[44][45]

After the collapse of the Fujimori government, interim President Valentín Paniagua established a Truth and Reconciliation Commission to investigate the conflict. The Commission found in its 2003 Final Report that 69,280 people died or disappeared between 1980 and 2000 as a result of the armed conflict.[46] The Shining Path was found to be responsible for about 54% of the deaths and disappearances reported to the Commission.[47] A statistical analysis of the available data led the Truth and Reconciliation Commission to estimate that the Shining Path was responsible for the death or disappearance of 31,331 people, 46% of the total deaths and disappearances.[46] According to a summary of the report by Human Rights Watch, "Shining Path… killed about half the victims, and roughly one-third died at the hands of government security forces… The commission attributed some of the other slayings to a smaller guerrilla group and local militias. The rest remain unattributed."[48] The MRTA was held responsible for 1.5% of the deaths.[49] A 2019 study disputed the casualty figures from the Truth and Reconciliation Commission, estimating instead "a total of 48,000 killings, substantially lower than the TRC estimate", and concluding that "the Peruvian State accounts for a significantly larger share than the Shining Path."[50][51]

Capture of Guzmán and collapse

On September 12, 1992, El Grupo Especial de Inteligencia (GEIN) captured Guzmán and several Shining Path leaders in an apartment above a dance studio in the Surquillo district of Lima. GEIN had been monitoring the apartment since a number of suspected Shining Path militants had visited it. An inspection of the garbage of the apartment produced empty tubes of a skin cream used to treat psoriasis, a condition that Guzmán was known to have. Shortly after the raid that captured Guzmán, most of the remaining Shining Path leadership fell as well.[52]

The capture of rebel leader Abimael Guzmán left a huge leadership vacuum for the Shining Path. "There is no No. 2. There is only Presidente Gonzalo and then the party," a Shining Path political officer said at a birthday celebration for Guzmán in Lurigancho prison in December 1990. "Without Presidente Gonzalo, we would have nothing."[53]

At the same time, the Shining Path suffered embarrassing military defeats to self-defense organizations of rural campesinos — supposedly its social base. When Guzmán called for peace talks, the organization fractured into splinter groups, with some Shining Path members in favor of such talks and others opposed.[54] Guzmán's role as the leader of the Shining Path was taken over by Óscar Ramírez, who himself was captured by Peruvian authorities in 1999. After Ramírez's capture, the group splintered, guerrilla activity diminished sharply, and peace returned to the areas where the Shining Path had been active.[55]

21st century resurgence and downfall

Although the organization's numbers had lessened by 2003,[55] a militant faction of the Shining Path called Proseguir ("Onward") continued to be active.[56]

On May 21, 2002, a car bomb exploded outside the US embassy in Lima just before a visit by President George W. Bush. Nine people were killed, and 30 were injured; the attack was determined to be the work of the Shining Path.[57]

On June 9, 2003, a Shining Path group attacked a camp in Ayacucho and took 68 employees of the Argentinian company Techint and three police guards as hostages. They had been working on the Camisea gas pipeline project that would take natural gas from Cusco to Lima.[58] According to sources from Peru's Interior Ministry, the rebels asked for a sizable ransom to free the hostages. Two days later, after a rapid military response, the rebels abandoned the hostages; according to government sources, no ransom was paid.[59] However, there were rumors that US$200,000 was paid to the rebels.[60]

Government forces have captured three leading Shining Path members. In April 2000, Commander José Arcela Chiroque, called "Ormeño", was captured, followed by another leader, Florentino Cerrón Cardozo, called "Marcelo", in July 2003. In November of the same year, Jaime Zuñiga, called "Cirilo" or "Dalton", was arrested after a clash in which four guerrillas were killed and an officer was wounded.[61] Officials said he took part in planning the kidnapping of the Techint pipeline workers. He was also thought to have led an ambush against an army helicopter in 1999 in which five soldiers died.

In 2003, the Peruvian National Police broke up several Shining Path training camps and captured many members and leaders.[62] By late October 2003, there were 96 terrorist incidents in Peru, projecting a 15% decrease from the 134 kidnappings and armed attacks in 2002.[62] Also for the year, eight[63] or nine[62] people were killed by the Shining Path, and 6 senderistas were killed and 209 were captured.[62]

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Comrade Artemio, now captured and serving a life sentence in prison

In January 2004, a man known as Comrade Artemio and identifying himself as one of the Shining Path's leaders, said in a media interview that the group would resume violent operations unless the Peruvian government granted amnesty to other top Shining Path leaders within 60 days.[64] Peru's Interior Minister, Fernando Rospigliosi, said that the government would respond "drastically and swiftly" to any violent action. In September that same year, a comprehensive sweep by police in five cities found 17 suspected members. According to the interior minister, eight of the arrested were school teachers and high-level school administrators.[65]

Despite these arrests, the Shining Path continued to exist in Peru. On December 22, 2005, the Shining Path ambushed a police patrol in the Huánuco region, killing eight.[66] Later that day, they wounded an additional two police officers. In response, then President Alejandro Toledo declared a state of emergency in Huánuco and gave the police the power to search houses and arrest suspects without a warrant. On February 19, 2006, the Peruvian police killed Héctor Aponte, believed to be the commander responsible for the ambush.[67] In December 2006, Peruvian troops were sent to counter renewed guerrilla activity, and according to high-level government officials, the Shining Path's strength has reached an estimated 300 members.[68] In November 2007, police said they killed Artemio's second-in-command, a guerrilla known as JL.[69]

In September 2008, government forces announced the killing of five rebels in the Vizcatan region. This claim was subsequently challenged by the APRODEH, a Peruvian human rights group, which believed that those who were killed were in fact local farmers and not rebels.[70] That same month, Artemio gave his first recorded interview since 2006. In it, he stated that the Shining Path would continue to fight despite escalating military pressure.[71] In October 2008, in Huancavelica Region, the guerrillas engaged a military convoy with explosives and firearms, demonstrating their continued ability to strike and inflict casualties on military targets. The conflict resulted in the death of 12 soldiers and two to seven civilians.[72][73] It came one day after a clash in the Vizcatan region, which left five rebels and one soldier dead.[74]

In November 2008, the rebels utilized hand grenades and automatic weapons in an assault that claimed the lives of 4 police officers.[75] In April 2009, the Shining Path ambushed and killed 13 government soldiers in Ayacucho.[76] Grenades and dynamite were used in the attack.[76] The dead included eleven soldiers and one captain, and two soldiers were also injured, with one reported missing.[76]

Poor communications were said to have made relay of the news difficult.[76] The country's Defense Minister, Antero Flores Aráoz, said many soldiers "plunged over a cliff".[76] His Prime Minister, Yehude Simon, said these attacks were "desperate responses by the Shining Path in the face of advances by the armed forces" and expressed his belief that the area would soon be freed of "leftover terrorists".[76] In the aftermath, a Sendero leader called this "the strongest [anti-government] blow... in quite a while".[77] In November 2009, Defense Minister Rafael Rey announced that Shining Path militants had attacked a military outpost in southern Ayacucho province. One soldier was killed and three others wounded in the assault.[78]

On April 28, 2010, Shining Path rebels in Peru ambushed and killed a police officer and two civilians who were destroying coca plantations of Aucayacu, in the central region of Haunuco, Peru. The victims were gunned down by sniper fire coming from the thick forest as more than 200 workers were destroying coca plants.[79] Since this attack, the Shining Path faction, based in the Upper Huallaga Valley of Peru and headed by Florindo Eleuterio Flores Hala, alias Comrade Artemio, has been operating in a survival mode and has lost 9 of their top 10 leaders to Peruvian National Police (PNP)-led capture operations. Two of the eight leaders were killed by PNP personnel during the attempted captures. Those nine arrested/killed Shining Path (Upper Huallaga Valley faction) leaders include Mono (Aug. 2009), Rubén (May 2010), Izula (Oct. 2010), Sergio (Dec. 2010), Yoli/Miguel/Jorge (Jun. 2011), Gato Larry (Jun. 2011), Oscar Tigre (Aug. 2011), Vicente Roger (Aug. 2011), and Dante/Delta (Jan. 2012).[80][81][82][83][84][85][86][87]

This loss of leadership, coupled with a sweep of Shining Path (Upper Huallaga Valley) supporters executed by the PNP in November 2010, prompted Comrade Artemio to declare in December 2011 to several international journalists that the guerrilla war against the Peruvian Government has been lost and that his only hope was to negotiate an amnesty agreement with the Government of Peru.[88]

On February 12, 2012, Comrade Artemio was found badly wounded after a clash with troops in a remote jungle region of Peru. President Ollanta Humala said the capture of Artemio marked the defeat of the Shining Path in the Alto Huallaga valley – a center of cocaine production. President Humala has stated that he would now step up the fight against the remaining bands of Shining Path rebels in the Ene-Apurímac valley.[89] On March 3, Walter Diaz, the lead candidate to succeed Artemio,[90] was captured,[91] further ensuring the disintegration of the Alto Huallaga valley faction.[90] On April 3, 2012, Jaime Arenas Caviedes, a senior leader in the group's remnants in Alto Huallaga Valley[92] who was also regarded to be the leading candidate to succeed Artemio following Diaz's arrest,[93] was captured.[92] After Caviedes, alias "Braulio",[92] was captured, Humala declared that the Shining Path was now unable to operate in the Alto Huallaga Valley.[94]

On October 7, 2012, Shining Path rebels carried out an attack on three helicopters being used by an international gas pipeline consortium, in the central region of Cusco.[95] According to the military Joint Command spokesman, Col. Alejandro Lujan, no one was kidnapped or injured during the attack.[96]

On June 7, 2013, Comrade Artemio was convicted of terrorism, drug trafficking, and money laundering. He was sentenced to life in prison and a fine of $183 million.[97]

On August 11, 2013, Comrade Alipio, the Shining Path's leader in the Ene-Apurímac Valley, was killed in a battle with government forces in Llochegua.[98]

On April 9, 2016, on the eve of the country's presidential elections, the Peruvian government blamed remnants of the Shining Path for a guerilla attack that killed eight soldiers and two civilians.[99]

On March 18, 2017, Shining Path snipers killed three police officers in the Ene Apurimac Valley.[100]

Popular culture

• American hard rock band Guns N' Roses quotes a speech by a Shining Path officer in their 1990 song "Civil War", as saying "We practice selective annihilation of mayors and government officials, for example, to create a vacuum, then we fill that vacuum. As popular war advances, peace is closer."[101]
• The popular leftist rock band Rage Against the Machine explicitly supported the Shining Path in the music video of their popular song "Bombtrack", released in 1993, as well as in the lyrics of the track "Without a Face", released on their 1996 album Evil Empire.
• Maoist philosopher J. Moufawad-Paul offers an extensive critique of the Shining Path in his theoretical Marxist work Continuity and Rupture, addressing the Shining Path's degeneracy into personality cults, dogmatism, and terrorism.[102]

See also

• Communist Party of India (Maoist)
• Communist Party of the Philippines
• Definitions of terrorism
• List of designated terrorist organizations

Notes

1. Maske, Mahesh. "Maovichar", in Studies in Nepali History and Society, Vol. 7, No. 2 (December 2002), p. 275.
2. "Shining-Path". Britannica.com. Accessed September 13, 2018.
3. Truth and Reconciliation. Accessed September 13, 2018.
4. Burt, Jo-Marie (2006). "'Quien habla es terrorista': The political use of fear in Fujimori's Peru." Latin American Research Review 41 (3) 32-62.
5. "MOFA: Implementation of the Measures including the Freezing of Assets against Terrorists and the Like". Archived from the original on April 6, 2013. Retrieved November 21, 2013.
6. United States Department of State, April 30, 2007. "Terrorist Organizations". Retrieved June 11, 2009.
7. Council Common Position 2005/936/CFSP.. March 14, 2005. Retrieved January 13, 2008.
8. Government of Canada. "Listed Entities" Archived November 19, 2006, at the Wayback Machine. Retrieved June 11, 2009.
9. Rochlin, p. 3.
10. Roncagliolo, Santiago (2007). "3 - Por el Sendero Luminoso de Mariátegui" [3 - On the Shining Path of Mariategui]. La cuarta espada : la historia de Abimael Guzmán y Sendero Luminoso [The Fourth Sword: The History of Abimael Guzman and the Shining Path] (5 ed.). Buenos Aires: Debate. p. 78. ISBN 9789871117468. OCLC 225864678. "Y en su fundación de 1969 sólo eran doce personas." "And at the founding in 1969, they were only 12 people."
11. Comisión de la Verdad y Reconciliación. Book II Chapter 1 page 16. Retrieved June 11, 2009.
12. "Reseña Histórica" [Historical Overview]. UNIVERSIDAD NACIONAL DE SAN CRISTÓBAL DE HUAMANGA (in Spanish). Archived from the original on March 27, 2019. Retrieved March 27, 2019. "Con auspicios de la corona española y del Poder Pontificio, el 3 de julio de 1677 el obispo de la Diócesis de Huamanga, don Cristóbal de Castilla y Zamora, fundó la 'Universitas Guamangensis Sancti Christhophosi' [...] Clausurada en 1886 y reabierta 80 años después, reiniciando sus labores académicas el 3 de julio de 1959 como 'Universidad Nacional de San Cristóbal de Huamanga.'" "Closed in 1886 and reopened 80 years later, it restarted its academic work July 3rd, 1959 as the 'National Univesrity of Saint Christopher of Huamanga.'"
13. Gorriti, p. 21.
14. Gorriti, pp. 29–36.
15. La República. October 13, 2006. Abimael Guzmán y Elena Iparraguirre pasarán el resto de sus vidas en prisión. Accessed February 11, 2008.
16. "Shining Path is Back". August 18, 2015.
17. Gorriti, p. 17.
18. Comisión de la Verdad y Reconciliación. Book VI Chapter 1 page 41. Retrieved January 14, 2008.
19. Comisión de la Verdad y Reconciliación. Book III Chapter 2 pages 17–18. Retrieved January 16, 2008.
20. Amnesty International. "Peru: Summary of Amnesty International's concerns 1980 – 1995" Archived March 30, 2008, at the Wayback Machine. Retrieved January 17, 2008.
21. Human Rights Watch "The Women's Rights Project." . Retrieved January 13, 2008.
22. Comisión de la Verdad y Reconciliación. August 28, 2003. "La Masacre de Lucanamarca (1983)". (in Spanish) Retrieved January 13, 2008.
23. Human Rights Watch. Peru: Human Rights Developments. Retrieved January 13, 2008.
24. "Ataque terrorista en Tarata." Archived online. Retrieved January 16, 2008
25. Comisión de la Verdad y Reconciliación. Los Asesinatos y Lesiones Graves Producidos en el Atentado de Tarata (1992). p. 661. Retrieved February 9, 2008.
26. Beyette, Beverly (July 7, 1988). "A Most Unlikely Target : Good Samaritan Aiding the Peruvian Poor Became a Casualty in the Nation's Political Struggle". The Los Angeles Times. Retrieved October 13, 2017.
27. Stéphane Courtois et al. The Black Book of Communism: Crimes, Terror, Repression. Harvard University Press, 1999. ISBN 0-674-07608-7 p. 677
28. Comisión de la Verdad y Reconciliación. Annex 1 page 190. Retrieved January 14, 2008.
29. Burt, Jo-Marie. "The Shining Path and the Decisive Battle in Lima's Barriadas: The Case of Villa El Salvador, p 291 in Shining and Other Paths: War and Society in Peru, 1980–1995, ed. Steve Stern, Duke University Press: Durham and London, 1998 (ISBN 0-8223-2217-X).
30. Gorriti, p. 185.
31. Manrique, Nelson. "The War for the Central Sierra," p. 211 in Shining and Other Paths: War and Society in Peru, 1980–1995, ed. Steve Stern, Duke University Press: Durham and London, 1998 (ISBN 0-8223-2217-X).
32. Communist Party of Peru. "Sobre las Dos Colinas" Part 3 Archived November 14, 2006, at the Wayback Machineand Part 5 Archived September 1, 2006, at the Wayback Machine available online. Retrieved January 13, 2008.
33. Kenney, Charles D. 2004. Fujimori's Coup and the Breakdown of Democracy in Latin America. Notre Dame, Indiana: University of Notre Dame. Citing Balibi, C.R. 1991. "Una inquietante encuesta de opinión." Quehacer: 40–45.
34. Kenney, Charles D. 2004. Fujimori's Coup and the Breakdown of Democracy in Latin America. Notre Dame, Indiana: University of Notre Dame.
35. Sandra Coliver, Paul Hoffman, Joan Fitzpatrick, Stephen Bowman, Secrecy and Liberty: National Security, Freedom of Expression and Access To Information, (Martinus Nijhoff, The Hague Publishers,) 1999, P. 162.
36. Del Pino H., Ponciano. "Family, Culture, and 'Revolution': Everyday Life with Sendero Luminoso," p. 179 in Shining and Other Paths: War and Society in Peru, 1980–1995, ed. Steve Stern, Duke University Press: Durham and London, 1998 (ISBN 0-8223-2217-X).
37. U.S. Department of State. March 1996 "Peru Human Rights Practices, 1995". Retrieved January 16, 2008.
38. Starn, Orin. "Villagers at Arms: War and Counterrevolution in the Central-South Andes," p. 237 in Shining and Other Paths: War and Society in Peru, 1980–1995, ed. Steve Stern, Duke University Press: Durham and London, 1998 (ISBN 0-8223-2217-X).
39. Degregori, p. 140.
40. Desarrollar la lucha armada del campo a la ciudad, San Marcos 1985 PCP speech
41. Legislative Decree No. 741. Retrieved January 13, 2008.
42. Army of Peru (2005). Proyectos y Actividades que Realiza la Sub Dirección de Estudios Especiales.". Retrieved January 17, 2008.
43. "Government Declares State of Emergency with Curfew in Lima". AP NEWS. Retrieved October 12, 2018.
44. La Comisión de la Verdad y Reconciliación. August 28, 2003. "2.45. Las Ejecuciones Extrajudiciales en Barrios Altos (1991.)" Available online in Spanish. Retrieved January 13, 2008.
45. La Comisión de la Verdad y Reconciliación. August 28, 2003. "2.19. La Universidad Nacional de educación Enrique Guzmán y Valle «La Cantuta»." Available online in Spanish. Retrieved January 13, 2008.
46. Comisión de la Verdad y Reconciliación. Annex 2 Page 17. Retrieved January 14, 2008.
47. Comisión de la Verdad y Reconciliación. Book I Part I Page 186. Retrieved January 14, 2008
48. Human Rights Watch. August 28, 2003. "Peru – Prosecutions Should Follow Truth Commission Report". Retrieved April 21, 2009.
49. Laura Puertas, Inter Press Service. August 29, 2003. Peru: 20 Years of Bloodshed and Death" Archived March 21, 2004, at the Wayback Machine. Retrieved January 13, 2008.
50. Rendon, Silvio (January 1, 2019). "Capturing correctly: A reanalysis of the indirect capture–recapture methods in the Peruvian Truth and Reconciliation Commission". Research & Politics. 6 (1): 2053168018820375. doi:10.1177/2053168018820375. ISSN 2053-1680.
51. Rendon, Silvio (April 1, 2019). "A truth commission did not tell the truth: A rejoinder to Manrique-Vallier and Ball". Research & Politics. 6 (2): 2053168019840972. doi:10.1177/2053168019840972. ISSN 2053-1680.
52. Rochlin, p. 71.
53. "Guzman arrest leaves Void in Shining Path Leadership" Associated Press/Deseret News.com, September 14, 1992
54. Sims, Calvin (August 5, 1996) "Blasts Propel Peru's Rebels From Defunct To Dangerous.". The New York Times. Retrieved January 17, 2008
55. Rochlin, pp. 71–72.
56. United States Department of State (2005). Country Reports on Human Rights Practices: Peru – 2005. Retrieved January 13, 2008.
57. "Peru bomb fails to deter Bush". BBC. March 21, 2002. Retrieved April 14, 2009.
58. "Pipeline Workers Kidnapped". The New York Times, June 10, 2003. Retrieved January 13, 2008.
59. "Peru hostages set free". BBC, June 11, 2003. Retrieved January 17, 2008.
60. "Gas Workers Kidnapped, Freed" Americas.org. Retrieved January 17, 2008
61. "Peru Captures Shining Path Rebel.". BBC News, November 9, 2003. Retrieved January 13, 2008.
62. United States Department of State, Office of the Coordinator for Counterterrorism. April 29, 2004. "Patterns of Global Terrorism: Western Hemisphere Overview" . Retrieved January 13, 2008.
63. United States Department of State. February 25, 2004. Country Reports on Human Rights Practices – 2003: Peru. Retrieved January 13, 2008.
64. Issue Papers and Extended Responses. Available online Archived December 6, 2008, at the Wayback Machine. Retrieved January 13, 2008.
65. "En operativo especial capturan a 17 requisitoriados por terrorismo" Archived March 28, 2008, at the Wayback Machine. La República, September 29, 2004. Retrieved January 16, 2008. (in Spanish)
66. "Rebels Kill 8 Policemen". The New York Times, December 22, 2005. Retrieved January 13, 2008.
67. "Jefe militar senderista ‘Clay’ muere en operativo policial" Archived March 28, 2008, at the Wayback Machine. La República, February 20, 2006. Retrieved January 20, 2008. (in Spanish)
68. Washington Times. December 12, 2006. "Troops dispatched to corral guerrillas."
69. "Peru police 'kill leading rebel'" . BBC. Retrieved January 13, 2008.
70. "Peru army may have killed farmers – rights group". Reuters. Retrieved June 11, 2009.
71. "Peru rebel leader refuses to lay down arms". AP. Retrieved June 11, 2009.
72. "Peru rebels launch deadly ambush'". BBC. Retrieved June 11, 2009.
73. "Peru says 14 killed in Shining Path attack" Archived October 11, 2008, at the Wayback Machine. Associated Press. Retrieved June 11, 2009.
74. "1 Peruvian soldier, 5 rebels killed in military campaign". Associated Press. Retrieved June 11, 2009.
75. "Peru's Shining Path kill four police in ambush". AFP. Retrieved June 11, 2009.
76. "Rebels kill 13 soldiers in Peru". BBC. Retrieved April 12, 2009.
77. "Shining Path rebels stage comeback in Peru". CNN. April 21, 2009. Retrieved April 24, 2009.
78. "Peru rebels attack army outpost, killing 1 soldier". Associated Press. Retrieved November 11, 2009.
79. "Peru rebels ambush and kill coca plantation clearers". BBC, April 28, 2010
80. "Senderista 'Izula' es responsable del secuestro y asesinato de 40 civiles | El Comercio Perú". Elcomercio.pe. October 13, 2010. Archived from the original on June 2, 2013. Retrieved April 26, 2014.
81. "Policía Nacional capturó a cabecilla terrorista 'Sergio' en el Alto Huallaga | El Comercio Perú". Elcomercio.pe. December 30, 2010. Archived from the original on June 2, 2013. Retrieved April 26, 2014.
82. "Policía Nacional del Perú". Pnp.gob.pe. Archived from the original on October 24, 2012. Retrieved April 26,2014.
83. "Cae terrorista sindicado como el N° 3 de Sendero en el Huallaga". LaRepublica.pe. April 17, 2014. Archived from the original on December 8, 2015. Retrieved April 26, 2014.
84. "Archived copy". Archived from the original on July 9, 2012. Retrieved January 22, 2012.
85. "Archived copy". Archived from the original on July 10, 2012. Retrieved January 22, 2012.
86. DELTA. "Detenido el proveedor de armas a terroristas del Alto Huallaga". LaRepublica.pe. Archived from the original on April 27, 2014. Retrieved April 26, 2014.
87. "Cae terrorista cercano a 'Artemio' | Actualidad". Peru21.pe. January 9, 2012. Retrieved April 26,2014.[permanent dead link]
88. "Entrevista con senderista 'Artemio': "No vamos a realizar más ataques" | El Comercio Perú". Elcomercio.pe. December 7, 2011. Archived from the original on June 2, 2013. Retrieved April 26, 2014.
89. "Peru Shining Path leader Comrade Artemio captured". BBC News. February 13, 2012.
90. Christopher Looft (March 5, 2012). "Peru Arrests 'Successor' to Captured Shining Path Leader". Retrieved March 6, 2012.[dead link]
91. "Peruvian police capture 'Shining Path boss' Walter Diaz". BBC News. March 4, 2012.
92. Andean Air Mail & Peruvian Times (April 5, 2012). "Peru Captures Shining Path Leader In Upper Huallaga". Peruvian Times. Retrieved April 5, 2012.
93. [1] Archived April 12, 2012, at the Wayback Machine
94. "Shining Path 'defeated' in Alto Huallaga stronghold". BBC News. April 6, 2012. Retrieved June 4, 2012.
95. "Peru rebels burn helicopters at jungle airfield". BBC News. BBC. October 7, 2012. Retrieved October 9, 2012.
96. "Rebels Burn 3 Helicopters in Peru". ABC News. Archived from the original on October 7, 2012.
97. "Peru's Shining Path leader jailed for life for terrorism." BBC News. June 7, 2013. Retrieved August 11, 2013.
98. "Alejandro Borda Casafranca, 2 other Senderistas killed in Peru". United Press International. August 13, 2013. Retrieved April 26, 2014.
99. "Death toll climbs to 10 in Peru guerrilla attack on election eve" Tico Times. April 11, 2016. Retrieved June 23, 2016.
100. Goi, Leonardo. "Recent Attack on Peru Police Shows Shining Path Still Strong". http://www.insightcrime.org. Retrieved July 1, 2017.
101. de Lama, George (July 9, 1989). "'More War Will Bring Peace,' Say Peru's Maoists After 15,000 Die". Chicago Tribune. Retrieved March 7, 2019.
102. Moufawad-Paul, J. (2016). Contitunity and Rupture. Zero Books.

References

• Comisión de la Verdad y Reconciliación (2003). Informe Final. Lima: CVR. (in Spanish)
• Courtois, Stephane (1999). The Black Book of Communism: Crimes, Terror, Repression. Harvard University Press.
• Degregori, Carlos Iván (1998). "Harvesting Storms: Peasant Rondas and the Defeat of Sendero Luminoso in Ayacucho". In Steve Stern (Ed.), Shining and Other Paths: War and Society in Peru, 1980–1995. Durham and London: Duke University Press. ISBN 0-8223-2217-X. ISBN 978-0-8223-2217-7.
• Gorriti, Gustavo (1999). The Shining Path: A History of the Millenarian War in Peru. Trans. Robin Kirk. Chapel Hill: The University of North Carolina Press. ISBN 0-8078-4676-7
• Isbell, Billie Jean (1994). "Shining Path and Peasant Responses in Rural Ayacucho". In Shining Path of Peru, ed. David Scott Palmer. 2nd Edition. New York: St. Martin's Press. ISBN 0-312-10619-X
• Rochlin, James F (2003). Vanguard Revolutionaries in Latin America: Peru, Colombia, Mexico. Boulder and London: Lynne Rienner Publishers: ISBN 1-58826-106-9.
• Laqueur, W. (1999). The new terrorism: Fanaticism and the arms of mass destruction. New York: Oxford University Press.
• Sadri, Mahmoud. Lecture, Texas Woman's University, May 17, 2017.
• Crenshaw, Martha, "Theories of Terrorism: Instrumental and Organizational Approaches" in: Inside Terrorist Organizations, (ed. David Rapoport), 2001. Franck Cass, London
• Rochlin, J. F. (2003). Vanguard revolutionaries in Latin America: Peru, Colombia, Mexico. Boulder, Colo: Lynne Rienner Publishers.
• Isbell, J (1994). Shining Path and Peasant Responses in Rural Ayacucho en Shining Path of Per (1er, ed.) New York.
• Comisión de la verdad y reconciliación (2003). La verdad después del silencio (Informe final tomo 6). Lima. Perú
• Laqueur, W. (1999). The new terrorism: Fanaticism and the arms of mass destruction. New York: Oxford University Press.
• Sadri, Mahmoud. Lecture, Texas Woman's University, May 17, 2017.
• Crenshaw, Martha, "Theories of Terrorism: Instrumental and Organizational Approaches" in: Inside Terrorist Organizations, (ed. David Rapoport), 2001. Franck Cass, London
• Rochlin, J. F. (2003). Vanguard revolutionaries in Latin America: Peru, Colombia, Mexico. Boulder, Colo: Lynne Rienner Publishers.
• Isbell, J (1994). Shining Path and Peasant Responses in Rural Ayacucho en Shining Path of Per (1er, ed.) New York.
• Comisión de la verdad y reconciliación (2003). La verdad después del silencio (Informe final tomo 6). Lima. Perú
• Martín-Baró, I. (1988) El Salvador 1987. Estudios Centroamericanos (ECA), No. 471-472, pp. 21–45

Fiction

• The Vision of Elena Silves: A Novel by Nicholas Shakespeare
• The Dancer Upstairs: A Novel by Nicholas Shakespeare, ISBN 0-385-72107-2.
• The Dancer Upstairs movie listing from the Internet Movie Database
• Detective First Grade, by Dan Mahoney, ISBN 978-0-312-95313-3.
• Edge of the City, by Dan Mahoney, ISBN 978-0-312-95788-9.
• Strange Tunnels Disappearing by Gary Ley, ISBN 1-85411-302-X.
• The Evening News, by Arthur Hailey, ISBN 0-385-50424-1.
• Death in the Andes, by Mario Vargas Llosa, ISBN 0-14-026215-6.
• "The Road Back Home" (El camino de regreso) by José de Piérola, ISBN 978-9972-09-002-8
• "A Kiss from Hell" (Un beso del infierno) by José de Piérola, ISBN 978-9972-09-318-0
• Paper Dove (Paloma de Papel) movie listing from the Internet Movie Database
• La Trinchera Luminosa del Presidente Gonzalo
• "War Cries", a first-season episode of JAG.
• Corner of the Dead by Lynn Lurie, University of Massachusetts Press (winner of the Juniper Prize for Fiction)
• Escape from L.A. a movie starring Kurt Russell
• "Red April": a novel by Santiago Roncagliolo
• The Intelligent Homosexual's Guide to Capitalism and Socialism with a Key to the Scriptures, a play by Tony Kushner

External links

• The People's War in Perú Archive – Information about the Communist Party of Perú (PCP) 'Shining Path' Official Site until 1998
• Article by Caretas comparing Tarata to the 9/11 attack by Al Qaeda
• Article in PDF about the Tarata Car Bomb by the Shining Path
• New 'Shining Path' threat in Peru, on the April 2004 interview with Artemio
• (in Spanish) Shining Path communiqués on the web site of the "Partido Comunista de España [Maoista]"
• (in Spanish) Report of the (CVR) Truth and Reconciliation Commission (PDF)
• (in Spanish) Report of the (CVR) Truth and Reconciliation Commission (HTML)
• Terrorism Research Center list of Terrorist Organizations.
• The assassination of Maria Elena Moyano
• Peru: The killings of Lucanamarca BBC, October 14, 2006
• Committee to Support the Revolution in Peru
• Peru and the Capture of Abimael Guzman, Congressional Record, (Senate—October 2, 1992)
• The Search for Truth: The Declassified Record on Human Rights Abuses in Peru. Edited by Tamara Feinstein, Director, Peru Documentation Project
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Re: Former teacher at Boulder's Shambhala accused of sexuall

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The Clear Bright Path: The Prophetic Path To Presence
by Muhammad Noor
August 25, 2014

NOTICE: THIS WORK MAY BE PROTECTED BY COPYRIGHT

YOU ARE REQUIRED TO READ THE COPYRIGHT NOTICE AT THIS LINK BEFORE YOU READ THE FOLLOWING WORK, THAT IS AVAILABLE SOLELY FOR PRIVATE STUDY, SCHOLARSHIP OR RESEARCH PURSUANT TO 17 U.S.C. SECTION 107 AND 108. IN THE EVENT THAT THE LIBRARY DETERMINES THAT UNLAWFUL COPYING OF THIS WORK HAS OCCURRED, THE LIBRARY HAS THE RIGHT TO BLOCK THE I.P. ADDRESS AT WHICH THE UNLAWFUL COPYING APPEARED TO HAVE OCCURRED. THANK YOU FOR RESPECTING THE RIGHTS OF COPYRIGHT OWNERS.


In their efforts, Sakyong Mipham Rinpoche and Eva Wong strive to bring these traditions together to shape a bright and clear path for spiritual development as warriors in the modern day world….

The way a Shambhala centre is structured, according to the principles of Outer - Inner - Secret plus the connecting Bright and Clear Path, as well as the protection will strongly influence the practitioners and their efforts on the path…..

A strong Outer - Inner - Secret zoning, and an inviting connecting Bright and Clear Path will help practitioners along, inspire them and make them full part of the sangha….

A state of constant preparedness means that all aspects of Outer - Inner - Secret plus the connecting Bright and Clear Path, as well as the protection and hierarchy are in place and function well…..

a Shambhala centre is the physical manifestation of our spiritual path and should therefore be structured according to the principles of Outer - Inner - Secret connected by the Bright and Clear Path…..

Kanyu, Fengshui and Court Energetics, PART II: ON THE ENERGETICS OF SHAMBHALA CENTRES, Based on the teachings of Eva Wong, Editor: Peter C. van der Molen


Muhammad Noor is a flawed Prophetic follower, husband, daddy, Chicago Cub fan, Financial Consultant, and reluctant faith leader in DC. He studied the basic Islamic Sciences under Shaykh Khalil Al-Majdalawi. Noor currently is a board member of many faith-based initiatives and is committed to the belief that we can each be a continuation of Prophetic action in the world.

Narrated Abu Darda (may Allah be pleased with him):

“The Messenger of Allah ﷺ came out to us when we were speaking of poverty and how we feared it. He said: 'Is it poverty that you fear? By the One in Whose Hand is my soul, (the delights and luxuries of) this world will come to you in plenty, and nothing will cause the heart of anyone of you to deviate except that. By Allah, I am leaving you upon something akin to a clear bright path (Bayda') the night and day of which are the same.'” Abu Darda said: “He spoke the truth, by Allah. The Messenger of Allah ﷺ did indeed leave us upon something akin to a clear bright path (Bayda') in which the days and nights of which were the same.” (Graded Hasan, Sunan Ibn Majah Chapter no: 1; Number 5, The Book of the Sunnah)

'Is it poverty that you fear?’

Allah states,

"The devil shows you fear of poverty and enjoins evil upon you" (2:268)

Commenting on this verse The Prophet ﷺ said: "There are two impulses in the soul, one from an angel which calls towards good and confirms truth; whoever finds this let him know it is from God and praise Him. Another impulse comes from the enemy which leads to doubt and denies truth and forbids good; whoever finds this, let him seek refuge in God from the accursed devil." Then he recited the above verse (Tirmidhi & Nisa’i).

The consequence of our fears is a more fragile mind and spiritual state, wrecked with the havoc of worries on the next paycheck, the next promotion, and the next step in our “progress”. The motivating impulse is often a deep seated fear, particularly when one has the concern of those who depend on them. What then is fear? Imam Al Ghazali relates in his famous Revival of the Sacred Sciences, “Fear is an expression for the suffering of the heart”. Fear is a by-product of indecision and doubt. In fact many of us are unaware that the products we buy, the politicians we vote for, and the propaganda we buy into employ a manipulative marketing strategy known as Fear, Uncertainty, and Doubt (FUD). In his post-World War classic, Think and Grow Rich, Napoleon Hill asserts that, “Fears are nothing more than states of the mind”. Hill warns the reader on the difficulty of detecting and eliminating fear, and then goes on to categorize six basic fears. Death, old age, and loss of a loved one top the list as existential concerns. He then lists ill health, criticism, and finally poverty. Conversely however, it is poverty that tops his list as the most immediate concern. This is a telling confirmation of the above stated Prophetic observation.

‘By the One in Whose Hand is my soul, (the delights and luxuries of) this world will come to you in plenty’

We find that most of us expend our time, effort, and focus on what has already been apportioned to us. As Ibn Ata Allah al-Iskandari observed in his Book of Wisdom, “You’re striving for what has already been guaranteed to you, and your remissness in what is demanded of you, are signs of the blurring of your intellect (baseera)”. Our preoccupation with the temporal world (dunya), at the cost that we falter in our religious practice, only “blurs “our ability to see the greater reality. The early generations used to say love of this world and love of the next world are like two sides of a scale; if one is heavier than one has to be lighter. A Hadith states, “if a believer runs after the world (dunya) the world keeps going away, and when the believer turns away from the world the world runs after him or her." Ibn Qayyim al-Jawziyyah elaborated with a metaphor: “This world is like a shadow. If you try to catch it, you will never be able to do so. If you turn your back towards it, it has no choice but to follow you”. This inherent tension should not provide cover for waning in our individual, filial, or civic responsibilities. Instead as Ibn Ata Allah stated, “Rest yourself from self-direction (tadbeer), for what someone else (ghayruka) has carried out on your behalf, do not you yourself undertake to do it.”1 God is in control, and your provision has been written. Fatalistic as it may seem, the true import is that liberation from constructs that hinder our growth allows each of us to strive unfettered towards the Divine and our true selves.

‘Nothing will cause the heart of anyone of you to deviate except that’

Ibn Ashir in his “Guiding Helper” states, “Know well that the origin of [all of] these ills is love of leadership and procrastination. The fountainhead of all misdeeds is love of the fleeting world, which has no cure but to be compelled to flee to Him”.

“O soul at peace, flee to your Lord, well pleased & well-pleasing. Enter with My servants, enter into My Garden.” (89: 27-30)

“Fleeing” as it was is an action and movement. Prophetic guidance dictates, “All Actions are by their intentions”. This is a harbinger of our ability to change and alter our course. In part one of this series, “Are You Reaching Your Full Potential?”, we discussed the imperative to examine our filters and relationships, and how to learn from your experiences. Experience is borne out of past decisions and their ramifications. At the root of our decisions that propel us to action, or stagnate in our procrastination, is the purity of our intention. When we are spiritually mature are intentions become habitually pure.

'By Allah, I am leaving you upon something akin to a Clear Bright Path (Bayda') the night and day of which are the same.'

From the Prophetic guidance we not only glean an estimate of actions, but of stations. Regardless of the alterations of daylight, or our circumstances, our spirituality remains at peace. The states of the heart strive to achieve equilibrium, with little variance, in contrast to the shifting sands of life. ‘The Clear Bright Path’ hence would be a spiritual reality borne out of reflecting upon the obligation of the moment and its duty, and to then firmly resolve to fulfill it. So the spiritual traveler is, “the son of his moment” (As-Sufi Ibn ul Waqt). If he loses it, he loses all of its benefits. For all benefits arise from the moment, if you lose it you will never again be able to go back in time. Al-Shafi’i, may Allah be pleased with him, said: “I accompanied the Sufis and did not benefit from them other than for two words, One was there saying, “Time is like a sword, if you do not cut it, it will cut you.” He mentions the other saying as being: “Your soul, if it is not kept busy with the Truth, it will busy you with falsehood”.2


This could be the best moment of your life— spiritually, in your relationships, or at work if you model your conduct (Adab) after those who succeeded (As-Saliheen) in those aspects. You have to take control of your state (Hal). It will take striving (Riyadah) to control your state. We are controlled by our rituals, not just our performance of the daily prayers. Think of your morning or workout routines for example. Those routines bear fruit. From observation, it becomes obvious that some of us work out, and some of us do not. Your life is developed by rituals (life, body, and spirit). If you do the right thing in the wrong time its results will be pain. There is a narration that states that, “Half of intellect is knowing your surroundings”; this then allows us to take proper action. Adab is doing the right thing, in the right time, in the right way, with the right intention. Know your time, your season and realize that your state will change with new rituals. We spoke about the need and benefits of creating an action plan in our previous post.

Is there a better time to worship?

Ibn Rajab Al Hanbali states in his short hadith commentary entitled al-Maḥajjah fī sayr al-duljah : sharḥ ḥadīth "lan yunajjīya aḥad min-kum ʻamaluh"

Bukhari records on the authority of Abu Hurayrah that the Prophet ﷺ said, '

“Your actions alone will not save any of you.”

They asked, 'Messenger of Allah, not even you?', He replied, 'Not even me, unless, Allah were to envelop me in His mercy. Be firm; steadfast and balanced; and journey [to Allah] in the beginning of the day, the end of the day, and a portion of the latter part of the night. Moderation, moderation! Through this you will attain your goal!"

He also recorded this hadith in another place with the wording, 'This religion is easy, none makes it hard upon himself except that it overwhelms him; therefore be firm, steadfast, and balanced; upon which have glad tidings! Seek help in this by journeying [to Allah] at the beginning of the day, at the end of the day, and a portion of the latter part of night.'

These times are optimal, and include our long morning and evening commutes to the office filled with the blaring of the radio and traffic reports. I guarantee that most if not all the Prophetic remembrances (adkhar) can be read on our way to/from work, or running errands. Most of us do not have the luxury of waiting for a time when we can do our meditations in an environment of our making (lit candles, the wafting smoke of incense, and the serene silence of our thoughts). We have to be realistic with our scenario and implement practices within the world we live in, and not one we only imagine.

If at times you find yourself struggling to focus while saying the dhikr, try this tip from Sports Psychology prior to undertaking your new rituals and remembrances (adhkar): Ask yourself, “If you wanted to be proud (not vain pride), what would you be proud of? Your profession? Education?, your children, your spouse, a moment of courage, taking a risk?. How do you breathe when you let yourself be proud? How do you feel? What are you focusing on that makes you be filled with gratitude? What could you get excited about? The point: Focus is controlled by questions, and if you instill this ritual of Muraqabah and Muhasabah (asking deep questions) you will reap the benefits of Dhikr more readily.

“Those who believe and whose hearts find tranquility in the remembrance of Allah, verily in the remembrance of Allah do hearts find tranquility.” (13: 28)

Tranquility is the immediate benefit of following the “Clear Bright Path” of the Sage and Prophet, Muhammad Al Mustafa (ﷺ. His instructions and spiritual states allow each of us the ability to find balance and solace in the remembrance of Allah.

_______________

Notes:

1.The Book of Wisdoms by Imam Taj ad-Din Abul Fadl Ahmad ibn Muhammad ibn ‘Abd Karim ibn 'Ata'illah al-Judhami al-Maliki al-Iskandari (d. 709/1309).

2. Ibn Al-Qayyim Al Da’ Wa’l-Dawa (p.239) trans from Abu Aaliyah Surkheel Sharif’s “The Exquistite Pearl” The Jawziyyah Press.
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Divine Right of Kings
by Wikipedia
Accessed: 10/2/19

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The theory of divine right was developed by James VI of Scotland (1567–1625), and came to the fore in England under his reign as James I of England (1603–1625). Portrait attributed to John de Critz, c. 1605

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Augustus as Jove, holding scepter and orb (first half of 1st century AD).[1] The Imperial cult of ancient Rome identified Roman emperors and some members of their families with the divinely sanctioned authority (auctoritas) of the Roman State. The official offer of cultus to a living emperor acknowledged his office and rule as divinely approved and constitutional: his Principate should therefore demonstrate pious respect for traditional Republican deities and mores. Many of the rites, practices and status distinctions that characterized the cult to emperors were perpetuated in the theology and politics of the Christianized Empire.[2]

The divine right of kings, divine right, or God's mandate is a political and religious doctrine of royal and political legitimacy. It asserts that a monarch is subject to no earthly authority, deriving the right to rule directly from the will of God. The king is thus not subject to the will of his people, the aristocracy, or any other estate of the realm. It implies that only God can judge an unjust king and that any attempt to depose, dethrone or restrict his powers runs contrary to the will of God and may constitute a sacrilegious act. It is often expressed in the phrase "by the Grace of God", attached to the titles of a reigning monarch.

Origins

Outside of Christianity, kings were often seen as either ruling with the backing of heavenly powers or perhaps even being divine beings themselves. However, the Christian notion of a divine right of kings is traced to a story found in 1 Samuel, where the prophet Samuel anoints Saul and then David as mashiach or king over Israel. The anointing is to such an effect that the monarch became inviolable, so that even when Saul sought to kill David, David would not raise his hand against him because "he was the Lord's anointed".

Adomnan of Iona is one of the earliest Christian proponents of this concept of kings ruling with divine right. He wrote of the Irish King Diarmait mac Cerbaill's assassination and claimed that divine punishment fell on his assassin for the act of violating the monarch. Adomnan also recorded a story about Saint Columba supposedly being visited by an angel carrying a glass book, who told him to ordain Aedan mac Gabrain as King of Dal Riata. Columba initially refused, and the angel answered by whipping him and demanding that he perform the ordination because God had commanded it. The same angel visited Columba on three successive nights. Columba finally agreed, and Aedan came to receive ordination. At the ordination Columba told Aedan that so long as he obeyed God's laws, then none of his enemies would prevail against him, but the moment he broke them, this protection would end, and the same whip with which Columba had been struck would be turned against the king. Adomnan's writings most likely influenced other Irish writers, who in turn influenced continental ideas as well. Pepin the Short's coronation may have also come from the same influence.[3] The Carolingian dynasty and the Holy Roman Emperors also influenced all subsequent western ideas of kingship.

In the Middle Ages, the idea that God had granted earthly power to the monarch, just as he had given spiritual authority and power to the church, especially to the Pope, was already a well-known concept long before later writers coined the term "divine right of kings" and employed it as a theory in political science. For example, Richard I of England declared at his trial during the diet at Speyer in 1193: "I am born in a rank which recognizes no superior but God, to whom alone I am responsible for my actions", and it was Richard who first used the motto "Dieu et mon droit" ("God and my right") which is still the motto of the Monarch of the United Kingdom.

With the rise of nation-states and the Protestant Reformation in the late 16th century, the theory of divine right justified the king's absolute authority in both political and spiritual matters. Henry VIII of England declared himself the Supreme Head of the Church of England, and exerted the power of the throne more than any of his predecessors. As a political theory, it was further developed by James VI of Scotland (1567–1625), and came to the force in England under his reign as James I of England (1603–1625). Louis XIV of France (1643–1715) strongly promoted the theory as well.

Scots texts of James VI of Scotland

The Scots textbooks of the divine right of kings were written in 1597–1598 by James VI of Scotland despite Scotland never having believed in the theory and where the monarch was regarded as the "first among equals" on a par with his people. His Basilikon Doron, a manual on the powers of a king, was written to edify his four-year-old son Henry Frederick that a king "acknowledgeth himself ordained for his people, having received from the God a burden of government, whereof he must be countable". He based his theories in part on his understanding of the Bible, as noted by the following quote from a speech to parliament delivered in 1610 as James I of England:

The state of monarchy is the supremest thing upon earth, for kings are not only God's lieutenants upon earth and sit upon God's throne, but even by God himself they are called gods. There be three principal [comparisons] that illustrate the state of monarchy: one taken out of the word of God, and the two other out of the grounds of policy and philosophy. In the Scriptures kings are called gods, and so their power after a certain relation compared to the Divine power. Kings are also compared to fathers of families; for a king is truly parens patriae [parent of the country], the politic father of his people. And lastly, kings are compared to the head of this microcosm of the body of man.[4]


James's reference to "God's lieutenants" is apparently a reference to the text in Romans 13 where Paul refers to "God's ministers".

(1) Let every soul be subject unto the higher powers. For there is no power but of God: the powers that be are ordained of God. (2) Whosoever therefore resisteth the power, resisteth the ordinance of God: and they that resist shall receive to themselves damnation. (3) For rulers are not a terror to good works, but to the evil. Wilt thou then not be afraid of the power? do that which is good, and thou shalt have praise of the same: (4) For he is the minister of God to thee for good. But if thou do that which is evil, be afraid; for he beareth not the sword in vain: for he is the minister of God, a revenger to execute wrath upon him that doeth evil. (5) Wherefore ye must needs be subject, not only for wrath, but also for conscience sake. (6) For this cause pay ye tribute also: for they are God's ministers, attending continually upon this very thing. (7) Render therefore to all their dues: tribute to whom tribute is due; custom to whom custom; fear to whom fear; honour to whom honour.[5]


Western conceptions

Main articles: Sacred king and Theocracy

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Louis XIV of France depicted as the Sun King.



The conception of ordination brought with it largely unspoken parallels with the Anglican and Catholic priesthood, but the overriding metaphor in James's handbook was that of a father's relation to his children. "Just as no misconduct on the part of a father can free his children from obedience to the fifth commandment",[6] James also had printed his Defense of the Right of Kings in the face of English theories of inalienable popular and clerical rights. The divine right of kings, or divine-right theory of kingship, is a political and religious doctrine of royal and political legitimacy. It asserts that a monarch is subject to no earthly authority, deriving his right to rule directly from the will of God. The king is thus not subject to the will of his people, the aristocracy, or any other estate of the realm, including (in the view of some, especially in Protestant countries) the church. A weaker or more moderate form of this political theory does hold, however, that the king is subject to the church and the pope, although completely irreproachable in other ways; but according to this doctrine in its strong form, only God can judge an unjust king. The doctrine implies that any attempt to depose the king or to restrict his powers runs contrary to the will of God and may constitute a sacrilegious act.

One passage in scripture supporting the idea of divine right of kings was used by Martin Luther, when urging the secular authorities to crush the Peasant Rebellion of 1525 in Germany in his Against the Murderous, Thieving Hordes of Peasants, basing his argument on St. Paul's Epistle to the Romans 13:1–7.

It is related to the ancient Catholic philosophies regarding monarchy, in which the monarch is God's vicegerent upon the earth and therefore subject to no inferior power. However, in Roman Catholic jurisprudence, the monarch is always subject to natural and divine law, which are regarded as superior to the monarch. The possibility of monarchy declining morally, overturning natural law, and degenerating into a tyranny oppressive of the general welfare was answered theologically with the Catholic concept of extra-legal tyrannicide, ideally ratified by the pope. Until the unification of Italy, the Holy See did, from the time Christianity became the Roman state religion, assert on that ground its primacy over secular princes; however this exercise of power never, even at its zenith, amounted to theocracy, even in jurisdictions where the Bishop of Rome was the temporal authority.

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Antichristus,[7] a woodcut by Lucas Cranach the Elder, of the pope using the temporal power to grant authority to a ruler contributing generously to the Catholic Church

Catholic justified permission

Catholic thought justified submission to the monarchy by reference to the following:

1. The Old Testament, in which God chose kings to rule over Israel, beginning with Saul who was then rejected by God in favor of David, whose dynasty continued (at least in the southern kingdom) until the Babylonian captivity.

2. The New Testament, in which the first pope, St. Peter, commands that all Christians shall honour the Roman Emperor (1 Peter 2:13–20), even though, at that time, he was still a pagan emperor. St. Paul agreed with St. Peter that subjects should be obedient to the powers that be because they are appointed by God, as he wrote in his Epistle to the Romans 13:1–7. Likewise, Jesus Christ proclaims in the Gospel of Matthew that one should "Render unto Caesar the things which are Caesar's"; that is at first, literally, the payment of taxes as binding those who use the imperial currency (See Matthew 22:15–22). Jesus told Pontius Pilate that his authority as Roman governor of Judaea came from heaven according to John 19:10–11.

3. The endorsement by the popes and the church of the line of emperors beginning with the Emperors Constantine and Theodosius, later the Eastern Roman emperors, and finally the Western Roman emperor, Charlemagne and his successors, the Catholic Holy Roman Emperors.

The French Huguenot nobles and clergy, having rejected the pope and the Catholic Church, were left only with the supreme power of the king who, they taught, could not be gainsaid or judged by anyone. Since there was no longer the countervailing power of the papacy and since the Church of England was a creature of the state and had become subservient to it, this meant that there was nothing to regulate the powers of the king, and he became an absolute power. In theory, divine, natural, customary, and constitutional law still held sway over the king, but, absent a superior spiritual power, it was difficult to see how they could be enforced, since the king could not be tried by any of his own courts.

Some of the symbolism within the coronation ceremony for British monarchs, in which they are anointed with holy oils by the Archbishop of Canterbury, thereby ordaining them to monarchy, perpetuates the ancient Roman Catholic monarchical ideas and ceremonial (although few Protestants realize this, the ceremony is nearly entirely based upon that of the Coronation of the Holy Roman Emperor).[citation needed] However, in the UK, the symbolism ends there, since the real governing authority of the monarch was all but extinguished by the Whig revolution of 1688–89 (see Glorious Revolution). The king or queen of the United Kingdom is one of the last monarchs still to be crowned in the traditional Christian ceremonial, which in most other countries has been replaced by an inauguration or other declaration.[citation needed]

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Charles I of England, with a divine hand moving his crown

The concept of divine right incorporates, but exaggerates, the ancient Christian concept of "royal God-given rights", which teach that "the right to rule is anointed by God", although this idea is found in many other cultures, including Aryan and Egyptian traditions. In pagan religions, the king was often seen as a kind of god and so was an unchallengeable despot. The ancient Roman Catholic tradition overcame this idea with the doctrine of the "Two Swords" and so achieved, for the very first time, a balanced constitution for states. The advent of Protestantism saw something of a return to the idea of a mere unchallengeable despot.

Thomas Aquinas condoned extra-legal tyrannicide in the worst of circumstances:

When there is no recourse to a superior by whom judgment can be made about an invader, then he who slays a tyrant to liberate his fatherland is [to be] praised and receives a reward.

— Commentary on the Magister Sententiarum[8]


On the other hand, Aquinas forbade the overthrow of any morally, Christianly and spiritually legitimate king by his subjects. The only human power capable of deposing the king was the pope. The reasoning was that if a subject may overthrow his superior for some bad law, who was to be the judge of whether the law was bad? If the subject could so judge his own superior, then all lawful superior authority could lawfully be overthrown by the arbitrary judgement of an inferior, and thus all law was under constant threat. Towards the end of the Middle Ages, many philosophers, such as Nicholas of Cusa and Francisco Suarez, propounded similar theories. The Church was the final guarantor that Christian kings would follow the laws and constitutional traditions of their ancestors and the laws of God and of justice. Similarly, the Chinese concept of Mandate of Heaven required that the emperor properly carry out the proper rituals and consult his ministers; however, this concept made it extremely difficult to undo any acts carried out by an ancestor.

The French prelate Jacques-Bénigne Bossuet made a classic statement of the doctrine of divine right in a sermon preached before King Louis XIV:[9]

Les rois règnent par moi, dit la Sagesse éternelle: 'Per me reges regnant'; et de là nous devons conclure non seulement que les droits de la royauté sont établis par ses lois, mais que le choix des personnes est un effet de sa providence.

Kings reign by Me, says Eternal Wisdom: 'Per me reges regnant' [in Latin]; and from that we must conclude not only that the rights of royalty are established by its laws, but also that the choice of persons [to occupy the throne] is an effect of its providence.


Zoroastrianism

Main article: Khvarenah

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Ahura Mazda gives divine kingship to Ardashir.

Khvarenah (Avestan: 'xᵛarənah;' Persian: far) is a Zoroastrian concept, which literally means glory, about divine right of the kings. In Zoroastrian view, kings would never rule, unless Khvarenah is with them, and they will never fall unless Khvarenah leaves them. For example, according to the Kar-namag of Ardashir, when Ardashir I of Persia and Artabanus V of Parthia fought for the throne of Iran, on the road Artabanus and his contingent are overtaken by an enormous ram, which is also following Ardashir. Artabanus's religious advisors explain to him that the ram is the manifestation of the khwarrah of the ancient Iranian kings, which is leaving Artabanus to join Ardashir.[10]

Divine right and Protestantism

Before the Reformation the anointed king was, within his realm, the accredited vicar of God for secular purposes (see the Investiture Controversy); after the Reformation he (or she if queen regnant) became this in Protestant states for religious purposes also.[11]

In England it is not without significance that the sacerdotal vestments, generally discarded by the clergy – dalmatic, alb and stole – continued to be among the insignia of the sovereign (see Coronation of the British monarch). Moreover, this sacrosanct character he acquired not by virtue of his "sacring", but by hereditary right; the coronation, anointing and vesting were but the outward and visible symbol of a divine grace adherent in the sovereign by virtue of his title. Even Roman Catholic monarchs, like Louis XIV, would never have admitted that their coronation by the archbishop constituted any part of their title to reign; it was no more than the consecration of their title.[12]

In England the doctrine of the divine right of kings was developed to its most extreme logical conclusions during the political controversies of the 17th century; its most famous exponent was Sir Robert Filmer. It was the main issue to be decided by the English Civil War, the Royalists holding that "all Christian kings, princes and governors" derive their authority direct from God, the Parliamentarians that this authority is the outcome of a contract, actual or implied, between sovereign and people.[12]

In one case the king's power would be unlimited, according to Louis XIV's famous saying: "L' état, c'est moi!",[12] or limited only by his own free act; in the other his actions would be governed by the advice and consent of the people, to whom he would be ultimately responsible. The victory of this latter principle was proclaimed to all the world by the execution of Charles I. The doctrine of divine right, indeed, for a while drew nourishment from the blood of the royal "martyr";[12] it was the guiding principle of the Anglican Church of the Restoration; but it suffered a rude blow when James II of England made it impossible for the clergy to obey both their conscience and their king. The Glorious Revolution of 1688 made an end of it as a great political force. This has led to the constitutional development of the Crown in Britain, as held by descent modified and modifiable by parliamentary action.[12]

Divine right in Asia

In early Mesopotamian culture, kings were often regarded as deities after their death. Shulgi of Ur was among the first Mesopotamian rulers to declare himself to be divine. This was the direct precursor to the concept of "Divine Right of kings", as well as in the Egyptian and Roman religions.

Mandate of Heaven

Main articles: Mandate of Heaven and Son of Heaven

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The Emperor of Japan rules as a divine descendant of the sun goddess Amaterasu

In China and East Asia, rulers justified their rule with the philosophy of the Mandate of Heaven, which, although similar to the European concept, bore several key differences. While the divine right of kings granted unconditional legitimacy, the Mandate of Heaven was dependent on the behaviour of the ruler, the Son of Heaven. Heaven would bless the authority of a just ruler, but it could be displeased with a despotic ruler and thus withdraw its mandate, transferring it to a more suitable and righteous person. This withdrawal of mandate also afforded the possibility of revolution as a means to remove the errant ruler; revolt was never legitimate under the European framework of divine right.

In China, the right of rebellion against an unjust ruler had been a part of the political philosophy ever since the Zhou dynasty, whose rulers had used this philosophy to justify their overthrow of the previous Shang dynasty. Chinese historians interpreted a successful revolt as evidence that the Mandate of Heaven had passed on to the usurper.

In Japan, the Son of Heaven title was less conditional than its Chinese equivalent. There was no divine mandate that punished the emperor for failing to rule justly. The right to rule of the Japanese emperor, descended from the sun goddess Amaterasu, was absolute.[13] The Japanese emperors traditionally wielded little secular power; generally, it was the duty of the sitting emperor to perform rituals and make public appearances, while true power was held by regents, high-ranking ministers, a commander-in-chief of the emperor's military known as the shōgun, or even retired emperors depending on the time period.

Sultans in Southeast Asia

In the Malay Annals, the rajas and sultans of the Malay States (today Malaysia, Brunei and Philippines) as well as their predecessors, such as the Indonesian kingdom of Majapahit, also claimed divine right to rule. The sultan is mandated by God and thus is expected to lead his country and people in religious matters, ceremonies as well as prayers. This divine right is called Daulat (which means 'state' in Arabic), and although the notion of divine right is somewhat obsolete, it is still found in the phrase Daulat Tuanku that is used to publicly acclaim the reigning Yang di-Pertuan Agong and the other sultans of Malaysia. The exclamation is similar to the European "Long live the King", and often accompanies pictures of the reigning monarch and his consort on banners during royal occasions. In Indonesia, especially on the island of Java, the sultan's divine right is more commonly known as the way, or 'revelation', but it is not hereditary and can be passed on to distant relatives.

South Asian kings

In Dravidian culture, before Brahmanism and especially during the Sangam period, emperors were known as இறையர் (Iraiyer), or "those who spill", and kings were called கோ (Ko) or கோன் (Kon). During this time, the distinction between kingship and godhood had not yet occurred, as the caste system had not yet been introduced. Even in Modern Tamil, the word for temple is 'கோயில்', meaning "king's house".[14] Kings were understood to be the "agents of God", as they protected the world like God did.[15] This may well have been continued post-Brahminism in Tamilakam, as the famous Thiruvalangadu inscription states:

"Having noticed by the marks (on his body) that Arulmozhi was the very Vishnu" in reference to the Emperor Raja Raja Chola I.


Rights

Historically, many notions of rights were authoritarian and hierarchical, with different people granted different rights, and some having more rights than others. For instance, the right of a father to respect from his son did not indicate a right for the son to receive a return from that respect; and the divine right of kings, which permitted absolute power over subjects, did not leave a lot of room for many rights for the subjects themselves.[16]

In contrast, modern conceptions of rights often emphasize liberty and equality as among the most important aspects of rights, for example in the American Revolution and the French Revolution.

Opposition

Further information: All men are created equal

In the sixteenth century, both Catholic and Protestant political thinkers began to question the idea of a monarch's "divine right".

The Spanish Catholic historian Juan de Mariana put forward the argument in his book De rege et regis institutione (1598) that since society was formed by a "pact" among all its members, "there can be no doubt that they are able to call a king to account".[17][18] Mariana thus challenged divine right theories by stating in certain circumstances, tyrannicide could be justified. Cardinal Robert Bellarmine also "did not believe that the institute of monarchy had any divine sanction" and shared Mariana's belief that there were times where Catholics could lawfully remove a monarch.[18]

Among groups of English Protestant exiles fleeing from Queen Mary I, some of the earliest anti-monarchist publications emerged. "Weaned off uncritical royalism by the actions of Queen Mary ... The political thinking of men like Ponet, Knox, Goodman and Hales."[19]

In 1553, Mary I, a Roman Catholic, succeeded her Protestant half-brother, Edward VI, to the English throne. Mary set about trying to restore Roman Catholicism by making sure that: Edward's religious laws were abolished in the Statute of Repeal Act (1553); the Protestant religious laws passed in the time of Henry VIII were repealed; and the Revival of the Heresy Acts were passed in 1554. The Marian Persecutions began soon afterwards. In January 1555, the first of nearly 300 Protestants were burnt at the stake under "Bloody Mary". When Thomas Wyatt the Younger instigated what became known as Wyatt's rebellion, John Ponet, the highest-ranking ecclesiastic among the exiles,[20] allegedly participated in the uprising.[21] He escaped to Strasbourg after the Rebellion's defeat and, the following year, he published A Shorte Treatise of Politike Power, in which he put forward a theory of justified opposition to secular rulers.

"Ponet's treatise comes first in a new wave of anti-monarchical writings ... It has never been assessed at its true importance, for it antedates by several years those more brilliantly expressed but less radical Huguenot writings which have usually been taken to represent the Tyrannicide-theories of the Reformation."[20]

Ponet's pamphlet was republished on the eve of King Charles I's execution.

According to U.S. President John Adams, Ponet's work contained "all the essential principles of liberty, which were afterward dilated on by Sidney and Locke", including the idea of a three-branched government.[22]

In due course, opposition to the divine right of kings came from a number of sources, including poet John Milton in his pamphlet The Tenure of Kings and Magistrates, and Thomas Paine in his pamphlet Common Sense. Probably the two most famous declarations of a right to revolution against tyranny in the English language are John Locke's Essay concerning The True Original, Extent, and End of Civil-Government and Thomas Jefferson's formulation in the United States Declaration of Independence that "all men are created equal".

See also

• Absolute monarchy
• Ancien Régime
• Arahitogami
• Caliphate
• Church and state in medieval Europe
• Concordat of Worms
• Constitutions of Melfi
• Cuius regio, eius religio
• Exclusive right
• First Council of the Lateran
• Legitimacy (political)
• Prerogative
• Robert Bellarmine
• Robert Filmer
• Royal touch
• Sovereignty
• The True Law of Free Monarchies
• Vindiciae contra tyrannos

References

1. The imperial cult in Roman Britain-Google docs
2. Allen Brent, The Imperial Cult and the Development of Church Order: Concepts and Images of Authority in Paganism and Early Christianity before the Age of Cyprian (Brill, 1999)
3. Adomnan of Iona. Life of St Columba. Penguin Books, 1995
4. A speech to parliament (1610).
5. Romans 13:1-7
6. that is, the commandment: "Honor your father ..." etc., which is the fifth in the reckoning usual among Jewish, Orthodox, and Protestant denominations, but to be according to the law, yet is he not bound thereto but of his good will ..."
7. Passional Christi und Antichristi Full view on Google Books
8. McDonald, Hugh. "Some Brief Remarks on what Thomas has to say on Rebellion and Regicide". Archived from the original on 2011-09-27. Retrieved 2011-07-30.
9. Jacques-Bénigne Bossuet. Sermons choisis de Bossuet. Sur le devoir des rois. p. 219, Image
10. Kar namag i Ardashir 4.11.16 and 4.11.22-23.
11. One or more of the preceding sentences incorporates text from a publication now in the public domain: Phillip, Walter Alison (1911). "King § Divine Right of Kings". In Chisholm, Hugh (ed.). Encyclopædia Britannica. 15 (11th ed.). Cambridge University Press. p. 806.
12. Phillip 1911, p. 806.
13. Beasley, William (1999). "The Making of a Monarchy". The Japanese Experience: A Short History of Japan. University of California Press. p. 29. ISBN 978-0-520-22560-2.
14. Ramanujan, A.K. (2011). Poems of Love and War: From the Eight Anthologies and the Ten Long Poems of Classical Tamil. Columbia University Press. ISBN 978-0-231-15735-3.
15. N. Subramanian (1966). Śaṅgam polity: the administration and social life of the Śaṅgam Tamils. Asia Pub. House.
16. "Divine Right of Kings". BBC. 2007-10-11. Retrieved 2009-12-21. [...] the idea that a king was sacred, appointed by God and above the judgment of earthly powers [...] was called the Divine Right of Kings and it entered so powerfully into British culture during the 17th century that it shaped the pomp and circumstance of the Stuart monarchs, imbued the writing of Shakespeare and provoked the political thinking of Milton and Locke. Italic or bold markup not allowed in: |publisher= (help)
17. Baer, Robert V. Power & Freedom: Political Thought and Constitutional Politics in the United States and Argentina ProQuest, 2008 ISBN 0549745106 (pp. 70–71)
18. Blumenau, Ralph. Philosophy and Living Imprint Academic, 2002 ISBN 0907845339 (pp. 198–199)
19. Dickens, A. G. (1978). The English Reformation. London & Glasgow: Fontana/Collins. p. 399.
20. Dickens, A. G. (1978). The English Reformation. London & Glasgow: Fontana/Collins. p. 391.
21. Dickens, A.G. (1978). The English Reformation. London & Glasgow: Fontana/Collins. p. 358.
22. Adams, C. F. (1850–56). The Works of John Adams, with Life. 6. Boston. p. 4.

Further reading

• Burgess, Glenn (October 1992). "The Divine Right of Kings Reconsidered". The English Historical Review. 107 (425): 837–861. doi:10.1093/ehr/cvii.ccccxxv.837.

External links

• The Divine Right of Kings on In Our Time at the BBC
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Natural Hierarchy

 A person does not need a philosophical background to believe in the existence of a natural hierarchy, wherein gods are superior to men and men to animals, or to observe that humans speak while animals do not. Moreover, humans are prone to mistaking what is normal for what is natural, a tendency that could easily lead to the use of nature as a normative standard for human behavior. The same tendency could also prompt a person to suppose that it is natural for animals to serve humans, and that they are naturally suited to doing so, since they normally fulfill that function. Neither view depends on any particular theory of nature or creation. The more sophisticated doctrines developed by the philosophers – and teleology should probably be counted among them – elaborate on and combine these habits of thought, and were probably made plausible by the conventional notions which gave rise to them. No other explanation, I think, could account for the readiness with which writers draw upon teleological ideas, and assume the understanding and acceptance of the audience. ....

I pointed out in a previous section that the Romans considered human society and social relationships to be part of nature. Thus, it would take only a short leap of logic to arrive at the conclusion that the human social order is or should be an extension of the natural order. By that reckoning, the natural hierarchy would be a paradigm for and justification of the social hierarchy. More than that, however, it would mean that the social hierarchy is part of the natural hierarchy, and that legal status distinctions do or should coincide with the natural distinctions of the scala naturae. To put it another way, legal status distinctions do or should coincide with distinctions in both purpose and type. If human society is teleological by nature, then the lower orders have been created for the purpose of serving the higher orders. Because they have been designed for this lower purpose, they possess a less perfect type. Therefore, the lower orders of humanity are innately inferior to the higher. According to this reasoning, social inequality is not merely formal, but reflects or should reflect the natural inequalities that exist between intrinsically different kinds of human. This view would provide a possible explanation for class specific man-animal comparisons. If some classes of people are less fully, perfectly human than others, then they are closer to animals. Moreover, if a certain class of human and a certain class of animal fulfill a similar purpose, than they should theoretically possess a similar nature....

It is easy to see how these ideas about human status could have interacted with ideas about animals and the scala naturae, to give rise to the notion that the scales of human and animal, social and natural status are one and the same. If the Romans were accustomed to think that there is a natural hierarchy of animals, ranked by their usefulness to human society, and if they traditionally recognized a hierarchy of humans, ranked by their usefulness to society, then the common measure of worth, usefulness, might well have prompted an analogy between the two hierarchies, or even an outright conflation of the two. The assumption that humans, like animals, are naturally supposed to serve society would have practically ensured such a conflation; to people who habitually assessed human worth in terms of utility, it would have suggested that utility is a natural standard of value for humans, as it is for animals. By this reasoning, the animal and human hierarchies are both natural, with the same natural criterion of value and standing. This view lends itself to the assumption that the two hierarchies actually comprise one, continuous scale of worth for animal and human, just as the scala naturae is one, continuous scale of inter-species worth.

Varro’s assimilation of slave and herd animal displays this pattern of thought. As I noted in the previous section, the idea of a natural hierarchy wherein all animals are subordinate to humans, and individual types are ranked by their usefulness to humans, is very much in evidence. Social status also plays a part in the text, in that Varro talks about slaves and “slave” is a human social status. Animals’ utility determines their worth to the human community, and so their standing, and the same is true for people. Varro defines servitude as an economic role, and this role or function dictates how he discusses and valuates slaves. Thus, Varro assesses man and animal by the same standard, which leads him to assign the same status to each. Because they fulfill a similar productive function, herd animals are a kind of slave, and slaves are a form of herd animal. This constitutes a conflation of natural and social status, since the social category “slave” is assimilated to the natural category “herd animal”, and the natural category “herd animal” is assimilated to the social category “slave”.

Varro also reveals one last assumption which may have contributed to the tendency to regard natural and social status as equivalent: herd animals are, in a limited way, members of the human community. I have observed that he treats domestic animals as natural slaves, as creatures destined by nature to serve man. That much we have seen elsewhere. However, he makes a point of recognizing their absolute necessity to man, as well. According to the Res Rustica, therefore, domestic animals are essential participants in the human community. They might even be considered partners, albeit unequal ones, since they engage in an exchange of vital services with their human masters. Only through cooperation between the two species can both survive. This circumstance might suggest that domestic animals are actually part of human society. If they are part of human society, then the natural category “herd animal” is a social category, too. Thus, the lowest member of the natural hierarchy, as a member of human society, is also the lowest member of the social hierarchy. Since “herd animal” is a social category, humans can belong to it, as well, if they meet the definitive criterion.Conversely, animals can belong to an ostensibly human social category, if they meet the definitive criterion. Because, as I have argued, the definitive criterion for both “herd animal” and “slave” is the same – to be useful in a certain manner – a legal slave is automatically a type of herd animal, and a herd animal a type of slave. In this way, man and animal occupy the same position in society, with the result that the status “herd animal” and the status “slave” can be used interchangeably to denote one natural social position.

The equation of slave with herd animal – and, more broadly, the equation of the social and natural hierarchies – is reflected in the language used to describe animal and human status. I have pointed out that the ancients regarded herd animals as slaves; accordingly, they were often associated with the vocabulary of subservience, the same vocabulary which was applied to servile humans. I have also discussed the long tradition of likening slaves to herd animals. Aristotle’s theory of natural slavery, as I showed in the previous chapter, makes use of both conventions. We have now seen that Varro, too, draws upon both tendencies in the Res Rustica. The fact that the Romans defined slave and herd animal in terms of each other, and classified one as a form of the other, shows that they did not differentiate between the natural and the social as we do. They could not conceptualize either state without reference to the other. As a result, the language used to talk about the natural status of animals, and that employed for human social standing, are hopelessly entangled. In chapter 1, I examined the most famous republican example of this phenomenon: the prologue of the Bellum Catilinae. There, Sallust utilizes the imagery of domestic animals and of slavery in close conjunction, in order to comment on what is naturally appropriate and inappropriate for humans of free standing.

Varro also offers examples of this linguistic and conceptual entanglement. I have talked at length about the fact that he describes field hands and shepherds, who both occupied a very low socio-economic station, by comparing them to herd animals. The conflation works in the opposite direction, as well: just as nature and animals inform the status of humans, so humans and society inform the ranking of animals. This occurs most clearly in the sections about pigs and oxen, whom Varro specifically locates within the hierarchy of herd animals. Pigs, he claims – quoting the old joke – were given by nature for feasting on; and so they were granted life instead of salt, to preserve the meat (2.4.10). As I explained before, the point here is that pigs provide humans with just one commodity, meat. Nature, then, created them for that one reason, in order to be killed and eaten. Until a pig can fulfill this destiny, the entire purpose of its life is to keep the meat fresh. Although the words “useless” and “worthless” never appear in the text, the joke assumes that a living pig is useless and therefore worthless. Cicero is more explicit: he actually applies the word “worthless” to swine. The proverbial uselessness of pigs no doubt prompted his characterization of Verres as a nequam verres, “worthless boar” (Verrines 2.1.121). Obviously a pig is neither useless nor worthless to itself. The designation “worthless pig” only makes sense if the pig is judged and ranked within the context of human society, according to its utility to humans. Its humble position is a kind of social status, in that it reflects the pig’s value to human society, as measured by the standards of that society. The pig is also inferior in relation to other herd animals, since utility determines the value and standing of them all. Furthermore, because the joke invokes natura, it attributes the pig’s lowliness to a natural order and plan. Thus, a brief witticism about pigs illustrates how men and animals, society and nature, are all subsumed into a single ranking system: to be worthless among herd animals, worthless to man, and worthless by nature, are all one and the same thing.

The equation of natural and social status is even more obvious in the passage about oxen, where Varro uses human social labels to indicate the value and standing of animals. He asserts that the ox is the socius hominum (2.5.3). Anything that can be a socius occupies, by definition, a social category. He also calls the ox a Cereris minister (2.5.3). Minister normally refers to a human job and its attendant, servile status. Here, then, is an example of the language of human servitude, linked to an animal. Moreover, and more surprisingly, he attributes to cattle the maxima auctoritas among herd animals (2.5.3), as well as maiestas (2.5.4). He tags a bull nobilis (2.5.3). These are words usually associated with the aristocracy. To express the prestige of the most important animals, Varro has borrowed from the language of the Roman elite, who were the most important humans. The text therefore demonstrates the conceptual and verbal overlap between man and animal, social and natural. In this case words from the sphere of human social relations have been applied to an animal, as a way to emphasize the value of its natural function.....


Macer compares plebs to herd animals:

Therefore all have now yielded to the mastery of a few... in the meantime you, in the manner of herd animals, offer yourselves, a multitude, to individuals for use and enjoyment, after having been stripped of everything which your ancestors left you…


According to this passage, the supposed servitude of the plebs, and their likeness to herd animals, consist of two elements: economic exploitation, and their willingness to be so exploited. Even though Macer does not explicitly mention herd animals again, these two concepts are both fundamental to the rest of the speech. The idea of the domestic animal – the perfect, natural slave – therefore shapes his portrayal of the plebs’ slavery and its opposite state, their freedom.....

A few powerful men ... have seized these goods. Thus the plebs can be said to offer themselves “for the use and enjoyment” of such men: the plebs’ ... labor, voluntarily undertaken, is enriching these individuals rather than the plebs themselves. Here, as we have seen elsewhere, ideological servitude and mastery exist where there is a relationship of economic exploitation: one who works for the profit of another man is a slave, one who keeps the profit from another man’s work is a master. If they were really free men, as opposed to slaves and herd animals, the plebs would be enjoying the fruits of their own labor.

Economic exploitation is one aspect that the plebs have in common with herd animals, who are also slaves. The other similarity is the plebs’ apparent acceptance of their exploitation, signaled by Macer’s accusatory use of the word praebetis. The plebs actually yield themselves up for servitude ... passively letting other men take the profits. The comparison turns on the belief that herd animals are slaves by nature. They always accept their lot with passivity and willingly labor for the benefit of human masters, because they have no alternative; they serve and obey in accordance with inescapable, natural impulses. This idea appears prominently elsewhere in Sallust. As I explained in the first chapter, it plays a part in the prologue of the Bellum Catilinae. There, herd animals are employed as a negative model, an extreme to avoid, precisely because they have no choice but to behave slavishly.


In keeping with the pattern outlined above, Macer’s speech does not posit that the plebs are naturally slavish or subhuman; in fact, it asserts the opposite. The oration draws its persuasive and emotive power from the tension between the servile role forced upon the plebs, and their naturally free and human character. Precisely because they are not slaves or animals by nature, they can choose not to submit to treatment which is unsuitable for human beings; they can choose to reclaim a truly human living situation by rising up and taking what is rightfully theirs. Therefore the reference to herd animals is in fact a clarion call to action. The plebs’ noble masters have imposed upon them a condition of economic servitude, a condition equivalent to that of slavish herd animals. They will continue to be treated like animals, and resemble them in character, if they do not correctly utilize their human faculty of choice and exercise their will to act. We see now why Macer claims that the struggle for liberty, even a losing one, befits a brave man, and why he later urges the plebs to remember and recreate the manly deeds, virilia illa, of their ancestors (15). The choice to resist, the will to freedom, the struggle itself is naturally appropriate to a man, utterly denied to a herd animal.

Although Macer only mentions herd animals once, the themes established in that one sentence continue throughout the speech. The negative example of the herd animal therefore remains very much in the foreground. Sections 14-16 dwell on the idea that the plebs are willingly submitting to their servitude, by supporting the designs of their self-appointed masters (like herd animals).
Macer accuses his audience of having a weak spirit, animus ignavus, since they are not mindful of their liberty outside of the assembly. All the power is actually in their hands, he claims, because they can choose to carry out or not to carry out the very commands which are imposing their slavery. The plebs are putting such orders into effect by executing them, and are thus rushing to enact their own servitude (like herd animals). Since their slavery depends on their connivance, they could win their freedom simply by refusing to cooperate.....

To labor endlessly for the benefit of others, without protest, is the naturally appointed lot of herd beasts. Unless the plebs want to share that fate, they must exert themselves....


Even Cicero utilizes the idea of plebeian economic exploitation when it suits him, which indicates that it was indeed a trope, and one with rhetorical currency. During his consulship, Cicero spoke against an agrarian law put forward by Publius Servilius Rullus, tribune of the plebs. The second of his speeches on the subject, De Lege Agraria 2, was delivered before the popular assembly. In this oration, Cicero had to convince the bill’s ostensible beneficiaries, the Roman people, that the proposal was actually contrary to their interests.... He portrays the promise of land distribution as a ruse, one which will enable a few powerful men to enrich themselves at the expense of the plebs.

The main thrust of Cicero’s argument is introduced in section 15, where he reveals the “true” aims of the bill’s promulgators. These men, he claims, will be established as kings and masters of the treasury, the revenues, all the provinces, the entire republic, the kings, the free peoples, and, finally, the whole world. ... He asserts that, in the proposed law, nothing is given to the citizens, but all things are gifted to certain men, that lands are held out before the Roman people while even their liberty is snatched from them, that the money of private individuals is augmented and public money drained, and that kings are set up in the state..... If, after hearing his speech, the citizens believe that a plot has been laid against their liberty, they should not hesitate to defend their freedom, obtained and handed down to them by the sweat and blood of their ancestors. Like Sallust’s tribunes, Cicero urges the plebs to action, emphasizing the need for will and struggle with his reference to blood and sweat....

The bill apparently called for ten land commissioners, decemvirs, to raise funds by selling public property; once the funds had been raised, they were to purchase land in Italy on which to settle colonies of Roman citizens.
Cicero devotes much of his oration to insisting that the decemvirs will pocket the proceeds from the sale of public property (35-62), neglecting to purchase the necessary land or to establish proper colonies (63-71). After making his case, Cicero concludes by posing the question, quid pecuniae fiet? What will become of the money? His final answer: “The decemvirs will hold all the money, not a field will be bought for you; after your revenues have been alienated from you, your allies harassed, and the kings and all the nations emptied, those men will have the money, you will not have fields”.


-- The Measure of All Things: Natural Hierarchy in Roman Republican Thought, by Erika Lawren Nickerson, 2015


Pan-Germans embraced the belief that the Aryans had stood at the top in the natural hierarchy of races and that the distinction of being the least polluted survivor of the Aryans belonged to the Germanic (or Nordic) race, of which the Germans made up the principal part.

-- We Men Who Feel Most German: A Cultural Study of the Pan-German League 1886-1914, by Roger Chickering


The Führerprinzip (German for "leader principle") prescribed the fundamental basis of political authority in the governmental structures of the Third Reich. This principle can be most succinctly understood to mean that "the Führer's word is above all written law" and that governmental policies, decisions, and offices ought to work toward the realization of this end. In actual political usage, it refers mainly to the practice of dictatorship within the ranks of a political party itself, and as such, it has become an earmark of political fascism.

The Führerprinzip was not invented by the Nazis. Hermann von Keyserling, an ethnically German philosopher from Estonia, was the first to use the term. One of Keyserling's central claims was that certain "gifted individuals" were "born to rule" on the basis of Social Darwinism.

The ideology of the Führerprinzip sees each organization as a hierarchy of leaders, where every leader (Führer, in German) has absolute responsibility in his own area, demands absolute obedience from those below him and answers only to his superiors. This required obedience and loyalty even over concerns of right and wrong. The supreme leader, Adolf Hitler, answered to God and the German people. Italian philosopher Giorgio Agamben has argued that Hitler saw himself as an incarnation of auctoritas, and as the living law or highest law itself, effectively combining in his persona executive power, judicial power and legislative power. After the campaign against the alleged Röhm Putsch, Hitler declared: "in this hour, I was responsible for the fate of the German nation and was therefore the supreme judge of the German people!"


-- Fuhrerprincip [Fuehrer Principle], by Wikipedia


In his presentation of the Shambhala teachings, Rinpoche said that law and order have to do with the natural hierarchy that exists in the world. He used the four seasons as a good example of this nonvertical sense of order and predictability in life. Rinpoche felt that society should have a similar sense of orderly flow.

-- Dragon Thunder: My Life with Chogyam Trungpa, by Diana J. Mukpo with Carolyn Rose Gimian


Natural Hierarchy

By the same token, I have always encouraged both older and newer students to take initiative where they see fit, to jump in if it is truly beneficial, not to wait for the perfect conditions to come about, or for me to formally direct them or invite them to participate. It is not necessary for everyone to have specific instruction from me personally. When it rains, you don’t ask the clouds how to grow vegetables. You take the water and you grow vegetables. This is the notion of society. The role of the Sakyong is to provide space, to protect the space, so that the flowers can blossom. The sun does not pull the flowers up to the sky; the flowers grow, reaching toward heaven. If heaven is too close, the flowers will not exert themselves. Therefore the organization is necessary as the extension of the Sakyong’s ability to provide and protect the space.

The Sakyong is the centre of the Shambhala mandala. The centre of the mandala manifests as the Kalapa Court, the seat of the Sakyong and the heart of his government. The energy generated within the Court radiates outwards through the teachings, culture, and structure of the mandala. The energy that is generated toward the Kalapa Court is harnessed by the organization. It is not the role of the organization to dampen or suffocate. If it becomes too thick, its members tend to become complacent and irritated. When it can extend the energy of the Court as the basis of inspiration, the members of the community look in and around themselves for solutions, realizing their responsibility to motivate themselves and to communicate with others. This process is not simply one of administration, but also of education, since the curriculum must also reflect an understanding of the individual.

This is the primary teaching within the literature on natural hierarchy. Specifically, it means that yourself, as well as the rest of the leadership of the mandala, need to facilitate this dissemination of energy from the Kalapa Court. You must organize the mandala and extend communication in the most effective way. All the members of our community have strong virtues and diverse qualities. They need not base their situation upon whether they are participating as a member of these administrative groups. Those who are members should be functional, practical, and energetic individuals who have chosen to fully participate in and organize our community. But we need to wean ourselves away from thinking that if we are not in one of these groups, we have no real function in our organization. The more clearly we understand this, the more smooth the transition will be for the individuals leaving or entering administrative roles. Thus the society becomes healthy.

The nature of phenomena is change and fluctuation. When a rider has truly taken his seat, from a distance he seems steadfast in the saddle. However, to maintain this equilibrium, both horse and rider are balanced in a state of constant fluctuation. The relationship between the administration, the organization, and the society will likewise fluctuate.

Rather than specifying how we initiate these societal endeavours and inspirations, I leave it to you to disseminate this understanding and view, letting others know the importance and uniqueness of what we are doing—building a society. It is important that we all recognize that being involved at this point and engaging in socially enriching activities is part of the process. Rather than being handed the entire basket and its contents, we are learning how to pick fruits and vegetables and place them in our container of social initiative.

-- Treatise on Society and Organization, A communication from Sakyong Mipham Rinpoche to Richard Reoch, President of Shambhala,17 March 2003


Functions and structure of the court

These relationships within the court revolve around the Sage King, who is the centre of the court. He has people on his left and right sides, everyone at his or her appropriate position and distance: ministers, governors, generals, advisors, etc. When a king receives his subjects - the relationships are clear, visible and therefore natural hierarchy can arise. In this context the order of Heaven <-> Earth <-> Man can be equated with King <-> Ministers <-> Subjects. This is also clear from the description provided in 'The golden Sun of the Great East': 'In Kalapa, the capital, the dharma king of Shambhala first executed the primordial Ashe. On his right sat ministers on tiger-skin seats; on his left, queens on leopard-skin seats; before him, dapons on bear-skin seats; surrounding his domain, the Rigden dralas (..,)'. When a king receives his subjects - the relationships are clear, visible and therefore natural hierarchy can arise.

In the context of a Shambhala Centre this notion of a King, his advisers and subjects can be translated into the order of Heaven <-> Humanity <-> Earth. This means that people (humanity) are appointed to a certain post within the centre and they are responsible for translating the view of the teachings (heaven) into the actual workings of the centre (earth). There is a large responsibility that comes with such a post. The right people should be appointed to the right post, for mismatches can cause harm
.. In 'The golden Sun of the Great East': 'If the horse has no saddle, there is no dignity in riding. If the sun had no rays, the people would be blind. If the warrior has no sword, the blessings of the dralas cannot be gathered (...)'.

In a Shambhala Centre it also means that people should have a proper seat, not only on a board or as a title, but also a real physical seat. This means that a number of people - especially the director and the Rusung - should have a desk in an office from which to work. The function pertains to the role and position and duties individuals hold within the court: who does what.

A Shambhala Court should be viewed as a mandala, another expression of the word 'container.' In a mandala different levels exist all of them connected through a bright and clear path. In the table below, the various levels of the mandala are indicated according to the various traditions as well as the functions and activities of those levels.

-- Kanyu, Fengshui and Court Energetics, Based on the teachings of Eva Wong, edited by Peter C. van der Molen


Letter to Vajradhatu Board of Directors
by Vajra Regent Osel Tendzin
November 28, 1989

VAJRADHATU
An Association of Buddhist Meditation Centers
28 November 1989

Dear Vajradhatu Sangha Member:

It was in January that I last addressed all of you. At that time, I informed you of my plans for retreat and requested everybody to continue with the practice and study of the dharma as given to us by the Vidyadhara, Chogyam Trungpa, Rinpoche. It has been a turbulent year. In some sense, the turbulence has expressed the naked and raw quality of our emotions, and at the same time has, in my mind, provided deeper access to understanding fully our own commitment. Some of this has been extremely embarrassing. However, as we have been taught, shedding the fortification of ego is not only embarrassing but painful.

Now it appears to me that it is time for all of us to take some definite steps to go forward, personally and as a sangha. It is time for us to re-examine as thoroughly as we can our practice and our place in this life.We all have a particular seat. We all have our innate worth. However, only the dharma can bring about that kind of equanimity and understanding.

Fortunately, the Vidyadhara was ruthless in working with his own students in this respect: he did not hand people solutions, did not provide baby food to grownups, and was constantly warning all of us of the dangers of spiritual materialism, self-made gurus, and spiritual trips. In this way he created Vajradhatu to carry on the authentic dharma which is not based on ego and the deceptions of mara. He let every one of us live out our karma in the context of a larger vision and a larger world. For that we should be eternally grateful.

How shall we now proceed to fulfill the Vidyadhara’s wishes and to fulfill our own lives? First of all, I feel that it is necessary for all of us to abandon ill will and negativity toward each other. Sometimes thoughts become so vivid that they stick in the mind like real entities. And as we might have experienced in our practice, no matter what we do, it is hard to dissolve them. Even if we practice all the different techniques, sometimes we still cling to negative feelings and emotions. Therefore, I feel we must practice as Milarepa did when encountering the demons in his cave. After trying all the techniques he could think of, he finally embraced the demons and said, “All rights, let’s play together.”

Please understand that I am not advocating some kind of love and light approach to the strong or bitter feelings we might have. I am not advocating lip service as practice. We must do this – for our own happiness and for the teachings to continue. There is no other way. If we carry with us even the slightest suspicion which could produce hatred, then we will find ourselves living in the hell realm, when our intention is to practice the dharma.

As for myself, I hold no grudges toward anyone, nor do I wish to see anyone suffer because of anything I may do or have done. At the same time, it is supremely important that all of us understand clearly the reality of cause and effect, so that we can impartially contemplate how situations such as this occur, and how they can be boycotted, as Rinpoche used to say. Panic brings about fear, fear brings about frozen space. Frozen space brings about the appearance of ego. It was my feeling a year ago and it is my feeling now that if we would not have panicked, but actually stuck together as a family, as a sangha, we could have boycotted the tremendous upheaval that occurred, and at the same time made great progress in our understanding. Since this process of ego is continually going on, we undoubtedly will have a chance to work on this again. However, we might as well start fresh right now.

I have been working on my health, with the help of the guru’s blessing and the blessings of the late Very Venerable Kalu, Rinpoche and of course His Holiness Dilgo Khyentse, Rinpoche, and also Trogawa, Rinpoche. Sometimes I feel great, sometimes not so good. Even so, I feel it is time once again for me to take up active leadership of Vajradhatu and the Nalanda Foundation, and depending on my health, give the various teachings that are necessary for people to progress along the path. Therefore, I would like to announce my intention to grant the Vajrayogini Abisheka in late May at Karme Choling, and to preside over the 1990 Vajradhatu Seminary at Rocky Mountain Dharma Center. Everyone will be kept informed with regard to the technicalities such as application forms, etc. Those are the teaching commitments that I would like to make at this time. I will stay on retreat until then.

Finally, I would like to make it completely clear as to my understanding of lineage and especially what was given to me as sacred trust by the Vidyadhara. As I have said, all of us have a place in this mandala, and none is higher or worth more or lower or worth less than any other. Nevertheless, in order for karma to ripen, in order for the dharma to bear fruit, there must be one lineage holder in whom resides the spiritual and temporal authority to say “Yes” or “No”. That karma has fallen to me. The samaya of my relationship to my own duty for me is beyond good and bad, success and failure. And having been warned over and over again by the Vidyadhara about the dangers of democracy, I must reiterate the nature of this command. At the same time, everyone is invited into the boiling pot of chaos which is our world. Everybody is appreciated for who they are. So the real middle way is neither authoritarian nor democratic, but simple the natural hierarchy based on the blessings of the Buddha and the Victorious Lineage.

In conclusion, I would like to wish everybody excellent health, wonderful dharma experiences, and worldly success of all kinds. Keep smiling.

With Blessings,
Vajra Regent Osel Tendzin


The Great Chain of Being is a hierarchical structure of all matter and life, thought in medieval Christianity to have been decreed by God. The chain starts with God and progresses downward to angels, demons (fallen/renegade angels), stars, moon, kings, princes, nobles, commoners, wild animals, domesticated animals, trees, other plants, precious stones, precious metals and other minerals.

The Great Chain of Being (Latin: scala naturae, "Ladder of Being") is a concept derived from Plato, Aristotle (in his Historia Animalium), Plotinus and Proclus. Further developed during the Middle Ages, it reached full expression in early modern Neoplatonism....

God sits at the top of the chain, and beneath him sit the angels, both existing wholly in spirit form. Earthly flesh is fallible and ever-changing, mutable. Spirit, however, is unchanging and permanent....

Each link succeeding upward contains the positive attributes of the previous link and adds at least one other. Rocks possess only existence; the next link up is plants which possess life and existence. Animals add motion and appetite as well....

The king is at the top, succeeded by the aristocratic lords and the clergy, and then the peasants below them....father is head of the household; below him, his wife; below her, their children....

At the top of the animals are wild beasts (such as lions), which were seen as superior as they defied training and domestication. Below them are domestic animals, further sub-divided so that useful animals (such as dogs and horses) are higher than docile creatures (such as sheep). Birds are also sub-divided, with eagles above pigeons, for example. Fish come below birds and are subdivided between actual fish and other sea creatures. Below them come insects, with useful insects such as spiders and bees and attractive creatures such as ladybirds and dragonflies at the top, and unpleasant insects such as flies and beetles at the bottom. At the very bottom of the animal sector are snakes, which are relegated to this position as punishment for the serpent's actions in the Garden of Eden....

Trees are at the top, with useful trees such as oaks at the top, and the traditionally demonic yew tree at the bottom. Food-producing plants such as cereals and vegetables are further subdivided.

At the very bottom of the chain are minerals. At the top of this section are metals (further sub-divided, with gold at the top and lead at the bottom), followed by rocks (with granite and marble at the top), soil (subdivided between nutrient-rich soil and low-quality types), sand, grit, dust, and dirt at the very bottom of the entire great chain....

Each rank has greater power and responsibility than the entities below them....

avian creatures, linked to the element of air, are considered superior to aquatic creatures linked to the element of water. Air naturally tends to rise and soar above the surface of water, and analogously, aerial creatures are placed higher in the chain....

The higher up the chart one went, the more noble, mobile, strong, and intelligent the creature....

The basic idea of a ranking of the world's organisms goes back to Aristotle's biology. In his History of Animals, where he ranked animals over plants based on their ability to move and sense, and graded the animals by their reproductive mode and possession of blood (he ranked all invertebrates as "bloodless")....

Ken Wilber uses a concept called the "Great Nest of Being" which is similar to the Great Chain of Being....

E. F. Schumacher wrote that fundamental gaps exist between the existence of minerals, plants, animals and humans, where each of the four classes of existence is marked by a level of existence not shared by that below. Clearly influenced by the great chain of being, but lacking the angels and God, he called his hierarchy the "levels of being".

-- Great chain of being, by Wikipedia
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