Human Drala

By Russ Rodgers Sometimes one encounters people or places that cut through one’s habitual chain of thoughts. The Tibetan word for that is “drala”, which means “above the enemy”. In this case the enemy is our cocoon of gossipy thoughts that keeps us separated from the beauty of the world. Practitioners who are familiar with … Continue 

Buddhism and Brain Science

by Russell Rodgers Most of us believe that our minds are in our heads. We have been told that our brains are biological computers—like the ones in our electronic devices, just more complex. When we get into this mode of thinking, it is hard to see meaning in life: it’s programmed and mechanical. Love becomes … Continue 

Casting Spells and the Magic of Letters

By Russ Rodgers Consider for a moment the letters on this page. On one level, letters have been familiar since we were four years old. You might feel impatient: “no big deal, let’s move on. I know all about letters.” However, as a meditator, you could do better. Meditate on the letter A below. Meditate … Continue 

Feeling the Goodness

In Part I of this two-part essay, we looked at the genetics behind the universal human impulse to create good society. The logic was this: everywhere there are humans, we form society. Therefore, it must be in our genes. The first part of this essay was basically a book review of Blueprint: The Evolutionary Origins … Continue 

Advice for Doing a Covid Retreat by Shastri Russell Rodgers

“Self-isolating” sounds a lot like being on retreat. It could be very boring. But maybe you’ve finally had your fill of Netflix. Maybe there are times in the day when you feel like you are bored and just spinning your wheels. Fortunately, we Buddhists know how to handle boredom (even if we are just beginning … Continue 

Kindness in the World

All over the world, wherever there are humans, there are societies. We have evolved different languages, customs, and even skin colors. But always, there is society. Society has enabled us to transmit knowledge and technologies. These have enabled us humans to dominate the earth, perhaps to our own detriment. Some strands of Buddhism suggest that … Continue 

Will Meditation Make Me Happy?

Will Meditation Make Me Happy?

In this one-minute video, Shastri Russell Rodgers explains what meditation is, and what results from sticking with it. For more from Shastri Rodgers on the Shambhala approach to meditation, see Meditation: Gentle Warriorship (PDF), an introductory pamphlet he created. And watch for more of his videos on our new YouTube channel: Kootenay Shambhala. You can … Continue 

The Art of Being Human: Loving Ourselves in a Chaotic World

Meditation can be daunting. I mean, what is it really? You sit down cross-legged on a cushion and try to clear your head of thoughts right? What are you actually doing? Does it actually do anything?   The reality is both complicated and very, very simple. The fact is, most of us are in our … Continue 

The Pope, the Climate, and Enlightened Society

By Russell Rodgers Here in Nelson British Columbia, the Kootenay Shambhala Centre is taking part in an extraordinary event. For the first time, 50 to 60 people from various churches in town are meeting to talk. Among them are Catholics, Lutherans, United Church, Anglicans, Buddhists and a local Ashram. All are represented by church leaders … Continue 

Harvest of Peace Celebration

This year’s Harvest of Peace was a lovely day to gather and bring in the change of the seasons. We began the morning with the Sadhana of Basic Goodness—a potent practice to help work towards enlightened society. The entire community can do this practice together on these special days. The morning was accompanied with kids, food, and … Continue