We are actually building a… world so that our children can grow up in an atmosphere that is right and good. It’s revolutionary and represents a fantastic vision that we are trying to build such a world. We would like to bring up our children in a situation in which parents, teachers, caretakers and even administrators are all working together, joining forces to upgrade the early growth of our young ladies and gentlemen—which is fantastic… .
Through applying Shambhala vision to how we raise our children, we develop mutual confidence, so that our children are not regarded as underdeveloped apes but as embryonic beings, who have the seed of being fully developed within them… Really being alive and actually performing properly in a real world is what we call Great Eastern Sun vision. It is very important to take that attitude towards raising our children. We have to understand that raising our children is actually upgrading basic human existence. The world of the Great Eastern Sun upgrades itself by itself. Sophistication, confidence, dignity, power, sanity and practice all build up tremendously if we work together and have the right attitude. We don’t want to leave our children behind, obviously.
Chӧgyam Trungpa Rinpoche
Shambhala has a rich history of providing programs, training, and support for parents, families, and children. Countless individuals and groups have volunteered time, energy, and heart to establishing programs, path, resources, and more. It is only through our collective efforts that we will continue to nourish and grow the care, support, and nourishment of families and children in our mandala.
Our lineage holder Sakyong Mipham Rinpoche along with his wife the Sakyong Wangmo have three daughters and are the living example of how we relate to family life and family relationship as not being separate from practice.
The Families and Children’s committees and working group’s mission is to help cultivate the wisdom, delight and dignity of living in family and community relationships, becoming parents, relating with children when we are not parents, raising children, caring for parents, caring for elders, and being householder-practitioners in the world. Furthermore our mission is to help every individual person take responsibility for the future of the Shambhala lineage.
As Sakyong Mipham Rinpoche has emphasized, the basic unit of Shambhala – the building block for creating enlightened society – is the household. While ‘family’ and ‘household’ are not necessarily synonymous, the family in its many diverse forms can similarly be seen as the basis of our world. In the kingdom of Shambhala, with mother and father principle at the centre, family extends everywhere. All of us, in our own way and time, are mothers, fathers, children, relatives, members of clans and households, bound together by our good heart and basic goodness.
Family is the most intimate, on-the-ground social organization we have, the nucleus of our human relationships. Children are our future, and it is through lineage and human connection that a Shambhala culture of kindness and virtue will continue to be passed on. Relating to the everyday challenges of household life with trust in the truth of basic goodness offers the society as a whole a vital example of an awake way to live.
Promoting wider awareness of the meaning and place of family in Shambhala and in the world.
Creating Shambhala practice environments in which parents and children can gather and feel included.
Offering inspiring resources on joining mindfulness-awareness practice with child-raising and household responsibilities.
Encouraging family practice as a valued and integral part of the Shambhala path.
Developing Shambhala programs to explore the path of parenting, raising children and living in family and couple relationships.
- Creating Children’s Programs at local and land centers.
Developing educational materials and programs for children to deepen their experiences of basic goodness.
Working with city and land centres to explore ways to make dharma programs more accessible for families and parents.
Finding skilful means to take Shambhala teachings out to diverse communities, schools and the greater world of parents, children and families.
(aspirations adapted from those of the 2012 Working Group)