There comes a time when all life on Earth is in danger. Great barbarian powers have arisen.
Although these powers spend their wealth in preparations to annihilate one another, they have much in common: weapons of unfathomable destructive power, and technologies that lay waste our world. In this era, when the future of sentient life hangs by the frailest of threads, the Shambhala warriors appear.
The warriors have no home. They move on the terrain of the barbarian powers. Great courage is required, both moral and physical, for they must go into the heart of the barbarian powers to dismantle their weapons, into the places where the weapons are created, into the corridors of power where decisions are made.
The Shambhala warriors are armed only with the weapons of compassion and insight. Both are necessary. Compassion gives them the energy to move forward, not to be afraid of the pain of the world. Fueled by compassion, warriors engage with the world, step forward and act. But by itself compassion burns with too much passion and exhausts us, so the second weapon is needed -- insight into the interdependence of all phenomena.
With that wisdom we see that the battle is not between "good guys" and "bad guys," because the line between good and evil runs through every human heart. And with insight into our profound interrelatedness, we discern right action, knowing that actions undertaken with pure intent have repercussions throughout the web of life, beyond what can be measure or discerned.
Together these two weapons sustain the warriors: the recognition and experience of our pain for the world and the recognition and experience of our radical interconnectedness with all life.
-Adapted from Dugu Choegyal, as recounted by Joanna Macy
SEED QUESTIONS FOR REFLECTION: How do you relate to the interplay of compassion and insight into the interrelatedness of all phenomena? How do you process the notion of both good and bad existing in our heart? Can you share a story of a time when compassion and insight balanced each other in your life?