In the future, the “Shambhala Warriors” *must be involved with politics, engaged Dharma, and social action* to help our world. This is not a time in human society for retreat and ignoring or losing heart. This is what Joanna’s teacher said:
“There comes a time when all life on Earth is in danger. At that time great powers have arisen, barbarian powers, and although they waste their wealth in preparations to annihilate each other, they have much in common. Among the things these barbarians have in common are weapons of unfathomable devastation and death and technologies that lay wast to the world. And it is just at this point in our history, when the future of all beings seems to hang by the frailest of threads, that the Kingdom of Shambhala emerges. Now, you can’t go there because it is not a place. It exists in the hearts and minds of the Shambhala Warriors….
“Now the time is coming when great courage is required of the Shambhala Warriors: moral courage and physical courage, and that’s because they are going to go right into the heart of the barbarian powers to dismantle their weapons. They are going to go into the pits and citadels where the weapons are made and deployed. They are going to go into the corridors of power where the decisions are made, to dismantle the weapons in every sense of the word. The Shambahla Warriors know that these weapons can be dismantled because they are made by the human mind. They can be unmade by the human mind. The dangers that face us are not brought upon us by some satanic deity, or some evil extraterrestial force or some unchangeable preordained fate. They arise out of our relationships and habits, out of our priorities. They are made by the human mind; they can be unmade by the human mind.
“Now is the time the Shambhala Warriors go into training. They train in the use of two implements. One is compassion and the other is insight into the radical interdependence of all phenomena. You need both. You need the compassion because that provides the fuel to move you out where you need to be to do what you need to do. That means not being afraid of the suffering of your world. When you’re not afraid to be with that pain, then nothing can stop you. You can be and do what you’re meant to.
“But by itself that implement is very hot – it can burn you out. So you need that other tool – you need the insight into the radical interconnectivity at the heart of existence, the web of life, our deep ecology. When you have that, then you know that this is not a battle between good guys and bad guys. You know that the line between good and evil runs through the landscape of every human heart. And you know that we are so interwoven in the web of life that even the smallest act, with clear intention, has repercussions through the whole web beyond your capacity to see. But that’s a little cool; maybe even a little abstract. You need the heat of the compassion – the interplay between compassion and wisdom.”
“But insight alone,” he said, “can seem too cool to keep us going. So we need as well the heat of compassion, our openness to the world’s pain. Both weapons or tools are necessary to the Shambhala warrior.”
— Joanna Macy