0

There is an ancient Tibetan prophecy from twelve centuries ago that foretells of a time which is eerily like the present. It’s called the Shambhala Warrior prophecy and it was told to me by Dr Joanna Macy, who heard the story through her Tibetan teacher nearly 40 years earlier.
 
This story is set at a time of great peril, where the forces of evil seem to be winning. There is much darkness and despair across the land. Hope is in short supply. It seems the forces of destruction and exploitation are winning out over the forces of love and peace.
 
Into the field for goodness come Shambhala warriors. Their role is to dismantle the systems of oppression and darkness, and create new societies and institutions that honours life.
 
These warriors are not from one land, and they have no common language. They are not in the majority, though their numbers can grow. They wear no articles of clothing that identify them to each other. There is no common insignia. You can’t immediately identify another Shambhala warrior. However, you come to know and recognise them through their actions – they work to bring about a better life for all beings.
 
(I’m sure you are a fellow Shambhala warrior. I see you. Hello my friend!)
 
According to the story, we Shambhala warriors are given 2 weapons. 
 
The first is compassion, which allows us to feel the passion of purpose and mission, and the connection to others pain. But that on its own is too hot. Having just compassion can burn us out. 
 
The second tool is insight. This is the ability to see the interconnectedness amongst all things, and to understand that both light and dark runs through each human heart. But wisdom on its own is too cool, and calculating. Transforming our world, our workplaces and our life can’t just be about thinking and strategy. It needs the synergy and fire of the human heart.
 
The story tells us that to succeed in our mission, we must use both compassion and insight. 
 
These tools are so simple and yet so brilliant. Like the scales of justice, they help because sometimes we might emphasise one over the other.
 
For example, relying too much on the tool of insight might make me too cool in how I work. I might see the strategy and why it makes sense, yet wonder why others don’t want to work with me. How come I only elicit half-hearted responses?  Perhaps I’m undervaluing how people need inspiration and connection to take action. Clarity of insight is absolutely crucial to knowing my terrain and what I need to do. Yet on its own, logic won’t inspire and activate the leadership and energy of others. This is why insight tempered with compassion is a Shambhala tool.
 
Too much compassion though is equally blocking. Perhaps I’m trying to mobilise others solely through the force of my passion, and wonder why people are slow to join me. They may not be convinced on the workability of my plan. People can see that I am excited and energised, but if they can’t trust the reasoning behind it, this will not be enough. Hence adding the coolness of insight to the heat of compassion gives me a tool to truly make things happen.
 
What I love about this prophecy is how inclusive it is. Our fellow Shambhala warriors are often not immediately apparent. We wear no common uniform, nor come from a similar background. We might be called to serve within the system itself, or we might be called to serve in the creation of new systems to support us when the old one is bought down. If we are looking though, we find each other.
 
It’s empowering to be awake to other warriors – to know each other and find each other. This requires a recognition beyond the obvious. It needs open heartedness. It asks us to reach beyond any apparent divide, to find others we can work with and support to make the changes in our world and organisations we want to see.
 
I’ve found fellow Shambhala warriors in villages, in huts, in corporate buildings, in global companies, in grassroots organisations and in government institutions. We are everywhere!!
 
In my programs around the world, I support existing Shambhala warriors, and activate new ones. Let me know if you want to know more.

Leave a Reply

NEWSLETTER SUBSCRIBE