Tuesday, September 04, 2018

Wide Open Heart Failures

Welcome to Miriam's Now-Monthly Missive on the Shambhala Situation,

I am writing to you again (Letter #1 is here and #2 is here) because regularity and requests have helped me assemble my thoughts and share them. As I find is often the case with practice,  structure helps create a container to show up in. Without structure, I would be overcome by doubt, or give in to the idea that I will just do it "eventually." Instead, I know folks are waiting to hear from me, and get a sense of what I am experiencing, what my questions are, and what resources I have to share.

I offer none of these letters as answers, instead, as a showing of my path of exploration, with hopefully some angles you haven't yet considered, and information you haven't yet tracked. There are a lot of things to track, and endless ways to think and feel about what is going on.

So please, listen to yourself first. May my sharing help you share - both with yourself and with others.

This edition consists of three parts. 

The first part is excerpts from readings I've done this summer from books and information sources I had read before, but now with a new context. The three books are Eyes Wide Open by Mariana Caplan, The Great Failure by Natalie Goldberg, and A Path With Heart by Jack Kornfield.

I discovered Caplan's book through another Miksang teacher around ten years ago and was blown away by how she described relationship to practice. Her insights now about relating to teachers have taken on a whole new level with what has happened this summer in Shambhala.

Goldberg's book is her memoir about coming to terms with the imperfections of both her birth father and her dharma master, Katagiri Roshi, around sexual inappropriateness/misconduct. I read this also when it came out, and had a feeling of relief that Sakyong Mipham wouldn't do anything of the things described in the book that Katagiri Roshi did. More on that when we get to it....

Kornfield's title is one I have read portions of for Karuna Training, but someone on Facebook pointed it out it has an entire chapter on troubled relationships with teachers.

The second part is more personal reflections on leadership, holding space, and more.

The third part is similar to what I have shared at the end of each of these missives - further resources for reading, digesting, contemplating.

Please enjoy. Take breaks. Think and feel for yourself. I thank you for reading and for asking me to write about this. I take that assignment deeply inside and share back out what I find. Please feel free to share in comments - respectfully, thoughtfully, and with some space around what you have to say.