It is the Shambhala view that every human being has a fundamental nature of goodness,warmth and intelligence. This nature can be cultivated through meditation, following ancient principles and it can be further developed in daily life, so that it radiates out.
In the course of our lives this goodness, warmth and intelligence can easily become covered over by doubt, fear and egotism. The journey of becoming fully human means seeing through our fear and egotism and waking up to our natural intelligence. It takes kindness, to ourselves and others, to wake up in this world.
Meditation is a natural state of the humanmind—at rest, open and alert. The basic meditation technique predates all religious traditions although it is used in one way or another by most of them. Undertaken on a regular basis meditation allows the mind to relax and settle. It encourages our inherent qualities of stability, clarity and warmth to emerge more fully.
In Shambhala we teach newcomers to work with their minds through a simple form of sitting meditation known as Shamatha, a Sanskrit word that means“peacefully abiding.” In shamatha practice, we are introduced to and become familiar with the simple act of breathing. This is our object of concentration, the place we return to again and again when the mind has run off and we become lost in our thoughts. With this approach to resting on the breath we are able to cultivate increased mindfulness and awareness.