Progressive education is leaning into the challenge of a slogan that serves the development of critical intelligence- “teaching not what to think but how to think.” But an element that is often missing here is not about thinking at all. It’s how we feel. Being smart enough is not humanity’s challenge right now. It’s whether we feel good enough to wield our intelligence with creative bravery.
The element that instructs and informs feeling is culture. Culture isn’t made by a teacher, a parent, a student or a child. It’s an entire environment. It goes beyond individuals, which is why it’s powerful.
Shambhala represents brave culture. It is based on the vision of creating good society. “Creating” implies an outrageous trust in humanity and its ability to wield power. It’s not difficult to find examples of the abuse of power in history and in the world today, but power is not inherently corrupt. It is an expression that is vivid and potent. It can be artful, compassionate, and clear.
The way the world is today is simply a creation- the expression of someone’s story and values. We have to accept the challenge of living in this world as it is, but we don’t have to swallow the stories that go with it. If they’re stealing our power we should drop them, not feed them to our children. Other stories are available, ones that can unleash our power and help us create the world we long for.
The whole story of Shambhala culture and power is symbolized by the Tiger, Lion, Garuda, and Dragon. They represent an unfolding feeling of fullness, intelligence and power that prowls through our lives, soars in our bellies, dances in our magical heart of possibility, waiting to be uncovered. When we feel good and powerful as we are, we can learn and create without fear. We can fully participate in our world.