A Harvest of Peace

Colin Tracy Abstract

Colin Tracy Abstract

Autumn – it’s my favourite season. The evenings may be drawing in, and the temperature may be dropping, yet the world seems abundant with the fruits of the past year. Traditionally this is the time when we gather in the harvest; when we reap what we’ve sown, and watered, and fed over the preceding year.

Harvest celebrations can be traced back to a time when a good crop was crucial to a community’s survival. They were not only an opportunity to appreciate the past year’s bounty, but also predict the future. At harvest time people would know whether they would be well fed through the winter and beyond.

Few of us are in that position today, however it is a good time to assess the result of our actions over the last year. Were the thoughts and behaviours we chose to repeat again and again – thereby feeding, watering and strengthening them – a good choice ? Did they benefit ourselves? Did they benefit others ? Or did they cause suffering? Will the results of those habits and actions support us in the coming months, or can we be more discerning and sow harmony and gentleness instead?

It’s not an opportunity to beat ourselves up – but to be curious. The Shambhala celebration is called a “harvest of peace”, not a harvest of regret, or self anger, or disappointment.

So what kind of peace are we harvesting? The peace that comes from the insights we have discovered in meditation. The peace within ourselves. Because as the Sakyong says “that sense of peace in us is what is going to make a big difference….”

So join us on September 26th for this Autumn’s Harvest of Peace celebration. It’s an opportunity for our community to come together, hear teachings by Sakyong Mipham Rinpoche, and celebrate that we are still here, meditating, moving on the path, and looking forward.

And we have much to celebrate. This Autumn we’ll welcome our new Director, Lee Howson, who is eagerly looking forward to the coming year, and we have the opportunity to thank our outgoing Director Ali Warner for her hard work and dedication over the last three years.

The new term brings many exciting programmes such as the start of our five week evening course Meditation in Everyday Life with Richard Bleckman, and the weekend programme on the Art of Being Human which marks the beginning of the Shambhala Training path.

And we are launching a new website. Do let us know what you think.

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