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    From Self-Loyalty … Toward Community Crafting

    Yin Yang Symbol

    This section lays the foundations for creating spiritual partnerships and crafting Core communities, where you are not limited to nor dependent upon any one person, for creating your own exceptionally high quality life.

    The Shambhala Master

    I'm Joining the Parade

    Shambhala students learn to maintain an enlightened focus on themselves and life by using the “Self-Loyalty Guidelines” and the “Bill of Rights (Responsibilities),” both of which are reviewed near the end of the previous section (“DATING AND MATING”). These guidelines allow our students to keep themselves firmly seated within their Selves, while at the same time, giving them a clear sense of what they can request/require from their friends/partners/mates. These guidelines give Shambhala Masters and our students principles by which we can navigate the intricate passages of our lives and relationships. These guidelines require us to maintain a balanced internal and, at the same time, external focus. They enable us to enjoy romantic moments, if we want to, while, at the same time, surrounding ourselves with a community of individuals who are courageously Self-loyal. Consequently, we are not limited to nor dependent upon any one person for creating our own exceptionally high quality life.

    This section explores the ways in which Shambhala students create new forms of relationships as they become more Self-loyal. It details the ways in which they educate their friends/partners/mates about their changing perspectives. This section lays the foundations for creating spiritual partnerships and crafting Core communities.


    As Shambhala students become more and more Self-loyal, time takes on a new meaning. Every moment becomes a precious opportunity to nurture one’s relationship with one’s Self. And, every moment spent nurturing ones relationship with ones Self becomes time well-invested. Consequently, for the Shambhala student time is no longer seen as something to fill or kill or occupy or accomplish things with or keep busy. Time, for Shambhala Students, shifts into being something they luxuriate in, treasure, zealously guard, and only with great caution do they spend and invest it in others. Shambhala students quickly begin to recognize that time, which is Self-nurturing, is fragile. It can be easily destroyed.

    By becoming the dedicated guardians of their own time, and by learning how to wisely spend and invest it, Shambhala students are able to surround themselves with a community of individuals who are also learning how to be Self-loyal. They are able to do this because by becoming time-sentientthey start giving a good deal of thought to redesigning the ways and reasons for spending time with others. The more Self-loyal our students become the more clear minded they are as to what is and what is not Self-nurturing, especially when it comes to spending time on others. The more Self-loyal our students become the more clear minded they are on what is and what is not a wise investment of their time. The more time-sentientthey become the more clear minded they are as to what they want and what they do not want in the relationships they create and/or tolerate.

    What Shambhala students want and what they do not want in their relationships is always refining itself as they continue to strengthen their Self-loyalty and become and more time-sentient. Below is an example of one of my student’s lists. Your lists may have some differences and some similarities. What is important is that you have your own lists.


    I do not want to spend my time with people, relationships, and experiences that:

    1. Encourage me to abdicate my personal Power.
    2. Feed my confusion, fears, limitations and/or my sense of personal worthlessness.
    3. Fragment me and refuse to honor the whole of me.
    4. Suppress my intellect or unique talents.
    5. Confine me to traditional stereotypes.
    6. Limit me to either my femininity or my masculinity.
    7. Encourage me to prostitute myself or my Integrity to secure anyone, no matter how much I may love them.
    8. Encourage me to be gutless or dishonest about my feelings or needs, even if it means risking the loss of the relationship.
    9. Tell me in word or deed that there is something wrong with me if I live life the way I need to for my Self.
    10. Limit me to being interested in or caring for only one “special” person or only one specific gender, or one “special” group of people or one ideology.


    I want to spend my time with people, relationships, and experiences that encourage me to:

    1. Know people Intimately and have important relationships of unusually high quality.
    2. Know myself better through my experiences with others and thus learn to create higher quality experiences for myself and others.
    3. Become highly aware of my own tendencies to move into worthlessness and to give up my personal Power.
    4. Find the courage to behave with clarity and Integrity with myself and within my relationships with others.
    5. Move beyond my socially, biologically, and self-imposed limitations.
    6. Have relationships with people who nurture, honor, and support my personal Power and Integrity.
    7. Associate with people who recognize that I am a unique, multi-dimensional person with inherent value, not a one-dimensional individual whose worth is dependent upon the roles I play for others.
    8. Surround myself with interesting, multi-dimensional people who refuse to limit themselves to stereotypical scripts, roles, and relationships.
    9. Place my relationship with my Self before my relationships with others no matter how much I love these people.
    10. Open my life and my behavior to the rigorous scrutiny of those who nurture my relationship with my Self.

    This list is from another one of my students. His relationship list is a summary of his hard-earned collection of negative wealth. He uses it in assisting himself to make Conscious decisions regarding the individuals (males and females) with whom he invests his time and energy.



    Watch the way they spend/manage money.
    • Are they in debt? Their debts will likely become my burden. Do they live above their means? Do they expect me to pay for them? Do they spend frivolously as an escape from the emptiness in their lives? Are they showy about money? Are they accustomed to buying their friends? Are they tight fisted and fear driven about money? Money management styles reveal a great deal about the inner workings of individuals.

    Pay attention to their friendships.
    • Are their friends intelligent equals? Or do they associate with “lesser” individuals and play top dog with others who faun over them? Do they accord their friends respect, and, at the same time, are they genuine and honest, even about bad news items? Or do they lie and avoid difficult issues with their friends? How they treat their friends is how they will treat me.

    Observe and pay attention to behavior.
    • Watch the way individuals manage their lives. Are they reckless and inattentive? Are they tentative, weak, and over cautious? Do they make me want to take over and do it for them? As flattering as it may be to step in and rescue them, people who do not want to take charge of their own lives will hold me responsible for their happiness.

    Pay attention to the manner in which people care for their belongings.
    • Belongings are all extensions of the individual. People who do not take good care of these extensions of themselves do not value themselves and will not guard and check the quality of their lives and relationships.

    Observe eating and drinking behavior.
    • Smoking, Drinking and Drugs. Individuals willing to compromise their own health will be willing to compromise their loved ones and the quality of their own lives and relationships. I want to invest my time and energy in individuals who are clear headed and serious minded about how they spend their time, energy, and money.


    Meet the family.
    • Observe their parents as they interact. Children pick up their parents styles of problem solving, dialoging, and interaction. Are the parents forthright, open, candid, and disclosing? Or are they secretive, withholding, and stingy with their feelings, thoughts, and observations.

    Observe the mother.
    • Most daughters tend to grow up to be like their mothers or they over compensate in the opposite direction (e.g., If the mother is overly protective and possessive, then her daughter will be the same, or her daughter will be defiantly careless and cold-hearted.).

    Note parents' attempts to control (influence) grown children.
    • Are parents candid and open about their preferences? Or are their preferences hidden in innuendo, sly implication, furtive hints, suggestive undertones, and covert jesting. Pay particular attention to parental guilt manipulation. Note how children respond to parental insinuations and manipulations. Grown children who succumb to and are controlled by their parents remain directed by and dependent upon their parents.
    Remember: You do not just enter a relationship with an individual, but with them and their family!

    Watch for family problems.
    • My friends’ problems will become my problems. Choose both my friends and their families carefully.


    Observe their interactions with animals.
    • Animals have a primitive, telling sense of people. They can tell me about what I can not see. Pay attention to them.


    Pay attention to what they give their time, energy, and attention.
    • Do they think they are worth investing in? Have they invested seriously in their own education? How committed are they to their career path, or is their work just window dressing designed to catch a meal ticket. Are they workaholics? Are they using work as an escape or as a way to fill emptiness?
    • Do they participate in and enjoy a sport or activity that is fun for them? Or are they too enthusiastic (obsessed with a regime) with an activity and using it to kill time or as a distraction from their own lives.
    • Do they invest in their own health and physical well-being? Are they attentive to their grooming?


    Introduce them to the folks.
    • If my family likes them, then I know something is wrong. My family only likes people they can control.
    • If my family snubs them or if they are rude to them, then I give them more serious consideration.

    When the student author of this list shares this lists with others they frequently tell him that with his high standards he will never have any friends. His response is, “Then fine. I will not settle for less. It is not worth my time or energy. I'd rather be by myself than settle for less than being with people from whom I can learn and whose presence improves the quality of my life.”

    Shambhala Masters know that if more people set their standards high, set clear relationship parameters, and require individuals to measure up to their standards and not cross their boundaries, then there would be more people who measure up. By settling for less than what you know you need you only saddle yourself with what will never be Self-furthering, and you are not making yourself available for the more that awaits you. Once you saddle yourself with less, you drain yourself of your Life-energy. You age yourself prematurely. You set your life on a course toward self-anger and embittered resentment.


    Now that you have your lists you may choose to make them public. Not indiscriminately to everyone! But close associates, and especially those who are potential Intimates, need to be educated about your commitments to your Self and your relationship priorities.

    Here is where creativity, resourcefulness, and Universal Timing come together. Shambhala Masters teach their students that there are thousands of ways to educate others about your Core priorities. You can simply tell them. You can write letters, short stories, novels, or autobiographies. You can share your diaries, journals, or lists. You can model (behave in ways that are congruent with your stated intentions and your requests of others) what you want in return. Shambhala Masters offer a caution to their students about modeling. Modeling is necessary, but never sufficient. Modeling is a must, it is the backbone of personal Integrity. But modeling alone does not supplant the need for more specific forms of education.


    Whatever medium you use to educate your close associates there are several things you must keep in mind.

    1. ONCE IS NEVER ENOUGH. Everyone has his/her own chemically charged and socially directed behavior. Everyone grows up in a culture that gives them only one relationship picture - - prince/princessing. Consequently, you will need to constantly reiterate your preferences.
    2. REQUIRE OTHERS TO HONOR YOUR CORE PRIORITIES. You must know you have the right (responsibility) to require your close associates to honor your Core priorities. Accusations of you being inflexible and unwilling to compromise need to be met with a resounding “That’s right! I am inflexible when it comes to the quality of my relationship with my Self and you.”
    3. DO NOT EXPECT A STANDING OVATION. Even when Shambhala students have many years later confessed to me that my Core priorities echoed their own deepest sentiments, I originally heard moans and groans from them, and, at times, loud dissent. Time has typically proven that the loudest dissenters are the students who are still trying to fit themselves into the socially approved scripts and roles. They are voicing out loud the socially accepted rationales they typically use against their Selves. The louder the student’s indignation, the stronger their internal war. Knowing this allows you not to take the objections and accusations of others personally. Instead, just get back to the business of simply, cleanly, and clearly educating your associates as to your priorities, preferences, boundaries, and the consequences of transgression.
    4. THIS IS NO TIME FOR DEBATE. Argument and debate (even softly spoken) is not education. This verbal jousting may be mental exercise, diversion, entertaining, leveraging, and/or intimidation, but it is not communication. Your Core priorities come from deep within your heart and soul. As such they deserve, if not reverence, then at least respect. If your relationship preferences conflict with the preferences of others, simply acknowledge it, and agree to go your own separate ways, always allowing each other his/her own preferences.
    5. THIS IS NO TIME FOR COMPROMISE. People are taught that compromise is the civilized, cooperative solution. You may be accused of being immature if you are not willing to compromise. But, there is nothing civilized about Self-abandonment. There is no honor in being mature if it means compromising your Integrity. In matters of Self-loyalty, being inflexible and uncompromising has nothing to do with being stubborn or selfish. Falling victim to these accusations may win the favor of your accuser, but you will pay an exorbitantly high price for your Self-abandonment. Being unwilling to compromise your Core priorities nurtures your relationship with your Self. Being unwilling to compromise means you are Self-loyal and committed to relationships where Intimacy grows stronger with time.
    6. PARTING IS SWEET SORROW. Letting people go their own ways, much less requiring them to leave, when your life preferences and priorities conflict, is heart-wrenching work. You would not be taking the time and energy to educate an associate about your relationship preferences if you did not already care about this person. It is painful knowing that your Core life may take you down paths that some loved ones may not care to walk with you. Consequently, you need to remind yourself that not all the people you are capable of loving are willing to walking these Core paths with you right now. You must then find the courage to set them free. You must let them find their own paths, before the clash of your preferences drain both of you of your caring feelings and jeopardize your desire to perhaps walk these paths together at sometime in the distant future.
    7. EDUCATION IS A NEVER-ENDING PROCESS. Many of your Core priorities will remain constant for decades. And you will always be discovering new ones. Consequently, maintaining a relationship with your Self and with others means constantly reviewing your Core priorities. It means you have to be constantly willing to put your relationships with others on the line for your continually growing relationship with your Self. If you are not willing to risk the loss of relationships with even decades of history when it comes to a matter of your Integrity, then you will eventually lose both, the relationship you now treasure and your Self.


    Image of a Dove flying above the Earth

    Being clear with yourself and others, by educating them about your relationship priorities, allows you and the people in your life to Know each other without the heavy shrouds of illusion, secrecy, cloaked expectations, hidden agendas, unconscious scripts, roles of prince/princessing, and draining tug-of-wars. You can learn to differentiate between your original Core Self and your socially acquired self. You can learn to make Conscious, Self-directed decisions about the parts and pieces of your socially acquired self that furthers your relationship with your Self and with the Selves of others. By Consciously daring to know their Selves, Shambhala students become united in their shared sense of the importance of this never-ending processes of Self-discovery.

    By doing all this Shambhala students make the process (the means) more important than the end goal (finding and securing a partner, associates, friends, partners). And, at the same time, they begin to build a community of individuals linked to one another via their relationships with their Selves.

    Rather than putting their time and energy into dating and pair bonding Shambhala students are community crafting — building communities of Associates and Intimates who nurture their relationships with our Selves. The roots of these Shambhala relationships run deep and wide. They are ever expanding and touch people within your communities that you have never even seen much less met. Like the trees in forests, Shambhala students use the nutriments from the soil below and they use the light and oxygen from the air above them. Like trees in forests, Shambhala students also powerfully contribute to these sources of nutriment. In doing so, like trees in forests, Shambhlala students powerfully impact everything deep beneath the surface and above.


    Spiritual partnerships are possible only when you dare to Know your Self. Only by Knowing your Self can you foster the capacity and courage to Know others. Making the process of mutual Self-knowing more important than securing your relationships with others is what makes Intimacy and spiritual partnership possible.

    Creating Intimacy with your Self and the Selves of others frees you from your biologically and socially acquired drives to single out one person of the opposite sex and attach yourself to her/him. Creating Intimacy with your Self and the Selves of others frees you from your socially acquired feelings of being incomplete, having to find your "missing half," and being dependent on this person for your well-being. Consequently, dating, mating, the quest to secure others, and center your life around them loses their addictive hold on you.

    By creating Intimacy with your Self, you become your own good company.  You can then allow yourself to be what you need to be for your Self. You are capable of completing yourself, and the people with whom you spend your time are individuals who are also enlarging their capacity for Self Intimacy. Rather than dating, mating, and pair bonding, Shambhala students can commit their time, attention, and energy to spiritual partnerships and community crafting.

    Community crafting is not the process of forcing yourself or others into a ready-made picture of a Core community. Instead, community crafting is pictureless. Community crafting is the spiritually courageous act of one person putting his/her own life in order. Community crafting is set in motion by you aligning your day to day and minute to minute behavior with your Integrity. High Integrity communities emerge, if that is what is meant to occur. And, they take their own forms.

    High Integrity ways of being, as previously mentioned, are not a means to an end. They are not tools by which to create community or anything else. High Integrity ways of being are an end in themselves. They open you and your life to unimaginable possibilities. High Integrity communities emerge, if they are meant to emerge, when others recognize their kindred spirits. As high Integrity Core-connective individuals come together their communities take their own unique, wholly unimaginable, and dynamically novel forms.

    As these high Integrity communities emerge Shambhala students evolve with them into being more fully human beings. Within these communities Shambhala students individually and together honor the Call and Nature's Intent to further our relationships with our Selves. By doing so Shambhala students also further the evolution of humankind.

    As Shambhala students step away from the limitations of opposite sex pair bonding, they step into a wide open horizon where countless life options present themselves. New relationship and community models continually emerge. Shambhala students become spiritual explores adventuring into the unknown of their Selves and the Selves of others. They become the pathfinders, and the trails they blaze today will become tomorrow's highways.

    Because everything is inter-connected, with each step they take everything along the path of life is affected. As Shambhala students evolve everything evolves with them. For example, as Shambhala students move toward high Integrity partnerships and Core-community crafting their thinking, perceptions, and concepts evolve. The first concepts to be powerfully affected are the notions of family and home. The next section previews the evolutionary changes Shambhala students are creating in these concepts.

    *The word “Called,” is spelled with a bold capital “C.” The Shambhala Master uses bold capitals when referring to the primal, Core, spiritual essence of a word, as opposed to the conventional understanding of the word. Please consult the Master’s Glossary for the definition of this and other unfamiliar terms.

    For more Shambhala Wisdom, visit www.shambhalablackbelts.com.