Haven Home: There's No Place Like It



The Five Havens are interconnected sites on the World Wide Web, focusing on the essential requirements of our common livelihood. Haven Home is at the center, focusing on whatever one views as central in the situation: oneself, one's family, one's neighborhood, and so on. The emphasis of Haven Home is individual integrity and leadership.

From Haven Home, the central trunk, grow four great branches: 

In the center Haven Home is the source for basic integrity and leadership in the family, in the institutions we build specifically to further common goals, in the governmental bodies that regulate and support these institutions, and in relationships with peers at each level. Haven Home represents the basic goodness of human beings.

According to ancient wisdom, external control of anything as complicated as a human being will eventually fail by destroying the will to live or by forcing rebellion. People must be allowed to choose their own leaders, or they will abandon or betray them at the first opportunity.

In order for such a democratic system to work, leaders must be worthy of being chosen. A system that forces choices among incompetent or self-serving candidates fails as quickly than one that offers no hope of choice.

Fortunately, integrity, compassion, clarity of vision, and wisdom are all qualities that can be developed. When leadership emerges naturally, conflict disolves.

To understand a complex situation, it helps to isolate the various important aspects and study them independently. When we begin to make changes, however, we need the broadest possible view of the results of our actions.

In other words, we need to be incredibly flexible. Such flexibility is only available to people who love what they are doing. This applies to the entire community. It most especially and directly applies to each individual.

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The way to rule the universe is to expose your heart, so that others can see your heart beating, see your red flesh, and see the blood pulsating through your veins and arteries.

-- ChögyamTrungpa, Shambhala: The Sacred Path of The Warrior


The Eightfold Path 

"The path to liberation from these miserable states of being, as taught by the Buddha, has eight points and is known as the eightfold path. The first point is called right view -- the right way to view the world. Wrong view occurs when we impose our expectations onto things; expectations about how we hope things will be, or about how we are afraid things might be. Right view occurs when we see things simply, as they are. It is an open and accommodating attitude. We abandon hope and fear and take joy in a simple straight-forward approach to life. 

The second point of the path is called right intention. It proceeds from right view. If we are able to abandon our expectations, our hopes and fears, we no longer need to be manipulative. We don't have to try to con situations into our preconceived notions of how they should be. We work with what is. Our intentions are pure. 

The third aspect of the path is right speech. Once our intentions are pure, we no longer have to be embarrassed about our speech. Since we aren't trying to manipulate people, we don't have to be hesitant about what we say, nor do we need to try bluff our way through a conversation with any sort of phoney confidence. We say what needs to be said, very simply in a genuine way. 

The fourth point on the path, right discipline, involves a kind of renunciation. We need to give up our tendency to complicate issues. We practice simplicity. We have a simple straight-forward relationship with our dinner, our job, our house and our family. We give up all the unnecessary and frivolous complications that we usually try to cloud our relationships with. 

Right livelihood is the fifth step on the path. It is only natural and right that we should earn our living. Often, many of us don't particularly enjoy our jobs. We can't wait to get home from work and begrudge the amount of time that our job takes away from our enjoyment of the good life. Perhaps, we might wish we had a more glamorous job. We don't feel that our job in a factory or office is in keeping with the image we want to project. The truth is, that we should be glad of our job, whatever it is. We should form a simple relationship with it. We need to perform it properly, with attention to detail. 

The sixth aspect of the path is right effort. Wrong effort is struggle. We often approach a spiritual discipline as though we need to conquer our evil side and promote our good side. We are locked in combat with ourselves and try to obliterate the tiniest negative tendency. Right effort doesn't involve struggle at all. When we see things as they are, we can work with them, gently and without any kind of aggression whatsoever. 

Right mindfulness, the seventh step, involves precision and clarity. We are mindful of the tiniest details of our experience. We are mindful of the way we talk, the way we perform our jobs, our posture, our attitude toward our friends and family, every detail. 

Right concentration, or absorption is the eighth point of the path. Usually we are absorbed in absentmindedness. Our minds are completely captivated by all sorts of entertainment and speculations. Right absorption means that we are completely absorbed in nowness, in things as they are. This can only happen if we have some sort of discipline, such as sitting meditation. We might even say that without the discipline of sitting meditation, we can't walk the eightfold path at all. Sitting meditation cuts through our absentmindedness. It provides a space or gap in our preoccupation with ourselves." 

This section on the Eightfold Path is part of "An Introduction to Buddhism" by Mike Butler. 

"This short essay is intended to give a brief introduction to Buddhism. It will discuss the way Buddhists perceive the world, the four main teachings of the Buddha, the Buddhist view of the self, the relationship between this self and the various ways in which it responds to the world, the Buddhist path and the final goal." 

"Not too tight, not too loose:"
Leadership requires more and more accurate awareness of the actual situation. Whenever we begin a new phase of the work, we discover that we have been getting by with a limited view, a partial understanding -- ignoring aspects of the situation that are actually quite relevant to the issues at hand, and seeing in a biased way some of the aspects that we are aware of. 

The most basic way to train oneself to be more aware of what is actually going on is a certain type of meditation practice, called shiné in Tibetan. This term has been translated into English as "mindfulness practice"; however, a more literal translation would be "abiding in peace of mind."

A traditional analogy is sometimes used to give a student a quick glimpse of the meditation practice and how it works. An image of a candle flame, flickering in the breeze, is compared to our confused mind. Shiné practice is like putting a glass chimney around the candle, letting it burn steadily and clearly. The practice eventually leads to a relaxed awareness of every aspect of the situation, to what is called "panoramic awareness."

Unbiased awareness automatically leads to appropriate action. When ones mind and body are synchronized, when what is actually present is experienced on the spot, ones actions mesh with the situation as it truly is. Developing such basic sanity, such authentic presence in the actual situation, is possible for all of us. 

It is said that study and practice are both necessary, and that neither will be entirely effective without the guidance of someone who has mastered both the practice and the principles. Now, just in time, both teachers and texts have arrived in the Western world. 

Among the first teachers to present these teachings directly in English was Chögyam Trungpa, Rinpoche. To hear the teachings in English from a fully accomplished meditator and scholar was a very special event. For the first time, the ancient Eastern understanding was communicated by someone with a full understanding of the teachings, the English language, and Western culture. (Previously, the teachings had either been translated by a scholar who knew both languages but did not fully understand the content, or had been given as talks by someone who understood the teachings fully but had a very limited understanding of English, using a translator who did not fully understand the content.)

Now there are hundreds of texts available in English; but the books by Trungpa, Rinpoche, and some of his advanced students, are still among the most accessible to Westerners. The Published Teachings of Chögyam Trungpa offers descriptions of these works.

One of the most widely appreciated of his writings is Shambhala: The Sacred Path of The Warrior.

"In this classic guide to enlightened living, Trungpa Rinpoche offers an inspiring vision for our time, based on the ideal of the sacred warrior. In ancient times, the warrior learned to master the challenges of life, both on and off the battlefield. Trungpa shows that in discovering the basic goodness of human life, the warrior learns to radiate that goodness into the world for the peace and sanity of others. With this book the warrior’s path is opened to modern men and women in search of practical wisdom."

Uniquely, this approach to basic sanity and authentic presence emphasizes going beyond one's own awakening to focus on the possibility of an awakened society. "Throughout history, men and women have aspired to create societies that express the dignity of human experience. Joining spiritual vision with practicality, such an 'enlightened society' provides a context for meaningful individual life within a flourishing culture. It is this vision which we refer to as 'Shambhala'."

Click to order from amazon.com: Paperback -- Pocket Edition

The key to this approach is the sitting practice of meditation. As with any complex skill involving coordination of mind and body, working with someone who has developed some mastery of the method and its application is highly recommended.

Shambhala Training and the Shambhala Centers, a worldwide network of meditation centers founded by Trungpa Rinpoche, provide instruction, classes and programs in the Shambhala and Tibetan Buddhist traditions. 

Meditation in the Shambhala tradition uncovers a natural sense of goodness, fearlessness, and humor, a way of personal warriorship, and a vision of enlightened society. 

The Gates to Shambhala are the various ways to being awake in the world, through Shambhala Training, Buddhist awareness practice, and contemplative arts

"Simply Being With Others" by Karen Kissel Wegela. Shambhala Sun, March 1996.

    "To help others, we need to work with ourselves."

    "The most valuable help we can give begins with developing our ability to simply be."

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A society tending toward enlightenment will encourage the development of basic sanity and compassion in its citizens, and in the institutions created by groups of citizens. The following is a brief summary of the qualities of an enlightened citizen, given by Lord Buddha about 2500 years ago:

This is what should be done by those who are skilled in seeking the good, having attained the way of peace:

They should be able, straightforward, and upright, easy to speak to, gentle, and not proud, content and easily supported, with few obligations and wants, with senses calmed, prudent, modest, and without greed for other people's possessions. They should not do anything base that the wise would reprove.

May they be at their ease and secure - may all beings be happy.

Whatever living beings there are, whether they be weak or strong - omitting none - whether long, large, average, short, big or small, seen or unseen, dwelling near or far, born or to be born - may all beings be happy.

Let no one deceive another or despise anyone anywhere. Let none out of anger or hostility wish suffering upon another.

Just as a mother would protect with her life her own child, her only child, so should one cultivate a boundless mind toward all beings and friendliness toward the entire world.

One should cultivate a boundless mind - above, below, and across, without obstruction, hatred, or enmity.

Standing, walking, sitting, or lying down, throughout all one's waking hours, one should practice this mindfulness; this, they say, is the supreme state.

Not falling into wrong views, virtuous, endowed with insight, having overcome desire for sense pleasures, one will never again know rebirth.

Buddha Shakyamuni taught this Metta Sutra, which is found in the Sutta-Nipata section of the Khuddaka-Nikaya collection of shorter-length discourses.  It was translated from the Pali by the Nalanda Translation Committee with reference to a number of previous translations. Copyright © 1997 by the Nalanda Translation Committee. All rights reserved.

Fortunately, anyone can begin working toward developing their own basic sanity and compassion without waiting for society as a whole to agree that everyone should be encouraged to do so. The section on Developing Personal Integrity in Haven Home points out resources for learning more about that process and for stepping into the work itself.

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If you lose your mind, come back.

Parents, Children, and "The D-Word" -- Discipline by Dr. Robert W. Lind.  Montana Agricultural Guides/hr8901

"One of the approaches to child-rearing which removes discipline from the realm of being an odious and angry task is the one taught by the late Dr. Rudolph Dreikurs. In this style of parenting, it is possible to have firm, fair and effective discipline without anger, spankings, threats and all the other things which so often have added up to domestic warfare. Besides providing an effective way of dealing with problems of the moment, this approach to child-rearing also teaches the child self-control, self-respect, problem solving skills and how to make good decisions. Children learn to think and to realize that they are responsible, to a significant degree, for the way things go in their life."

The article gives 18 "Positive Discipline Guidelines" and a list of suggested readings.

CYFERNet: the Cooperative Extension System's children, youth and family information service. The Cooperative Extension System provides educational outreach programs at land grant universities in all 50 states in conjunction with county governments and the USDA. CYFERNet provides practical, research based, Children, Youth, and Family information in six major areas:Health, Child Care, Promoting Family Strength, Science and Technology Literacy, Building Organizational Collaborations, and Community-Based Programs for Families at Risk
The Problems of Parenting Backwards (parenting ones parents) by Marsha Calhoun. "Rudolf Dreikurs identified four mistaken goals that children tend to pursue when they are feeling discouraged, and urged parents to look to their own emotional responses when faced with a child's misbehavior. In applying the same principle to my relationship with my mother, I've spared myself untold hours of emotional pain, confusion, and desperation."

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Bernie Glassman Sees No Boundaries

Melvin McLeod ( for the Shambhala Sun ): Where did this unique program arise that you call Greyston Mandala, this combination of Zen practice, social action and interfaith work that you promote with such drive?

Roshi Bernard Tetsugen Glassman: I had a strong inclination to study with my teacher, Maezumi Roshi, because of his very broad and penetrating view of Zen as all of life. I was strongly attracted to him for a number of reasons, but a key one was his very strong equation of Zen and life, with no boundaries. 


"Cohousing is the name of a type of collaborative housing that attempts to overcome the alienation of modern subdivisions in which no-one knows their neighbors, and there is no sense of community. This type of housing began in Denmark in the late 1960s, and spread to North America in the late 1980s. There are now around twenty cohousing communities across the continent, with many more in progress."


"It is characterized by private dwellings with their own kitchen, living-dining room etc, but also extensive common facilities. The common building may include a large dining room, kitchen, lounges, meeting rooms, recreation facilities, library, workshops, childcare.

Usually, cohousing communities are designed and managed by the residents, and are intentional neighborhoods: the people are consciously committed to living as a community; the physical design itself encourages that and facilitates social contact. 

The typical cohousing community has 20 to 30 single family homes along a pedestrian street or clustered around a courtyard. Residents of cohousing communities often have several optional group meals in the common building each week."

alt.housing.nontrad Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)
Archive-name: housing-nontrad-faq, 1994. 
Intentional Communities (communes, cohousing, co-ops...)

Intentional Community is meant to be an inclusive title for information on ecovillages, cohousing, residential land trusts, communes, student co-ops, urban housing cooperatives and other related projects and dreams.... This Web site serves the growing communities movement. We provide important information and access to crucial resources for seekers of community, existing and forming communities, and other friends of community. 

Communities Directory: A Guide to Cooperative Living

The most up-to-date and complete resource volume on intentional communities available: 540 listings for intentional communities in North America and 70 communities on other continents, with contact information and a full descriptions. There are also easy to use maps, cross-reference charts, and an extensive index for finding communities by areas of interest and by state, plus thirty-one feature articles covering various aspects and issues of cooperative living. 

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