The other night I had the opportunity to hear a talk by Bill McKibben for maybe the third or fourth time. This man is one of my heroes, a true Shambhala Warrior. He stays awake and engaged with compassion and fearlessness even in the face of all he knows and has seen in the world. He never gives up or gives in. He doesn’t pull any punches in his articulation of the gravity of our global situation, yet he keeps his heart wide open and he wears his love for all of creation on his sleeve. I know he must have his moments when he wants to throw in the towel, but he’s been doing what he does for years with, thankfully, no end in sight. I think this is because he embodies what I believe are three essential qualities:
Wakefulness: the ability to be present to what is happening in the world around you
Groundedness: the ability to hold that wakefulness in such a way that you don’t get lost in it or consumed by it (often through a spiritual practice), and
Action or service: the ability to creatively respond to 1 & 2.

Take some time to explore those qualities within your own life, as I will. Leave comments and share what comes up for you. Also, take a look at Bill’s work and how to get involved at:

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4 Responses to Being a Contemporary Shambhala Warrior

  1. Bird says:

    I was inspired by Bill's talk as well, and have been reading some of his writing since. Being grounded and wakeful is a great goal for 2011! And taking that energy into action is what we all need to do. Be the change!

    Thanks for your blog, very inspiring.

  2. Phebe says:

    Thanks for your comment and your support. So sorry not to get back to you MUCH sooner! I hope you'll come to a circle someday or otherwise stay in touch. I'd like to know how you're doing keeping grounded and awake.

  3. Anonymous says:

    I came across your blog via a search on Joanna Macy's website.

    As I read about 'three essential qualities', it really struck me as a very useful way of thinking about and making sense of archetypal energies needed to be in and of the Great Turning.

    They are: wakefulness, groundedness and action or service.

    Thank you for what jumped out of the blue and really, deeply speaks to me. Thank you!

  4. Phebe says:

    Hello! I'm so pleased you found this post inspiring. A lot is happening with the BeingChange work and I will post a new blog soon. Take a look at my web at and consider signing up for the newsletter. I'd love to know who you are and where you're from.

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