About The Arrow
The Arrow explores the relationship between contemplative practice, politics, and activism. We investigate topics in politics, economics, ecology, conflict transformation, and the social sciences. Inspired by the vision of meditation masters Chögyam Trungpa and Sakyong Mipham for a “union of social life and spiritual wakefulness” in society, The Arrow provides a critical and much needed space for investigating the meeting point of contemplative wisdom and pressing issues of climate change, racism, inequality, and conflict.
The Arrow is affiliated through its founders with the tradition of Shambhala Buddhism brought to the West in the early 1970s by renowned meditation master and teacher Chögyam Trungpa Rinpoche. Trungpa Rinpoche brought with him a radical vision of social enlightenment—coining the term “enlightened society”—based on contemplative practice and the promotion of contemplative arts. He established Naropa University in 1974.
Sakyong Mipham Rinpoche, wisdom holder for The Arrow and the current lineage holder of the Shambhala tradition, has been a major source of inspiration for the creation of this journal. As a Senior Advisor to the editors, his support, counsel, and encouragement have been invaluable. In his most recent book, The Shambhala Principle, Sakyong Mipham initiated an important conversation about the intersection between a spiritual path and ethical cultural and social engagement. The Arrow hopes to broaden and deepen this conversation.
Read Sakyong Mipham’s Foreword to Volume 1 of The Arrow.
The following articles offer an outline of The Arrow‘s vision. Writers interested in submitting to the journal should read at least one of these:
- Practicing Society by Adam Lobel
- Society as Possibility by Holly Gayley
- Creating Enlightened Society by Judith Simmer-Brown
- Praxis, Pragmatics, Right Action, and The Shambhala Principle by Eva Wong
What's in a Name?
The Arrow is a traditional image of bravery. Within the speed and chaos of our present world, the arrow symbolizes the courage to define a clear direction for how we might benefit others and society.
The subtitle, A Journal of Wakeful Society, Culture & Politics, draws on a traditional dynamic of heaven, earth, and human from ancient Buddhist, Confucian, and Daoist conceptions of benevolent leadership. A good leader, the human element, was one who could join heaven and earth—vision and practicality—in order to be of benefit.
Here, benevolent leadership could be seen more broadly as wholesome citizenship, with Society representing the heaven element, specifically Chögyam Trungpa’s vision of enlightened society. Politics represents earth, symbolizing the practical social systems that are political to varying degrees. The human component is Culture, representing the compassionate wisdom of the human heart and mind that can bring the vision of a good society to the practical level of politics and economics.