“Trungpa Rinpoche didn’t shy away from working directly with one of the greatest challenges of our age: human aggression and, by extension, violence and war. With the creation of the Dorje Kasung, he provided a practice, a discipline, and a path for working with some of the most difficult stuff of being human…”
— Kasung Dapön Kyi Khyap ret. James M. Gimian 2003
The teachings held by the Shambhala mandala are presented within a container of wakefulness. Maintaining this container is often referred to as protector principle. Within the mandala, the practice of protector principle is shared by all, but is particularly associated with the Dorje Kasung.
The Dorje Kasung is modelled on the ancient tradition of dharma protectors. Its members are trained in protecting the space in which practitioners are able to hear and practice the teachings. The protection extends to the teacher who presents the teachings, the teachings themselves, and the community who practice the teachings.
The term Dorje Kasung itself means indestructible (Dorje) command (Ka) protector (sung). Indestructible refers to the indestructibility of space – complete openness – that cannot be destroyed or defeated. Ka or command refers to the teaching of the lineage which present the truth of things as they are and the possibility of establishing enlightened society.
The motto of the Dorje Kasung is “Victory over War”. War represents the struggle with the three poisons identified by the Buddha: passion, aggression and ignorance. Victory is being willing to face these poisons and meet them head on with insight and loving kindness.
As part of their practice the Dorje Kasung wear uniforms to communicate:
- delight in the disciplines of egolessness and simplicity;
- service to others by being present and available to help;
- commitment to the continuous path of waking up oneself and one’s environment and to manifesting care, dignity, mindfulness and awareness.