Dragon and Dignity in your life


A Shambhala dragon is not the same as the dragon of British storytelling. This is not a giant enemy lizard that needs to be vanquished. The Dragon dignity is the dragon of the Orient, the east.

A wise being that possesses wealth beyond the need of wealth, wisdom beyond wisdom, dignity beyond dignity. Dragon is the rising, the mist on water, the interpenetrating ness. In Asia the sound of thunder is the voice of dragons. The dragon is inseparable from heaven (as in the space above) and earth (the space below) and therefore the representation of what humans in between heaven and earth are – dragons!   So in Shambhala lore ‘we be dragons’.

How are dragons made manifest in our daily lives? If tiger is the schedule and lion the activities and garuda the space and spontaneity around, all of that is then dragon. Dragon is the BIG PICTURE. The how, the why, the view, the eyes, the intention of everything we do is dragon like. If the kitchen, the living room and the bedroom of our homes are tiger, lion and garuda then the ‘space of inspiration and contemplation’ will be that of the dragon. It could be a special chair, and prayer mat, a shrine, a mediation space, favourite park bench or secret spot in nature or even a ‘thinking cap’. Dragon is both the result of tiger, lion and garuda and the creation of them.

It is funny to think about something that IS non-linear in our very linear society. We expect that something needs to be a sum of, result of or following on something. Dragon is a view that is different than linear. Dragon is also different than the balancing like space of Garuda. Dragon sees the wisdom that is present in each moment.

Dragon is creative in that each moment is new and creates any possible next moment. The wildness of truly unknown non-linear cannot be conceived of and yet can be experienced directly. Taking the approach of wisdom to all of ones actions and environments allows dragon dignity to arise. Subtle it is yes! But like mist rising on water it changes the way we see the river, it affects our directions, it shifts our solidity, it may be bigger than just me.

Dragon in our life could be seen to be the overriding planning aspect. By allowing oneself to not be involved in the day to day for a period of time (retreat) one can allow insight to rise like mist on the water of our lives. True insights last and affect our future choices as they are not told to us by others but true dragon wisdom that has surfaced in our lives so we put them into affect and as our eyes lead our heads in a direction so does Dragon lead tiger, lion and garuda.

Dragon is both the dawn and dusk and night. The transitions in our lives are where the dragon is most accessible and also the most beneficial. When we are in transition we often just feel like we need to go along, follow and get it over with. Dragon suggests instead that we lead our selves in and through the unknown, to trust that we can see the way and that we can be like the dragon and peek through the clouds.



Have you ever been surprised by an insight? How do you think you could cultivate access to your dragon?  How do you establish view and direction in your life?




Another question that arises when we talk about tiger, lion, garuda and dragon manifesting in our lives is why are they called ‘dignities’? The short answer is that they are dignified and when we manifest the qualities of them then we are dignified in how we live our lives. A longer explanation is that dignity is a result of virtue. Not goody goody virtue but being present with our actions and speech when we are doing them, we naturally start to choose activities that benefit ourselves and others.  When we engage in virtuous activities then our body and mind start to actually show that. You can see if someone is doing what they say they will do, keeping their promise or intentions that they have made to themselves. That inner conviction from keeping ones own direction clear in ones mind and actually doing it is made visible in ones body and actions.

Dignity is most evident when one is interacting with others.

What is it?


Kristine McCutcheon lives between a mountain and the ocean in Margaree, Cape Breton. She is married and on the Shambhala path as a Householder.  


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