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Lions Roar : March 2006
Ki Ki So So Lha Gyel Lo! 32 SHAMBHALA SUN MARCH 2006 tation. But those states, like all others, pass. Waves are always being formed in some part of the world and in some part of the mind. When the sea is flat in Cali- fornia, a storm is brewing off the coast of Japan that will generate swell across the Pacific. That swell will travel thousands of miles and will eventually break on the shores of Venice Beach, Santa Cruz, and San Francisco. Similarly, our minds may be calm for a period during retreat, but the storms of memories are cycling in our subconscious. Passionate surfers try to be aware of storms all over the world so they know exactly when the big waves will hit. They will be ready for the big one. The more we practice, the more we will be able to calm our minds to the point that none of the waves moves us or fright- ens us during our meditation. We can just bob in the crystal waters. But when we get off our zafus and return to work and social life, there will be many emotional rollers we will not be able to let pass, and this is when a surfer rejoices. It's an op- portunity to practice. Surf's up! It's in those moments of sadness, anger, ecstasy, and lust that we might suddenly realize we're on a huge wave. We can freak out and fall, or just relax and go with it. Once we are comfortable on our boards, we can even carve it up, analyze it, play. I think this is how bodhisattvas are able to use strong emotions to teach their stu- dents, without being negatively affected themselves. The Dalai Lama is said to show intense wrath with his close stu- dents. I imagine that he is riding a wave of anger, but like the most skilled profes- sional surfer, he is careening down anger's face completely relaxed. Employing it. Then letting it go. We may not be as good as the Dalai Lama, but we can, through developing lu- cidity, know when to let an ugly, danger- ous wave roar by without catching it. And when a beautiful wave comes-perhaps we fall in love, perhaps we hold a newborn baby-we can catch it, maybe even get in- side the hollow tube and see its beautiful emptiness. But we will know as the wave ends not to be attached. It's just a bunch of salt water. .