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Lions Roar : March 2006
Fourth MOll1ent continued from page 48 and attention. You can't afford to forget about them. All kinds of past and present reminders are happening. There is a constant state of turmoil. Problematic situations hap- pen constantly. If you look closely at where the problem came from and what it is all about, you begin to experience the fourth mo- ment. Problems come and problems go but still remain problem- atic. That is the state of the fourth moment. A problem remains a problem. Nothing dissolves into a love-and-lighty beautiful creamy honey lotus lake. It remains still potent, slightly painful, sour-as if the world, the universe, is staring at you. The world is looking at you with a disapproving look. You haven't been quite as good or as enlightened as you should be. The world gives you that look of dis- approvaL When the sun shines, it looks at you. When the cock cries cock -a -doodle-doo, it is saying the same thing. When the motorcar honks, when the telephone rings, they are saying the same thing. There are ironic mockeries taking place all over the place. It is not that the devil is against you and trying to destroy you. It is not that some magicians have put a spell on you and are trying to get at you. Rather, the world is very powerfully, in its subtle way, trying to remind you that you should remember your fourth moment-the fourth moment. 92 SHAMBHALA SUN MARCH 2006 That is what is happening in vipashyana experience. Experi- ence becomes so real and precise that it transcends any reference point of the doctrine that you are practicing. Whether you are practicing Buddhism or Hinduism, you are practicing life. In fact, ironically, you begin to find that you can't escape. You find that life is practicing you. It becomes very real and very obvious. EXPERIENCING THE FOURTH MOMENT is an important point in the process of spiritual development. You actually realize that you are on the path, and everything in your life begins to haunt you. Sometimes the haunting process takes the form of plea- surable confirmation. Sometimes it is painful and threatening. There is the feeling of some kind of ghost haunting you all the time. You can't get rid of it; you can't even call the Catholics to exorcise it. That state of insight and state of being simultane- ously haunted is the experience of the fourth moment. You might feel that you are sitting and camping on the razor's edge, making campfires quite happily, yet knowing that you are on the razor's edge. You can't quite settle down and relax and build your campfire, yet you still do so. That state of hauntedness is the state of ego, actually. Some- body in your family, some part of your being, is beginning to complain that they are getting uncomfortable messages. In other words, the vipashyana awareness of the fourth moment cannot ELEMENTS OF THE SACRED ELEMENTAL IMAGERY BY MICHAEL ASH www+sacredele01ents+co01 ORIGINAL PHOTOGRAPHS WORLDWIDE JOURNEYS INTO ONE TASTE ,-.....; LIMITED & OPEN EDITION FINE ART PRINTS PRINTED ON EXQUISITE TREE FREE WATERCOLOR PAPERS CUSTOM PRINTS & CARDS IMAGE LICENSING r-..o COMMISSIONS r-..o FIVE PERCENT OF PROFITS DONATED TO TIBETAN CAUSES