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Lions Roar : March 2010
SHAMBHALA SUN MARCH 2010 13 Letters to the Editor THE BEST THINGS IN LIFE Thank you for publishing John Tarrant’s “It Would Be a Pity to Waste a Good Crisis” (January 2010). Things are bad right now economically, but we need to put our troubles in perspective. As Tarrant says, “The hard bits of life might not be the ones you are dreading. The good bits might be the ones that are always available.” Due to this current crisis, I lost my job of thirteen years. (Yes, an un- lucky number.) But somehow since the layoff I’ve started no- ticing all the ways in which I am lucky. I counted them the other day—seven, a very lucky number indeed. I have seven wonderful people in my life—my husband, my daughter, my brother, and four very good friends. With them, I can still share a simple meal or enjoy the dawn. Carmel Michaels Chicago, Illinois PITY PARTY “Seth and Willie” by Daniel Asa Rose (January 2010) has brought up some strong feel- ings I have around a tendency for those giving dharma talks to use belittling language toward people’s suffering. To begin: “Pity party” is the sort of judgmental label- ing which I have heard too often by teachers and is inappropriate in the context of presenting the bud- dhadharma. Chögyam Trungpa said that meditation is one insult after another. We don’t need to be doing that to one another. Our path of compassion is to offer space, and the breath is the first support. In neither the buddha- dharma nor Western psychology (nor for that mat- ter in good horsemanship) have I ever heard that the middle of emotional reactivity is the time for a lesson. What is needed for the child in this story is for the adult to remember to breathe. The child is in physical pain and there is the unspoken anxiety around being laughed at by his peers. But Daniel Asa Rose makes a belit- tling comment about courage and off they go on the bike ride, set- ting up a situation in which the child is not allowed to say no. I have no doubt that the adult’s in- tentions were good and I appreciate his descrip- tion of colors and textures. I just feel that the basic ground was not prepared. The child was shocked into a harsh life-and-death lesson, which I felt was an unnecessary escalation of the issue of teenage angst and yet another lesson in “I’m big; you’re little; I’ve got the power.” Stephanie Potter Burlington, Vermont SHY GUY I’d like to thank Barry Boyce for the excellent article he did on my book The Mindful Path Through Shy- ness in the January 2010 issue of Shambhala Sun. It would appear, however, that when he interviewed me I miscommunicated an important point and would like to try to correct it with this letter. It would be better said that social anxiety disorder or SAD is the most prevalent anxiety disorder in the United States and is the third most common psychiatric disorder following depression and alcoholism. Shyness, on the other hand, is far more prevalent. It is estimated from the most recent surveys that more than 50% of people in the United States consider themselves shy. Steve Flowers Chico, California brought up some strong feel- ings I have around a tendency for those giving dharma talks to an unnecessary escalation of the issue of teenage angst and yet another lesson in “I’m big; you’re little; I’ve got the power.” Stephanie Potter Burlington, Vermont I’d like to thank Barry Boyce for the excellent article he did on my book Buddhismculturemeditation l ifejanuary2010A t 24heshares t heconcernso f h i sgenera ti on—peace ,f em i n i sm ,t heenv i ronmen t. The17 t hKarmapa i sa l so l eadero f apro f oundmed it a ti on li neage . Howhecomb i nes t hemw ill he l pdefineBuddh i sm i n t he21s t cen t ury . Mindfuldivorce•lilyKoppel•dharMa2.0•Bestofthesun:Meditatione li zabethG il bertE at ,P ray ,L ove – a ndM arry susanpiverTheW i sdomo f aBrokenHear t Johnta rr an t 7Gu i de li nes f orD if ficu lt T i mesnatalieGoldbe r gD i dHeorD i dn ’t He?NewFaceofanAncientLineage We welcome your letters and comments. Please send them to