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Lions Roar : March 2010
SHAMBHALA SUN MArcH 2010 79 ward developing a whole new generation of people deeply grounded in this univer- sal dharma expression and committed to bringing it into the world in various ways as a skillful means for healing and trans- formation at a time that the world is cry- ing out for kindness and wisdom. What’s required to teach mindfulness other than a good human heart? If we are teaching mindfulness in one setting or another, it really needs to be grounded in our own first-person experience. It needs to be grounded in humility and not-knowing, an openness to possibility but also a deep seeing into self and other. Since it’s available to all of us, it’s not really such a big deal or a special private possession. Of course, some people will take mind- fulness and other practices and put their own stamp on them. Some people are go- ing to make a big campaign out of it with- out really understanding the depth of it, or understanding mindfulness only in a partial way. The inevitable possibility that some people may approach or exploit these teachings and practices in misguided ways is part of the price of the success of bring- ing mindfulness into the larger culture. One of the big responsibilities of those of us who are doing this work is to nur- ture and mentor the younger people and those who are coming to it for the first time. We can remind them, or clarify for them, that it is not just a fad or merely a smart career move at the moment to become a mindfulness teacher or expo- nent. The value of mindfulness is both profound and unique. It calls us to take a deep look into the nature of experience itself, and the nature of our own minds and hearts. This is a kind of scientific in- quiry, since the mind is really a huge mys- tery from the scientific point of view. All of this work hinges on appreciat- ing how awareness can balance thought. There’s nothing wrong with thinking. So much that is beautiful comes out of thinking and out of our emotions. But if our thinking is not balanced with aware- ness, we can end up deluded, perpetually lost in thought, and out of our minds just when we need them the most. ♦ Ligmincha Institute at Serenity Ridge, Nelson County, VA