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Lions Roar : May 2010
SHAMBHALA SUN MAY 2010 23 thoughts—“I’m cold, I’m hot, my back hurts”—are generally not a problem. But big discursive thoughts—we have to be aware of those. When we suddenly find ourselves at the beach or fantasizing about lunch, we don’t judge those thoughts as good or bad; we just say, “I’m losing my mind to these thoughts. It’s not what I want to be doing right now.” Out of a one-hour period of sitting, if we have five minutes of absorption, that is very good. I’m a big believer in “Get what you can.” Even thirty seconds of absorp- tion is helpful in training the mind. Those periods will increase as we remember our intention and return our focus to the breath. The breath is here. It’s consistent. Stay- ing on the breath, the mind becomes still. Stillness allows for rest and revitalization. The mind struggles less and finds its own strength. With mindfulness and aware- ness, we keep coming back to the breath, and we experience periods of absorption. That deep stillness begins to permeate our mind. It becomes more familiar, and its influence starts to show up in our life. This is called attainment. What do we attain? Experiencing this stillness, we get a handle on the mind. When our mind has become familiar with stillness in medita- tion, in postmeditation we can look at the mind without judgment and see how it is. We can deal with it: “I’m very jealous. What can I do to work on that?” Without those moments of absorption, however, we don’t deepen, and it’s hard to change the course of our mind’s habits. With practice, we have the freedom to engage in thoughts or not. Now we can even consider our intention in a big- ger way. First, what are the principles by which we want to gauge our life? We could say, “In general I want to become more understanding, cheerful, and strong; that’s the direction I want to go.” We can also have a daily check-in: “What am I high- lighting today? Today I would like to be more forgiving.” And we can do it. When we have strong purpose and intention, we have more energy. Our body and mind are synchronized, which gives us the power to use our life expediently and well. ♦ WHERE THE SCHOLARSHIP IS RICH, THE MEDITATION IS DEEP, AND SERVICE IS FUNDAMENTAL. discover a place . . . MAITRIPA COLLEGE discover MA Degree in Buddhist Studies Master of Divinity Degree Certificate in Advanced Buddhist Studies Certificate in East/West Psychology Certificate in Advanced Buddhist Studies: Distance Learning (Online) Certificate in East/West Psychology: Distance Learning (Online) New Distance Learning (Online) 2010 Summer Session Applications Now Being Accepted for Fall 2010 Program Continuing Education (Non-Degree) Open Enrollment for Most Onsite & Online Courses Now Accepting International Students Priceless Access to President & Geshe Lharampa, Yangsi Rinpoche Distinguished Faculty & Visiting Lecturers 1/3 the Cost of Comparable Graduate Schools 2010 Academic Programs: 2010 Highlights: Photos: Yangsi Rinpoche, President & Professor; 2009 First Graduating Class; James Blumenthal, Ph.D ., Associate Professor; Students in Class; Student Performing Black Hat Dance at Portland Art Museum; Chod & Mahamudra Retreat ~ Photos by Marc Sakamoto www.maitripa.org |