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Lions Roar : May 2011
SHAMBHALA SUN MAY 2011 65 Precepts, concentration, and insight help the people see what is happening and know what they should do and should not do. Therefore, they are no longer pulled into the three lower realms of hells, hungry ghosts, and animals. Furthermore, the people of that land know how to take refuge in mindful walk- ing and mindful breathing in order to re- main in the Pure land. They also know how to recognize their own unmindful- ness and the unmindfulness of others around them in order to wake themselves up and to come back to the Pure land. dear friends, the Pure land of the Present Moment has brotherhood, sisterhood, and concrete practices like that. dear friends, the people of the Pure land of the Present Moment live with freshness like that of flowers, and each person is a flower in the garden of humanity. surround- ing them are innumerable species of flowers, variant in colors and textures and forms. There are flowers blooming on the ground, flowers on the surface of the water, and flow- ers on the faces of the people. The refresh- ing smiles and the compassionate eyes of the people in the Pure land of the Present Mo- ment are truly flowers. what is more, in the Pure land of the Present Moment, there are lakes full of colorful lotus flowers. The white lotuses give out a halo of white light, the pink lotuses a halo of pink light, the yellow lotuses a halo of yellow light, and the blue lotuses a halo of blue light. The fragrance of the lotuses is subtle, wonderful, sweet, and pure. yet every lotus has sprung from mud. dear friends, we cannot plant lotuses on marble; we have to plant them in mud. similarly, peace, joy, happiness, and freedom are flowers cultivated by understanding, acceptance, and love. only when there is understanding of suffering can there be ac- ceptance and love. if there were no suffering, then how could we understand our own suffering and the suffering of others in order to accept and truly love them? dear friends, in the Pure land of the Present Moment, we can see the presence of suffer- ing. however, suffering is the skilful means for us to learn; it is not an obstacle to our happiness. The people of the Pure land of the Present Moment see clearly the inter-being of the lotus and the mud. Thus, they never have the inclination to run away from suffering. They know how to embrace their pain and suffering in order to learn from them and to transform them. Consequent- ly, with the capacity to accept, understand, and love, they can generate great happiness for themselves and others. That great happiness is also seen as flowers reflected in their eyes and their smiles. dear friends, in the Pure land of the Present Moment, it is because the people know how to recognize, embrace, and learn from their suffering that together they generate abundant peace and happiness to adorn their land. dear friends, in the Pure land of the Present Moment, peo- ple know how to use the appropriate dosage of suffering—just enough to cultivate their understanding and love. every person living there knows how to recognize and embrace suffering in order to learn from it and transform and heal himself/herself. The people are no longer afraid of suffering. on the other hand, they do not allow suffering to overwhelm them or to paralyze their bodies and minds. dear friends, that is how wonderful the Pure land of the Present Moment is. Furthermore, dear friends, every person of that land carries in him or herself the energy of the buddhas and bodhisattvas. They