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Lions Roar : May 2012
SHAMBHALA SUN MAY 2012 60 How Many Copies? SYLVIA BOORSTEIN After the birth of our first child, Michael, fifty-five years ago, my husband Seymour and I used a photo of the three of us to make a Rosh Hashanah greeting card. We sent it to all our family—four grandparents and multiple aunts and uncles, whom we’d been close to as we grew up but left behind when we’d married and moved away to California. We continued the yearly tradition of the family photo, over time marking the addition of another son, two daughters, dogs and cats, and, in one of them, a pet rat. Twenty-five years later, after grandchildren began to appear in the photo, we were still taking the September picture. It had become a bit more difficult to assemble everyone at the same place in time, and one year, feeling I had got it done in the nick of time, I rushed to the photo store to have cards made. “How many copies do you need?” the shopkeeper asked. I stopped to think. I was surprised to find, after a moment’s reflection, that apart from a few assorted distant cousins, there was no one left. That must have been almost true the year before, too. Apparently I hadn’t noticed. I remember feeling disconcerted. On the one hand, I certainly knew that time had passed and the collection of photos docu- mented that. I just hadn’t felt it as it was happening. I didn’t have a word, other than odd, to describe that moment of realization. I felt much the same feeling yesterday, January 21, 2012, at the party celebrating Seymour’s eightieth birthday. I have drawers full of photos, albums filling whole shelves, to show that time was passing and things were happening. It just never felt like it. SYLVIA BOORSTEIN’s most recent book is Happiness Is an Inside Job: Practicing for a Joyful Life. Intentional Change LODRO RINZLER I recently read that only eight percent of the millions of Ameri- cans who make New Year’s resolutions actually stick with them. It’s certainly not easy to make positive changes in your life, but there are contemplative tools you can engage that can help. If you want to create a change in your life, you can begin by clari- fying your intention for doing so. Start by sitting up straight, taking a few minutes to check in with your body. Notice where you are tense and allow those muscles to relax. Once you are settled, turn your mind to the physical sensation of your breathing. Tune in to the natural flow of both your in-breath and your out-breath. After three or so minutes of this simple meditation, allow your mind to move on to contemplating “What is my motivation for change?” You may feel some resistance to the idea of finding one set motivation. Notice that resistance; let it wash over you like a STAR BIRTH & DEATH Together, these images show the cycle of life and death in the heavens. This six- image Hubble mosaic is the sharpest view ever of galaxy M82, where stars are born in the gas and dust of its center ten times faster than anywhere the Milky Way. Opposite: an image from NASA’s Chandra X-ray Observatory of the after- math of one of the brightest recorded supernovas in our galaxy, created by combin- ing nine days of observa- tions of the remnants of the cataclysmic explosion of a dwarf star.