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Lions Roar : July 2012
SHAMBHALA SUN JULY 2012 59 WHEN THE SHAMBHALA SUN asked me to write an article about how to make meditation practice genuine and real, I wasn’t sure whether to be proud or insulted. Maybe they were asking me because they could see what a fraud I am on the meditation cushion, and they needed someone to write honestly about failure. Well, guilty as charged. Failure to be peaceful, failure to be mindful, failure to be aware, failure to be kind, failure to think big, failure to be generous (or insert your favorite vir- tue/accomplishment I’ve failed at). On the other hand, sitting on the cushion for a lot of years (if I tell you how many, it will be really embarrassing) has yielded some results. I have witnessed a whole circus of bizarre fantasies, emotions, and extreme mental states, starring anger, lust, hatred, delusion, arrogance, pride, depression, anxiety, and a host of other amazing performers. I’ve made friends with Speedy, Distracted, and Lazy, three of the seven dwarfs of meditation for small-minded people. However, I do have one genuine accomplishment: I have gotten completely and totally bored. Boredom is my great achievement. Isn’t that what you aspire to in your meditation practice? To be totally, fully bored with yourself, your practice, your life, your fantasies, etc., etc., etc.? No? I WANT TO BE... Great meditators before us have laid out the path, but how can we be sure we’re following it genuinely? There are no guarantees, but CAROLYN ROSE GIMIAN has some tips for keeping it real. ILLUSTATIONS BY ANDRÉ SLOB Genuine