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Lions Roar : November 2012
going to be able to do anything about climate change in the long run, we are going to need a deeper, more mature, and grounded perspective. He goes on: “Don’t be too concerned for the earth, which is of the nature of continuous ongoing change, or for the glacier, which has come and gone many times in the past and will likely do so into the future, but for sure, we should be concerned about our fellow humans. As people, we are capable of a great deal of suffering, and climate change is likely to create a lot of suffering for people. I think that’s where we should place our empha- sis in terms of where practice intersects climate change.” Political, technical, and social action will bring the changes we need. There’s a lot of work ahead. Cages to rattle, cour- age and imagination to manifest. But we will need to sustain such effort over the long haul with compassion and clar- ity of vision if we hope to get anywhere with it. This is where meditation practice and other forms of serious spiritual prac- tice really help. With it, we grow in our capacity for patience, fortitude, compas- sion, imagination, and love. Year by year, decade by decade, our practice helps us become mature, kind, capable individu- als—the sort of people a troubled, crazy world will depend on to maintain stability and good cheer. Beyond the personal qualities spiritual practice fosters are the valuable social skills it helps us develop. Retreat practice teaches us to live simply, enjoy quiet, be perfectly happy with only a little, and live in supportive, harmonious community. These are skills the world at large lacks and sorely needs. I lived for a number of years at Tassa- jara Zen Mountain Center, the San Fran- cisco Zen Center’s monastic community in the Los Padres National Forest. We kept a demanding schedule of daily medita- tion, work, formal meals, and a round of daily ritual, living with no electricity, no heat, and very little personal time or space. Of necessity, we had to be self-suffi- cient, taking care of all cooking, cleaning, repair work, and so on. Awakening to this natural wisdom and compassion is the practice of Dzogchen Natural Great Perfection. In his new book, Buddha Standard Time, Lama Surya Das shows how we can make every moment an expression of our true Buddha-like nature. Join Lama Surya for Dzogchen meditation retreat and see why Ram Das says of his new book, “If you want your future moments to sparkle with ecstatic awareness, read this book.” Discover what Thich Nhat Hanh means when he says that Lama Surya1s book offers, “A wealth of inspiration and practical tips for enjoying the Kingdom of God, the Pure Land of the Buddha, now.” DZOGCHEN MEDITATION RETREATS WITH LAMA SURYA DAS Advanced Dzogchen Retreat (prerequisites apply) Dzogchen Osel Ling, near Austin, TX October 20 – 27, 2012 Natural Meditation, Dzogchen Meditation Garrison Institute, Garrison, NY January 5 – 13, 2013 View, Meditation and Action of the Great Perfection Joshua Tree, CA March 16 – 24, 2013 Based on his 40+ years of spiritual experience, including more than 8 years in secluded retreat, Lama Surya Das is a master at transmitting to Westerners the authentic teachings of the Great Perfection. Lama Surya is a lineage holder in the Dzogchen tradition of Tibetan Buddhism. Through his warmth, poetry, humor and clarity, he continues to make these timeless teachings accessible to all and has reached millions through the publication of 13 books, including his latest, Buddha Standard Time: Awakening to the Infinite Possibilities of Now. For Information and Registration: www.dzogchen.org/retreats, e-mail