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Lions Roar : January 2013
and discursive. Even as we practice the dharma, it is easy to have little places to which we escape, becoming comfort- or cocoon-oriented. Personally, the more my path unfolds, the more I see the need for the kind of discipline, structure, and pay- ing attention that keeps us on the spot: how we dress, how we speak, what we do, and how we engage with others. Without that sense of discipline, we are always looking in the back of our minds for our retirement. The training of warriorship helps us to be precise in those neutral and uncomfortable moments. Being on the spot pushes us into a profound form of practice. Even smiling at a stranger can bring us into the present moment, which contains our own simplicity. We should not shy away from this tra- dition of enlightened activity of being on the spot. As warriors, engagement is our main buddha activity, trinle. This Tibetan word means that when we are in the process of engaging, we are actu- ally giving our body, speech, and mind to the world. Whether we are meditating, riding the bus, or doing our daily work, we can attain great depth and profundity through engagement. With precision and thoroughness, we also waste less time. The Shambhala and Buddhist teachings contain examples of enlightened activity in the warrior-king Gesar and the yogi- saint Milarepa, as well as the Shambhala sovereigns. In looking at their lives, we see that they were trained and pushed all the time. That’s what made them great: they all faced challenges. Recently I was look- ing at the memoirs of Yung-lo, emperor of the Ming, who was a great warrior- bodhisattva king and patron of Tibetan Buddhism. It is amazing to see how early his day started, how late it went, and how he went through the process in a dedi- cated and exalted way. Whatever kind of role we are in, we have the potential to bring to it that quality of being there and giving. That doesn’t mean burning ourselves out. We will go through different phases of life, but whatever the phase, we can enrich it with a quality of steadiness and presence. ♦ SHAMBHALA SUN JANUARY 2013 19