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Lions Roar : July 2014
expressed through a light-hearted attitude, an open mind, and a spacious and gentle environment in which we can see more clearly. That is the meaning of the word enlightenment: “full illu- mination.” When something is fully illuminated, we see every- thing. Partial illumination is essentially ignorance. When our confidence is obscured, engaging in life is a pro- cess of hope and fear. If we can release ourselves from this claus- trophobic trap, we have vision. We can imagine success. We become fearless warriors who see where they are going. When we believe in human dignity, we can imagine a good human exis- tence. Imagining success, we are riding the tip of the arrow for all humanity. not only do we lead our own life in an uplifted way but we also uplift the lives of others. This is windhorse—inherent trust in the fundamental good- ness of what’s happening, as opposed to the attitude that things are only going to get worse. It is hard to have vision when we’re afraid to look up. In that case, instead of radiating confidence, we tend to spread anxiety, hesitation, and fear. In order for fearless vision to occur, we are not afraid to acknowledge space. In meditation, we experience a sense of complete fathomlessness that is always available. This space in which everything can be accommodated is saturated with nonaggression, which is a natural part of our being. When we accommodate everything, we appreciate everything; no detail is inconsequential. Familiarity with that space gives us precision and power in leading our life. Sometimes we become too myopic to experience our own vastness. That is how we create prefabricated tunnels through which we run endlessly. These psychological tunnels are what we call habitual patterns, and they have no jail keeper but ourselves. When we “think vast,” they disintegrate in the face of compas- sion and brilliance. Our space and radiance are happening all the time, but habit- ual patterns are obscuring them. Meditation and self-reflec- tion are the keys to revealing them. Whether you feel inspired, uplifted, or in the dumps, just look at the quality of your mind and heart. Recall the moment when someone inspired your deci- sion not to escape from life but to lead it genuinely. Then relax and allow your brilliance to occur. As meditators, we cannot simply hide away in our own real- ization. That inward personal experience is sacred, but we have a responsibility to lead. Whatever the phase of our life and prac- tice, we can always develop our leadership skills and genuinely engage with our lives and inspire others. If we open our minds, we open up to what is happening right in front of us. That’s how we gain knowledge and realization. As genuine leaders of life, we are able to uplift any environ- ment by connecting to our own magnanimity and letting other people into our field of experience. We need to be humble and bite off what we can, but at the same time allow ourselves to think bigger. Whenever we are able to contact our own confi- dence, we are also creating a sense of community: we are touch- ing that timeless quality in everyone. ♦ SHAMBHALA SUN JULy 2014 16