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Lions Roar : September 2014
Gentleness toward yourself is very important. Gentleness means nonag- gression, which is the best way to keep going on our journey. The döns are going to arise, and we have to know how to work with them. Once I was talking with Dilgo Khyentse Rinpoche, my meditation teacher. He said, “Rinpoche, relax.” Essen- tially, he was saying, “You are going to be doing this your whole life. There will be another session!” To develop virtue or goodness on a relative scale, it is clear that you have to know what nonvirtue is. Seeing our döns provides that opportunity. The first anti- dote for döns is recognition. It is impor- tant to know that they are natural. We have to pay attention: “What am I doing? What am I thinking about?” We should not be shocked or embarrassed if we find pride or ambition arising. Instead, we can gently think, “Hmm, it’s interesting how that happened.” This is bravery: recogniz- ing what is happening and dealing with it. The second antidote is to come back to your intention, often felt as a sad and longing heart that leads us to realize “This moment is precious. Life is short. Every- thing is unstable. My good fortune is amazing.” The third instruction is very simple— follow your teacher’s instructions. Medi- tation is a long journey. You cannot be both teacher and student. Thinking “I am the teacher and the student” is the delu- sional dön. You are making up your own recipe. If the teacher’s instruction to refo- cus your mind on the breath or another object of meditation is too weak an anti- dote, or if you find it effective for only so long before your mind wanders off again, then focus on your intention in doing the meditation. Running marathons is a good meta- phor for meditation. When you run a marathon, you reach a point when it is very hard, but you stay with the form and breathe. You don’t think much about whether you are going to make it or not. Then your body relaxes and you find a different level of exertion. To finish is a minor miracle—and what allowed it to happen is just staying with it. ♦ We’re pleased to welcome Sharon Munson as our newest Account Represen- tative to the Advertising team at Shambhala Sun and Buddhadharma. Sharon has many years’ experience in sales and account manage- ment; she is also an artist and entrepreneur. Sharon would be happy to help you plan your 2015 advertising campaign to reach the widest possible audience for your programs, events, or products. Call Sharon today to reach the Shambhala Sun and Bud- dhadharma community of readers! 1-877-422-8404 ext. 39