using the arrow buttons.
by clicking on the page.
the page around when zoomed in by dragging it.
the zoom using the slider when zoomed-in.
by clicking on the zoomed-in page.
by entering text in the search field, and select "This Issue" or "All Issues"
by clicking on thumbnails to select pages, and then press the print button.
displays sections with thumbnails and descriptions.
displays a slider of thumbnails. Click on a page to jump.
allows you to browse the full archive.
about your subscription?
Lions Roar : September 2014
cal equation, a tortured compromise, but rather a naturally wise way of being. Take, for instance, a parent who is primarily concerned for his or her child’s welfare. Without some healthy self-concern, the parent’s concern for the child can’t be sustained. If the parent doesn’t take care of his health and psy- chological well-being, which requires a modicum of happiness, how is he going to do a good job car- ing for his child? If he’s grumpy, ill, and depressed, how well will he care for his child? So self-concern is not bad—it is required. But when self-concern is practiced as an end in itself, and not for the sake of others, it easily becomes poisonous. We can literally become poisoned with self-obsession. To practice this slogan is to notice that when we become defensive and aggressive, it’s usually because of the poison of self-concern. Imagine how your experience of anger would be differ- ent if in a moment of anger you remembered the slogan “Don’t poison yourself ” and immediately turned your attention to others—maybe even to the person you are angry with. How is it from his or her point of view? Don’t Be So Predictable This slogan is the complement of “Don’t figure others out.” It means don’t be so sure that you have yourself figured out. To do spiritual practice seriously is to cultivate a sense of openness and possibility—in relation to others and especially in relation to yourself. Most of us have plenty of evidence, over a lifetime of expe- rience, that we are this way or that way. We are an angry per- son. A compassionate person. We are cheerful, phlegmatic, depressed, repressed, expressive, extroverted, introverted. All this is fair enough. We have genetic predispositions and we have been formed by culture, family, and habit. That conditioning doesn’t just dissolve because we want it to, but we are also living creatures with the capacity to respond creatively to what hap- pens to us in any given moment. We all know this. None of us believes that we are 100 percent of the time doomed to have the same reaction to things we have had before. life is various. We have free will. The whole idea of spiritual cultivation—or edu- cation in general, for that matter—is that we can change. But most of us have a commitment to proving the opposite. We take pride in being the way we say and think we are. Even when we say we want to change, a deeper look shows us that while, yes, we do want to change, we are also so committed to, and comfort- able with, the way we have defined ourselves that we sneakily work against the changes we so fervently want to make in our lives. The slogan “Don’t be so predictable” asks us to examine this sneaky phenomenon. And to be honest about it. To notice, let’s say, in the case of anger, our generic response, whatever it is, and pay close attention to it—not simply to mindlessly repeat it time after time. let’s say that when we get angry, we clam up. We observe ourselves doing this and we investigate. Is this just an old habit that we have in fact outgrown? Where does it come from? Do we like it or dislike it? Do we find comfort in it? How does it feel in the body, in the breath? Is something else—in this moment—possible? Could we be a little more creative, a little less lazy, in the way we respond? Challenging ourselves in this open-ended and curious way, without expectations or mandates that it be this way or that way, is practicing this slogan. Insofar as anger always presents us forcefully with the pos- sibility that we could challenge our usual way of doing business, it can be a very helpful reminder of who we are now and who we might become. Anger is an acupressure point in the heart. It might feel sore and raw when it is bumped, but that’s good. If we know how to be patient with the pain, how to gently and skillfully massage it, we can be healed—by anger itself. ♦ PHOTOBYMARGUERITESANDS SHAMBHALA SUN SepteMBer 2014 57