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Lions Roar : November 2014
incapacitated. appropriate embarrassment is not laden with guilt or self-loathing, and has nothing to do with feeling bad about bodily functions; it has to do with suitableness. the second principle is shame—recognizing that an action is below one’s personal code of honor. Just as our lack of embar- rassment might anger or irritate our partner, a lack of shame leads to their deep disappointment, because shamelessness arises out of ignorance and forecloses the possibility of our being virtuous. ego has grown another dress size, and considers whatever it does—no matter how inappropriate—to be com- pletely justified. in tibet, shamelessness is considered one of the very strong emotions that destroy peace with oneself and oth- ers. the renowned Nyingma master Jamgön mipham Gyatso said, “Lack of attentiveness and shamelessness are concurrent with all nonvirtues.” in the mahayana teachings, embarrassment and shame are essential for the bodhisattva’s path. Without them, we lose the ability to have concern for others. this happens in two ways. First, we have no regard for those equal or above us. our actions become more wild and controversial, but we don’t care. We have lost respect for our partner, parents, employers— maybe even for our spiritual teacher. Second, we have no regard for those below us. our embarrassing actions begin to affect those who are younger or under our care, such as children or employees. virtue is the backbone of decent society and the core of being human. Dignified contact between parents gives children the ability to appropriately judge emotion and exchange feel- ings with others. in the vajrayana teachings, we hear about skillful yogis con- ducting themselves in a wild fashion to break people of their habitual tendencies. But these yogis, who are dedicated to the welfare of others, are not lacking in shame or embarrassment. if we don’t feel shame or embarrassment, we have totally lost respect and have no concern for other or self. the kleshas— emotional afflictions—have taken possession, and obstacles arise. We become mentally unstable, losing touch with the fabric of reality and becoming genuinely confused about social norms. Sometimes you hear that one person is marrying another because they accept “all” of each other. this implies accept- ing all of the partner’s emotions, which initially might sound romantic. But marriage is about creating greater happiness together. as such, it is based on concern and love for another— on selflessness instead of selfishness. Without a resolve to be virtuous, we will slowly begin to slip. my wife seems to be astute at knowing which couples are going to make it. She says that if they share the same view of their purpose together, then the relationship will work. a view based on virtue is rooted in cultivating dignity, which arises from respect and self-discipline. When two people have cooled their aggression and pride, the result is peace and warmth in the home. ♦ Bring Mindfulness to Life “Mindfulness Without Borders’ inspiring work is so important in our world today where the capacity to cultivate compassion in our daily lives can help to bring about a more peaceful world.” Richard Davidson, PhD, Neuroscientist Founder, Center for Investigating Healthy Minds MINDFULNESS LearnOnline MINDFUL 365: In five online classes, master the skills needed to enhance self-awareness, self- management, social awareness, attention, and stress management. Open to all. No mediation experience required. CEUs available MINDFUL EDUCATORS: In six online classes, you will get certified to facilitate the Mindfulness Ambassador Council – a 12-week, evidence-based intervention that addresses strategies individuals need to support their healthy development. Your online experience includes lesson plans, home assignments, instructional videos, small group dia- logue and downloadable mindfulness practices. Prerequisite: Mindful 365. CEUs available SAVE 10% WHEN YOU REGISTER Discount Code: mindfulmag LEARN MORE: mindfulnesswithoutborders.org/online-learning Questions?