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Lions Roar : July 2006
SHAMBHALA SUN JULY 2006 18 the Buddhist point of view, being reborn in the lower realms, and so forth—we have also now reduced the life-force energy of another person. Where is the good in that? If we say something negative, it doesn’t just disappear into nothingness. It hangs around. Eventually it settles into our mind and body. The most effective way to increase windhorse is to infuse our mind with virtuous thoughts, and our life with virtuous activity. This approach takes practice and determination. It means set- ting our intention daily. Focusing our minds on the breath for a short time helps us gather a relative amount of peace. Then we can immediately take advantage of that peace, using it to con- template a thought—love, compassion, generosity—in order to bring about wisdom. The point of contemplation is to get to the point. So if your contemplation is “Look at the faults of samsara. It has no heart, no essence,” then as soon as possible you should get to the feeling that it is true: samsara has no heart. Sit with that for two or three minutes. When that truth begins to seep in, take it into your day with the intention to stay with it, to listen to the Buddha, to be- come familiar with a thought that leads somewhere. You want to reach the point where you see that samsara is not going to pan out. Certainty in the virtue of seeking deeper satisfaction is a sign that the contemplation has penetrated. Virtuous activity doesn’t have to be a heroic task. It can be as simple as letting go of our agenda for a moment and appreciat- ing where we are. Then we can open the door for somebody, say good morning with a smile, inquire about another’s family, or take time off from a project to celebrate progress or a birthday. Instead of secretly wishing for our co-workers’ demise, we can look at them and know that just like us, they want happiness. Becoming familiar with the source of true happiness, we are cul- tivating the sanity of a sakyong, “earth-protector.” Because we are protecting the ground of our own sanity, the capacity to increase our noble qualities has no boundaries. The irony is that as we put others first, our own wishes and desires come to fruition simultaneously. Virtue is a sustaining path on which we move in only one di- rection—forward. As the basic guideline for how we conduct our life, this approach is pragmatic. It is said that when you experi- ence heart, the sense of loving-kindness and caring for others, simultaneously there is wisdom. Being patient, generous, disci- plined, and exerting ourselves in basic decency—when we act like this, our mind feels better. Saying something positive feels better than saying something negative. Loving generates energy; anger uses it up. Greed and self-absorption manifest in our life as hassles that remind us that, without virtue, we are either stand- ing still or moving backwards. The mind that has the genuine in- tention of helping others manifests in many ways, but in the end it always brings happiness, because it is rooted in compassion. ♦ SAKYONG MIPHAM RINPOCHE is spiritual director of Shambhala, an international network of meditation and retreat centers. His new book is Ruling Your World: Ancient Strategies for Modern Life. 326 Grant Avenue Santa Fe, NM 87501 505.988.2533 www.santafesir.com SPECTACULAR RETREAT/ESTATE CREATED AND BEING SOLD BY A DIRECT DESCENDENT OF INDIA’S KING AKBAR, RASS MANDAL IS CONSTRUCTED OF THICK ADOBE, MARBLE, STAINED GLASS, AND HAND-CARVED MAHOGANY. SITED ON ONE OF THREE SEPARATELY DEEDED PARCELS TOTALING 25 ACRES OVERLOOKING SANTA FE WITH MAJESTIC VIEWS YET ONLY 15 MINUTES FROM THE HISTORIC PLAZA. THE PRIVATE AND SPACIOUS OWNERS’ SUITE FEATURES A STUDIO, MEDITATION ROOM, SITTING AREA, AND LUXURIOUS BATH. AMENITIES INCLUDE A SWIMMING POOL, HOT TUB AND SAUNA, RETREAT CABIN, PAVILION, AND AVIARY. $2,200,000 A TIBETAN STUPA BUILT BY TULKU TENZIN SANGNGAG IN MEMORY OF NAGPA YESHE DORGE IS LOCATED ON AN ADJACENT 11 ACRE PARCEL. ASIAN ADOBE ANNE AND ALAN VORENBERG 888.257.6750