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Lions Roar : July 2006
SHAMBHALA SUN JULY 2006 47 There exists a way of being that underlies and suffuses all emo- tional states, that embraces all the joys and sorrows that come to us. A happiness so deep that, as Georges Bernanos wrote, “Noth- ing can change it, like the vast reserve of calm water beneath a storm.” The Sanskrit word for this state of being is sukha. Sukha is the state of lasting well-being that manifests itself when we have freed ourselves of mental blindness and afflictive emotions. It is also the wisdom that allows us to see the world as it is, without veils or distortions. It is, finally, the joy of mov- ing toward inner freedom and the loving-kindness that radiates toward others. First we conceive the “I” and grasp onto it. Then we conceive the “mine” and cling to the material world. Like water trapped on a waterwheel, we spin in circles, powerless. I praise the compassion that embraces all beings. —CHANDRAKIRTI Mental confusion is a veil that prevents us from seeing real- ity clearly and clouds our understanding of the true nature of things. Practically speaking, it is also the inability to identify the behavior that would allow us to find happiness and avoid suffer- ing. When we look outward, we solidify the world by projecting onto it attributes that are in no way inherent to it. Looking in- ward, we freeze the flow of consciousness when we conceive of an “I” enthroned between a past that no longer exists and a future that does not yet exist. We take it for granted that we see things as they are and rarely question that opinion. We spontaneously assign intrinsic qualities to things and people, thinking “this is beautiful, that is ugly,” without realizing that our mind super- imposes these attributes upon what we perceive. We divide the entire world between “desirable” and “undesirable,” we ascribe permanence to ephemera and see independent entities in what is actually a network of ceaselessly changing relations. We tend to isolate particular aspects of events, situations, and people, and Untitled, 1996, 18 x 18 inches.