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Lions Roar : November 2006
SHAMBHALA SUN NOVEMBER 2006 96 Leopard or Andrew Harvey’s dazzling as- cent into Tibetan Buddhism in his Jour- ney in Ladakh (the very title suggesting that his interest lies not in the journey to a remote Indian state that can nowadays be reached easily by bus or plane, but rather in the journey that unfolds within himself after he’s arrived). The point of a trip, I think, is to learn more about both sides of our central exchange—the self and the world—and to come back a radically dif- ferent person from the one who left home. Simply going to a place where twelve war correspondents have been killed in the pre- vious two months comes to seem a rather private or narrowing kind of venture. Besides, now that the world is so used up, on the surface—so many able to get to so many places—the traveler has to take the journey inward if he is to find ground that no satellite camera or TV screen can match. As Jan Morris said to Time magazine at the beginning of this summer, “As a writer you have to be more transcendental, more al- legorical. Nearly everything has more to it than meets the eye. Even my life.” Indeed so. No less an intrepid traveler than Paul Ther- oux devoted his last novel, Blinding Light, to exploring how and why the only true jour- ney nowadays is into the darkness within. The Places in Between, nominated as a masterpiece on the front page of The New York Times Book Review in June, offers an impressively courageous, lucid, and vivid account of a culture that concerns us all. But if you wish to learn about something larger, more human, and universal in Af- ghanistan, I would recommend turning to Khaled Hosseini’s best-selling novel, The Kite Runner, or renting the movies Kan- dahar or Osama. And if you want to feel Afghanistan from within, even the over- the-top novel, Shantaram, by the Austra- lian bank robber Gregory David Roberts, gives you a more heartfelt and sympathetic sense of what its people sound and feel like. “At times,” Stewart writes of the Em- peror Babur, clearly his mentor and alter ego, “it seems the only thing missing from his story is himself.” But what he does not add is that if there is no self in a book, there is no self to be transformed. Travel becomes a journey into dailiness. ♦ QUINTESSENTIAL Dzogchen Confusion dawns as wisdom Erik Pema Kunsang & Marcia Binder Schmidt “Imbued with the warm breath of many enlightened Masters, an immense source of learning and blessings for all.” WELLSPRINGS OF THE GREAT PERFECTION Lives & Insights of the Early Masters in the Dzogchen Lineage Erik Pema Kunsang “Finally available the ultimate origin and absolute teachings of Dzogchen.” Quotes by Tulku Thondup Revised edition REPEATING THE WORDS OF THE BUDDHA Tulku Urgyen Rinpoche RANGJUNG YESHE PUBLICATIONS www. Rangjung.com distributed by PGW/North Atlantic Books 1-800-337-2665 NEW TITLES RANGJUNG YESHE PUBLICATIONS DZOGCHEN CENTER BUDDHISM FOR THE WEST dzogchen the natural great perfection DZOGCHEN RETREATS WITH LAMA SURYA DAS Dzogchen is the consummate practice of Tibetan Buddhism. Considered by many to be "the teaching of our time," Dzogchen is direct, immediate, essentialized, adaptable, and profound: a pure awareness practice applicable to any circumstance and readily integrated into modern life. Dzogchen, often translated as the Natural Great Perfection, directly introduces us to our inner Buddha, the inherent freedom, purity and perfection of being that is our true nature. Dzogchen Center Meditation Retreats are held across the country, throughout the year as shown below: DZOGCHEN MEDITATION RETREATS Santa Rosa, CA Fall October 7 – 15, 2006 Garrison, NY Winter December 29, 2006 – January 7, 2007 Joshua Tree, CA Spring March 24 – April 1, 2007 Garrison, NY Summer July 14 – 29, 2007 MULTIPLE TEACHINGS DAILY • NOBLE SILENCE • BEAUTIFUL SURROUNDINGS VEGETARIAN MEALS • PRIVATE, SEMI-PRIVATE, AND DORM ROOMS AVAILABLE For complete information and secure on-line registration for all of these scheduled events, go to www.dzogchen.org/retreats, e-mail