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Lions Roar : January 2007
SHAMBHALA SUN JANUARY 2007 88 reflection, they reconnect with sacred com- munal space. This is a deeply spiritual expe- rience. For them, spirit is political, and it is in communion that they begin the personal healing that will help them move forward to heal their communities. Joshua asked that I come to the gather- ing, as an elder, to provide centering en- ergy and wisdom. I felt intimidated by his request. What could I offer that wouldn’t intrude on or weaken the intention of this gathering? What could I offer that would truly be helpful? I thought of my Jamil, carrying the blood of Africa and the blood of indigenous peo- ple here and from the Amazon. I thought of his pained and tumultuous journey and his friendships within the war-zone com- munities of the United States. I thought of my Jamil and I knew—from that place within that always knows the truth—that his life and his death are profound teach- ings. They’re teachings about the urgency of seeing, really seeing, and working to heal the oppression and cruelty that has developed over many decades within these communities. Joshua’s request was calling me to do this urgent work, and I realized why I had been so afraid. I had been afraid of convincing myself, and of convincing these young people, that I have a solid and certain answer to offer. I was equally afraid that I had no answer to offer at all. In the end, I found the courage to go and offer whatever I could as an elder, and to learn whatever I could from the young warriors there. I went there with my bro- ken, open heart. I went where Jamil guided me that day in the meditation hall, by re- minding me of Germaine’s story of tragic oppression and isolation. I have now decid- ed to stay in a place of vulnerability where Germaine’s story lives, where my story lives, where my tears flow into a river that carries me through Jamil’s heart. It is my vulner- ability, my story, my tears, and the teachings they bring that I share as comrade, friend, and elder with the young people at the gathering. As we journey through each oth- er’s hearts, we prepare ourselves together for our work in the world, for Jamil’s work, and the work of all who have left a message of what we still have to do. ♦ Inspire your practice YZ Enrich your life Chagdud gonpa Foundation’s ExquIsItE tangkas, statuEs, prayEr flags, and much morE call toll free (877) 479-6129, or (530) 623-3706 for a free color catalog. www.tibetantreasures.com Peter K ater Original Score by Features GRAMMY nominated composer and pianist Peter Kater along with guest appearances by Tibetan monk and teacher Tulku Orgyen, Tibetan flutist Nawang Khechog, and Native American flutist R. Carlos Nakai. Tibetan bowls, cello, piano, strings, flutes and chants give the listener the sense that the questions, once so seemingly urgent, have already been answered.