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Lions Roar : March 2007
SHAMBHALA SUN MARCH 2007 84 a foothold to drag myself away to some safe cave. Everywhere I turned there was confusion and suffering. Inside me and outside me. No difference. I had misun- derstood where the path was leading. I was saying goodbye to all my old recours- es—I could name a dozen right off the top—from just feeling the pain, from set- tling down into its scratchy nest. Finally there was nowhere to go, no more hiding place, not even Zen. This is called groundlessness, no abid- ing. Supposedly a good thing in Zen prac- tice, when you finally unhinge, admit you know nothing, surrender to the vast un- known. So many years ago when I heard my teacher talk about it, it sounded good and true. But actually to experience it was something altogether different. I felt frightened, hopeless, on the edge of de- pression, but not even able to sink into that hole. Then one day in the middle of my muddled mind, back in the dry and bar- ren air of New Mexico, I realized some- thing. That story about Siddhartha sit- ting under the Bodhi Tree—how he made a vow not to budge until he saw clearly into the nature of things. His de- termination was always touted. But, re- ally, what was happening—all at once it seemed obvious—wasn’t determination, a steeling of will that brought him home. It was a total breakdown, a collapse of everything he knew. He’d tried devout training and austerity; nothing worked. It was in his giving up—drained, ex- hausted, under the big, branched tree— that with the first morning star insight exploded inside him. For the first time I felt akin to Buddha, that skinny man in his thirties, who left his wife and child to seek the unknown. I was not him, but maybe after all I’d be OK. I could stop searching for some an- swer, some way out, some imaginary free land. So driven to find happiness, I was in the center of suffering. But now Buddha gave me a hint of a direction. Smack in the middle of being uncomfortable, con- fused, restless, I could accept this ground- lessness, this not knowing, as a new place, as my own country. ♦ Meditate with Deepak Chopra Change your life. Seduction of Spirit Reconnect with your inner silence. Re-awaken your soul. Still your mind. Find peace. Feel reborn. March 19 - 24, 2007 Ponte Vedra Beach Resort Florida July 30 - August 4, 2007 Whistler, British Columbia Canada CHOPRA.COM MENTION SHAMBHALA SUN AND SAVE! 888.736.6895