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Lions Roar : September 2007
SHAMBHALA SUN SEPTEMBER 2007 113 mind is untrained; the cause of this suf- fering is the mind’s tendency to cling to its preferences; cessation of this clinging and, therefore, the cessation of suffering is possible; and there is a way, which the Buddha called the Eightfold Path, to find this liberation. Through mindfulness of the body, you begin to see why the Buddha began with the First Noble Truth, dukkha, the stress and anxiety interwoven in all life. You can also experience in your body the Second Noble Truth, since you cling to getting and keeping what is pleasant to the body and removing or avoiding what is un- pleasant to it. Through the body you can also discover the liberating insight of the Third Noble Truth: you have choice. In this very body, in this very moment, you can choose not to succumb to reactions to the arising of pleasant and unpleas- ant. You don’t have to move, for example, because at this moment your leg is hurt- ing. It’s just your leg hurting. Nor do you have to react to something hurtful some- one has said at work. Yes, it was unpleas- ant, but it was just unpleasant. Suffering arises from your unwillingness to be with this moment just as it is. It causes you to distort what’s true in life because you are demanding that the moment be shaped to the way you want it. When you choose to be present with your body when it is in pain or when it is feeling the tension and contraction caused by your wanting mind, you are accepting your life experience just as it is, in this moment, without clinging. This feeling of nonattachment and nonreactivity is simi- lar to how it feels when you do the exer- cise of letting your forearm rest in your palm without pushing or hovering. It is a way of meeting life in which you don’t add anything unnecessary to the experi- ence. You don’t identify and contract into it. Like the yogi whose body pain ceased to be an issue, your life gains ease. Each time you have such a moment, no matter how brief, you have a little taste of all the future moments in which you can have such ease. You are aware of your body as a gateway to liberation. ♦ SEPT 100-120.indd 113 SEPT 100-120.indd 113 6/25/07 5:08:52 PM 6/25/07 5:08:52 PM