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Lions Roar : March 2008
SHAMBHALA SUN MARCH 2008 20 need to possess our mind. That’s what we do in stabilizing medita- tion, where we calm down and experience the space of the mind just being there. From that, our mind is much less speedy. The mind resting peacefully has incredible implications. If you’re present for the moment, you’re present for your life, and you can therefore observe what’s going on. If you can observe what’s going on, you can make judgments, deciding where you want to go. At this point—known as the present moment—you can change your karma. You can reorient your whole path, be- cause in terms of the future, you’re in the driver’s seat. You are getting more enlightened. You are waking up. We actively reorient ourselves in contemplation, the second kind of meditation, known also as vipashyana, “clear seeing.” Now we take a thought as the object of our meditation. For example, we can focus on our motivation, stated very simply: “I want to meditate,” “I want to develop compassion,” “I want to tread on the path of en- lightenment,” or “I want to become enlightened, no holds barred.” At other times we might contemplate a quality—generosity, exer- tion, discipline, or patience—that could support our motivation. This is a practice of fabricating our enlightened qualities so that our mind naturally turns in their direction. We know that we’re in- nately compassionate, and we also know that we don’t feel it right now because there’s a blockage. So we contrive our buddhanature in order to reveal it. We call this relative understanding. That un- Shang Shung Institute School of Tibetan Medicine Now accepting new students All courses offered in English Apply online @ ShangShung.org PO Box 278 | Conway, MA 01341 | (413) 369 4928 America’s first licensed 4-year certification program in Traditional Tibetan Medicine derstanding may be brief, but we should not be discouraged. By becoming familiar with the view, we are clarifying our future. It’s one thing to have the attitude of enlightenment and an- other thing to act in an enlightened way, which is conduct or activity, the third element of the path. If we have proper under- standing of our motivation and are getting used to our enlight- ened qualities, chances are we can deal with speed and stress more effectively. First we can create space in our mind to see where we are. Then we can reorient ourselves by remembering what we’re doing. That allows us to say, “Sure, I’m tired and in a hurry and my phone is ringing again. Yet I can stay on the path by sticking with the ten percent of my mind that really wants to do this.” The more we develop the tools to move forward on the spot, the less influence the other ninety percent of our mind will have. Our karmic tendency to drift into agitation and discursive- ness will incrementally decrease. View, meditation, and conduct give us a way to remember what we’re doing and why we’re doing it, and then enact our own enlightenment. As we do that, we are stepping on the path. We’re making progress. ♦ SAKYONG MIPHAM RINPOCHE is the spiritual leader of Shambhala, an international network of Buddhist meditation and retreat centers. He is the author of Turning the Mind into an Ally and Ruling Your World. MAR 18-41.indd 20 MAR 18-41.indd 20 12/19/07 2:34:01 PM 12/19/07 2:34:01 PM