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Lions Roar : May 2008
SHAMBHALA SUN MAY 2008 34 to do a cartwheel and the splits, how to knit and sew, solve crossword puzzles, be a smart and fast shopper, use moistur- izer, hold my ground and be fiercely loyal. All these lessons are currently in heavy use in my daily life. Through these direct transmissions, just as a guru’s mind becomes one with his stu- dents, my mom and I are one being. Not to mention that we look exactly alike. So it is not a stretch for me to feel her frus- tration, her sadness—and her still-witty, fierce personality— and want to help her. Even though she is my mother, it feels more like I’m her mother now. Our formal practices develop skill sets for dealing with real life, those times when the rubber hits the road and there is friction. That’s why it’s called practice, and real life is called real life. But at the same time, I am starting to think that sometimes real life is practice for...further practice. It’s a fertile ground for deepening, extending, and connecting in unknown ways. Though they are long-term projects, our spiritual practices do get put into immediate use, even for beginning meditators and yogis. It’s like we are knitting a sweater that we will wear later, or making a cake that we will eat later. In yoga and medi- tation we are wearing the sweater at the same time that we are knitting it, and yes, we are actually making our cake and eating it, too. It seems that at the same time that I am drawing on my years of meditation, yoga, and pranayama to manage this challenging time, the actual experience itself—caring for someone as if they were my only precious child—is starting to affect my awareness and actions in other situations, as well. My teacher, Gehlek Rinpoche, taught us that everyone has been our mother in a previous incarnation. Now I want to ask Rinpoche this question: if everybody was my mother before, does that mean that I have been everybody’s mother, too? Can I translate what I am experiencing with my mom, both in feeling and in action, into a practice of opening to all others? Can I cut down on my hesitation time before reach- ing out to help another? Can this experience be a fat juicy reminder that we really are one? We know it’s true that what any of us does affects all of us, every time, all the time, and the popularity of the green movement is an example of this realization growing world- Can I translate what I am experiencing with my mom into a practice of opening to all others? Can this experience be a fat, juicy reminder that we really are one? MAY 18-41.indd 34 MAY 18-41.indd 34 3/6/08 11:17:28 AM 3/6/08 11:17:28 AM