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Lions Roar : November 2008
49 SHAMBHALA SUN NOVEMBER 2008 TO COMMIT TO ANOTHER PERSON is to embark on a very adventurous journey. You must be very wise and very patient to keep your love alive so it will last for a long time. The first year of a committed relationship can already reveal how difficult it is. When you first commit to someone, you have a beautiful image of them, and you marry that image rather than the person. When you live with each other twenty-four hours a day, you begin to discover the reality of the other person, which doesn’t quite corre- spond with the image you have of him or of her. Sometimes you’re disappointed. In the beginning you’re very passionate. But that passion for the other person may last only a short time—maybe six months, a year, or two years. Then, if you’re not skillful, if you don’t practice, if you’re not wise, suffering will be born in you and in the other person. When you see someone else, you might think you’d be happier with them. In Vietnamese we have a saying: “Standing on top of one mountain and gazing at the top of another, you think you’d rather be standing on the other mountain.” When we commit to a partner, either in a marriage ceremony or in a private way, usu- ally it is because we believe we can be and want to be faithful to our partner for the whole of our life. In the Five Mindfulness Trainings, the third training is to be faithful to the partner you commit to. This is a challenging practice that requires consistent strong practice. Many THICH NHAT HANH is a renowned Zen master and poet, and founder of the Engaged Buddhist movement. Author of more than forty books, he resides at practice centers in France and the U.S. Thich Nhat Hanh’s newest book is The World We Have: A Buddhist Approach to Peace and Ecology. In his introduction to the new book, Love’s Garden: A Guide to Mindful Relationships, Thich Nhat Hanh shows us how we can use loving relationships to cultivate the seeds of buddhahood inside us. PHOTOS BY VITALI POZDNIAKOV Growing Together NOV 48-57.indd 49 NOV 48-57.indd 49 9/1/08 12:21:34 PM 9/1/08 12:21:34 PM