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Lions Roar : November 2008
SHAMBHALA SUN NOVEMBER 2008 114 CD $15 free downloads www.jtbullitt.com The natural sounds of the deep Earth realized by artist-seismologist John T Bullitt Earth Sound “haunting” — The Boston Globe oping that kind of confidence is the path. With confidence, you are actually able to lead other people. Otherwise—especially in our society now—you might simply give in to feeling overwhelmed by the speed and stress. Then you just cower. Khandro Tseyang: I think it’s also impor- tant to appreciate life. We don’t need to be afraid to enjoy it. We can celebrate life and make it more beautiful. In the Buddhist marriage ceremony used in the Shambhala community, each person makes an offering of the six paramitas, or perfections, to the other. How do we use our relationship to develop our practice of the paramitas? Sakyong Mipham Rinpoche: The parami- tas are based upon the notion that you are not going to give up. You’re going to be courageous; whatever you do is going to benefit the other. So from the get-go it’s helpful to see that when you’re just think- ing of yourself, the relationship becomes difficult. That’s what the paramitas are say- ing. In every moment you have an oppor- tunity to be generous or patient. Patience is an important virtue because when you lose your temper or attack your partner, you lose a lot of goodwill. Then you have to work really hard to get it back. Exertion is a perpetual thing. Most of us would like to come home and not do any- thing, right? Then you realize that you’ve been generous to everybody else, but here’s the most important person in your life, and you’re taking her for granted and expended your energy on others. Rather than seeing the relationship as path, you’re seeing it as being for your own comfort. Remembering why you’re in the rela- tionship is the notion of prajna, or wis- dom. Ultimately, the relationship is the most beneficial element of your life, and it can also give you the most heartache. So you exert yourself. Whatever kind of difficulty you have in your external life, if you let it affect your attitude you’ll drag it home. Your partner doesn’t know what’s going on, but they feel the crummy reper- cussions of it. To keep the view, you have to have a strong mind. You can’t be fickle. That comes from practice. ♦ because it takes you toward happiness and satisfaction. The word we use for the kind of energy that takes you forward is windhorse. With windhorse, your whole existence is awake, as opposed to life just being difficult. Being with another person can increase the energy of windhorse and accelerate the journey if you’re using the relationship as a way to relate with your mind and emotions. Without windhorse, a relationship might become very small-minded. The principle of rulership is very old, but it’s still practical. In a sense we’re all our own king or queen because we’re al- ways making decisions about how we’re going to live our life. When we get right down to it, it’s all about how we handle our mind, the attitude we take toward ourselves, and how we develop that for- ward-moving energy, which affects the success of our relationship, family, busi- ness, spiritual practice—everything. Do you have practical suggestions for doing that in a marriage? Sakyong Mipham Rinpoche: Again, a key theme is balance. How do you balance heaven and earth—the notion of vision and practicality? You start with the positive view that you are already fundamentally awake, fundamentally capable of doing it. No doubt there will be difficulties, but when you both have that kind of view, the relationship doesn’t weigh on you. You’re using your time together not to drive each other down, but to propel each other for- ward. With this attitude you can have a tremendous effect, especially if you’re a woman, because you create the space in which things can happen. Khandro Tseyang: The feminine prin- ciple is wisdom, representing gentleness. A woman can play a very important role in terms of bringing peace and harmony to the family, or any group of people. If she also has the qualities of a warrior— stability, reliability, and fearlessness—it becomes easier to overcome difficulties and move forward on the path together. Sakyong Mipham Rinpoche: Yes, the Sakyong and Sakyong Wangmo represent warriorship, which is the notion of cour- age—not being afraid of your own noble qualities, your own genuineness. Devel- perfect, but things moved on, with much less pain and anguish. Had Nancy not applied what she had learned from the Art of War, she might well have taken some of these same ac- tions. The main influence of the Art of War , however, was to inspire her to stop working so hard to hold on to her fixed positions and defend her ground. She was therefore free to form situations, then be formed and transformed by them. She worked directly with the conflict, but she didn’t have to counterattack. By stepping outside the role of commanding and con- trolling, she let solutions emerge rather than having to cook them up all the time. Nancy started to get some sleep and could get up in the morning with enthusiasm about her life’s work once again. ♦ Buddhist Marriage continued from page 67 NOV 106-120.indd 114 NOV 106-120.indd 114 9/1/08 12:26:00 PM 9/1/08 12:26:00 PM