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Lions Roar : September 2009
SHAMBHALA SUN SePteMBer 2009 96 are doing your work. Whether you fail or succeed in a particular instance, in either case you will actually have been success- ful. from this perspective, failure is part of what makes up our accomplishments. We usually don’t see this. Success on the path and in life does not come only with being perfect. You cannot expect that each time a turbulent state of mind arises, the “normal” thing is to immediately realize its true nature. You cannot say it’s not possible at some point, but it is not the “norm” on the path. In the same way, if you expect that each year your income will increase and your business will grow, that your next home will be larger than your last, and that you are building toward a more and more se- cure and comfortable future, as befits the american dream, you are mistaking the ideal for what’s normal. That is not only a mistake, it sounds somewhat boring, like a feel-good movie where you know from the beginning exactly what’s going to happen. In actual life, anything can and does hap- pen. That is the truth of impermanence and change, and it is what makes our life such an adventure. remembering this and taking it to heart allows us to be more prag- matic and courageous at the same time. We need to move away from chasing after an impossible ideal and connect as closely as possible to our life as a personal jour- ney, one that is full of surprises and fresh opportunities to make it meaningful. We need warrior-like courage to be able to face and accept defeat from time to time, and to transform our suffering and confusion into liberation and awakening. Like champions in boxing or the martial arts, we have to accept some defeats and be willing to learn from them in order to be victorious in the end. Sometimes, when we’re down, it feels like the world sees us as a punching bag, and we are taking hits from all sides. That is when we need to remember that loss, disappointment, sadness, and pain are part of our life, and the lives of everyone. We are no exception. Many others are in worse shape right now, ponlop rinpoche continued from page 55