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Lions Roar : November 2009
SHAMBHALA SUN NoveMBer 2009 19 conditions. we experience one mood for a while, it dissolves, and then another mood arises. these different states of mind create the illusion of a single self. it’s the same on the outer level: we get dressed, put on our coat, and comb our hair, bringing together certain elements to create an image and an identity. when we get sick, we say, “i don’t feel like my- self today.” so where did the self we usu- ally feel like go? Contemplation is a process of “bringing to mind.” most of the time we are engaged in bringing to mind our desire for perma- nence, pleasure, and getting what we want. we wake up with that contemplation and it becomes our meditation—we hold it in our mind all day. but by changing our habit and bringing to mind the interde- pendence of phenomena, we begin to see the conditioned, impermanent, and self- less nature of everything. as these truths begin to penetrate us, our perspective gradually shifts. this is how we develop prajna, transcendental knowledge. what do we transcend? we transcend duality and mundane mind. after practicing contemplation in the morning, we can use whatever happens to us throughout the day to reflect on how we are holding our mind. we may realize that we are continuing to gather things, believ- ing that they’re going to stay together. Per- haps we are able to catch our mind falling into the samsaric pursuit of pleasure and getting what we want. we might notice how the aggression we feel is coming from belief in a self that needs to be protected. if we can flip our habitual mind and see the impermanence and unsteadiness of thoughts, emotions, relationships, and events, our actions will begin to change. our priorities will begin to shift. our faith in the teachings will increase, and we will be more light-hearted because we have less fixation and less pain. these are signs that the meaning of our contemplation has penetrated our being: we begin to see the truth and experience it. Contemplating impermanence brings freedom and appreciation for what we have, because it allows us to relax and en- joy the ebb and flow of life. ♦ THE BEST BUDDHIST CINEMA ON DVD NEW RELEASES www.festivalmedia.org WATCH ALL THE TRAILERS ONLINE “One of the most inspiring documentaries ever.” –SF WEEKLY Among the hill tribes of Thailand’s Golden Triangle, the Buddhist “Tiger Monk,” a former pro kickboxer, rescues and educates children. A dramatic and intimate exploration of compassion in action in an isolated world of opium, militias, temples and horses. Winner Grand Jury Prize AFI Fest Los Angeles “A warm, closely observed satire of lived life.” –SF CHRONICLE The acclaimed Zen comedy by award-winning Director Doris Dörrie Filmed on location at Sojiji Monastery, Monzen, Japan