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Lions Roar : March 2015
clear, we can take a brisk walk outside and we can breathe very well. We consciously call up our experience of the past to help ourselves treasure the good things we are having right now. In the past we probably did suffer from one thing or another. It may even have felt like a kind of hell. If we remember that suffering, not letting ourselves get carried away by it, we can use it to remind ourselves, “How lucky I am right now. I’m not in that situation. I can be happy”—that is insight; and in that moment, our joy, and our happiness can grow very quickly. The essence of our practice can be described as transforming suffering into happiness. It’s not a complicated practice, but it requires us to cultivate mindfulness, concentration, and insight. It requires first of all that we come home to ourselves, that we make peace with our suffering, treating it tenderly, and look- ing deeply at the roots of our pain. It requires that we let go of useless, unnecessary sufferings and take a closer look at our idea of happiness. Finally, it requires that we nourish happiness daily, with acknowledgment, understanding, and compassion for our- selves and for those around us. We offer these practices to ourselves, to our loved ones, and to the larger community. This is the art of suffering and the art of happiness. With each breath, we ease suffering and generate joy. With each step, the flower of insight blooms. ♦ PHOTOBYDONFARBER SHAMBHALA SUN MARCH 2015 45