using the arrow buttons.
by clicking on the page.
the page around when zoomed in by dragging it.
the zoom using the slider when zoomed-in.
by clicking on the zoomed-in page.
by entering text in the search field, and select "This Issue" or "All Issues"
by clicking on thumbnails to select pages, and then press the print button.
displays sections with thumbnails and descriptions.
displays a slider of thumbnails. Click on a page to jump.
allows you to browse the full archive.
about your subscription?
Lions Roar : May 2015
side of me resembled oil paintings while I writhed and flapped like a landed fish between them. Restarting my recently aban- doned use of heroin began to appear tantalizingly preferable to another sixty seconds of Zen. In such a situation one is forced face-to-face with one’s body and mind and their discomforts. There are no distractions and no places to hide. There is no way to pretend that your suffering is not occurring nor is there any way to philosophize it away. The sesshin demands everything you have and then takes a big gulp of more. An old Zen adage states, “Pain in the legs is the taste of zazen.” Even after a year of regular zazen, I was completely unpre- pared for the rigor and determination required by a sesshin. By lunch of the second day, my body was trembling and shaking and tears were spilling over the edges of my eyes. “I can’t do this,” I thought. “I have to get out of here.” Internal narratives chronicling previous failures and self-betrayals were flashing like neon signs in my psyche and I began rehearsing excuses that might offer me the excuse to flee; anything that would afford me the opportunity to rise from this odious, smug, self- satisfied cushion, and move spontaneously again. Unfortunately for my craven and indulgent self, I was pin- ioned firmly in place by pride. There were a number of Zen students in the sesshin whom I had previously dismissed as fools, certain that my spiritual development exceeded theirs by a comfortable margin. I would never be able to maintain this imagined sense of superiority if I crawled out of the zendo on the second day; my ego dictated that I stay put. Miraculously, near the end of the third day, my physical pains began to diminish. Though still shaking, I could inves- tigate the pain in my knees more attentively, and noticed how that investigation actually changed the quality of the pain. I still shook and twitched, but a certain amount of the emo- tional charge that shaking carried diminished as well. It was simply shaking. On the very last day’s break period, walking up the dusty road in a high, chilled wind, I had the distinct feeling that the entire center of my body had disappeared or become transpar- ent. I could feel the wind whistling through it. I felt feather- light and momentarily problem-free; as if the back of my head had disappeared and the space behind my eyes opened out onto the universe. Before me, the world was extraordinarily vivid and alive, shimmering intensely. I had not taken a drug and yet I “What is it?”: Sitting meditation in the Green Gulch Zendo. One is forced face-to-face with one’s body and mind and their discomforts. Sesshin demands everything you have and then takes a big gulp of more. SHAMBHALA SUN MAY 2015 67