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Lions Roar : July 2015
anger was probably just a defensive posture against resting in the gap, feeling my own sadness that I didn’t have a nuclear family. In this judgmental trap, we become unfairly angry at others, pissed off at the world, and full of secret shame and guilt toward our own inevitable mistakes. What gets lost? Trust and curios- ity. We lose trust in the universe, and we lose curiosity about the process of exploration, which is the basis for any contemplative journey. Eventually, because this kind of righteousness can’t sustain the level of acrid energy on which it runs, we will prob- ably become apathetic and tune out the whole conversation on ethics. Apathy, that cynical “whatever” mentality, is usually what happens after righteousness burns itself out. Sometimes this apathetic burnout happens to a whole generation of commuters. For any of these three habitual reactions to ethics—apathy, defensiveness, or righteousness—the solution is really the same. If we bring the same outlook that we have to formal medita- tion—making friends with our experience, while slowly work- ing to cultivate positive qualities over a long period of time— then we can introduce curiosity and a sense of exploration to our life. This path is more about engaging in a learning process, being a lifelong student of cause and effect, rather than always doing the “right” thing. ♦ Reprinted with permission of North Point Press. Researchers at the Johns Hopkins University are seeking individuals with a regular, long-term meditation practice to participate in a research study looking at the combined efects of meditation and psilocybin, a psychoactive substance found in sacramental mushrooms of some cultures. The study will investigate psychological and brain processes underlying such efects. Volunteers must be between the ages of 25 and 80, have no personal or familial history of severe psychiatric illness, or recent history of alcoholism or drug abuse. To discuss the possibility of volunteering or to learn more: Phone: 410–550–2253 or Email: