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 : March 2016
had come to know her own suffering and that of others, and thought she knew the power of love and compassion. But during a retreat in Australia, Salzberg felt something shift, and the traumatic memory of her mother’s death arose. She fell into despair and panic and went to talk to U Pandita about it. He simply told her to be “mindful of the pain.” Though she tried, she knew she was still recoiling from facing her suffering head-on. One night, under a starry sky, Salzberg once again thought of her beloved Dipa Ma, and how she had found faith and love even in anguish. “I thought that if such extreme suffering could serve as the proximate cause of faith, then the suffering of my own despair must also contain a crack of light,” she writes. Under U Pandita’s skillful direction, Salzberg began to see this chapter of her practice as a process through pain, one that could expose her vulnerability on a deeper level. “I think Dipa Ma was right. It’s good for a teacher, certainly a Western teacher, to have been through a lot, because you really understand a lot of things,” Salzberg says. She saw that her suffering could serve as a connection to others, and she began recover a sense of purpose, working to free her mind for the sake of all beings. TODAY, SHARON SALZBERG is an established speaker, an author of many bestselling books, and one of the fore- most Buddhist figures in North America. She says those attracted to her teachings often feel a connection to her knowledge of suffering. “People say to me, ‘I want to discover my heart,’ or ‘I don’t think I have a heart,’ or ‘I hate myself,’ or ‘I’m carrying this burden of this person who’s hurt me.’ ” Salzberg recognizes herself in these stu- dents: “I used to tell myself, ‘This is wrong. This is bad. No one else feels this.’ ” Knowing our suffering intimately is essential to freeing ourselves from it, says Salzberg. She says we should regard what we find without judgement, with- out holding on to or pushing away any experience and without blaming our- selves for it. “What arises in one’s mind is not something we can control. We can change the ground, to some extent, out of which emotions tend to arise, but we can’t stop things from coming up. Every moment is conditions coming together and coming apart. How we relate to what arises in one’s mind is what’s most important.” Salzberg says that through meditation practice we can learn to regard suffering as a way to see more deeply, to get to know ourselves better, and to discern what really makes us happy. “Why suffer unnecessarily,” she asks, “if it’s distorted thinking that’s bringing forth that feel- ing?” In becoming more aware of our suffering, she explains, we also discover that there is always an intact place within us, an open space of awareness that can bear anything without becoming dam- aged. We realize that we needn’t be para- lyzed by suffering. However, Salzberg also recognizes that sometimes withdrawing may be the only option: “It’s probably smart in a lot of circumstances. For me, it was adaptive under the circumstances, for that time with the tools that I had at my disposal.” Instead of giving ourselves a hard time for what we’re “not feeling,” Salzberg says numbness needs close attention: “For a long time I thought I needed to experi- ence depth. So when something came up that felt kind of superficial, I would try to punch my way through, like, ‘What’s under here?’ “Then I realized that what I was prac- ticing was dissatisfaction. I didn’t like what was there, so I thought there must be something different underneath. I learned that the practice of mindfulness is furthered most by frequency, by more moments of mindfulness in a row, even if what you’re mindful of feels or seems superficial. So rather than practicing dis- satisfaction, I could work to have more moments of mindfulness in a row.” In addition to awareness, faith in our- selves and our true capacities leads to free- dom from suffering, says Salzberg. “Lack LION’S ROAR | MARCH 2016 72