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Lions Roar : January 2011
SHAMBHALA SUN jANUAry 2011 26 I dread a coming moment, the moment never comes. It’s not the world that I need to change, I see, but the mayhem that my overactive mind makes of the world. It’s more than capable of seeing a blue car, stationary, and constructing out of it a six-act melodrama. the mind has a purpose, tibetan Bud- dhists tell me; if harnessed correctly, it can be the greatest instrument we have for find- ing in the world the potential and lessons that other mammals miss. But it’s wonder- ful at being a five-year-old mischief-mak- er, and not a calm adult. It’s much more eager to play than to work, to feed on gos- sip than on wisdom, to get ahead of itself and then look back, to run around like a tired child at 10 p.m., screaming, when all it really wants to do is go to sleep. I’ve been lucky enough to grow up in many traditions, with hindu parents and christian schooling. But I don’t think any discipline has so taught me the limits of the mind as Buddhism. what I’m seeing when I meet ellen is not her, usually, but all the ideas I’ve created around her. what I read when I pick up proust are all the volumes of what I know I’m meant to feel reading proust, and all I don’t want to feel because everyone feels it, reading proust, and what I’m not sure I’m finding at all, in proust, and how I’m about to describe proust to my friend (with an eye on my- self, not Marcel). and then a car screams toward me on the road, the driver having lost control, and every one of these ideas is forcefully banished, as folly. I don’t read the weather forecast, usu- ally, and I don’t turn on my laptop, be- cause I know all the snippets, diversions, distractions, grand theories, and data that are waiting for me inside that innocuous- seeming little white cover. It’s not what I imagined when I was young, and so eager to throw open the pages of any encyclo- pedia or book. But not-knowing is the happiest state I know. when it snows to- morrow, when it dawns radiant the next day, every moment hits me with the force of an inarguable surprise. not reading the weather forecast is actually a way of ensuring that the prospect for many days (though never all) is sunny. ♦