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Lions Roar : January 2011
SHAMBHALA SUN JANUARY 2011 40 concept of moving leaves. If we could leave it there, it wouldn’t be too bad, but that never happens. then it’s “Oh yeah, it’s good to be here. It’s beautiful, but it would be better if the sun were shining from another angle.” When we’re walking, we’re not really walking; a con- cept is walking. When we’re eating, we’re not really eating; a concept is eating. When we’re drinking, we’re not really drinking; a concept is drinking. at some point, our whole world dissolves into concepts. as the external world is reduced to a conceptual world, we not only lose a wholesome part of our being, we lose all the beautiful things in the natural world: forests, flowers, birds, lakes. nothing can bring us any genuine experience. then our emotions come into play, supercharging our thoughts with their energy; we find there are “good” things that bring “good” emotions, and there are “bad” things that bring “bad” emotions. When we live our life like this every day, it becomes very tiresome; we begin to feel a sense of exhaustion and heaviness. We may think that our ex- haustion comes from our job or our family, but in many cases, it’s not the job or family itself—it’s our mind. What’s exhausting us is how we relate to our life conceptually and emotionally. We risk becoming so stuck in the realm of concepts that nothing we do feels fresh, inspired, or natural. Perceptual mind, conceptual mind, and emotional mind are three aspects of relative mind, our mundane conscious- ness, which we usually experience as a continuous stream. But in reality, perceptions, thoughts, and emotions last only for an instant. they’re impermanent. they come and go so quickly that we’re unaware of the discontinuity within this stream, of the space between each mental event. It’s like watching a thir- ty-five-millimeter film. We know it’s made up of many single frames, but due to the speed at which it moves, we never notice PhOtO:cryPtIkmOvement/WWW.cryPtIk.cOm Buddha head by CRYPTIK, in downtown Los Angeles. The wall, a well-known spot for street art, burned down in 2009.