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Lions Roar : March 2011
SHAMBHALA SUN MARCH 2011 43 breathe with the child. “Breathing in, I go back to my wounded child; breathing out, I take good care of my wounded child.” You have to talk to your child several times a day. only then can healing take place. embracing your child tenderly, you reassure him that you will never let him down again or leave him unat- tended. The little child has been left alone for so long. That is why you need to begin this practice right away. If you don’t do it now, when will you do it? If you know how to go back to her and listen carefully every day for five or ten minutes, healing will take place. When you climb a beautiful mountain, invite your child within to climb with you. When you contemplate the sunset, invite her to enjoy it with you. If you do that for a few weeks or a few months, the wounded child in you will experience healing. With practice, we can see that our wounded child is not only us. our wounded child may represent several generations. our mother may have suffered throughout her life. our father may have suffered. perhaps our parents weren’t able to look after the wounded child in themselves. so when we’re embracing the wounded child in us, we’re embracing all the wounded children of our past generations. This practice is not a practice for ourselves alone, but for number- less generations of ancestors and descendants. our ancestors may not have known how to care for their wounded child within, so they transmitted their wounded child to us. our practice is to end this cycle. If we can heal our wounded child, we will not only liberate our- selves, but we will also help liberate whoever has hurt or abused us. The abuser may also have been the victim of abuse. There are peo- ple who have practiced with their inner child for a long time who have had a lessening of their suffering and have experienced transfor- mation. Their relationships with their family and friends have become much easier. We suffer because we have not been touched by compassion and understanding. If we generate the energy of mindfulness, understanding, and compassion for our wounded child, we will suffer much less. When we generate mindfulness, compas- sion and understanding become possible, and we can allow people to love us. Before, we may have been suspicious of everything and everyone. compassion helps us relate to others and restore communication. The people around us, our family and friends, may also have a severely wounded child inside. If we’ve managed to help our- selves, we can also help them. When we’ve healed ourselves, our relationships with others become much easier. There’s more peace and more love in us. go back and take care of yourself. Your body needs you, your feelings need you, your perceptions need you. The wounded child in you needs you. Your suffering needs you to acknowledge it. go home and be there for all these things. practice mindful walking and mindful breathing. do everything in mindfulness so you can really be there, so you can love. The energy of mindfulness The energy of mindfulness is the salve that will recognize and heal the child within. But how do we cultivate this energy? Buddhist psychology divides consciousness into two parts. one part is mind consciousness and the other is store consciousness. mind consciousness is our active awareness. Western psychology calls it “the conscious mind.” To cultivate the energy of mindful- ness, we try to engage our active awareness in all our activities and be truly present with whatever we are doing. We want to be mind- ful as we drink our tea or drive through the city. When we walk, we want to be aware that we are walking. When we breathe, we want to be aware that we are breathing. store consciousness, also called root consciousness, is the base of our con- sciousness. In Western psychology it’s called “the unconscious mind.” It’s where all our past experiences are stored. store consciousness has the capacity to learn and to process information. often our mind is not there with our body. sometimes we go through our daily activities without mind consciousness be- ing involved at all. We can do many things by means of store consciousness alone, and mind consciousness can be thinking of a thousand other things. for example, when we drive our car through the city, mind consciousness may not be thinking about driving at all, but we can still reach our des- tination without getting lost or having an accident. That is store consciousness oper- ating on its own. consciousness is like a house in which the basement is our store consciousness and the living room is our mind con- sciousness. mental formations like anger, sorrow, or joy, rest in the store conscious- ness in the form of seeds (bija). We have a seed of anger, despair, discrimination, The wounded child asks for care and love, but we run away because we’re afraid of our suffering. anonYmous