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Lions Roar : September 2011
SHAMBHALA SUN SEPTEMBER 2011 57 Over the course of time, if we are committed to meditation as an ongoing practice, then it can provide us with this honest feedback. Although we might try to filter information, if we sit long enough, reality wells up in us and breaks through. This is inevitable, because it is just discovering what is there and we can’t block what is there for- ever. Facing reality is not creating something new. It’s allowing a barrier to dissolve. It unlocks in us the power of loving-kindness and is the beginning of real warmth toward ourselves and others There’s tremendous energy that we try to block and control to keep everything safe and neat in our stories about ourselves and our lives. Making friends with ourselves is messier and less predictable than keeping up the storylines. It may also be more obvi- ously painful. But it’s a great deal more fun, more spontaneous, more loving, and, in the end, more productive. We realize that we are capable of a real relationship with our world and with those in it. Reality is ultimately beautiful, and wise people often say that it is sacred. We all have experiences of sacredness, if we don’t reject them or take them for granted. Sometimes there is a big “ahhh!” when we Two Haiku by Buson Utter aloneness— another great pleasure in autumn light *** Head pillowed on arm, such affection for myself! and this smoky moon From The Poetry of Zen, translated and edited by Sam Hamill and J.P. Seaton. © 2004 by Sam Hamill and J.P. Seaton. Excerpted with permission from Shambhala Publications. fall in love with another human being, when a paint- ing evokes a deep response in us, or when something of monumental beauty appears before us, something breathtaking. And there are many smaller moments of simple everyday illumination and wonder: rain falling on the roof, a baby’s cry, a friend’s touch, an autumn leaf falling at our feet. Mindfulness and awareness encourage us to acknowledge what we already know, what we already see, but which fright- ens us a little. In that way, making friends with our- selves is a doorway into a much bigger world, one that is marked by many moments of wakefulness and the potential to genuinely love ourselves and our world and those in it. Making friends with oneself is, at times, tough stuff. Some days are better than others, but the path continues. I say this as a monkey with an iPhone who usually refuses to leave my house except to harvest bananas. On these outings in the jungle, I have heard and seen a few things about life beyond the cage, and they have been offered here. Although I still live within my hall of mirrors, sometimes I see the first evening star, and that provides the inspiration to guide my journey. ♦ PHOTO©JUNESTEWARD/DREAMSTIME.COM