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 : September 2011
SHAMBHALA SUN SEPTEMBER 2011 61 We long to be held in our mother’s loving arms and to be able to give love freely without hesitation or self-regard. All of this is expressed in the powerful image of a mother and child. You see it in painting and sculpture; you hear it in song. Another example of kindness is said to be the genuine teacher or spiritual guide. Genuine teach- ers do not use their students as foils or gather stu- dents to build up their own power and esteem. Instead, they put their students’ interests first and are willing to do whatever it takes to awaken their students and guide them on the path. Although you may be trying to get something from the teacher, the teacher is not trying to get anything from you. In our usual tit-for-tat world, when you offer something in a relationship, you expect some- thing back. There is a bargaining component. But with the teacher–student relationship, since the teacher doesn’t need anything from the student, that teacher cannot be bribed or conned, so bar- gaining is out of the question. No matter how many strategies you may cook up, whatever you put out is simply reflected back, as if by a giant mirror. This is great teaching, for the contrast between love with hooks and love that just is becomes painfully apparent. It also becomes apparent that there is no limit to love once we drop our attachment. In the encounter with the teacher, we are given a glimpse of a kind of love that is present and atmospheric, possessed by no one, and completely free of agendas and strategies. The idea of reflecting on this human realm of passion is to be realistic. In this realm we can experience the pain of destructive or obsessive love, but we can also be inspired by examples of selfless love. By observing love with an agenda, we can begin to glimpse what love without an agenda might be. And sometimes, oddly, the strongest ground for the development of loving-kindness is to realize how often our first impulse is not all that kindly. DELIBERATE AND SPONTANEOUS COMPASSION Once we have assessed our situation and thought about examples we might emulate, how can we begin to expand our capacity for love? When we are deep into one particular relationship, it is easy to create a kind of love bubble, a little world that feeds on itself and is cut off from the world around us. But we don’t have to do that, and in fact, though nice, it can quickly become claustrophobic. Instead we could view our closest relationships as step- pingstones for learning how to view larger and larger aspects of the world with the same kind of interest and delight. This may be easier said than done, of course. What isn’t? But compassion and kindness are not foreign to our nature. They are in there some- where, and the good news is that we can uncover them and cultivate them. There are said to be two kinds of compassion: deliberate and spontaneous. Deliberate compas- sion is the practice and spontaneous compassion is the result. Learning to be more compassionate is like learning to drive a car. At first it feels scary, Even after all this time the sun never says to the earth, “You owe me.” Look what happens with a love like that— it lights the whole world. —HAFIZ Look what happens to the scale when love holds it. It stops working. —KABIR From the Penguin anthology Love Poems From God. © 2002 by Daniel Ladinsky. Used with his permission.