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Lions Roar : September 2011
SHAMBHALA SUN SEPTEMBER 2011 79 a seizure, holding him down as a train screeched to a halt inches above them. He commented afterward that he didn’t feel like a hero, just simply someone doing what had to be done. The experience of certainty about the significance of events is what both distin- guishes and links life in Homer’s Greece and ours in the twenty-first century. “The most important things, the most real things in Homer’s world,” say Dreyfus and Kelly, “well up and take us over, hold us for a while and then, finally, let us go. If we had to translate Homer’s word physis, then whooshing is about as close as we can get. What there really is, for Homer, is whooshing up: the whooshing up of shin- ing Achilles in the midst of battle, or of an overwhelming eroticism in the presence of a radiant stranger... These were the shin- ing moments of reality in Homer’s world.” The key to experiencing whooshing up is gratitude, appreciation, and a sense of wonder in everyday life. In this way, it is related to mindfulness. Mindfulness releases us from the mental prison of tak- ing the ordinary details of life for granted, from the sense of if you’ve seen one break- fast before work, you’ve seen them all. When we wake up to the sensuous details of this morning’s yogurt and orange juice—plus the kindness of our companion across the table from us—we discover a new world in the old, whooshing up in the midst of our everyday life. IN BRUCE RICH’S HISTORY of Indian emperor Ashoka in To Uphold the World, we see the violence and destruction that often accompanies martial whooshing ups. Ashoka, whose grandfather Chan- dragupta Maurya is said to have met Alexander the Great, was born more than 2,300 years ago into the reigning Maurya dynasty. Ashoka’s armies slaughtered more than a hundred thousand people in a famous victorious battle to unify his empire. Saddened by the sight of such violence and hearing the Buddha’s teach- ings on loving-kindness and compassion, Ashoka renounced violent conquest. His name literally means “not sad,” since after his conversion he rejoiced in propagating SHAMBHALA SUN FOUNDATION An independent, nonprofit corporation. Publishers of the Shambhala Sun and Buddhadharma: The Practitioner’s Quarterly. Pema says ... LET THIS PRINT OF PEMA CHÖDRÖN as Rosie the Riveter inspire you to smile. First published in the March 2011 edition of the Shambhala Sun the illustration has been turned into a print ready to display as-is or framed, in a variety of sizes, signed or unsigned. All profits from the sale of the prints will go to the Pema Chödrön Foundation. TO ORDER VISIT THE SHAMBHALA SUN ONLINE www.shambhalasun.com PosterartbyNoaKaplan