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Lions Roar : November 2011
SHAMBHALA SUN NOVEMBER 2011 67 I dreamed of spring. In spring, chemo would be months over and my hair would have begun to grow back. In spring, I would wear fine dresses, write beautiful words, play exquisite melodies. I would be radiant with health. The sunlight would glow through my skin. I would walk, I would run, I would dance beneath the budding trees. In the oldest remaining version of the Perse- phone myth, the Sumerian sky goddess Inanna, Queen of Heaven, descends to the underworld and becomes trapped there. As she walks farther in, she is divested of her jewels, her clothes, and finally of her skin. In this darkness, she is no lon- ger defined by her appearance and she becomes nothing and everything. It is not enough to see things only in the light, in the beauty and fertility of the world above ground. She must enter the darkness to attain true wisdom—the wisdom needed to become the Queen of Heaven. When she returns to the light, how much deeper her vision, how much clearer her insights. Things that used to cause so much trouble no longer matter; her vision has fundamentally changed. She is herself, but more herself. Inanna squeezes back into her skin. She checks to make sure everything is as she left it: two legs, two arms, two breasts, two feet and two hands, one face to reflect the radiance of the world. But she finds a small scar where the skin was sewn together again. This she will always wear beneath her clothes, as a token, a reminder of the journey she made. Traced onto this small knot of skin, if she looks closely, she can see in miniature the maze she walked, the path where her feet stumbled occasionally, where she often crawled and sometimes ran, but always forced herself to move forward. She will never forget. Over her scar, over her perfect radiant body, she belts her blue robe. She lays her golden neck- lace over her collarbones so that it suffuses her like the sun. She tucks her feet into embroidered slippers for when she walks this hard earth we live upon. She trims her eyes in kohl to draw other’s eyes to hers, so that window to soul can meet window to soul. On her head she places the crown of stars and she returns to heaven. But part of her remains in the underworld, part of her is always touching the earth, and she knows that she is always everywhere, in everything. ♦ When Inanna returns to the light, how much deeper her vision, how much clearer her insights. She is herself, but more herself.