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Lions Roar : May 2012
SHAMBHALA SUN MAY 2012 28 the honeybee should make honey. When you experience each thought in its completeness, the energy of the thought arises and dissolves in its own place. Therefore, you do not need to tamper with your thoughts. Further elaboration causes bewilderment and confusion. When the energy of each thought is complete and independent, it is liberated upon arising and leaves no trace. If you cannot see the nature of each thought as complete and independent, it is because you are attached to the “I” and what the “I” creates. When you think, “I am going to do this,” you cre- ate continuity for the “I.” If you think, “I want this,” you mentally select one button, and if you think, “I want that,” you select the next button. There is no space for each thought to be complete and independent because you are thriving on the illusion of con- tinuity. One could say that an independent thought is natural energy that is fresh, vivid awareness. It is not dependent upon further support. When you follow your thoughts in pursuit of an illusory “I,” your entanglement with each thought enslaves you. This mental confusion compels you to follow the first thought with a second thought, the second thought with a third thought, and so on, and so on. Therefore, each thought does not exist independently. We write our own story based on an illusory self. Bound in an endless chain of confused thoughts, we suffer in a vicious cycle of misery, which we call samsara. Samsara is the state of unen- lightened ignorance. Unaware of the pure nature of mind and experience, one is helplessly controlled by disturbing emotions and karma, and one experiences an endless stream of mental and physical stress and suffering. During the practice of meditation, we experience gaps in the flow of thoughts, and this space allows us to relax and loosen the grip of entrenched habits and reactive behavior. Glimpses of space in our mental landscape slowly free us from a tangled web of discursive thoughts and allow us to live more fully in the luminous present. Meditation is an effective tool for breaking free of deep-seated habits. Other methods, such as those offered in some self-help books, attempt to replace negative habits with positive thinking, but this does not address the real source of the problem. If we wish to free ourselves from our habits, the most effective approach is to ask ourselves, “Who is bound by habit, and how do these habits originate?” The frequently quoted metaphor of the lion and the dog During the practice of meditation, we experience gaps in the flow of thoughts. These glimpses of space in our mental landscape slowly free us from the tangled web of discursive thoughts and allow us to live more fully in the luminous present. To order audio and videotapes of PEMA CHödröN‘s teachings: Great Path Tapes: (269) 384-4167 firstname.lastname@example.org Gampo abbey a western buddhist monastery in the shambhala tradition (902) 224-2752 • email@example.com www.gampoabbey.org resident program • Temporary ordinaTion accepting applications for next entry in april, June, september 2012 SoliTA ry rETrE AT S retreat cabins available for 10 days or longer iN-HoUSE rETrEATS one or two weeks in June, July, august 2012