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Lions Roar : May 2012
SHAMBHALA SUN MAY 2012 82 Chögyam Trungpa Rinpoche used to say—we can just go ahead in spite of our fear of loss. If freedom means letting things go, what might you have to give up? Your belief that you are small or no good. Your favorite pair of worn out shoes. Your knowledge about what’s going to hap- pen to you. Your precious golden ring that makes you invisible but will destroy you if you don’t destroy it. The thought that your suffering tells you who you are. Your favorite color. Your judgments about yourself. The Buddhist idea is that if you catch the bias of delusion, you can reset the mind. You might be driving over a bridge and suddenly the sight of the bay and all that water opens a vastness in your mind. Kahneman shows no evidence of being interested in such openings, but his inquiry encourages them. Meditation is built to defeat inner bias and to make us susceptible to such resetting. There is a vast inertia in the fear of los- ing things. Maybe the greatest achieve- ment is to throw away something small, like the thought “I have already made up my mind about what is possible.” In med- itation, it’s not such a great effort to get from one thought to the next or from one way of being to the next. Ideas about how the world is constructed start to slip away. It’s not hard to step out of your idea of you. And perhaps you don’t need to shop for a better version. In deep meditation the devices come apart and we don’t mind one little bit. And when we put the world back together, after we have been free, events don’t exist in the same way—the glue doesn’t hold, the habits are slow to return. The world is refreshed after you have meditated. In the end, deconstruction might lead to joy. Kahneman gives the reader quite a ride. It’s exhilarating and humbling to see the science behind his work, the reality of the limitations of our beautiful minds. It’s refreshing too to be surprised and to recog- nize, “Yes, my mind is like that.” To see our limits is to begin to see through them and Kahneman’s humility turns out to be com- passionate. It’s worth the ticket price. ♦ Graduate Education at the Frontier of Psychology and Spirituality At ITP we are asking the important questions. Join us and earn your degree. Can higher consciousness be measured? Psy.D. | Ph.D. | M.A . | Certificate Online and On Campus Learning Spiritually-oriented Clinical Psychology Transpersonal Psychology • Counseling (MFT) Women’s Spirituality • Education and Research Coaching • Spiritual Guidance • Creative Expression www.itp.edu • 650-493-4430