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 : July 2012
SHAMBHALA SUN JULY 2012 35 For the most part we are running a steady commentary on life. We’re judging, we’re refining, we’re planning, we’re regretting. We tend to run tape loops around anger or resentment, around desire and wanting, around how we think things are or are supposed to be. What if we did just shut up? In Japanese monasteries, a nov- ice monk would have his place in the meditation hall pointed out to him and he’d just go sit there. Shutting up in the external sense would be obvious to him because in old Japanese monas- teries if you got out of hand you could catch a beating. But as for handling those loops of noise inside the head, well, almost nothing is said about that. The invitation here is not to put a complete stop to our thoughts, whether they’re those old tape loops we run over and over, or more creative and possibly even useful thoughts. Truth is, stopping all thought is a biological impossibility. But we can slow it all down. We can stop our thoughts and feelings from grabbing us by the throat. Shutting up is the invitation. Just be quiet. Pay Attention But pay attention to what? Our minds can wander, and wildly. We plan and we regret; we wish for something else. We rarely are simply present. So, how to deal with it? Here’s a start. Take five breath cycles, putting a number on each inhalation and exhalation, counting one as you inhale, two as you exhale and so on to ten. The invitation here is to notice. When you don’t notice—and realize you don’t notice—return to one. Don’t blame yourself. Just return to one. Don’t blame something else. Return to one. Just notice. Just pay attention. Or you allow your attention to ride on the natural breathing without counting. Or you can just pay attention. Many years ago there was an American who made his fortune doing business in East Asia. Financially comfortable, he decided to retire and to enjoy the fruits of his labors. Along the way he’d CHOOSE A QUIET and uplifted place to do your meditation practice. Sit cross-legged on a meditation cushion, or if that’s difficult, sit on a straight-backed chair with your feet flat on the floor, without leaning against the back of the chair. Place your hands palms down on your thighs and take an upright posture with a straight back, relaxed yet dignified. With your eyes open, let your gaze rest comfortably as you look slightly downward about six feet in front of you. Place your attention lightly on your out-breath, while remaining aware of the environment around you. Be with each breath as the air goes out through your mouth and nostrils and dissolves into the space around you. At the end of each out-breath, simply rest until the next breath goes out. For a more focused meditation, you can follow both out-breaths and in-breaths. Whenever you notice that a thought has taken your attention away from the breath, just say to yourself, “thinking,” and return to following the breath. In this context, any thought, feeling, or perception that distracts you is labeled “thinking.” Thoughts are not judged as good or bad. When a thought arises, just gently note it and return your attention to your breath and posture. At the end of your meditation session, bring calm, mindfulness, and openness into the rest of your day. ♦ ➢ page 91 Meditation: Mindfulness