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Lions Roar : July 2012
SHAMBHALA SUN JULY 2012 60 My topic, the actual topic I was asked to write about, is genu- ineness. Genuine is a term that is bandied about quite a lot these days, and it can mean many things, depending on the context. Through my search engine, I found that a lot of advertising com- panies use the word genuine in the title of their companies and websites. Suspicious. I also noticed that popular searches with genuine as the first word were mainly for car parts. If you’re going to drive an automobile, you would like it to have genuine parts, I’m sure. But this was not what I associate with genuine- ness in spiritual practice. On the other hand, my word processor tells me that syn- onyms for genuine include real, authentic, indisputable, true, unadulterated, actual, legitimate, and valid. As far as the practice of meditation is concerned, these sound pretty good. I would definitely like my meditation to be real, authentic, indisputable, true, unadulterated, actual, legitimate, and valid. Okay, so how are we going to achieve that? And what are the pitfalls? Simple. To be genuine, you have to be honest with your- self first, and then with others. Don’t make anything up. Just do it. Just be it. It’s pretty straightforward. But being honest with yourself is not so easy. There’s a little thing called self-deception that gets in the way. Now that we’ve introduced that scary word, self-deception, we have our work cut out for us. In the realm of overcoming self- deception, it’s probably better to have no goal in your practice, but that’s a very difficult thing. Since meditation actually works, it’s hard not to have a goal. It actually does make you kinder, more aware, less speedy, happier, more mindful, more efficient, more peaceful, more in the moment, and so on. I’m not belittling these. They are important and valid outcomes of meditation. There are many studies and self-reports that support this. I’m a fan, a true believer. But this doesn’t specifically address genuineness. In fact, when it comes to being genuine, it may be better to have one of those definite but perhaps limited purposes and let genuineness, which is all-pervasive, take care of itself. Indeed, unwittingly, you do manifest genuineness through the practice of meditation. You become more transparent and available to yourself, your thoughts are less fixed, you discover both natural CAROLYN ROSE GIMIAN is a senior editor of the works of the late Chögyam Trungpa Rinpoche, including The Collected Works of Chögyam Trungpa and Smile at Fear: Awakening the True Heart of Brav- e r y. She is currently working on a book of mindfulness teachings by Chögyam Trungpa.