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 : September 2012
SHAMBHALA SUN SEPTEMBER 2012 47 The Animal Realm and the Stress of Habit In the animal realm, you establish habits of stability that are boring and repetitive, but you lack the imagination to do any- thing else and are afraid to change. You are set in your ways and find new ideas threatening. You might have glimmers of inspi- ration to change, but laziness and inertia drag you down. You would like not to be stuck, but you keep doing the same things over and over again nonetheless. You are fueled by ignorance and are afraid to rock the boat or to venture out from what is famil- iar, even if it is unsatisfactory. You create bureaucracies with incomprehensibly mindless reg- ulations and procedures. A person in this realm may seem to be calm and stable, but this is not true stability. It is more like a pillowy buffer pro- tecting them from facing the energy and intensity of life. The stuck quality of the animal realm is a refuge of sorts. However, it begins to feel very heavy and depressing, and you are afraid that this will never change. The stress of this realm is not sharp but dull. Your hab- its of body and mind seem completely solid and invincible. There is a frozen, mind-numbing energy. Murky as this is, there are occasional openings when something sharp comes through. You begin to recognize how painful it is, which is driven home by the negativity and fallout your ignorance has created around you. The Hungry Ghost Realm and the Stress of Never Having Enough In the hungry ghost realm, you want more and more, yet never get enough. No matter how many riches you accu- mulate, you still feel poor. There is always more money, more power, more gravitas you could acquire. If you can’t play with the big boys, you no longer know who you are. You are fueled by greed and are always hungry. Without all your things around you, you begin to feel naked, so you pile on more and more. There is a kind of delight in having the most and the best, but there is no stop- ping point and no real contentment, no matter how much you have. In the hungry ghost realm, there is a painful contrast between inner poverty and outer richness. The need to satisfy that inner hunger can come to dominate your life, but it is possible to break that pattern and bring the inner world and outer world into greater balance, so that your appreciation of outer wealth is matched by the recognition of your inner richness. The Hell Realm and the Stress of Eternal Warfare In the hell realm, you are always enraged. You find enemies everywhere, and you are always fighting. You are always on edge, ready to defend yourself or to lash out. You are afraid that if you relax, you will be threatened or destroyed, so you strike first if you can. You are either red hot or ice cold. Fueled by hatred, you create wars and conflicts both large and small. You are fearful and in pain, like a cornered rat, and all you can do is attack. This mix of resentment, pain, and anger makes it hard to even breathe. Seeing the world in terms of us and them, for us and against us, keeps fueling this anger and warfare. But there are moments when you are not caught in those polarities. Rather than living on a battlefield, you begin to open to the textures and nuances of your experience. THE THREE CULPRITS Underlying all these styles of stress—the engine that keeps them going—is a gang of three culprits. They are: ego fixation, emo- tional grasping, and habitual actions. If you look into your anger, poverty mentality, competitiveness, or greed, you will find them there. If you examine how you continually cycle between hope and fear, you will find they are the cause. This threesome is like an internal Mafia to which we pay protec- tion money daily. Once we lose our sense of the whole and identify with this one little part, which we label “me,” “myself,” or “I,” there will be conflict and struggle. In order to prop up and defend that “I,” we need to apply our arsenal of negativity: our grasping, ignor- ing, hating, and all the rest. And once those energies are unleashed, we start doing stupid and harmful actions. For those actions, we reap consequences, and once again the cycle is set up, as we react to those consequences in the same harmful manner. Hungry Ghost Realm Animal Realm Hell Realm PHOTOS:SKOPAL,ARENACREATIVE,THOMASPERKINS/DREAMSTIME.COM