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 : November 2012
SHAMBHALA SUN NOVEMBER 2012 46 Bodhichitta is also a trust in our innate ability to go beyond bias, beyond prejudice and fixed opinions, and open our hearts to everyone: those we like, those we don’t like, those we don’t even notice, those we may never meet. Bodhichitta counteracts our tendency to stay stuck in very narrow thinking. It counteracts our resistance to change. This degree of openness arises from the trust that we all have basic goodness and that we can interact with one another in ways that bring that out. Instead of reacting aggressively when we’re provoked, end- lessly perpetuating the cycle of pain, we trust that we can engage with others from a place of curiosity and caring and in that way contact their innate decency and wisdom. Someone sent me a poem that seems to capture the essence of the warrior commitment. Called “Birdfoot’s Grampa,” the poem is about a boy and his grandfather who are driving on a country road in a rainstorm. The grandfather keeps stopping the car and getting out to scoop up handfuls of toads that are all over the road and then deposit them safely at the roadside. After the twenty-fourth time he’s done this, the boy loses patience and tells his grandfather, “you can’t save them all / accept it, get back in / we’ve got places to go.” And the grandfather, knee deep in wet grass, his hands full of toads, just smiles at his grandson and says, “they have places to go to / too.” What a clear illustration of how the commitment to care for all beings everywhere works. The grand- father didn’t mind stopping for the twenty-fourth time, didn’t mind getting wet to save the toads. He also didn’t mind the impatience of his grandson, because he was very clear in his mind that the frogs had as much desire to live as he did. The aspiration of this commitment is huge. But whether we’re making it for the very first time or we’re renewing it for the umpteenth time, we start exactly where we are now. We’re either closer to the grandson or closer to the grandfather, but wherever we are, that’s where we start. It’s said that when we make this commitment, it sows a seed deep in our unconscious, deep in our mind and heart, that never goes away. This seed is a catalyst that jump-starts our inherent capacity for love and compassion, for empathy, for seeing the sameness of us all. So we make the commitment, we sow the seed, then do our best never to harden our heart or close our mind to anyone. It’s not easy to keep this vow, of course. But every time we break it, what’s important is that we recog- nize that we’ve closed someone out, that we’ve dis- tanced ourselves from someone, that we’ve turned someone into the Other, the one on the opposite side of the fence. Often we’re so full of righteous indig- nation, so charged up, that we don’t even see that we’ve been triggered. But if we’re fortunate, we real- ize what’s happened—or it’s pointed out to us—and we acknowledge to ourselves what we’ve done. Then we simply renew our commitment to stay open to others, aspiring to start fresh. Some people like to read or recite an inspiring verse as part of renewing their commitment. One we could use is the verse from Shantideva’s classic work, The Way of the Bodhisattva, that is traditionally repeated to reaffirm the intention to benefit others: PHOTOBYDAVIDHORNBACK/MILLENNIUMIMAGES.UK The commitment to take care of one another is not about being perfect. It’s about sowing the seeds that predispose our heart to expand without limit, that predispose us to awaken.