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Lions Roar : January 2013
SHAMBHALA SUN JANUARY 2013 69 I couldn’t admit how afraid I was, not even to myself. My grief was a live thing, strong, dark, and foul. I was sure that, if I turned to face it head-on, I’d be devoured. I sat down to meditate, for the first time in my life, two years after my brother’s death. My practice began as an exercise in stress reduction stripped of spirituality—a successful way to lower blood pressure, the book I was using promised—but it felt like more. After a childhood of turmoil and doubt in the Church; after an adolescence of anger, depression, and athe- ism; after an early adulthood of anxiety, fear, agnosticism, and heavy grief, was I capable of peace? Breathing in I know we both suffer. Breathing out I want us both to have a new chance... Our suffering, A new chance Breathing in I want to be happy. Breathing out I want you to be happy... My happiness, Your happiness Breathing in I see us happy. Breathing out that is all I want... Our happiness, Is all I want. The first time I read these words of Thich Nhat Hanh’s, I pic- tured my brother and I sitting cross-legged, facing each other and holding hands, breathing in and out. Something inside me shifted, and soon I could turn and face my grief. I began to understand that peace wasn’t what I’d thought it was. Peace didn’t mean escaping my feelings—it meant culti- vating the ability to acknowledge and honor them. Even now, nearly a decade later, I still think of my brother when I sit. I picture him across from me, with a smile easier than the one he wore in life, and I know that both of us have found some peace. KELLEY CLINK is a writer and amateur photographer in Chicago. She is currently working on a mem- oir about her brother’s suicide. Occupy Heartbreak MARGARITA MANWELYAN IT’S A WINDY October Wednesday afternoon in 2011, and I am heading down to Liberty Plaza to meditate at the occupa- tion of Wall Street. I feel an ache in the center of my chest and a lump in the back of my throat that I can’t swallow away. It hurts and it hurts and it hurts. The one I loved and trusted has kicked me to the curb: “This is not working for me. Please don’t take it personally.” My pain is real, but this Occupy movement is also real. So I’m taking my aching heart, my eyes puffy from tears, my ambition, my yearning for unity and justice, and I’m hopping the 4 train to the Financial District in Lower Manhattan. Who knows what will happen? It’s a daring escapade: opening to what is, to reality, to the dharma of the here and now. It’s magic and it’s heartache, sharp, tangy, sweet, spicy, and real. Why do I go? Because I care. How do I know? Because it hurts. Tears spring up for the 99%, for the 1%, for myself, for humanity, for farm animals, for lonely companion animals, for endangered wild animals, for fish in the sea, for birds free and captive, for the planet. Our world is tender, raw, hurt, and angry, and yet remains unconditionally loving in this magnifi- cent present moment. We are all in this together. There is much to be done, and somehow that actually feels encouraging. MARGARITA MANWELYAN is a yoga teacher and writer who lives in New York with her dog, Hershey. She is a member of the OWS (Occupy Wall Street) Meditation group. How May I Help You? SOPHIA AGUIÑAGA THANK YOU FOR CALLING. How many in your party? I’ll need your insurance information. Our special today is lemon cream custard. Do you have an appointment? Your photos will be ready in an hour. Let me know if you need another size. Blush and foundation are on sale through Monday. These shoes have clearly been worn outside. Are you saying PHOTOBYOLGATIMOFEYEVPHOTOBYMATTCLINK