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Lions Roar : September 2013
SubScriber ServiceS Subscribe • Renew Pay an invoice • Give a Gift Purchase back issues Change your address Inquire about a subscription Replace a missing issue Online easy, quick, and secure Visit Subscriber Services at www.shambhalasun.com or www.thebuddhadharma.com Call toll-fRee 11:30 am – 8 pm et weekdays 1-877-786-1950 overseas: 01-760-317-2362 fax: 1-760-738-4805 email: email@example.com or thebuddhadharma.com Mail: Po Box 469095, escondido, Ca 92046–9095 Privacy notice: Subscribers may receive offers from organizations we believe may be of interest to our readers. Contact us if you wish to be excluded from such mailings. Shambhala Sun Foundation An independent, nonprofit corporation. Publishers of the Shambhala Sun and Buddhadharma: The Practitioner’s Quarterly. Mark Epstein Thursday, September 19 Joseph Goldstein Sunday, November 3 Rick Hanson Saturday, October 12 Gloria Taraniya Ambrosia Sunday, November 17 www.nyimc.org 28 West 27th Street, 10th Floor New York, NY 10001 212.213.4802 • firstname.lastname@example.org Here are some things I learned that morning. Exercise. It is good for body and soul. Meditation is good too. No surprises there. I’m not telling you anything new. But I was also struck by a few old-fashioned insights embedded in the Dalai Lama’s morning routine. Nothing earth-shattering, but it was good to see them as lived experiences. The first is self-control and all that it implies: delayed grati- fication, discipline, perseverance. The second is habit. Forming an unvarying routine helps create sustainability and success in everything we want to do. The third is the gratification that comes from giving, from being helpful to others. These are all practical, proven strategies we can use to make our lives more successful, more flourishing. The deepest insight presented itself fleetingly when I was on the roof with His Holiness. Even now I glimpse only its sketchiest con- tours. I don’t expect that the two of you can relate to it easily at this time, but it is worth keeping at the back of your mind. It was on that roof that I got a brief sense of interdependence and its significance. The Dalai Lama was in a reflective state of mind, and he hardly spoke to me. But those few minutes in the chilly predawn touched me with unexpected intensity. I intuited his powerful and very real connection to everything At Home with the Dalai Lama continued from page 37 around him, a connection that transcends thought. I was reminded of an earlier interview I had with him. He had told me about something he’d experienced when he was in his late twenties. Whenever he looked at something—a table, a chair, another person—it was as if it had no substance, no physi- cal essence. There was an “absence of solid reality,” the Dalai Lama told me. Seeing that I was nonplussed, he elaborated. “Those moments like picture show, like watching TV or movie. It is especially like watching a movie. Feeling something real going on, but at the same time, while your eyes looking there, your mind knows it is mere picture. Only acting, not real.” This way of seeing, this subtle perception of reality, is the bed- rock of the Dalai Lama’s spirituality. He knows, cognitively as well as experientially, that everything is subject to the law of imperma- nence and that our existence depends on a complex web of rela- tions. It is as if his personal boundaries have dissolved. As a result, he feels a profound kinship with everything and everyone. Lina and Kira, this sums up what went through my mind about that morning. I will always remember those few hours I spent with the Dalai Lama. He didn’t give me any wisdom teach- ings, not in the usual sense. He ignored me most of the time. But as you can tell, I learned a few things of some importance— things that are not easy to express in words. With much affection, your daddy. ♦ SHAMBHALA SUN SEPTEMBER 2013 67