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Lions Roar : July 2014
W e are constantly thwarted by our own expectations. for most of us, fantasizing about how things “should be” is a constant source of anguish. We wish our parents, our children, our friends, our jobs, our own health, and even the person standing in line in front of us at the grocery store would be just so. We often bring this hard-headed mindset to meditation. We may have had the romantic idea that meditation was about sitting in a candlelit, quiet room and “emptying” the mind of all of its conceptual thoughts, bringing us calm and blissful feelings. Meditation actually offers something much more revolutionary. If we do it right, it gives us new eyes, new senses, and a new world. It opens us up to a part of our own mind we’ve never seen or experienced before. If we have begun practicing the Vajrayana tradition seriously, we have probably found that this revolutionary approach entails much more than just sitting quietly in a dim room. Almost all Vajrayana meditation practice includes some component of visualiza- tion practice. It is also called “generation stage practice” (Tib. skyed rim) because we gen- erate each aspect of a particular visualization in stages, honing our ability to focus and concentrate with each stage. Generation stage practice can seem contradictory to our expectations. first, we might think that certain parts of Vajrayana Buddhism associated with this style of meditation anyen rinpoChe is a master in the Dzogchen tradition of Vajrayana Buddhism and the founder of Orgyen Khamdroling Dharma Center in Denver. He and allison choying Zangmo have coauthored five books, including Dying with Confidence and The Tibetan Yoga of Breath. Visualization Developing Pure Perception We visualize deities to connect with their enlightened energy, purity, and sacredness, which is our own nature as well. anyen rinpoche and allison choying Zangmo teach us how to visualize Avalokiteshvara, the embodiment of perfect compassion. Image of four-armed Avalokiteshvara, which is visualized in this practice PhoToBYWALkeRBLAINe/CouRTeSYofRIGoNThuPTeNMINDRoLLINGMoNASTeRY,oRISSA,INDIA SHAMBHALA SUN JULy 2014 57