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Lions Roar : September 2014
PHOTOBYPATITUCCIPHOTO kind of confidence, there is naturally a sense of vibrancy. With the second kind of pride—ordinary pride, the dön of pride—as much as you practice, your mind remains ordinary. In addition, as you practice, questions and doubts about others’ realization arise, whether that of another practitioner or the teacher. Your mind fills up with this discursiveness about others’ realization because no realization is occurring for you. Arrogantly demoting others becomes the only way to protect your ordinariness. Next comes the dön of good old laziness. Obviously there are many categories of laziness. The outer ones—common lazi- ness, disheartenment, and busyness—can keep us from ever even reaching the cushion. There is also laziness in the sense of In medItAtIon, We Are on a jour- ney from here to whatever we are trying to accomplish, be it mindfulness, peace, or compassion. We are developing the ability to have a fuller experience of our lives. But as we gain understanding and insight, there is a buildup of residue, which in Tibetan we call döns, or obsta- cles. An obstacle is something that cuts the line of our intention. If, while sitting in meditation with the motivation of ben- efiting others, we realize we are thinking about work, then obviously our intention has been cut. We are no longer on our intended journey. The tricky thing is that we don’t always know when obstacles are arising. To detect them, we have to know our mind and our intention. The point is to be vigilant as we practice. As we settle our mind through meditation, any kind of imperfection in our character becomes stronger. With awareness, we can manifest our own genuineness about any obstacle we face. Intention is important. The first obstacle is fame. If you have a little ambition for fame, it can become stronger, and you can find yourself not actu- ally practicing for your own peace or for the welfare of others but to be known as a wise and spiritual person who meditates a lot. The next dön is pride or arrogance. There are two kinds of pride. The first is confidence in one’s buddhanature. With this Sakyong mipham rinpoche’s most recent book is The Sham- bhala Principle: Discovering Humanity’s Hidden Treasure. Obstacles on the Path If there’s a rock in your path, you have to move it, go around it, or climb over it. The same is true in meditation, says Sakyong mipham. You can’t just pretend obstacles aren’t there. You have to relate to them. SHAMBHALA SUN SepteMBer 2014 13