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Lions Roar : September 2014
mentally putting off your practice or not really being engaged in it, though still expecting results. We are there but not really there, and yet we still want something. If we’re feeling lazy, even if we somehow make it to our seat, we’ll spend the session avoiding the basic technique. We don’t have the energy to sit up straight. We can’t practice properly. There is also the dön of ambition. If ambition begins to take over, your mind starts going toward external gain and loss. Instead of doing the meditation technique, you focus on work, your relationship, or your next vacation. Ambition is a sign that we are trying to appease our suffering by thinking that some- thing external will make us happy. That approach is ego-centered and aggressive. It will never appease the suffering; it will always just fire it up. Then there is the dön of delusional meditation. This “fool’s meditation” is based not on the teacher’s instructions on medita- tion or the appropriate subjects for contemplation but on your own personal concoction, your own little meditative brainchild. You can’t possibly know what you are doing because you are just now inventing it. Another dön is envy, and we could include complaint. With this dön, you are not really focused on your own development. You stop working on your own faults and become envious of other people. In particular, you begin to blame others for your faults. The problem with blame and complaint is that it always leads to more blame and complaint. It’s endless; it fosters a con- tinual sense of dissatisfaction. When our mind goes in that kind of loop, we can’t see our own projection. We could consider döns as purely psychological, but these obstacles manifest, and they are not isolated scenarios. One dön arrives, bringing others along; they know how to set up a household. Even when the obstacle is very strong, it is important to keep meditating. Fear can paralyze us. We may sit there and imagine that the obstacle will just disappear, without realizing that we actually have to engage. We have to come out of that fear and start doing something. If you are going up a mountain and there is a rock, you have to move it, go around it, or climb over it. If you are already on top of the mountain, the rock is behind you, so it doesn’t matter. However, if you are meditating and pretending you are on top of the mountain when in fact you are on the path, the rock still blocks your path. You have to relate to it. We shouldn’t be shocked or embarrassed if we find pride or ambition arising. We can gently think, “Hmm, it’s interesting how that happened.” HELP CHILDREN BLOSSOM WITH PARALLAX PRESS BOOKS for parents, educators, and caregivers Teach, Breathe, Learn Complete mindfulness curriculum from an internationally recognized expert. $16.95, paperback | $12.99, ebook Parenting in the Present Moment A clinical social worker shares how to stay present no matter what life throws your way. $16.95, paperback | $12.99, ebook Child’s Mind Mindfulness exercises for children. $16.95, paperback $12.99, ebook Everybody Present Classroom practices to reduce stress and optimize learning. $16.95, paperback $12.99, book Planting Seeds A complete collection of Thich Nhat Hanh’s practices for children. $32.95, paperback $12.99, ebook $16.99, enhanced ebook with music 20% off at parallax.org using discount code SS89CE SHAMBHALA SUN SepteMBer 2014 14