using the arrow buttons.
by clicking on the page.
the page around when zoomed in by dragging it.
the zoom using the slider when zoomed-in.
by clicking on the zoomed-in page.
by entering text in the search field, and select "This Issue" or "All Issues"
by clicking on thumbnails to select pages, and then press the print button.
displays sections with thumbnails and descriptions.
displays a slider of thumbnails. Click on a page to jump.
allows you to browse the full archive.
about your subscription?
Lions Roar : July 2006
SHAMBHALA SUN JULY 2006 17 THE BUDDHA SAID, “Within your own mind, you already have what you need to succeed—the ability to put others ahead of yourself. This is called virtue, the wish-fulfilling jewel.” Whatever our situation, we can use virtue to make our life meaningful, strong, and happy. In the Tibetan tradition, “vir- tue” doesn’t have a heavily moralistic or religious overtone. Rather, it comes from our determination to develop the wis- dom to clearly see how the world works, and the compassion to always hold the welfare of others in mind. Virtue is a reflection of buddhanature, basic goodness, our own enlightenment, which is revealed through the process of meditation. When we meditate, we are becoming familiar with our nature. That is what meditation practice is. And as we be- come familiar with that view, we need orientation, so we con- template a topic that will help spark virtuous activity in our day. This is how we bring our practice into experience. Our life is a constant mixture of view, meditation, and ac- tion. Even though we may think that we don’t meditate, we are always meditating on something, developing a view or attitude that helps build the foundation for our actions. In this dark age, our everyday meditation seems to have convinced us that we are going to have a good time in samsara. We’ve built up a logic that aggression and desire will get us what we want. We’re so certain in this view that when we find suffering instead, we are irritated, shocked, and angry. We’re sure that something we desire will alleviate this pain, so we struggle harder to find hap- piness. But desire for the self is itself a nonvirtuous action. It’s as if we’re trying to cure poison ivy with poison oak. If you look at samsara closely, at a certain point you see the futility. That is what we are doing when we are meditating. The Buddha taught the view of karma: virtue begets happiness and nonvirtue begets suffering. Ultimately, karma and virtue are il- lusory, but so are stubbing our toe, winning the lottery, ending a marriage, eating ice cream, being born, and dying. According to the basic laws of cause and effect, we must engage in virtuous activity to bring about true success—spiritual and worldly. If we help others—even think of helping others—we will quickly and effortlessly become successful. Virtue creates stability in our life—happiness we can depend on. Inside, I think we understand this principle of virtue and nonvirtue. Instinctively, we know what feels good. There’s a natural wish to help others. However, we are fickle in our belief about virtue. Sometimes we are inspired to do something good, and at other times we are not. Then we seek the comfort of our habitual tendencies, forgetting about virtue. The Wish-Fulfilling Jewel Virtue, says SAKYONG MIPHAM RINPOCHE, is like the legendary jewel that fulfills all our wishes. By meditating on and practicing the virtues of wisdom and compassion, we make our lives meaningful, happy, and successful. Within our discursiveness, we are perpetually looking for something that will make us happy. This is a sign that our in- telligence, wisdom, and enlightenment are always present. In- stinctively we know that there is satisfaction to be found; we just don’t know where to look for it. We may use the word “irri- tating” to describe our day, because we are not finding the level of satisfaction that we want. We don’t understand that the very nature of samsara is dissatisfaction. As soon as we fixate on the self, we have attachment; we need to protect it. That leads to aggression or desire, which leads to acting out of ignorance that we can make “me” happy. This is like living in a house with no foundation: we’re mistaking confused emotions as the basis of our being. Yet, like fools, we keep building and building on the unsteady ground of the belief that trying to satisfy our attach- ment will bring happiness. As long as we are seeking satisfac- tion where there is none, we will always be irritated. According to the meditation tradition, this pattern darkens our consciousness. Our windhorse—the ability to bring about long life, good health, and success—diminishes. Happiness becomes scarce, because self-absorption depletes our life force. When we get angry, not only do we make bad karma—from ILLUSTRATIONBYMOLLYNUDELL