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 23 the rest of the house. My husband and stepson tiptoed and low- ered their voices when they passed by. Was I becoming a stranger in my own home? I began to seriously question our relationship. What if, say, I wanted to go study with a particular teacher but this guy held me back? What if the responsibilities of being in a relationship interfered with my path and he couldn’t even understand why? How long before our lives simply took us in different directions? Most important, and this was the big one, how could we accom- pany each other as we aged and died? During this time I ran to the shrine room a lot, trying to come back to my breath. Here’s the funny part. As I was asking these questions, Duncan didn’t freak out and run away. He hung in there with me and we asked the questions together. Each time I got scared, angry, or huffy, he came back to me. Sure, he had his own fear, anger, and sense of entitlement. We had (and continue to have) really big fights. But somehow he always comes back from them, too, quite openheartedly. So I started to. Eventually I stopped running to my shrine room to hide. One day I looked around and realized that I was living in a practice environment and that it had hap- pened in spite of the fact that I was making such a big deal about needing it to happen. I’ve been lucky, though. I have practitioner friends in similar situations, but there’s a very different vibe. It’s really not working for them, and if their relationships end it might not be such a bad thing. I’ve noticed that sangha relationships don’t necessar- ily fare any better—in fact, there can be special difficulties. Love is very, very uncomfortable. It’s easy to go off on retreat to avoid putting one’s feet to the fire of relationship. Dharma language and practice can be used to avoid coming back to each other, whether physically or otherwise, and to cover up normal, every- day emotional puniness. I’ve heard friends accuse each other of being “mired in con- ceptuality” when really they’re just irritated with each other. Or they say, “Your maitri practice is weak,” when what they mean is, “I need some attention right now.” I try to convince my husband that his reactions to my bad habits are simply a projection of his mind, and that my angry words are a form of wrathful wisdom. It really doesn’t work. He just looks at me like I’m crazy, which is ac- tually quite helpful. And I make myself laugh when I notice how quickly my compassion for all beings disappears when he’s left his stuff all over the bedroom floor. Not that anyone has to be a saint or anything, but it’s a lot easier to study love than to practice it. I’m not saying that it doesn’t make any difference whether or not your partner shares your path. It does. It really does. Un- derstanding the powerful and precarious nature of the journey might enable you to hold and support each other in just the right way. When I meet couples who share a dharmic tribal code, it looks so wonderful and I get envious. But the parts of life that are most mysterious and uncontrollable, like falling in love, like dying, call for you to open completely in any case, without knowing why. Staying open requires practice. Practice requires a container, a particular place or routine without which the energy