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Lions Roar : July 2006
SHAMBHALA SUN JULY 2006 25 Located on 100 acres of private open space, this is the perfect Colorado retreat. Experience this very private, yet easily accessible location; 25 minutes to Boulder and 1 hour to the Shambhala Mt. Center. 4000+ SF with main floor master suite. Let this elegant energy efficient home fill you with the calm quiet of Colorado. Offered at $644,000. Contact Angela McCormick, Re/Max of Boulder, Inc. email: amccormick@ boulderco.com or 800-825-7000. GOrGEOuS CuStOM hOME set against a backdrop of sandstone cliffs in Lyons Colorado can dissipate rather quickly. In this sense, relationships and dharma practice have a lot in common. Both begin with falling in love and then seek to stabilize a form. The forms we observe in committed re- lationships may vary in outward appear- ance, as do bowing styles and shrine or- naments, but whether we’re sitting down to meditate or to fight with our spouse about how laundry should be folded, fol- lowing proper etiquette helps us to settle in. At the beginning, we try to recall our intentions and the instructions. We take our seat in a way that admits to both our dedication and our confusion. Most im- portant, we acknowledge our gratitude for having fallen in love and being cracked open in any form whatsoever. The longer we practice in relationship to- gether, the more the heat builds. Sometimes the energy is warm; other times it burns. Still, there is only one thing to practice: gentleness, fearlessness, and the deepening of compas- sion for self and other. I have unshakable confidence in this truth. Nevertheless, I pray that my faith holds, and that strange cir- cumstances don’t arise to pull me away from my meditation cushion or my husband. Of course, there are no guarantees. The more that time goes by, the more I realize how hard it is to hold any form at all, how straightforward the antidotes sound, and how difficult it is to apply them. One of our Buddhist chant books contains a liturgy with these lines: “The secret gate is easily missed and so it is diffi- cult to understand things clearly. Without the higher perceptions, once cannot realize who is at fault.” What makes me cry every time I read these lines is that I know I lack the higher perceptions. I know the secret gate is right in front of me, but that I can’t see it, and in my blindness I increase my own and others’ confusion. I’m not sure if my tears are for all sentient beings or just for Duncan, because he lives with some- one who continually forgets how to love. So whenever I start to ask myself if living with a “non-practitioner” might be cause for concern, I try to remember how diffi- cult it is to understand things clearly. Then I can let us both off the hook, come back, and try again to find the secret gate. ♦