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Lions Roar : March 2007
SHAMBHALA SUN MARCH 2007 20 of my way,” or “What a strange haircut,” we can make our whole day into practice. No matter how much time we’re putting in on the cushion, we will always be practicing. Contemplative practice is not based on belief, but on intrinsic confidence and understanding. The Tibetan word for confidence is ziji. A person with ziji has dignity, the radiant power of a mind that has relaxed into its own inherent strength. With such a mind we are content, because we trust ourselves. We’re satisfied. Espe- cially in this modern culture, we often feel we don’t have enough; we need more to be complete. But if we haven’t learned what is enough, then even when we have enough, we will not know it. The mind of ziji knows that we have plenty. In Tibet, we say that the pleasure of a king and a beggar are the same. It doesn’t matter if you’re rich or poor—the determining factor of success and happiness is contentment. Working with our mind through meditation, and then taking that mindfulness and compassion into the world, doesn’t mean we’re always go- ing to get the perfect parking spot, or that everything will be on sale wherever we go. There are always going to be hassles. But if we start each day with meditation, then we are prepared to face the hassles. We will no longer take suffering as an insult—“Why me?” We will know that we can either crumble beneath unfortunate events, or we can use our powerful mind to rise above them. If our mind and heart are fully present in what- ever we are doing, our lives have meaning. There’s a sense of fulfillment. But if, at the end of the day, we lack a sense of internal satisfaction, life feels empty. At those times when we feel that there is no meaning, what has really happened is that our growth and curiosity have stopped. We’ve forgotten about love and compassion. Learning to balance the worldly with the spiritual has nothing to do with vocation and everything to do with intention. Can we feel comfortable in our own mind and heart? Every morning, we need to contemplate what we’re going to do in our life today and how we will grow by benefiting those around us. We need to give ourselves the opportunity to foster a sense of love and care. Compassion and love are not simply a feeble response to hard times. If we have compassion and love for everyone—all beings—beyond the notion of friend and enemy, all our wishes will be fulfilled. With this kind of confidence, the basis of true happiness is ours. ♦ SAKYONG MIPHAM RINPOCHE is spiritual director of Shambhala, an international network of meditation and retreat centers. He is the author of Turning Your Mind into an Ally and Ruling Your World. Zen Clocks awaken you gently and gracefully with a gradually increasing, ten-minute progression of acoustic chimes or gongs— they make waking up in the morning an exquisite experience. Instead of artificial recorded sounds, Zen clocks wake you with natural acoustic tones, and each clock is housed in a natural wood case. The Zen Clock's chimes or gongs also serve as aesthetically sophisticated timers for meditation or yoga practice, and they strike on the hour, serving as tools for “mindfulness.” Once you use a Zen Clock, nothing else will do. Prices range from $99 to $149. New Zen Timepiece—bowl-gong alarm clock & timer Popular Digital Zen Clock & timer (800) 779-6383 • WWW.NOW-ZEN.COM Every morning, we need to contemplate what we’re going to do in our life today and how we will grow by benefiting those around us.