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Lions Roar : May 2007
SHAMBHALA SUN MAY 2007 75 see who is right in front of you, even your own friends and family. If you wait until you think safety has been established, at that point it’s already too late, because that holding back is actually what creates fear. The antidote is to open yourself first. By making yourself vulnerable, you re- duce fear within you, and between you and other people. HOW NOT TO BE AFRAID OF YOUR OWN LIFE: CONFIDENCE With this knowledge comes genuine confi- dence and the chance to be who you really are, all the time. Paradoxically, this con- fidence makes you shaky. If I was hoping that confidence meant always feeling cer- tain that I was not ridiculous, then I was wrong. Instead, confidence is the willing- ness to be as ridiculous—not to mention luminous, intelligent, and kind—as you really are, without embarrassment. This type of confidence encompasses every- thing in your life that’s great and every- thing that’s a wreck. It requires, runs on, results in, and is composed of a kind of deep vulnerability. You’re stuck without any certainty whatsoever. Viewed one way, this vulnerability looks remarkably like instability, but in another way it looks like intelligence. If you want to see if this is really true, fall in love. I often tell my husband that if I had known I was going to love him this much, I never would have married him (and I’m not kidding). The more thickly entwined our lives have become, the more uniquely precious the relationship seems in both its profound and silly aspects, and the more clearly I see that I am going to lose it someday. Whether you like it or not, the more you open, the more you love and the more you have to lose. You dig and dig for a way to safeguard against losing what is most dear, but you can’t find one, and that just makes you love all the more. There is so little time! I don’t know why loving some- one makes you think about dying all the time, but it does. If someone had told me that this whole marriage thing would be Mingyur Rinpoche will be teaching across North America March to August 2007. For his full teaching schedule, visit www.mingyur.org. To learn about his summer retreat at Garrison Institute, visit www.garrisoninstitute.org. With a foreword by bestselling author Daniel Goleman, The Joy of Living reveals the scientific basis for how we can achieve enlightenment, relaxation, and happiness through meditation “The first of its kind... a truly compelling and infinitely practical fusion of Tibetan Buddhism and scientific ideas.” —SOGYAL RINPOCHE “An extraordinarily clear book on the whys and the hows of cultivating mindfulness effectively in our lives.” —JON KABAT-ZINN HARMONY BOOKS *** Available wherever books are sold March 6, 2007 In prose at once charming and richly informed, with many—often humorous—examples, internationally renowned Tibetan Buddhist master YONGEY MINGYUR RINPOCHE teaches us his cele- brated methods for changing the direction of our thoughts and perceptions to transform our experiences. ***