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Lions Roar : May 2007
SHAMBHALA SUN MAY 2007 109 If we don’t put on the armor of the bodhi- sattvas who willingly embrace others’ in- gratitude, happiness will never come to those in cyclic existence. Therefore, willingly accept all that is undesirable. If we see that it is our response to dif- ficulties that determines what kind of im- pact they have on our lives, we’ll naturally begin to move toward a more meaning- ful engagement with our lives as they are. For example, blaming ourselves about our negative habits and mistakes often causes more unhappiness than the actual situa- tion. It is also important to learn from the mistakes of others, so that we don’t repeat their errors and compound our own con- fusion. If we think somebody has done something reprehensible, rather than blaming that person, we should pay atten- tion to our own behavior and resolve not to imitate such actions. We may be con- stantly enraged by other people’s behav- iors, but if we examine our own respons- es, we’ll often find that we’ve acted in the same way ourselves, but with a more le- nient explanation of our own behavior. Keeping things in perspective through honest introspection is the way to heed the lojong emphasis on refraining from fixa- tion on others. We’ll then view the behav- ior of others more objectively and open up the possibility of learning something positive from them. Each of us has our own karmic history and has to suffer the karmic consequences of our actions—no- body gets away with anything. It is fruit- less to set ourselves up as the arbiters of other people’s actions, making judgments about what they do. This doesn’t mean that we shouldn’t take an interest in so- cial issues, only that we should maintain our spiritual perspective. The only thing we really have any control over is our own experience, and this control is reinforced by learning how to deal with difficult cir- cumstances and situations without anger or bitterness. Chandrakirti states: If you respond with anger when another harms you, Does your wrath remove the harm inflicted? Resentment surely serves no purpose in