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Lions Roar : May 2007
SHAMBHALA SUN MAY 2007 110 this life And brings adversity in lives to come. The Skillful Means of Absolute Bodhichitta Sometimes we generate too much emo- tion in our lojong practices and run the risk of being overwhelmed. We become so absorbed in our feelings about others that we are swamped by sadness and help- lessness and end up thinking, “There’s so much suffering out there; I just can’t do anything about it.” If these negative feel- ings become too strong, they might be- come injurious to our lojong practice, so we have to counterbalance that tendency by focusing on the perspective of absolute bodhichitta. This equilibrium between absolute and relative bodhichitta under- lies the lojong teachings and is the frame- work for Mahayana Buddhism in general. As Atisha points out, skillful means and wisdom are the two essential ingredients for overcoming conditioned existence: Wisdom without skillful means And skillful means, too, without wisdom Are referred to as bondage. Therefore do not give up either. In the Buddhist teachings, the no- tions of both love and compassion are infused with the qualities of detachment and equanimity. If we lose sight of that relationship, we may begin to think that equanimity and compassion are com- pletely different states of mind, or that it’s impossible to have loving feelings when we are dwelling in a state of detachment. Detachment doesn’t equal indifference, and equanimity doesn’t mean we don’t experience any emotion at all. We are simply trying to combine the two in order to maintain a sense of equilibrium in our emotional responses. The Mahayana mas- ters all say that a blending of the two is far more effective than just generating one without the other. Relating to people only with detachment would not be a genuine Mahayana approach, and relating to peo- ple with a love that hasn’t been tempered by equanimity would leave us vulnerable to dramatic emotional upheavals. The opportunity of a lifetime awaits you in Nova Scotia. It’s a business opportunity. It’s an opportunity to make a difference in the lives of others. And it’s an opportunity to at last enjoy the lifestyle you’ve always dreamed of. What is this opportunity? It’s Ledgehill, a 125- acre estate that for 15 years has operated as a Corporate Learning/Retreat Center. We are now seeking a successor. www.thelifestylebusiness.com