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Lions Roar : July 2007
SHAMBHALA SUN JULY 2007 17 This is everything you’ve ever worried about. That’s everything you’ve ever worried about that actually happened. ing ourselves observing child’s play. When we observe our egocentric thinking, our judgment and self-righteousness, it is the rarest and richest opportunity to practice dharma. If we do not find the truth—the dharma—in ordinary things, then where will we find it? If we do not practice the teachings—the dharma—in our everyday experience, then when will we practice? I’m glad that the piece gave the reader pause. It is how we use the pause that can transform our lives. THE PAIN ISSUE I want to thank you for having two beau- tiful African-American women on your cover in the last six months: bell hooks and Alice Walker. They have beautiful spirits, and I love that they are highlighted in your magazine. A few years ago, while agonizing over my circumstances, which I was sure were not what I deserved, I surprised myself by wailing, “I want my happily ever after!” Hearing those words woke me up a little. I realized I had been expecting to be re- warded with a pain-free life like the fairly tale heroines I adopted as role models when I was a young girl. But no fairy god- mother, no prince, no one, no anything had rushed in to sweeten my life, or so I thought. I doubted anyone or anything ever would and felt profoundly let down by my personal cosmology. Eventually, as I continued to read writings on the dhar- ma, I realized pain could be a very good teacher. I revised my outlook and moved on. That’s when I noticed small drops of joy and friendliness. Pema Chödrön’s “Turn Your Think- ing Upside Down” in the May 2007 issue reminds us how important it is to temper our concept of happiness. The real way to live happily ever after is to see the inevitable pain in our lives as instructive, rather than seeing it as something to escape. While we may continue to seek happiness, we may find that if we position ourselves well in the moment, happiness can find us. Ellen-Marie Silverman Whitefish Bay, Wisconsin I have been literally consumed by your May 2007 issue. Each piece in it is beautiful and meaningful in its own right, and the insightfulness of the combination is over- powering. I write quotes from each au- thor in my journal, knowing I will return to them often for nourishment. If it is the Pain Issue, it is Pain Transformed for me. Alice Walker’s writing, in particular, is lump-in-the-throat powerful. I came to Buddhism through being raised a Quaker (the Christian equivalent of Zen Bud- dhism, I think), and so her words speak to my condition. David Oliver Kansas City, Missouri CORRECTIONS Because of a transcription error, in the in- terview with Alice Walker from the May 2007 issue, the word “depressed” was substi- tuted for “suppressed.” The passage on page 48 should read: “As time went on, though, I saw the damage to the feminine that patriar- chy imposes, and I understood that it’s often the old woman—the grandmother, with all of that accumulated wisdom and compas- sion—who is suppressed. She is suppressed because she sees things so clearly, and she’s lost her fear of speaking.” In the same issue, we stated that the 2006 retreat at Spirit Rock Meditation Center at which Alice Walker gave her address, “Suffering Too Insignificant for the Ma- jority to See,” was the first-ever retreat for African American Buddhists. Thich Nhat Hanh conducted a retreat for prac- titioners of color at Deer Park Monastery in Escondido, California, in March 2004, and again in September 2005. This fall he will continue that series with a similar re- treat from September 6 to 9. ♦ Thanks We’d like to thank the following for their assistance with this issue of the Shambhala Sun: Melissa Blacker, Cheim & Read Gallery, England & Co Gallery, Chang Ji Fashi, Ernest Heau, Bill Jensen, Jack Kornfield, Chuck Lief, Rod Meade Sperry, The New Yorker Cartoon Bank, Rubin Museum of Art, Craig Yorke. OPPORTUNITY TO OWN THIS RARE AUDIENCE WITH HIS HOLINESS THE 14TH DALAI LAMA TO ORDER NOW GO TO THE 27 MIN. DVD ~ $22.95 THE ENTIRE 71 MIN. INTERVIEW ON CD ~ $12.99 SPECIAL PRICE WHEN YOU ORDER BOTH DVD & CD ~ $29.95 WWW.REFUGEFILM.COM/TALK 212 929 0596 OR CALL