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Lions Roar : March 2008
SHAMBHALA SUN MARCH 2008 41 take more from the world than you’re willing to give back. Don’t bulk up just for the fun of it, for the beings—human and animal—that provided your food didn’t provide it in fun. Make sure the energy gets put to good use. DON’T LEAVE YOUR STR ENGTH IN THE GYM If you don’t use your strength in other ac- tivities, strength training simply becomes an exercise in vanity. The same principle applies to your meditative skills. If you leave them on the cushion and don’t apply them in everyday life, meditation turns into a fetish, something you do to escape the problems of life while their causes continue to fester. The ability to maintain your center and to breathe comfortably in any situation can be a genuine lifesaver. It keeps the mind in a position where you can more easily think of the right thing to do, say, or think when your surroundings get tough. The people around you are no longer subjected to your greed, anger, and delusion. And as you maintain your inner balance in this way, it helps them maintain theirs. So make the whole world your meditation seat. You’ll find that medi- tation both on the big seat and the little seat will strengthen each other. At the same time, your meditation will become a gift both to yourself and to the world around you. NEVER LOSE SIGHT OF YOUR ULTIM ATE GOAL Mental strength has at least one major ad- vantage over physical strength: it doesn’t inevitably decline with age. It can keep growing up to and through the experience of death. The Buddha promises that it leads to the deathless state, and he wasn’t a man to make vain, empty promises. So when you establish your priorities, make sure that you give more time and energy to strengthening your medita- tion than you do to strengthening your body. After all, someday you’ll be forced to lay down this body, no matter how fit or strong you’ve made it, but you’ll never be forced to lay down the strengths you’ve built into the mind. ♦ “ St. John’s College is where I learned to trust my own mind. It has been the foundation of all of my practice. Together with this community of learners one is able to digest the teaching depths of these great books. ” ~ Natalie Goldberg, St. John’s College Graduate Institute ‘74 Accepting applications for Fall 2008 www.stjohnscollege.edu/GI/EC/EC.shtml 505-984-6083 Lao Tzu Confucius Mo Tzu Hsun Tzu Han Fei Tzu Chuang Tzu Mencius Sima Qian I Ching Rig Veda Upanishads Mahabharata Tattva-Kaumudi (Sankhya) Karika Yoga Sutras Gitagovinda Kalidasa Vaisesika Sutra Institutes of Manu Artha-Shastra Kama Sutra Bhagavad-Gita Dhvanyaloka Buddhacarita Vimalakirti S utra Nagarjuna Chandrakirti Lankavatara Sutra Gaudapada Sankara T’ao Ch’ien Diamond Sutra Heart Sutra Hui-Neng Wang Wei Li Bai Du Fu Chu Hsi The Tale of the Heike Lotus Sutra Kamo no Chomei Sei Shonagon Murasaki Shikibu Kenko Dogen Basho Chushingura What is human nature? Is there a self ? How do we define God? Can war be “just”? Be inspired by the classic works of Eastern civilization in a true community of learning. Join St. John’s community of learners as we read seminal works and examine the questions fundamental to the cultures of India, China, and Japan. Explore new ways to challenge your thinking and stretch your spirit. The Eastern Classics program at St. John’s is a one-year, life-changing educational experience, which includes study of Sanskrit or Classical Chinese. Contemplating Change? Earn a Master’s Degree in Eastern Classics at St. John’s College, Santa Fe MAR 18-41.indd 41 MAR 18-41.indd 41 12/19/07 2:34:50 PM 12/19/07 2:34:50 PM