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Lions Roar : May 2008
SHAMBHALA SUN MAY 2008 109 THE MARKLAND cabot trail cape breton island NOVA SCOTIA where nature...happens fine food & accommodation near Gampo Abbey www.marklandresort.com 1-800-872-6084 Spiritual Journeys of Discovery and Growth Tibet/Chinese Minority Cultures July 9-25, 2008 $6200 Holy Mountains of Taoism, Buddhism and Confucianism October 7-21, 2008 $4500 www.pilgrimspirittours.com Or call 616-502-2078 Solomon Islands A South Seas Journey By Photographer / Author: Michael McCoy All profits from book sales go to the tsunami relief fund. To buy the book in North America visit: www.gizorelief.com email: email@example.com call: 902-405-0279 In the Spring we visit the holy places of Tibet. Land cost from US$4000. In the Fall we visit the holy places of Buddha’s life in India. Land cost from US$3100. Both trips start in Nepal and include daily practices and teachings as well as a four-day retreat. Chasing Buddha Pilgrimages For complete itinerary and pictures see: www.chasingbuddha.org or call: 1-800-455-8735 Enlightenment continued from page 53 over again fresh insights keep poking through the thickness of my habitual mental and emotional patterns. But then I notice those insights, and with the no- ticing comes commentary, and with the commentary comes the desire to hold on to them as highlights or credentials. What was a fresh insight is no longer fresh, nor an insight. It is no longer a gap in ego fixation, but instead a further means of holding it together. And so it goes. What at one moment is a breakthrough, a gap, is quickly co-opted by ego, so that by the next moment, it has itself become an ob- stacle to be broken through. You could say that the path is a con- tinual softening process. The moment we solidify our experience, we have lost its freshness, its inherent awakened quality. We can actually perceive that razor-thin boundary between awake and asleep. The instant we make a subtle decision to grasp, we can sense the constriction. We know the moment we have lost it, and each time that happens, we are softened. We realize how hard it is to change that basic pattern of backing away from our own insight; at the same time, we realize how thin the membrane is that separates us from the reality of awakening. In the Buddhist tradition, enlighten- ment comes first; confusion is an after- thought. Our experience often seems to be just the opposite—confusion is obvious and enlightenment is the afterthought. Not only is confusion most obvious, it is our familiar ground, where our allegiance lies. It is simple: we are being asked to shift our allegiance, so it is scary. With enlight- enment front and center, we are provoked constantly with the possibility of awaken- ing. What is the hesitation? What is hold- ing us back? Why not wake up? While we keep plugging along, pains- takingly unraveling our personal obsta- cles, it is important not to lose sight of the very real possibility that, at any moment, we have the potential of seeing our world entirely differently. At any moment, we have the possibility of awakening. ♦ MAY 106-120.indd 109 MAY 106-120.indd 109 3/6/08 11:37:44 AM 3/6/08 11:37:44 AM