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Lions Roar : July 2008
SHAMBHALA SUN JULY 2008 83 I didn’t know if I was making a gener- ous gesture or a martyr-y one when I of- fered the box during the vow ceremony. But I did it anyway. The very next morning, I woke up in a panic. I was bereft. I wanted that box back. I had never possessed anything so precious. But it was gone and nothing, nothing, nothing could bring it back. Even if I could find it and return it to my bedside table, it would now only be a sad reminder of how selfish I was, not how beloved. I was stuck. I saw just how un- likely a candidate for bodhisattva-hood I was. I couldn’t even graciously give up a cardboard box for the benefit of others, to say nothing of my “personal space” for my boyfriend. Could I change my mind about these vows or was it too late? Too late. I had already gotten my first lesson. You can’t give to get. Open- ing yourself to another isn’t as simple as acting nice or giving up what you value even though you really, really don’t want to. It’s actually heartbreak- ing.IknewIhadnoideahowtobea bodhisattva—or a wife, for that matter. Nor could I pretend these were stupid ideas and go back to living the way I had before. Anything I gained for myself alone would be a reminder of my lack of loving-kindness. I couldn’t be bodhi- sattva Susan but I couldn’t be regular Susan either. Bastards! I was trapped. So, of course, I burst into tears. Instead of making it safe, love—whether for all beings or for one—actually breaks your heart. Being loved is uncomfortable and the more I love, the more uncomfort- able it is. In the end, I’m still not quite sure what I’ve vowed to do either as a wife or a bodhisattva, except to break my own heart, over and over And see what hap- pens next. ♦ I couldn’t be bodhisattva Susan, but I couldn’t be regular Susan either. Bastards! I was trapped. dzogchen the natural great perfection DZOGCHEN RETREATS WITH LAMA SURYA DAS Dzogchen is the consummate practice of Tibetan Buddhism. Considered by many to be "the teaching of our time," Dzogchen is direct, immediate, essentialized, adaptable, and profound: a pure awareness practice applicable to any circumstance and readily integrated into modern life. Dzogchen, often translated as the Natural Great Perfection, directly introduces us to our inner Buddha, the inherent freedom, purity and perfection of being that is our true nature. Dzogchen Center Meditation Retreats are held across the country, throughout the year as shown below: DZOGCHEN MEDITATION RETREATS Garrison, NY Summer July 25 – August 3, 2008 Garrison, NY Winter January 3 – 11, 2009 Joshua Tree, CA Spring March 21 – March 29, 2009 MULTIPLE TEACHINGS DAILY • NOBLE SILENCE • BEAUTIFUL SURROUNDINGS VEGETARIAN MEALS • PRIVATE, SEMI-PRIVATE, AND DORM ROOMS AVAILABLE For complete information and secure on-line registration for all of these scheduled events, go to www.dzogchen.org/retreats, e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org, or call 617-628 -1702. LAMA SURYA DAS is the author of The Big Questions (Rodale, 2007) and Buddha Is As Buddha Does, (HarperSanFrancisco, 2007). He is also the author of Natural Radiance (Sounds True), as well as a number of other books including Letting Go of the Person You Used to Be and the Awakening trilogy, which includes the classic Awakening the Buddha Within (Broadway). Lama Surya is a Lineage holder of Tibetan Buddhism in the Rime (non-sectarian) tradition. For over thirty years, including more than eight years in secluded retreat, he has studied with the great masters of Tibetan Buddhism. With his open and lively style, he is particularly effective in the transmission of Buddhism in viable Western forms by presenting Buddhist ethics and insight, as well as methods of practice, in a manner accessible to all. DZOGCHEN CENTER BUDDHISM FOR THE WEST JULY 78-99.indd 83 JULY 78-99.indd 83 4/25/08 12:05:18 PM 4/25/08 12:05:18 PM