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Lions Roar : July 2008
SHAMBHALA SUN JULY 2008 105 Sonoma Urn Company Where remembrance is a work of art. firstname.lastname@example.org www.sonomaurn.com 800-995 -9553 IAM&IWILL Delicate reminders of our true self. As we change our thoughts, we will change the world within us and the world we touch everyday. Locally crafted in the USA using recycled papers. $12.50/deck joette tizzone studio www.joettetizzone.com PEACE WITHIN · CHANGE WITHOUT Spirit Spirit Card Cardss 7 the greeting namaste goes a step further, from “I will not harm you” to “I see that which is holy in you.” It creates the basis for sacred relationship. When I began my training as a Buddhist monk, I found a taste of this sacred relationship. Around my teacher Ajahn Chah was an aura of straightfor- wardness, graciousness, and trust. It was the opposite of my early family life, and though it initially felt strange and unfa- miliar, something in me loved it. Instead of a field of judgment, criticism, and unpredictable violence, here was a com- munity dedicated to treating each person with respect and dignity. It was beautiful. In the monastery, the walking paths were swept daily; the robes and bowls of the monks were tended with care. Our vows required us to cherish life in every form. We carefully avoided stepping on ants; we valued birds and insects, snakes and mammals. We learned to value our- selves and others equally. When conflict arose, we called on practices of patience, and in seeking forgiveness we were guided by councils of elders who dem- onstrated how to approach our failings with mindful respect. Whether practiced in a forest mon- astery or in the West, Buddhist psychol- ogy begins by deliberately cultivating respect, starting with ourselves. When we learn to rest in our own goodness, we can see the goodness more clearly in others. As our sense of respect and care is developed, it serves us well un- der most ordinary circumstances. It be- comes invaluable in extremity. One Buddhist practitioner tells of being part of a group taken hostage in a bank in St. Louis. She describes the initial confusion and fear that spread through the hostages. She remembers trying to quiet her own racing heart. And then she tells how she made a decision not to panic. She used her meditation and her breath to quiet her mind. Over the hours, even as she helped others in her group, she addressed her captors Discovering Our Nobility continued from page 45 JULY 100-112.indd 105 JULY 100-112.indd 105 4/25/08 11:48:08 AM 4/25/08 11:48:08 AM