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Lions Roar : September 2008
SHAMBHALA SUN SEPTEMBER 2008 21 In order to have a fresh start, we can’t just think forward; we also have to think back- ward. What inspired us to practice in the first place? What does it mean to be a practitioner? Rekindling our inspiration might also mean reconnecting with our loving-kindness, with our bodhichitta, the mind of enlightenment. As we touch in with loving-kindness and compassion, we ground our sense of trust in meditation practice. As a result, we clarify our objective and commitment, which over- comes laziness. Then we can take the anti- dote to a deeper level by simply resting our mind in its ultimate nature. Working with obstacles on an outer, in- ner, and secret level provides a way to learn from them. Applying the antidotes, we use them to deepen our practice and prog- ress toward realization. With mindfulness, awareness, and certainty in the view, we are able to have purpose in our practice and deep confidence in the path. These qualities bring a sense of happiness and satisfaction to whatever we are doing. That allows us to include everything in our practice, even our family and our work. If we are able to hold our mind to practice, the more worldly as- pects of our life are no longer obstacles. There have been renowned practitioners who have claimed that obstacles are their path. That is one aspect of the crazy wisdom teaching—delighting in the challenges and obstacles. Most of us must work on stabiliz- ing our mind before we can say, “Bring on the obstacles!” We need to develop apprecia- tion of our experiences and emotions before we can transcend them in this way. Practicing regularly, cultivating peace and loving-kindness, and renewing our inspira- tion are the key elements in working with ob- stacles. This step-by-step approach gradually builds equanimity. What are the signs we’re making progress? Our body, speech, and mind become more gentle. At times we are able to bear difficulty without complaint. We might even begin to welcome obstacles as an opportunity to engage in virtuous activity: patience, generosity, discipline, meditation, exertion, and their binding factor, prajna— wisdom rooted in seeing things as they are. With practice and a change in attitude, what- ever comes our way—good or bad—has less power to obstruct our journey. ♦ VISIT THE SHAMBHALA SUN ONLINE GALLERY www.shambhalasun.com ALL PROCEEDS SUPPORT OUR MOVE TO ENVIRONMENTALLY RESPONSIBLE PAPER Stunningly beautiful archival quality giclée prints such as this illustration by award- winning, New Yorker artist Barry Blitt from the cover of the Shambhala Sun. At the Shambhala Sun Online Gallery, you’ll find artwork by renowned artists such as Thich Nhat Hanh, Kaz Tanahashi, Tatjana Krizmanic, John Bigelow Taylor, and Chögyam Trungpa. THE SHAMBHALA SUN FOUNDATION, AN INDEPENDENT, NONPROFIT CORPORATION. PUBLISHERS OF THE SHAMBHALA SUN AND BUDDHADHARMA: THE PRACTITIONER’S QUARTERLY “GEORGE WASHINGTON MEDITATING” © BARRY BLITT SEPTEMBER 2006 COVER ILLUSTRATION FOR THE SHAMBHALA SUN Bring Home the Mindfulness from the pages of the Shambhala Sun Enrich your world with art that expresses the moment. Available now from the Shambhala Sun Online Gallery www.shambhalasun.com SEPTEM SEPT 18-39.indd 21 SEPT 18-39.indd 21 7/3/08 1:29:59 PM 7/3/08 1:29:59 PM