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Lions Roar : September 2008
73 SHAMBHALA SUN SEPTEMBER 2008 PHOTOS:JAMESGRITZ,©KARMAPAFOUNDATION on our connection to these beings, we must engender a compas- sion that cannot bear their suffering any longer. This great, unbear- able compassion is extremely important. Without it, we might feel a compassionate sensation in our minds from time to time, but this will not bring forth the full power of compassion. Once unbearable compassion takes birth in our hearts, we are immediately compelled to take altruistic action. If we were to see someone trapped in a raging fire, we would not postpone our assistance to that person. Similarly, when we witness with unbearable compassion the suffering of all sentient beings of the six realms, we immediately seek out ways to free them from that suffering. We are unfazed by complications and doubts; our ac- tions for the benefit of others are effortless and free from doubt. To make our compassion strong, we need the path. We already have compassion, wisdom, and many other positive qualities, yet our mental afflictions are stronger than these most of the time. It is as if the afflictions have locked all of our positive qualities away in a box. One day, when we open that box and all of our good quali- ties spring forth, we will not have to go looking for our compas- sion. We will discover that compassion is present in our minds spontaneously, and a wealth of excellent qualities will become available to us. ♦ Adapted from Heart Advice of the Karmapa, published by Altruism Press. © 2008 The Karmapa, Ogyen Trinley Dorje. been almost illusory for me. So it’s been a good introduction to what living an illusion is like! One of the places you visited here was Disneyland. Was that some- thing you particularly wanted to do? The people hosting my visit of the U.S. were interested in showing me the neatest places to go in terms of recreation and leisure. I was really happy to have the opportunity to go to Disneyland. I’ve been familiar with Mickey Mouse since I was young, so it was a great experience to go to Mickey Mouse’s hometown. I was really de- lighted with my experience at Disneyland—I saw so much in just a couple of hours. The density of the experience was wonderful. In your talk earlier today, you mentioned that you used to read X- Men and other comics. Is that something you still do? I would continue reading comic books, but not many people give them to me anymore! When I was young, all kinds of people would give me comic books, but now they don’t. As you know, they made a movie of the X-Men, and I enjoyed that very much. When I went to Universal Studios, I thought about buying some X-Men comics while I was there. But it was very crowded and I thought, “Well, maybe it wouldn’t be so appropriate for an adult to purchase such things.” These are things that many 22-year-olds would be interested in. It makes me wonder whether there are times when you think about what you missed not growing up in a secular environment. As you know, I was recognized as the Karmapa when I was eight years old. So I had the life of a normal child up until that point, and even after I was recognized, I was still a kid and still thought like a kid. Ac- tually, when I was first recognized as the Karmapa, I kind of viewed it as another game to play. I thought that being the Karmapa would be a fun thing to do, like a game. But as time went on I discovered all the things expected of me as the Karmapa, and that I had all these rules I had to follow. I do remember having thoughts like, “Oh, those children are playing games and I’d like to do that too, but I’m not al- lowed.” But at the same time, I don’t really feel that I lost anything. I don’t have a sense that I missed out on any aspect of childhood. You have talked about practices that are appropriate to particular cul- tures, such as the Tibetan meditation on the mother as the symbol of ➢ page 106 SEPT 70-73.indd 73 SEPT 70-73.indd 73 7/3/08 1:33:13 PM 7/3/08 1:33:13 PM