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Lions Roar : November 2008
SHAMBHALA SUN NOVEMBER 2008 51 ing, aware of our in- and out-breath, we are cultivating the en- ergy of mindfulness. When we have a meal in mindfulness, we invest all our being in the present moment and are aware of our food and of those who are eating with us. We can cultivate the energy of mindfulness while we walk, while we breathe, while we work, while we wash the dishes or wash our clothes. A few days practicing like this can increase the energy of mindfulness in you, and that energy will help you, protect you, and give you courage to go back to yourself, to see and embrace what is there in your territory. There are painful feelings, strong emotions, and troubling perceptions that agitate or make us afraid. With the energy of mindfulness, we can spend time with these difficult feelings without running away. We can embrace them the way a parent embraces a child and say to them, “Darling, I am here for you. I have come back. I’m going to take care of you.” This is what we can do with all our emotions, feelings, and perceptions. When you begin to practice Buddhism, you begin as a part- time buddha and slowly you become a full-time buddha. Some- times you fall back and become a part-time buddha again, but with steady practice you become a full-time buddha again. Buddha- hood is within reach because, like the Buddha, you’re a human being. You can become a buddha whenever you like; the Buddha is available in the here and now, anytime, anywhere. When you are a part-time buddha, your romantic relationships may go well some of the time. When you are a full-time buddha, you can find a way to be present and happy in your relationship full- time, no matter what difficulties arise. There are painful feelings and troubling perceptions that agitate or make us afraid. With the energy of mindfulness, we can embrace them the way a parent embraces a child and say to them, “Darling, I am here for you. I’m going to take care of you.” NOV 48-57.indd 51 NOV 48-57.indd 51 9/1/08 12:21:37 PM 9/1/08 12:21:37 PM