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Lions Roar : November 2008
SHAMBHALA SUN NOVEMBER 2008 52 Becoming a buddha is not so difficult. A buddha is someone who is enlightened, capable of loving and forgiving. You know that at times you’re like that. So enjoy being a buddha. When you sit, allow the buddha in you to sit. When you walk, allow the buddha in you to walk. Enjoy your prac- tice. If you don’t become a buddha, who will? Every single person contains the seeds of goodness, kindness, and enlightenment. We all have the seed of buddhanature. To give the buddha in you a chance to manifest both in yourself and your loved ones, you have to water those seeds. When we act as if peo- ple have these seeds inside them, it gives us and them the strength and energy to help these seeds grow and flower. If we act as if we don’t believe in our inherent goodness, we blame others for our suffering and we lose our happiness. You can use the goodness in yourself to transform your suffering and the tendency to be an- gry, cruel, and afraid. But you don’t want to throw your suffering away, because you can use it. Your suffering is compost that gives you the understanding to nourish your happiness and the hap- piness of your loved one. TWO GARDENS You have two gardens: your own garden and that of your beloved. First, you have to take care of your own garden and master the art of gardening. In each one of us there are flowers and there is also garbage. The garbage is the anger, fear, discrimination, and jealousy within us. If you water the garbage, you will strength- en the negative seeds. If you water the flowers of compassion, understanding, and love, you will strengthen the positive seeds. What you grow is up to you. If you don’t know how to practice selective watering in your own garden, then you won’t have enough wisdom to help water the flowers in the garden of your beloved. In cultivating your own garden well, you also help to cultivate her or his garden. Even a week of practice can make a big difference. You are more than intelligent enough to do the work. You need to take your situation in hand and not allow it to get out of control. You can do it. Every time you practice walking mindfully, investing your mind and body in every step, you are taking your situation in hand. Every time you breathe in and know you are breathing in, every time you breathe out and smile to your out-breath, you are yourself, you are your own master, and you are the gardener in your own garden. We are relying on you to take good care of your garden, so that you can help your beloved to take care of hers. When you have succeeded with yourself and with your beloved, you become a sangha—a dharma community of two people—and now you can be a refuge for a third person, and then for a fourth, and so on. In this way, the sangha will grow. There is mutual un- derstanding between you and your beloved. When mutual under- standing is there and communication is good, then happiness is possible, and the two of you can become a refuge for others. If you have a difficult relationship, and you want to make peace with the other person, you have to go home to yourself. You have to go home to your garden and cultivate the flowers of peace, compassion, understanding, and joy. Only after that can you come to your partner and be patient and compassionate. When we marry or commit to another person, we make a promise to grow together, sharing the fruit and progress of prac- tice. It is our responsibility to take care of each other. Every time the other person does something in the direction of change and growth, we should show our appreciation. If you have been together with your partner for some years, you may have the impression that you know everything about NOV 48-57.indd 52 NOV 48-57.indd 52 9/1/08 12:21:38 PM 9/1/08 12:21:38 PM