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Lions Roar : January 2009
SHAMBHALA SUN JANUARY 2009 22 attachment to our family and friends. Such attachment only creates suffering for ourselves and those around us. Medi- tation helps us let go of our fixation on being caught in a karmic situation with others. Of course we want our family and friends to be happy, but a subtle residue of aggression or greed often accompanies our desire for things to go well. As prac- titioners, we learn to relate to our family and friends without holding on. We need to recognize that if we want our loved ones to be well, to practice well is the most beneficial thing we can do. In Tibetan culture, when people are hav- ing family problems, getting married, or starting a new business, they supplicate a lama to practice on their behalf. We might think that’s spiritual materialism, but con- ventionally speaking, what do we usually do at such a time? By getting mad or wor- rying, we try to manipulate the situation in order to get what we want. Not only is that approach ineffective, it gets us even more entangled in attachment. If we’re going to be attached, it’s better to be attached to the beneficial power of practice. Fear is another factor that keeps us in a dark age. That fear stems from a lack of trust in our genuine being, which natural- ly radiates compassion and kindness. Fear comes from ignorance of who we are. If we dwell in ignorance, we start thinking that “me” is a solid entity, that we need to rein- force ourselves, and that there are things to gain and lose. This leads to less compas- sion and more ambition and attachment. Depression is another drain on our life- force energy. Somehow we cannot get our energy up. Depression is another sign of doubt in the potency of our own being. It As practitioners, we have the power to create an uplifted environment that supports us in changing our habits. We begin by looking at the conditions of our life. tara mandala