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Lions Roar : January 2009
SHAMBHALA SUN JANUARY 2009 74 SHAMBHALA SUN JANUARY 2009 For 30 Years the Best of Buddhism in America: Teachings Since its founding, the Shambhala Sun has been home to the great Buddhist teachers of our time. Marking our 30th anniversary, we offer this selection of outstanding original teachings from the pages of the Sun. Reflections in the Cosmic Mirror by Chögyam Trungpa Rinpoche BY RELATING WITH the ordinary conditions of your life, you might make a shocking discovery. While drinking your cup of tea, you might discover that you are drinking tea in a vacuum. In fact, you are not even drinking the tea. The hol- lowness of space is drinking tea. So while doing any ordinary thing, that reference point might bring an experience of non-reference point. When you put on your pants or your skirt, you might find that you are dressing up space. When you put on your make-up, you might discover that you are putting cosmetics on space. You are beau- tifying space, pure nothingness. In the ordinary sense, we think of space as something va- cant or dead. But space is a vast world that has capabilities of absorbing, acknowledging, and accommodating. You can put cosmetics on it, drink tea with it, eat cookies with it, polish your shoes in it. Something is there. But ironically, if you look into it, you can’t find anything. If you try to put your finger on it, you find that you don’t even have a finger to put! That is the primordial nature of basic goodness, and it is that nature which allows a human being to become a warrior. The warrior, fundamentally, is someone who is not afraid of space. The coward lives in constant terror of space. When the coward is alone in the forest and doesn’t hear a sound, he thinks there is a ghost lurking somewhere. In the silence he be- gins to bring up all kinds of monsters and demons in his mind. The coward is afraid of darkness because he can’t see anything. He is afraid of silence because he can’t hear anything. Cowardliness is turning the unconditional into a situa- tion of fear by inventing reference points, or conditions, of all kinds. But for the warrior, unconditionality does not have to be conditioned or limited. It does not have to be qualified as positive or negative, but it can be neutral—as it is. At this point, as we know, from Juneau to Tokyo we have prob- lems with trying to create pleasure out of speed, comfort out of