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Lions Roar : January 2009
SHAMBHALA SUN JANUARY 2009 83 Anyone can build a house of wood and bricks, but the Buddha taught that that sort of home is not our real home; it’s only nominally ours. It is a home in the world and it follows the ways of the world. Our real home is inner peace. An external, material home may well be pretty but it is not very peaceful. There’s this worry and then that, this anxiety and then that. So we say it is not our real home, it is external to us. Sooner or later we’ll have to give it up. It’s not a place we can live in perma- nently because it doesn’t truly belong to us, it’s part of the world. Our body is the same: we take it to be self, to be “me” and “mine,” but in fact it’s not really so at all. It’s another worldly home. Your body has followed its natural course from birth until now; it’s old and sick and you can’t forbid it from doing that. That’s the way it is. Conditions are impermanent and un- stable; having come into being they dis- appear, having arisen they pass away. And yet everyone wants them to be permanent. This is foolishness. As soon as we’re born, we’re dead. Our birth and our death are just one thing. It’s like a tree: when there’s a root there must be twigs. When there are twigs, there must be a root. You can’t have one with- out the other. It’s a little funny to see how at a death people are so grief-stricken and distracted, fearful and sad, and at a birth how happy and delighted. It’s delusion; nobody has ever looked at this clearly. I think if you really want to cry, then it would be better to do so when someone’s born. For actually birth is death, death is birth, the root is the twig, the twig is the root. If you’ve got to cry, cry at the root, cry at the birth. Look closely: if there were no birth, there would be no death. Can you understand this? Don’t think a lot. Just think, “This is the way things are.” It’s your work, your duty. Right now nobody can help you; there is nothing that your family and your posses- sions can do for you. All that can help you now is correct awareness. So don’t waver. Let go. Throw it all away. —JANUARY, 1994 ♦ www.festivalmedia.org THE BEST BUDDHIST CINEMA ON DVD A FILM BY MICHAEL H. WILSON The inside story of the making of Kundun FEATURING H.H. the 14 th Dalai Lama Academy Award® winner Martin Scorsese INTERVIEWS WITH the Tibetan cast Melissa Mathison Dante Ferretti Filmed on location in Morocco and India AT RETAILERS EVERYWHERE SEE THE TRAILER ONLINE NOW ON DVD dzogchen thenatural greatperfection DZOGCHEN RETREATS WITH LAMA SURYADAS Dzogchen is the consummate practice of Tibetan Buddhism. Consideredby manytobe "theteaching of our time," Dzogchen is direct, immediate,essentialized, adaptable, and profound: apure awareness practice applicable to any circumstance andreadily integrated into modern life. Dzogchen,often translated as the Natural Great Perfection, directly introduces us to our inner Buddha, the inherent freedom, purity and perfection of being that is our true nature. Dzogchen Center Meditation Retreats areheldacross the country, throughout theyear as shownbelow: DZOGCHEN M EDITAT IONRETREATS Garrison, NY Winter January3– 11, 2009 Joshua Tr ee,CA Spring March 21 –March 29, 2009 Garrison, NY Summer July 24 –August 2, 2009 MULT IPLE TEACHINGSDAILY•NOBLESILENCE • BEAUTIFUL SURROUNDINGS VEGETARIAN MEALS•PRIVATE, SEMI-PRIVAT E, AND DORMROOMS AVAILABLE For complete information and secure on-line registration forall of these scheduled events, go to www.dzogchen.org/retreats, e-mail email@example.com, or call 617-628-1702. LAMA SURYA DASisthe author of The Big Questions (Rodale, 2007) and BuddhaIsAs Buddha Does, (HarperSanFrancisco, 2007). He is also theauthor of NaturalRadiance (SoundsTrue),aswellasanumberof otherbooks including Letting Go of thePersonYou Used to Be and the Awakeningtrilogy, which includes theclassic Awakeningthe Buddha Within (Broadway). Lama SuryaisaLineage holder of TibetanBuddhisminthe Rime (non-sectarian)tradition. Forover thirty years, includingmorethan eightyears in secludedretreat,he hasstudied with thegreat masters of TibetanBuddhism.With his open andlivelystyle, he is particularly effectiveinthe transmission of Buddhism in viable We sternforms by presenting Buddhistethics and insight,aswellasmethods of practice,inamanner accessible to all. DZOGCHEN CENTER BUDDHISM FOR THE WEST shamb6-08:shamb2-07c 6/3/08 11:28 AM Page 1