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Lions Roar : March 2009
SHAMBHALA SUN MArcH 2009 23 In THe reCenT eleCTIOn we chose leaders who will be required to stand with us through perhaps the most difficult period, for humans, in planet earth’s history. no matter how much faith we might have in the country’s new leadership, our anxiety about the situation is understandable, because we know that no matter what we do we cannot avoid the karma that is coming—especially the karma that is coming to the united States. even a cursory meandering through our history and a glance at how our government has treated others, for centuries, would make us throw in the towel, climb into our beds, pull the covers over our heads, and wail. I would be remiss, as an elder of the planet, to remain silent at this point about some of the ways to deal with this period of emotional, psychological, ideological, and financial instabil- ity. For I have by now lived relatively long, compared to some of you who are mere children, though you might be in your twen- ties and thirties. I am definitely at a plateau that makes the teen- age years seem doable. The late twenties and all of one’s thirties are hellish for everyone, as far as I can tell, but at least you’ve been warned. And so I wish to offer a medicine that I take myself (which is the only kind I offer): Anxiety Soup. Anxiety Soup keeps growing and expanding; it is eclectic, it is self-choosing, and it is already within your reach. The main thing it assumes is that you are coming to it in your right mind—that you’ve put the liquor bottle back on the shelf, said no to drugs of all kinds, and made the manly or womanly decision not to pick fights. In fact, it assumes you consider yourself free. That being so, you are ready for ingredient number one. Ingredient number one is dance. Actually, it is a toss-up be- tween dance and meditation, but for me, during this period, I find dance trumps meditation, at least sitting meditation, be- cause while listening to the news I find it increasingly difficult to sit still. That is when I put on one of the most instructive, intelligent, historical, and danceable Cds ever made, Back on the Block, by Quincy Jones and a host of fabulous musicians who tell us the wonderful history of our most soulful American music while rocking us into a drenching sweat. I use this medicine Cd, along with Tina Turner’s astonishingly mature, dark-souled, and survival-oriented Twenty-Four Seven, to pump me through five or six miles on my exercise bike. There is also Deep Forest, the re- assuring Cd that features the voices of our rainforest ancestors, and almost anything by Oliver Mtukudzi. But you will make your own list, and many of you, feeling the need for this medicine, have already done so. Having made the list, use it. The best time for dancing and biking, I find, is the morning. If I can get up early enough to spend at least an hour enjoying this medicine, I can listen to most troubling news with a relatively detached mind. Ingredient number two, in other times, would be ingredient number one: sitting meditation. In my experience, nothing beats meditation, for everything. no matter what the problem, my opinion is: meditation is the solution. I share this belief with a lot of people, most of them more disciplined than I am. I began meditating as a child—and it still seems to me the most natural human state—and learned formal meditation in my thirties. It has saved my life. For this, any private corner of your house or car will do. When I lived in Mississippi, and the Klan occasionally left its card in our mailbox, I used to meditate in motel rooms. What I like best about meditation is an experience that we can also achieve by IlluSTrATIOnByTOMIuM Anxiety Soup For times troubled with everything from Wall Street meltdowns to very inconvenient truths, alice Walker gives us her recipe for finding equanimity. www.NamseBangdzo.com Available from: www.KTDPublications.org Gathering the Garlands of the Gurus’ Precious Teachings Profound Path of Mahamudra $34.95 DVD, 172 minutes © 2003 Kunzang Productions Ngondro: Karma Kagyu Preliminaries Lama Karma Wangdu $24.95, DVD, 172 minutes © 2003 Kunzang Productions His Holiness the Seventeenth Karmapa, Ogyen Trinley Dorje Three Teachings $24.95, DVD, 97 minutes © 2003 Kunzang Productions His Eminence Tai Situ Rinpoche DVD DVD DVD A Garland of Jewels: The Eight Great Bodhisattvas by Jamgön Mipham Translated by Yeshe Gyamtso Calligraphy by Chökyong Radha I rejoice in this from the depths of my heart; may all who read this book achieve liberation and omniscience. — Khenpo Karthar Rinpoche Karma Chakme’s Mountain Dharma as Taught by Khenpo Karthar Rinpoche: Volume Three (of five volumes) Translated by Yeshe Gyamtso, Chökyong Radha, and Namgyal Khorko Invaluable teachings on the bardo, yidam prac- tice, obstacles, signs arising, keeping on track, developing one's practice, and working with one’s kleshas. Amrita of Eloquence: A Biography of Khenpo Karthar Rinpoche By Lama Karma Drodül Translated by Yeshe Gyamtso Amrita of Eloquence describes Khenpo Rinpoche and his life with humor, lyri- cal beauty, and boundless affection. $29.95, paper, French flaps 512 pages glossary, index 2008 $19.95, hardcover 232 pages 60 photographs 2008 The Six Paramitas: Parts1&2 $29.95 DVD, 95 minutes © 2003 Kunzang Productions The Four Noble Truths and the Four Immeasurables $24.95 DVD, 75 minutes © 2003 Kunzang Productions $29.95, hardcover 360 pages 9 illustrations 2008 All profits of Namse Bangdzo Bookstore support His Holiness the Gyalwang Karmapa’s projects and activities. Karma Triyana Dharmachakra