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Lions Roar : May 2009
SHAMBHALA SUN MAY 2009 70 instinctively was Dzogchen. I think the instinct that drew me to Zen is the same one that would have taken me to Dzogchen. Space. The non-conceptual. Just go right to the non-conceptual space. Recently I’ve had some Dzogchen teachers who’ve been kind enough to help me, and I see how Dzogchen empowers much of the other forms of meditation that I practice. Many times Dzogchen has really zapped me into a fresh vision and allowed me to see a kind of limited track that I was falling into through conditioning and basic laziness. But overall, I think the wiser choice for me is to work with the gelugpas, although space is space wherever it is. I think the analyti- cal approach—kind of finding the non-boundaries of that space— is important. In a way, one gets stability from being able to order the rational mind. When space is not there for you, the intellectual work will still keep you buoyed up. I still find myself in situations where my emotions are out of control and the anger comes up, and it’s very difficult to enter pure white space at that point. So the ana- lytical approach to working with the mind is enormously helpful. It’s something very clear to fall back on and very stabilizing. What was the progression of practices for you, to the extent that you can talk about it, after you entered the Vajrayana path? I’m a little hesitant to talk about this because, one, I don’t claim to know much, and two, being a celebrity these things get quoted out of context and sometimes it’s not beneficial. I can say that whatever forms of meditation I’ve taken on, they still involve the basic forms of refuge, generation of bodhichitta and dedication of merit to others. Whatever level of the teachings that my teach- ers allow me to hear, they still involve these basic forms. Overall, tantra has become less romantic to me. It seems more familiar. That’s an interesting stage in the process, when that particular version of reality becomes more normal. I’m not saying it’s normal, in the sense of ordinary or mundane, but I can sense it being as normal as what I took to be reality before. I can trust that. MAY, 1999 Alice Walker & Sharon Salzberg Alice Walker: You know, what are hearts for? hearts are there to be broken, and I say that because that seems to be just part of what happens with hearts. I mean, mine has been broken so many times that I have lost count. But it just seems to be bro- ken open more and more and more, and it just gets bigger. In fact, I was saying to my therapist not long ago, “You know, my heart by now feels open like a suitcase. It feels like it has just sort of dropped open, you know, like how a big suitcase just falls open. It feels like that.” Instead of that feeling of having a thorn through your heart, For Inspiring Properties in Santa Fe & New Mexico We believe you’ll want to know us