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Lions Roar : July 2009
shamBhaLa sUn JULy 2009 13 Letters to the Editor ePIPHAnY onlIne I posted a question to Carolyn Gimian, author “Smile at Fear” in your March issue, during her online Q&A about working with fear at the Shambhala SunSpace blog. A few days later, she posted a response that I felt was very perceptive. It was amazing that, based on my question, she picked up on my urgency, anxiety, and terror. She observed that my state of mind had a guarded quality and suggested I relax that slightly. That evening, during meditation, I had the real- ization that my guardedness was a habit—a habit of thought, reaction, and posturing. For the first time, I didn’t beat myself up, but believed down to my toes that through practice I could change this habit. The positive spin Gimian put on my fear set in motion a yearning to learn and change. I sat and felt an acceptance of my intuitive self. I began to get a sense of purpose and understanding about the happenings of my life, and the dots be- gan to connect and take shape as my path within the dharma. For the rest of the day I was teary-eyed be- cause of the love I’d found beneath the waves of fear. Even though I have been frozen with fear and guard- edness, my nature is of the Buddha... buddhanature. I am beginning to melt. Patty Eacobacci Grass Valley, California lIstenInG Norman Fischer’s article Applied Dharma (March, 2009) spoke of “understanding-based conflict reso- lution” as a practice used in effective mediation. Ac- cording to Fischer, “When mediators learn to see more deeply into their own motivations and prejudices with a sense of acceptance and curiosity, rather than with judgment, they are able to make use of their own emo- tions—and to come to understand others better.” In social work we refer to it as empathic listening when you meet each person where they are in order to heal and grow in understanding. Each of us is a mediator in our own worlds. With but a morsel of mindfulness, we can extend to others that which leads them to greater being-ness, ending their suffering one breath at a time. When we listen, we hear, and every person desires to be heard. Kissiah Young Long Beach, California InVest In tHe buDDHA Great picture of Mingyur Rinpoche on the cover (May, 2009). He appears to be laughing as much as I am at the absurdity of the article “The Buddha and Suze Or- man,” by John Tarrant. Interested in bad financial ad- vice from a professor of attachment and greed? Listen to Orman. Otherwise, stick with the Buddha. Dan Landault Canmore, Alberta sACreD PAtH In PrIson I wrote to the Shambhala Sun and I was placed on your prisoners’ subscription list. I’m writing to thank you for the articles. I was introduced to Shambhala Buddhism through the book, The Sacred Path of the Warrior, by Chögyam Trungpa. I was at a high-security prison and classified to solitary detention as a gang member. What made this even more difficult was I’d just started a chemo treat- ment. Being in total isolation (the cells are sound proof) and being terribly sick with the side effects of treatment, I was wasting away. An old biker dude had seen me try- ing to meditate on my own and he sent me a few books. The Sacred Path of the Warrior blew my mind. It helped me through the toughest ordeal I’ve ever faced. Since then, I’ve taken a path of betterment, but it has been difficult. This year I will go to a program to be re- classified and released from solitary detention, which I’ve been in since May, 2001. I will finally be able to see my relatives in person—to share a hug and hold hands. Texan prisons are dominated by Christianity and Islam. All other religions have to struggle for privi- leges. In solitary segregation, we are denied any reli- gious services or programs. Yet, a couple of men are studying Buddhism. We have our differences, but we do what we can to help each other with our studies. I really look forward to the Shambhala Sun. I embrace