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Lions Roar : January 2010
SHAMBHALA SUN jANUAry 2010 95 Donate, shop, share—you can help the Shambhala Sun spread the wisdom of meditation and genuine dharma in a world that needs it more than ever. We’re more than just a magazine—through our websites, sponsorships, conferences, and programs we serve Buddhist commu- nities of all traditions and host a national conversation on dharma in the modern world. Here are three ways we can work together to fulfill this important mission. DONATE Your donation will help us continue our valuable work in these difficult times. The need for dharma has never been greater, and with your support, the Shambhala Sun will continue to introduce the wisdom of meditation and contemplative practice to hundreds of thousands of readers every issue. Donate online: Go to www.shambhalasun.com/donate Call toll-free: 1-877-422-8404 ext. 34 Mail a donation: US: Shambhala Sun, 1345 Spruce St., Boulder CO 80302-4886 Canada: 1660 Hollis St., #701, Halifax NS B3J 1V7 SHOP Support the Shambhala Sun with your purchase at our Online Gallery or Annual Online Auction (see advertisement in this issue). Go to www.shambhalasun.com/gallery to purchase beautiful archival quality art prints from the pages of the Shambhala Sun and Buddhadharma. Great for yourself or as a gift. Browse and bid at www.shambhalasun.com/auction on original art, retreats and vacations, practice materials, and other items gen- erously donated by artists, writers, and advertisers featured in our magazines. Our Third Annual Online Auction runs Nov. 23–Dec. 13. SHARE Give a gift subscription and share the dharma with friends and family. And if you usually buy the Shambhala Sun on the newsstand, please subscribe using one of the special cards in this issue. It’s a great deal for you and a great way to help the Sun. 3 Ways You Can Help the Shambhala Sun Meditation continued from page 71 sense that, “This is taking place. Something is happening right here.” A sense of being— experience without words, without terms, without concepts, without visualization— takes place. It is unnameable. We can’t call it “consciousness” exactly, because conscious- ness implies that you are evaluating or conscious of sensory inputs. We can’t even really call it “awareness,” which could be misunderstood. It’s not simply awareness. It’s a state of being. Being what? One never knows. It is just being without any qualifica- tion. Are you being Jack? Are you being Jill? Are you being Smith? One never knows. This may sound rather vague, but it is not as vague as all that. There is a very strong energy. A very powerful thing is taking place. There is a shock, the electric- ity of being pulled back into the present constantly: here, here, here. It’s happening. It’s really taking place. There is an interesting dichotomy here: on the one hand, we don’t know what it’s all about. On the other hand, there is enor- mous precision and understanding. Such directness is taking place. That is the state of vipashyana, a state of realization or in- sight. You begin to see inside your mind on the level of nonverbal awareness. Nonver- bal cognitive mind is functioning. You may say, “Now I hear the traffic. Now I hear the cuckoo clock. Now I hear my wristwatch ticking. Now I hear my wife yelling at me.” But you also have to say: “I hear but I don’t hear at the same time.” Such totality is tak- ing place. A very precise something or oth- er is happening. That is the state of vipa- shyana. It is nonverbal and nonconceptual and very electric. It is neither ecstasy nor a state of dullness. Rather, a state of “here- ness” is taking place, which is described in the Tibetan Buddhist literature as nowness. Nowness is sometimes referred to as the fourth moment. That may sound more mystical than what is meant. You have the past, present, and future, which are the three moments. Then you have something else taking place, which is called the fourth mo- ment. The fourth moment is not a far-out or extraordinary experience as such. It is a