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Lions Roar : Nov 2007
SHAMBHALA SUN NOVEMBER 2007 52 IF WE WANT TO MAKE PEACE, with ourselves and with the world at large, we have to look closely at the source of all of our wars. So often, it seems, we want to “settle the score,” which means getting our revenge, our payback. We want others to feel what we have felt. It means getting even, but it really doesn’t have anything to do with evenness at all. It is, in fact, a highly charged emotional reaction. Underlying all of these thoughts and emotions is our basic intelligence, our basic wisdom. We all have it and we can all uncover it. It can grow and expand and be- come more accessible to us as a tool of peacemaking and a tool of happiness for ourselves and for others. But this intelligence is obscured by emotional reactivity when our experience becomes more about us than about them, more about self than about other. That is war. I have often spoken of shenpa, the Tibetan term for the hook in our mind that snags us and prevents us from being open and receptive. When we try to settle the score, we cover over our innate wisdom, our innate intelligence, with rapidly esca- PEMA CHÖDRÖN is an American Buddhist nun whose root teacher was the renowned medita- tion master Chögyam Trungpa Rinpoche. Since his death in 1987, she has studied with Sakyong Mipham Rinpoche and with her current principal teacher, Dzigar Kongtrul Rinpoche. Her many pop- ular books include The Places that Scare You, When Things Fall Apart, and Start Where You Are. Choosing Peace There is a key moment, says PEMA CHÖDRÖN, when we make the choice between peace and conflict. In this new teaching from her program Practicing Peace in Times of War, she describes the practice we can do at that very moment to bring peace for ourselves, for others, and for the world. PHOTOS BY ANDREA ROTH NOV 52-57.indd 52 NOV 52-57.indd 52 8/31/07 10:42:12 AM 8/31/07 10:42:12 AM