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Lions Roar : Nov 2007
SHAMBHALA SUN NOVEMBER 2007 96 Pema Chödrön continued from page 56 the origin of my toothache or of someone slandering me or injuring me. I have no need to go into the history of how I got here. I just say, “I am feeling this.” At this point, I have a chance for the buck to stop here. This stimulus does not need to be the cause of evening the score in the usual pain-causing way. Instead, at this point you could apply a meditation method that would circum- vent the habitual score settling. Whatever practice you use, the point is to stay with the underlying uneasiness and lean into it. Connect with the natural openness of your mind. You can feel at that point that “this debt has just been paid.” At that point, there isn’t going to be any further debt to somebody else or to yourself, no further repercussions from this exchange except further awakening, further connecting with the natural openness and intelligence of mind, further connecting with warmth and loving-kindness toward yourself, fur- ther connecting with compassion and love for other beings. Those are the kind of results that our uncomfortable situations could give birth to. That’s a notion of set- tling the score that is much different from the habitual approach that gives birth to terror and war. I offer an example from my own life of karmic debt, not because it is in any way special but because it helps to illustrate how intimate our experience of pain is, and how it becomes our teacher. After all, it is our own pain, the many gifts of shenpa that our lives offer, that give us the opportunity to settle the score in the way the Buddha understood. I left my first husband in a very unkind way. I left with the children and went off with another man. It was really sudden and shocking for him, pretty brutal. I was about twenty-five years old and really unconscious about the effect this was having on him, my family, my children, and an array of other people. Ultimately, it was the right decision, but the way I went about it was pretty childish. Then, guess what? Eight years later my second husband left me suddenly, in a Roshi Joan Halifax FALL AND WINTER 2007-08 Stephen Bachelor October 28 - November 4 Rohatsu with Roshi Joan Halifax December 1- 8 Winter Practice Period with Roshi Joan Halifax, Kaz Tanahashi and others January 4 - February 3 Santa Fe, New Mexico 505.986.8518 www.upaya.org Abbot John Daido Loori ZEN MOUNTAIN MONASTERY ONE MONTH RESIDENTIAL PROGRAM For more information email@example.com or visit our award-winning website www.mro.org Mountains and Rivers Order of Zen Buddhism Comprehensive introduction to Zen The Eight Gates of training matrix Weekend and week-long retreats and sesshins Monastic and lay residential community Set on 250 acres in the Catskills surrounded by a nature preserve Easily accessible from all northeast cities Konrad Ryushin Marchaj Resident Priest NOV 78-103.indd 96 NOV 78-103.indd 96 8/31/07 10:45:40 AM 8/31/07 10:45:40 AM