using the arrow buttons.
by clicking on the page.
the page around when zoomed in by dragging it.
the zoom using the slider when zoomed-in.
by clicking on the zoomed-in page.
by entering text in the search field, and select "This Issue" or "All Issues"
by clicking on thumbnails to select pages, and then press the print button.
displays sections with thumbnails and descriptions.
displays a slider of thumbnails. Click on a page to jump.
allows you to browse the full archive.
about your subscription?
Lions Roar : July 2015
experience, though, is that the development of wisdom is incre- mental. The unfolding of daily life is an unending display of situations that lure the mind into liking or not liking. The ordi- nary annoyances—think traffic jams and parking tickets and worrisome letters from the IRS—alternate with sudden beguil- ing preoccupations like the new “flirt” on the dating website you’ve joined, or the notice in your email of a half-price offer on a luxury dream cruise on the Danube. Stop now and think back through your day so far. Notice the times your mind became ruffled by the unexpected, then soothed again and comfortable, then ruffled again, and then soothed. I think you will find there have been many such poten- tially upsetting moments. Perhaps when we make a wholesome decision, we should go out of our way to congratulate ourselves: “I did that! I preserved my peace of mind! I almost got caught in bewilderment, but I didn’t!” Each such experience of, “My mind is peaceful, by choice” is both a confir- mation of the third noble truth— “Peace is possible” —and a moment of confidence-building. And even when distraction confuses us and we blurt out or do something we regret, we usually feel remorse and resolve to develop our patience. In either case, we become wiser. The crucial element is paying attention. Think back to the image of the Buddha. Under siege from external events and his internal responses, he preserved his peace of mind with alert steadiness and unshakeable goodwill. Following his enlighten- ment, the training path that he prescribed for developing those capacities is a summary of lifestyle choices and mind training that we can undertake as well. It is called the eightfold path of practice: Wise action, wise speech, and wise livelihood specifically pertain to being engaged in the world. The Buddha is said to have counseled his son, Rahula, “Before (or during or after) doing or saying any- thing, you should consider if what you just said or did is good for yourself as well as good for everyone else.” All our actions, even our choice of livelihood, should meet the criteria of kind intent. Committing to that intent involves wise mindfulness, the precision in the mind to notice the motives that precede actions, and wise concentration, the steadi- ness in the mind that makes it less likely to become confused. Wise effort is the resolve, at every choice-point, word, or deed, to discern and choose wholesome actions. Wise understanding is our deepening conviction that peace of mind, and the natu- ral goodwill and compassion that grows from it, depends on wholesome choices. Wise intention is our ever-renewing dedica- tion to all the practices that promote these wholesome choices. Beginning dharma students often ask me, “How will I take this practice out into the world?” I say that it is important to set aside some time every day to sit quietly, or have a quiet walk, specifically to encourage the mind to relax. Just taking “time off,” in what- ever healthful way works for you and your schedule, removes the uncomfortable sense of imperative that is likely to arise in a day crowded with tasks. The main thing I want to share, though, is this: Daily life is practice. Because life in the world is as complex as it is, it is the optimal setting for developing the capacity of equanimity and the habit of benevolence. The techniques that we learn in classes and retreats are techniques for living life. The Buddha began his spiritual quest hoping to discover the answer to the suffering of regular people. He did, and we are the beneficiaries of his example. For now we know that we too can wake up to the unconscious habits of our minds and transform them, through wisdom, into compassion. ♦ PHOTOBYHÈLENA.VINK SHAMBHALA SUN JULY 2015 57