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Lions Roar : September 2016
When life is difficult, what Buddhist teaching springs to mind? Send your answer, photo, and location to email@example.com It’s not uncommon to hear sighs of impatience, frustration, and/or anxiousness in long security lines at the airport. I like to offer metta, to be a compassionate and loving presence for myself and others I encounter on the journey. —Brenda Salgado, in Denver awaiting my flight home I sat zazen at my father’s hospital bedside after he had a heart attack. Because the EMTs took 20 minutes to arrive and revive him, his brain was irreparably damaged and he was in a coma. I started counting my breaths in the way I’d been taught by Taizan Maezumi-roshi thirty years earlier, and, not long after, my father began thrashing around, grimacing in agony, arching his back as if he was trying to climb out of his body. I ran to the nurse’s station but was told, “Oh, he does that all the time,” so I returned to my father’s bed, pet his head, kissed him, told him that it was OK to leave his body, and that I would take care of the love of his life, my mother Leslie. Eventually, my father slipped back into unconsciousness. He died about a week after that. The whole experience was traumatic for my whole family, but my daily practice helped me touch ground, even in Hell. —Steve Silberman, San Francisco One year at Christmas time, I got a great deal on a hotel room in Las Vegas. While John slept in, I went in search of coffee and found a Starbucks among the slots. As I waited for my coffee, I found the cacophony of the slots to be a perfect meditative vehicle. —Julie Robinson, Ridgecrest, California I was at a campground in North Georgia and was bitten on the foot by a copperhead snake. I couldn’t walk, so campers helped me into a wheelbarrow. I meditated in the wheelbarrow and then in the car to the hos- pital. I healed completely, and learned going barefoot in the woods is not wise when one is not mindful! —Tommy Housworth, Decatur, Georgia In my early twenties, I lived in Florida and had a succession of jobs. At one, in a mortuary, I took out the dead flowers and vacuumed the long red carpet. I was alone all day—except for the occasional mourner visiting a beloved’s ashes. My meditation was to dance to the little radio on my hip. My teacher had told me if I could dance there, I could dance anywhere! —V. Grace Abraham, Ruckersville, Virginia SHARE YOUR WISDOM Where is the most unexpected place you’ve meditated? ROSSPARMLY/©POIKE/ISTOCK Pema and the Pema Chödrön Foundation support: THE BUDDHIST MONASTIC TRADITION Pema is dedicated to help guide and support her home monastery, Gampo Abbey, in Cape Breton, Nova Scotia. NUNS IN THE HIMALAYAS The Pema Chödrön Foundation’s support helps ensure that nuns in Nepal, Bhutan and India have the same equal opportunities for deep practice and study as monks have always had. THE BOOK INITIATIVE Pema’s books and recorded teachings are offered to underserved individuals and the organizations that serve them, around the world, free of charge. pemachodronfoundation.org All proceeds from the PCF bookstore support Pema’s work. Free Shipping in the USA LION’S ROAR | SEPTEMBER 2016 31