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Lions Roar : November 2016
SHARE YOUR WISDOM When life is difficult, what Buddhist teaching springs to mind? What is your favorite novel that you feel expresses Buddhist themes? Send your answer, photo, and location to firstname.lastname@example.org A Nepalese nun told me many years ago, “You don’t die because you get ill. You die because you are born.” That gave me a completely different view on death and illness in my family. The frustration disappeared. —Annemieke Viryamani Vellema, Amsterdam, The Netherlands In my professional work on climate change and other environmental issues, applying the wisdom of the four noble truths has enabled me to enjoy increasing equanimity while not denying or ignoring the eco- logical crisis or burning out. The first noble truth helps me acknowledge the suffering that we inflict on the environment and other human beings, as well as my own feelings of despair and grief about this. The second noble truth allows me to understand that we cause and experience suffering because we cling to misguided beliefs about human superiority over nature and about the limitlessness of natural resources, as well as to beliefs about how we want the world to be. The third noble truth reassures me that there’s a way to end this suffering, and the fourth noble truth presents the means to do this. —Kate Davies, Whidbey Island, Washington Sitting at my eight-month-old granddaughter’s hospital bed as she left her body, I meditated on loving-kindness and smelled the lovely scent of mari- golds. As I sat with an IV in my arm during chemo treatment, I watched others around me—older, sicker—going through the same thing, and I meditated on loving-kindness. I was constantly reminded of impermanence. —Ann Potter, Venice, Florida Recently I was in a rough spot, and the teaching that got me on my feet again was a quote from the Dalai Lama: “Sometimes not getting what you want is a wonderful stroke of luck.” —Rolando Aguilera, Victoria, Tamaulipas, Mexico I always return to this saying of Shantideva: “Whatever joy there is in the world arises from wishing for others’ happiness. Whatever suffering there is in the world arises from wishing for your own happiness.” It stops me in my tracks and clarifies my thoughts, feelings, and actions. —Marsha Weiner, Alexandria, Virginia At a recent family dinner, I found myself in an untenable position and left, rather than have it escalate. I was frustrated and angry, breath- ing rapidly and shallowly as I stomped away. But then I remembered a quote from Thich Nhat Hanh: “Drink your tea.” Even though I was upset, I focused on my steps and my breath, and the walk transformed from an anguished escape to a more mindful meditation. —Diane Lowman, Connecticut Winter Retreats in Santa Fe, New Mexico SEE ENTIRE CALENDAR, TEACHINGS, AND MORE AT WWW.UPAYA.ORG SANTA FE, NM 505-986-8518 ext. 112 REGISTRAR@UPAYA.ORG january 6 - 22, 2017 Winter Practice Period Sensei Irène Kaigetsu Kyojo Bakker, J rian Byrnes, Genzan Quennell Zazenkai: A Daylong Silent Meditation Retreat january 7 Ox Herding: Stages of Zen Practice january 11 - 15 Sesshin: Ten Ox Herding Pictures january 17 - 22 J rian Byrnes, Genzan Quennell february 3 - 19, 2017 February Zen Circle Calligraphy: Heart of the Brush february 3 - 5 Sensei Kaz T Belief, Unbelief and Motivation: Integrating Meditation, Compassion and Insight february 10 - 12 J Way of Haiku: Chiyo and Issa february 17 - 19 R oan Halifax, Natalie Goldberg, Sensei Kaz T les Trumbull LION’S ROAR | NOVEMBER 2016 28