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Lions Roar : November 2016
Tarrant continued from page 53 implies skepticism about the use of my own views, an inkling that they are a prison rather than a shelter. When I was a child working with men, they would play tricks on the very young apprentices. They would send them to the store for striped paint or a yard of milk. It wasn’t meant to humiliate—it was a moment of complicity in which we were comrades facing the incomprehensibility of the world. My thoughts are like that—a yard of sorrow, a few inches of indig- nation, and where did they come from? When I have as much as I want, I can just cut off a strip with long scissors. 7. Who am I, anyway? The mind forms thoughts and feelings without consulting me. Old songs appear in the middle of the night, grief and memo- ries of childhood pop up like clothing stores, but what does that have to do with me? It doesn’t seem to be who I am. I do notice that welcome is destructive of my prejudices, and then a spaciousness opens. Then even sorrow has welcome inside it. I don’t have to know who I am to take a step. 8. Trust and welcome If we just hang out with welcome, the world will carry us along. Welcome is not something to deserve, and who knows who we will be when it has changed us? Welcome might start as a practice, but it’s not a gadget. It transforms and becomes something I notice about reality. Then I’m not opposed to my own life, and I’m amazed how much nicer other people have become. 9. The apocalypse also needs friends So what’s the worst case for us? Sometimes I walk outside into a sudden silence. No one is chatting anyone up on their phone, or carrying a ladder, or wondering if they look hot in their Dolce & Gabbana sandals with the little photo prints of rock stars on them, and no car stirs on its swishing tires. The thought appears: “Oh, did something happen? Did every- thing happen? Did I blink and years have passed?” Then I hear a train’s lonely whistle, and an owl, and an engine starts, and some- one is yelling with clumsy good nature across the road. I have no idea if the world changed, but in any event it’s here now. All is well. But what if it really were the end of the world? If it really were the end of the world, I wouldn’t think of it as difficult. I’d be full of wonder and possibly laughter. I’d think of it as my today. I’d think the end of the world is always happening while humming- birds zoom past my nose and the plain brown birds scratch in the leaf litter and cars go by much faster than the posted speed limit. “So this is what the end of the world is like,” I’d think, feeling awe and probably happiness. I could stop bargaining, say, “Welcome,” and listen to the vast pulse of the changes. Nothing is ever truly lost. 10. The end of the world is here ♦ www.insightla.org Mindfulness Classes | Retreats | Special Events New_ShambhalaSun_6.15 - Orchid.indd 1 6/12/15 8:35 AM LION’S ROAR | NOVEMBER 2016 72