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Lions Roar : July 2017
HOT OFF THE PRESS enjoy this world to the best of our ability. It seems like there is some kind of cosmic desire that wants to exist. Not desire as an instinctual desire, but desire as a force, an almost eternal force. As the ancient wise men and women said, the universe has no beginning and no end. This is an amazing theory: that the universe has no beginning and no end and that there is an eternal force, this eternal desire that wants to exist. Out of that eternal desire, everything comes into being—everything from the smallest to the most infinite reality, including the speck of dust on a cushion. Throughout the uni- verse, they all come into being through this eternal desire. The eternal desire in itself is sacred. It is not impure. It is not simple. We all come into being through that force. So from that point of view, we are born out of sacredness. Not out of original sin but out of original sacredness. There is nothing wrong with hav- ing the desire to exist. When we look around, we see that everything has this desire to exist. Trees, flowers, mountains all have it. We can see that desire to exist in ourselves. Sometimes it is very rational, and sometimes it is very irrational. When we are sick, we want to live a long time. Not for selfish reasons. We want to live to be around our loved ones. We want to help them, and such a desire is rational and heroic. Sometimes our desire to live and to exist is just pure instinct. There is no logic behind it. In the end, we just have to leave everything up to this great mystery we should call karma. That is good news, isn’t it? Remember, the great ancient masters said, “Don’t analyze your karma.” You don’t have to figure everything out. You can leave everything up to the great mystery, the great unknown. Buddha said that the root of all human suffering is craving. He talked about three types of craving: craving for existence, craving for sensual pleasure, and craving for nonexistence. This way of shedding light on the very root of human suffer- ing is the least abstract and least conceptual. Everybody can relate to the idea of craving. We can really understand this notion with our minds, our bodies, and our bones. The Bud- dha said that all human suffering comes into being through these three cravings. The first one is craving for existence. Craving is more than just instinctual desire. Remember that all of our instincts, all of our desires, are fine in themselves. The universe’s desire to exist is just fine in itself. Embrace it; honor it without having any guilt about it. The desire is natural. But craving is something EMBRACING EACH MOMENT A Guide to the Awakened Life by Anam Thubten Shambhala; 144 pp.; $14.95 (paper) Photos:ShundoDavidHaye,MargoMoritz sfzc.org/zmcguest SUMMER 2017 GUEST SEASON April 27 – September 10 Deep in the coastal California mountains, you will find Tassajara. Please come and enjoy our Japanese style hot spring baths, gourmet vegetarian food, hiking trails, as well as yoga, qigong, calligraphy, cooking, poetry, meditation, and more. LION’S ROAR | JULY 2017 76