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Lions Roar : January 2003
16 SHAMBHALA SUN JANUARY 2003 The fifth paramita is meditation. With the practice of meditation we discover our mind’s inherent stability, clarity and strength. We con- template the truth that there’s no way to find this individual self that we protect, feed and clothe. We see how clinging to the illusion of solidity causes suffering. This is how we sharp- en our prajna, wisdom. In order for the other paramitas to take us toward the mind of enlightenment, we need this wisdom to break down and dismantle our conceptual ideas of who we are and what we’re doing. We slowly begin to understand that things are not as they seem. Compassion arises. We gain insight into our experience which allows us to apply generosity, discipline, patience and exertion in helping others. We might think that helping others will drain us. But when we use prajna and com- passion to extend our lives to others in this way, our own suffering actually becomes relieved. Just placing our mind on others is a kind of meditation. Mind is like a muscle that relaxes that way. When we begin to think about ourselves it tightens up, until we can’t even help ourselves properly. But working for the happiness of others brings lightness of mind. When we know this truth, extending love and compassion is all there is to do. Then everything we encounter becomes part of our journey as practitioners of meditation. We can look at each other, at our children and at the world, and see it all as an opportunity to experience the joy of the bodhisattva path. We see this joy in the faces of great spiritual teachers and other bodhisattvas. The most basic thing is having the open and curious mind of prajna, because that’s what shows us how to move forward. Bodhisattva activity is how we move forward into enlightenment.♦ SAKYONG MIPHAM RINPOCHE’s first book, Turning the Mind Into an Ally, will be published in January by Riverhead Books. © 2002 by Mipham J. Mukpo