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Lions Roar : September 2005
Next we practice strengthening our mind by contemplating thoughts that will fortify our understanding of reality. By contem- plating karma, suffering, the truth of impermanence and selfless- ness, and the compassion and wisdom that are true freedom, we continue to expand our view. When our mind has become familiar with thoughts that reflect reality, those truths become the founda- tion of our life. Seeing the landscape of life clearly, we create the conditions for wisdom and compassion to naturally arise. Practice means “bring it into experience.” The Shambhala teachings tell us that if we bring the view of formal practice into the nitty-gritty reality of daily life, we will create the conditions for stability and happiness—personal power, harmony with oth- ers, strong life force, and prosperity. The energy that arises when we do this is called lungta, windhorse. Lung is wind and ta means horse. You see the image of windhorse printed on the prayer flags that flutter in the breeze all over Tibet. It is ultimate confidence, certainty in basic goodness. On its back windhorse carries a wish-fulfilling jewel, the wisdom and compassion that we need to rule our world. With windhorse, we can accomplish our wish- es like a warrior racing across the plains. The teachings of Shambhala offer all kinds of practices to raise windhorse. The most effective lies in virtuous activity, embodied in the qualities of the mythical tiger, lion, garuda, and dragon. Each time we act with discernment, generate love and compassion, let go of attachment, or relax into the natural vastness of our mind, we are breaking through the stress and confusion that keep us trapped in suffering and instability. The point is to use our worldly lives to create spiritual success. The secret of success is to keep putting the welfare of others before our own. Some may con- sider this approach unrealistic, but the ruler knows that getting off the “me” plan is the most expedient and practical element in any social or economic system. Life tastes good when we are moving forward, free of self-interest, in tune with the glory of our being. An economy based on compassion infused with wisdom will not self-destruct. Trying to create stability without the foundation of these qualities will only condemn us to perpetual friction and we will continue to pollute our world with the fumes of self-interest. The wish-fulfilling jewel is the best pollution control, because it brings spaciousness to the mind, which allows windhorse to arise. We can’t rule the whole world, but when we rule our minds and thus our environment, our peace and power do begin to spread. The effect may be gradual, but even a ten percent effort by a small number of us could enlighten the world sooner than we think. Virtue has the power of a hundred-thousand suns. If even some of us turn our minds toward virtue just ten percent of the time, we will soon be living on a planet illuminated by the power of several billion suns. The Shambhala teachings tell us that when that light shines, the happiness of all sentient beings will be accomplished, and the new golden age will dawn. When we create the right con- ditions for success, windhorse doesn’t just gallop, it flies. © THE SAKYONG, JAMGÖN MIPHAM RINPOCHE, is spiritual director of Shambhala, an international network of meditation & retreat centers. His new book, Ruling Your World, will be released in October by Morgan Road Books.