using the arrow buttons.
by clicking on the page.
the page around when zoomed in by dragging it.
the zoom using the slider when zoomed-in.
by clicking on the zoomed-in page.
by entering text in the search field, and select "This Issue" or "All Issues"
by clicking on thumbnails to select pages, and then press the print button.
displays sections with thumbnails and descriptions.
displays a slider of thumbnails. Click on a page to jump.
allows you to browse the full archive.
about your subscription?
Lions Roar : September 2005
SHAMBHALA SUN SEPTEMBER 2005 33 pling. But now that he knew it had a happy ending, he wanted to hear it over and over. When we finished, he said, “I wish I could live in an apple tree. Maybe I could die and turn into a bird!” “Maybe you could just pretend to be a bird,” I said, trying to steer the conversa- tion away from death. But he wouldn’t be deflected. “Sometimes,” he said, looking wor- ried, “they take your body and burn you up. They don’t even let you turn into something else.” “Who told you that?” I asked. “Mary.” Mary is his babysitter, a Buddhist vegan belly dancer with a silver ring in her nose and deer tracks tattooed on her calf. Sometimes Mary goes over- board with the Whole Truth. She also told him, apparently, that eventually the sun would explode and burn up the whole earth. (“But we don’t have to worry,” he reassured me. “It won’t hap- pen for a long time, until all the people on earth have died out.”) “Well,” I said now, “even if they burn your body, you still keep changing into something else. The ashes will change to something else. Remember the fireplace ashes we put in your garden? They’ll be lettuce this summer.” He nodded. “So even if they burn me up, I’ll still turn into animal, or maybe another boy, or something.” He sat for a while, obviously puzzling something out. “So...” he said. “Before I was a boy...before I was even a seed inside you...was I something else? Like an animal? Or another boy? Or was I just a boy right from the beginning?” Possible answers flashed through my mind: Before you were born, you were your father and mother, getting stoned to Brian Eno in a college dorm room twenty years ago, and laughing till it hurt. You were your granny and granddad, dancing at an officer’s hop in Mississippi in the middle of World War II. You were a baby girl named Sierra, who your mommy and daddy loved so much they had to make a new one right away. But before I could find any words: “I think, probably, I was just a boy right from the beginning. That’s what I think,” he said. “That was a really good story. Is it time for bed yet, or do I have time to listen to ‘Steal My Kisses’ on iTunes?” IN EARLY MARCH,inthe middleof the spring rains, Toni died. When I told Skye, he looked worried, but didn’t cry. “How do you know?” he asked. “Her daughter called and told me.” “But how do you really, really know for sure?” I suggested to Skye that we could light a candle and some incense, and send love to Toni. He looked at me like I was losing my marbles. “Mommy,” he explained patiently, “Toni’s dead.” “But we can still send love to her spir- it,” I said. “That’s the part of her that lives in our hearts, and will never die.” He nodded. “That’s the part of her that will turn into something else,” he said. At school, each of the children had a different theory about where Toni had gone. Max said she had turned into a giraffe. Lulu said she was a star. Colin insisted that she had gone back to France. Toni’s husband is making a garden in their front yard, where he will scatter her ashes under a Japanese maple. The children are planting sunflowers and daffodils there. It’s spring now, and the wild irises are blooming, just as they were six years ago when Sierra died. The baby quail are marching through our yard again, and the cat is stalking them. I can’t give Skye any real answers about where Toni is now. But I hope he will always be able to see her in the red maple leaves and the golden faces of the sunflowers; and I hope, as he grows up in a world where nothing he loves can be held onto forev- er, that that way of seeing will be of some comfort to him. © ANNE CUSHMAN teachesyoga atSpiritRock Meditation Center in Woodacre, California, and writes regularly about the intersection of spiritual practice with ordinary life. She is the West Coast editor of Tricycle: The Buddhist Review, a contributing editor to Yoga Journal, and the author of From Here to Nirvana (Riverhead), a guide to spiritual India.