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Lions Roar : September 2005
66 SHAMBHALA SUN SEPTEMBER 2005 It would be ideal to say that all of this did not really get to me, but that would be untrue. After one all-night party at Punk Palace with acid hits flying and heavy metal ruling the airwaves, I got angry—really angry. Several sleepless nights did not help, and although I knew Alexander was not using drugs, I was angry at his pattern of irresponsibility and wasted opportunities. I looked deeply into this anger and saw shades of the same pattern in my own past. I did walking meditation to try and calm myself down, so I could respond rather than react. But this time it didn’t work. I was still angry. I got dressed and packed my bags at 5:00 a.m., found Alexander, and asked him to walk me to the bus stop. I was leaving. His shock and panic were palpable, and the fear that I was walking out of his life showed up clearly on his face. We walked in silence to the bus stop. Alexander insisted on carrying both my bags, which were much too heavy for him. But I let him do it anyway. Then I stopped, asked him to put the bags down and hugged him. I told him I loved him. We were both crying. Then I explained my anger. And do you know what he said? He told me the party was for me, but they all thought I was sleep- ing! I had to laugh at that one, whether it was true or not. I made it clear to Alexander that I was there for him but that I had limits. I invited him to join me at the airport hotel for the next few days to continue our mindfulness train- ing together. Relief flooded his face and he apologized for not considering my feelings. I apologized for getting so angry with him. I had suddenly and clearly seen what his life had been this past nine months and was upset by the wasted opportunities that irresponsibil- ity brings. We both cried again. That evening after his kickboxing class, Alexander joined me at the air- port hotel and our mindfulness training continued with an emphasis on life skills: how to budget one’s money, handle peer pressure, complete college assign- ments, investigate and do research, and