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Lions Roar : July 2019
This is what wakefulness is—simply looking at what it is we’re doing. It means instead of being led by our conditioned, automatic, reactive way of being, we become deeply curious about what is aris- ing in our body, our mind, and the world around us. It could be as we wait in line for the local coffee place: maybe the line is taking too long or the per- son ahead of us is complaining, and we’re getting more irritated by the second. Wakefulness is simply noting that reactivity and returning our attention back to the feeling of our feet on the ground or the softness of our belly. It’s simply seeing how quickly our mind can turn someone from a friend into an enemy, and then back into a friend again. This is exactly where intimacy arises, and where we can change how we relate to the people around us. For me, finally feeling the beat of Sammy’s music was also a way of enjoying my relationship with him, and remembering how I’m just like him, too. For the last year, all the times I’d been “meditating,” I was actually missing the opportunity to do the work that’s truly important—the realization that “Yeah. Me and you, Sammy. We’re in this together.” One thing about wakefulness is that there is no arrival; you’re never done. Wakefulness is a willing- ness to endlessly investigate, and that’s where the intimacy grows. The other thing about it is that it takes every- thing—true courage and commitment—and includes everyone. The challenge may come from someone like Sammy or someone much more diffi- cult. I always think, for instance, of family trips home as one of the greatest barometers for our practice. Home for the holidays, to the people who ignite all of your oldest, deepest reactivity. Can you be awake and intimate with your mother or father or brother or sister or aunt, whoever it is who is the biggest pain in your ass and gets under your skin the most? I remember five years ago I was with my father at Cape Cod, where my family spent most of our sum- mers when I was growing up. My dad and I like to take long, epic walks on the beach together. We were on one of these walks, going down the shoreline, when he asked me for my advice about a particular person, someone who faces a lot of challenges, but Chinese legend has it that if a carp swims up a waterfall, it transforms into a dragon. Be like that carp, says KOSHIN PALEY ELLISON. Throw your whole self into waking up. UPAYA.ORG SANTA FE, NM 505-986-8518 ext. 112 REGISTRAR@UPAYA.ORG The resident body is the heart of Upaya’s deep field of practice. Together we engage in meditation, liturgy, work practice, sesshins, and a diverse course of study that includes Buddhist philosophy, Zen arts, and contemplative science. Apply online or contact us at: firstname.lastname@example.org. september 13 - 15 The Pr actices and Principles of Ecological Dharma Wendy J ozan Palevsky, Keido Troy Fernandez november 8 - 10 Four Noble Truths: Simple Teachings for Extraordinary Times Rev. angel Kyodo williams, Sensei november 14 - 17 Emptiness and Compassion: Shantideva and the Bodhisattva Practice J Workshops & Retreats Residency at Upaya LION’S ROAR | JULY 2019 77