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Lions Roar : November 2019
your world. There’s respect for whatever happens, and this is only really possible if you’re not rejecting whole parts of your experience. This is the basic teaching of the lojong slogan, “Drive all blames into one.” The “one” that gener- ally makes us suffer is not external circumstances. Most of the time it’s our own issues, or what we call ego. That’s exactly right. What is it that makes us suffer? Because Josephine insults me, I naturally say that Josephine is making me suffer. But it isn’t actually Josephine. It’s a preexisting propensity that I have, a kar- mic seed. Josephine is just the trigger. Outer circumstances are the triggers for the things that are in you. Causes and conditions come together with preexisting propensi- ties, and there it is! That’s what we want to see. We want to see it because to enjoy your life means being free of this cycle. Mahayana Buddhism says we have buddhanature, that we are basically good and awakened, but many people in the West, for cultural or psychologi- cal reasons, have a bad opinion of themselves. How do we discover and accept our own goodness? There are two ways. First, that is exactly what you will discover if you stay with your experience—that you can do it, that there is something special and It’s very important to bring in love, appreciation, and gratitude. The strength to stay present also comes from beauty and joy and love. LION’S ROAR | NOVEMBER 2019 58