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Buddhadharma : Summer 2016
summer 2 0 1 6 buddhadharma: the practitioner’s quarterly 15 how do you get the heart of a lion? To be a dharma practitioner, you have to be strong. You cannot be whimsical. You cannot be faint-hearted, that’s for sure. You have to have a heart of a lion. How do you get the heart of a lion? You get it because you want it so badly. It’s not that you have it or you don’t but rather that you don’t see any alternative in life other than dharma practice. FROM A FACEBOOK POST By DzIGAR KONGTRuL RINPOChE (JANuARy 10, 2016) the other side of Shazam! Some teachers play up their exciting meditation experiences. Ajahn Amaro’s teacher Ajahn Chah did just the opposite. I have never had any kind of Shazam! moment where suddenly everything was permanently different. In our tradition, our teacher never made much of that kind of thing. He tended to play down such experiences. Teachers tend to attract people of simi- lar natures, and groups of all kinds tend to have an in-house language. If the teacher has had a big Shazam! experience and chooses to talk about it often, then that tends to be what happens in the student. Our teacher had the reputation of being an arahant and certainly had a few Shazam!- like experiences himself, but on these, the most you could coax out of him was “Well, that was a significant moment.” He wouldn’t really go into any kind of detail. So that has been the house style. For peo- ple in our community, the most you’ll get out of those who have had great experiences is something like “It’s different now.” FROM AN INTERVIEW WITh RIChARD P. BOyLE PuBLIShED IN realizing awakeneD ConsCiousness, COLuMBIA 2015 begin at the end Roshi Joan Halifax says meditation— cultivating a heart of compassion and a mind that knows how to let go—is where we prepare ourselves for death. We will all die. We all want to die well. And we can never really penetrate the mystery of death. It is the contemplation of our own mortality and the mortality of those whom we love that can give life meaning. Our pri- orities become clear, our relationships more cherished, our purpose for being alive can become more grounded in selfless compas- sion. The value of meditation practice, of training the mind and the heart, cannot be underestimated in relation to the truth that we will face death sooner or later. Having a mind that is clear, grounded, open to not- knowing, kind, at ease with change, stable, and able to let go—what can be more valu- able as we die or as we care for those who are facing death? FROM AN INTERVIEW WITh MIND & LIFE INSTITuTE, MINDANDLIFE.ORG Concentration