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Buddhadharma : Summer 2011
buddhadharma| 11 |winter 2005 done by Christina Baldwin (Calling the Circle: The First and Future Culture), by Jack Zimmerman and Giggi Coyle (The Way of Council), and by studying the use of the circle in aboriginal cultures. And, most importantly, my understanding is grounded in my root teacher’s instruction to tell the truth: “If you tell the truth to others, then they can also be open with you – maybe not immediately, but you are giving them the opportunity to express themselves honestly as well. when you do not say what you feel, you generate confusion for yourself and confusion for others. Avoiding the truth defeats the purpose of speech as communica- tion. Telling the truth is also connected with gentleness. ... If you are telling the truth, then you can speak gently, and your words will have power” (Chögyam Trungpa Rinpoche in Shambhala: The Sacred Path of the Warrior). Speaking and listening from the heart, discovering and speaking the truth – these are not easy tasks. But how else can we penetrate and discover the inherent wis- dom in all of these heartrending issues? Alice Haspray Halifax, Nova Scotia IN THe SUMMeR 2005 issue’s letters to the editor, James H. Austin, M.D. made a valuable point about closed-lid meditative practices affecting meditators predisposed to seasonal affective disorder/depression during the darker months of the year. His suggestion of open-eyed medita- tion validates the experiences of many meditators here in the Northeast where the symptomatic effects of reduced light during large portions of the year are not uncommon. Meditators who are sensitive to the physiological effects of reduced sunlight may find sitting with a light box situated slightly off to the side – but still shining toward and into the eyes – to be of tremendous benefit. Note that light boxes are intended to be used early in the day to provide symptomatic relief. It seems to me that suggesting the adjunctive use of a light box to medita- tors with seasonal affective symptoms is no different than offering a meditator with a serious back or knee problem the use of an extra cushion or chair to sup- port their practice. Suzanne Szalay, M.D. Sherborn, Mass.