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Buddhadharma : Spring 2017
spring 2 0 1 7 buddhadharma: the practitioner’s quarterly 13 first thoughts how Will you Greet the tiger? Whether your attackers are tigers or terrorists, says the Seventeenth Karmapa, you must be ready to meet them with a compassionate heart. Universal openheartedness and compassion exclude no one whatsoever. We can enlist our imagination as a supportive condi- tion in cultivating this noble attitude. We could imagine a tiger coming to attack us and envision ways to stay connected with compassion for this being who is driven by hunger and rapidly losing its territory to human encroachment. We can be creative and think up any scenario that allows us to keep a connection of compassion alive in our heart and mind. Perhaps we imagine we are a villager feeling great compassion while we safely trap the tiger and call the authorities to take it to a better habitat. Perhaps we imagine ourselves as a Buddhist monk and try to feel what it would be like to meditate on compassion even as the tiger approaches to eat us. Or we might just imagine ourselves running for our lives and holding intense compassion in our hearts for the tiger while we narrowly escape its snapping jaws! Who knows how we might actually respond if we were caught in the gaze of a hungry tiger, but the point is we pre- pare ourselves in advance to respond with compassion toward absolutely anyone we encounter. To bring it closer to home, we might ask ourselves what we could feel if a lone wolf terrorist, or maybe an unacknowledged member of ISIS, suddenly arrived in our midst. How would we look at him? Would we be able to recollect that he feels pain and is trying somehow to find his way to hap- piness? It is important to ask ourselves this and prepare ourselves to keep in sight our shared existential condition, no matter how radically different our ways of dealing with our specific life condition may be. FROM Interconnected, PuBLIShED By WISDOM, FEBRuARy 2017 We must be the ancestors We hold the future in our hands, says Joan Sutherland. It’s time we start acting like it. Let’s provisionally consider that we’re in the midst of a disaster. Let’s put a pause on fighting with life for being life, accepting instead Auden’s notion of the disobedience of the daydream. Let’s see if that frees up some energy for other things—like asking who we are now, in this new age. tattoo DeSigNS | tashi mannox