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Buddhadharma : Spring 2008
spring 2008| 18 |buddhadharma objective is to find peace, then learning how to relax is very important. relaxing is an attitude where you allow yourself to be as you are and allow yourself to enjoy everything as it is. this is some- times called being in the present moment. It is a clear and vibrant awareness, rather than a cozy dullness. regarding smoking, I recall an inter- esting anecdote about two young monks. One day, one of the monks was shocked to find the other monk smoking. He said to him, “How can you smoke? You are not supposed to smoke. Our teacher said we should not smoke!” the other monk replied, “But I am meditating. I asked the teacher whether one can meditate while smoking and he said yes.” You can and should use the technique of meditation in every situation. But smoking is a harmful and strong habitual tendency, and it would be good to break that. meditation may be able to help you break that habit. Whenever you feel a desire to smoke, let your mind relax and enjoy that very moment. You may feel that there is no need to smoke. When you sit, your posture should be comfortable, at ease, and not too rigid, although you still follow the rules. It is good to move and change posture to make your legs comfortable. When you get used to a proper posture, you can sit for a long time without any pain. You can do some walking meditations too. forty-five minutes twice a day sounds very good, but don’t forget that these for- mal meditation sessions are about learn- ing how to train the mind. real practice is the whole life. Whenever you find your- self in a tense state of mind, you should remember to relax, as you do in medita- tion. that is what eventually transforms your way of being. naraYan lieBenson graDY: nowadays, being a smoker is considered a sin and personal failing; often we condemn not just smok- ing but smokers themselves, even though, in my opinion, the reality of smoking is no worse than some other unhealthy habits. Like any compulsion, smoking bears investigation. since smoking endangers your health, and the health of those around you, it would be wise action to quit. But health concerns aside, being a smoker has no bearing on liberation. You say you are getting very sore when sitting for forty-five minutes. It’s possible April 19 & 20, 2008 Ann Arbor,MI Engaging Wisdom and Compassion www.ticketmaster.com www.DalaiLamaAnnArbor.com Sponsored by: Jewel Heart The Tibet Fund • Garrison Institute April 20, 2008 Public Talk: Peter M. Wege Lecture on Sustainability Sponsored by: University of Michigan and the School of Natural Resources & Environment His Holine ss Th e Da lai Lama