using the arrow buttons.
by clicking on the page.
the page around when zoomed in by dragging it.
the zoom using the slider when zoomed-in.
by clicking on the zoomed-in page.
by entering text in the search field, and select "This Issue" or "All Issues"
by clicking on thumbnails to select pages, and then press the print button.
displays sections with thumbnails and descriptions.
displays a slider of thumbnails. Click on a page to jump.
allows you to browse the full archive.
about your subscription?
Buddhadharma : Summer 2006
buddhadharma| 15 |summer 2006 on this one vote, I had lost all sense of principle, reason, courage, and decency. He added that I was clearly only interested in re-election; that I was a bitter disappointment to him; that he could never support me again in any election; and that he would, in fact, back my next opponent, regardless of who that was. My immediate emotional response was frustra- tion and anger, because I felt unjustly attacked and accused, and because all the other work I had done was not being acknowledged or appreciated by the author of the letter. In response, I sat down at my computer and worked late into the night penning a harsh response that was emotionally cathartic but was not constructive or appropriate to send. For- tunately, I chose not to send this letter, but instead let it rest for a while. A few days later, I attended the mindfulness retreat and found that the practice of medita- tion over three days had a healing effect in many aspects of my life. Through breathing, walking, and eating mindfully, I was able to let go of some of the stress and pains that build up in this line of work, and I found instead a deeper level of patience, peace, and calm. Several days after the retreat, I wrote a much different letter. Rather than lashing back, I offered a respectful explanation of my vote, then acknowl- edged that I had been personally troubled and hurt by the writer’s attack because of all the other issues we held in common and all the work I had done on those matters. Further, I crafted a brief list of “self- reflections for disgruntled Democrats,” which I enclosed with the letter. The purpose of the list was to invite those who might send such hostile missives in the future to take a moment to think before acting on their frustrations and anger. After letting this new letter rest for a couple of days as I continued to practice mindfulness, I made some further revisions and then sent the letter to my constituent. My goal was to be sure that I was sending the letter from a position of peace, com- passion, respect, and understanding, rather than a position of anger or hurt. A few weeks later, at a community event, I hap- pened to see my friend who had written me the let- ter. At first I felt a tension between us, but then he approached me to thank me for writing, to apolo- gize for his initial communication, and to express understanding for the first vote, and appreciation for the time I had taken to write the letter. This story illustrates to me on a small scale a much larger principle relating to mindfulness and its application to public life. Whether I am responding to a letter or voting on an issue of international importance, in political life it is espe- cially important to be as clear as possible about my own motivations and emotional state, and to approach my responsibilities from a position of mindfulness. The clarity and understanding that mindfulness brings make my life more rewarding and my actions in relation to others more respect- ful and compassionate. The challenge and oppor- tunity for me personally is to continue to learn and apply what I discover as a result. I sincerely believe if this were more common in Congress, the institu- tion and our nation would be better served. From minDFulnEss BEll (wintEr 2005–2006). the spiritual mechanic Lama Thubten Zopa takes an unusual approach to fixing high-tech machines, explains his student Roger Kunsang. On a recent trip to China, Tibet, and India, Lama Zopa Rinpoche spent six hours in transit at Chengdu airport. It was late at night, and the air- port was closing. One of the cleaners was driving a small vehicle that washed and cleaned the floors. Suddenly, it broke down right in front of us, and for a couple of hours the cleaner tried everything to fix it. I noticed that Lama Zopa was doing mos with his mala; then he quietly leaned over to me and whispered that he thought he could help fix the vehicle. I wasn’t sure about this, as they were regular Chinese, and I didn’t know how they would react. Slowly, Lama Zopa moved toward the vehicle, reciting mantras. When Lama Zopa gestured to the driver that he could fix the vehicle, the driver looked at him with astonishment. But I think he was so frustrated with the vehicle that he was will- ing to try anything. He literally threw up his arms and walked away from the vehicle, gesturing to Lama Zopa that he could have it! Lama Zopa Rinpoche began to recite mantras and blow on different parts of the vehicle, touching and stroking it with his mala and chanting prayers. When the driver saw this (and it did look pretty strange to the uninitiated mind), he had this look of complete amazement – but he was also looking happy, as I think he must have had faith that this could work. He ran off yelling to his workmates to come and see this. There, in the middle of this ultra-modern new Chinese airport, technology had broken down and a Tibetan monk was chanting mantras (and you know how religion is viewed in China!) and blowing on the high-tech machine. As soon as Lama Zopa finished, we had to take off at a fast pace to the departure gate (we were late). Lama Zopa never looked back to see if the driver was trying to start the machine. When we got to the other end of the airport, he asked me if I could see if it was starting. I said I couldn’t see as it was too far away. I guess we will never know. From manDala magaZinE (FEBruary/marCh 2006). MIkEHOlMES