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Buddhadharma : Winter 2009
29 winter 2 00 9 buddhadharma: the practitioner’s quarterly there is no other choice than to dedicate ourselves wholeheartedly to a path of awareness. As we untie the inner knots of habitual conditioning, we are aware that impa- tience is a mental state and there is no need to identify with it or justify it. With awareness and discernment, we observe our inner reactions and negative mental states with patience and compassion. We are not trying to suppress or condemn the sensations and emotions, which would only add aversion to aversion. Rather, we are strengthening our capac- ity to remain calm and unshaken in the midst of momentary colorations of mind. Awareness offers us the opportunity to pause and discern the mental state that is occurring. Then we can investigate and ask: Is this mental state wholesome? Is it to be cultivated or let go? Is it possible to see that this thought is just a thought, that this feeling is just a feeling? In this way, we regain inner balance. The wisdom of restraint is often called for. This means resolving not to act or speak when in the grip of negative emotions, and not lashing out at those who interrupt or annoy you. Acting on aversion reinforces the habit of aver- sion. You might stop and ask yourself from time to time, What am I practic- ing? When we practice impatience, the result is more impatience. When we practice loving-kindness, the result is more loving-kindness. All of this requires patience and per- severance. Most of us know better than to blame others for our reactions, yet we do so anyway because of the seeming strength of conditioning. We alone are responsible for our reactions, no matter how provoked we are. This is a difficult lesson to learn but ultimately it means we are not under anyone else’s power. We can learn to respond to emotions with intelligence and kindness instead of reacting to outer stimuli. Meditation teaches us to look within and respond with the heart. The good news is that when we use such means as patience and compassion, they become natural and organic responses. In this way, difficul- ties turn into material for liberation. 30 CHURCH STREET, BARNET, VERMONT 05821 samadhicushions.com 1.800.331.7751 A COMPLETE ONLINE SOURCE FOR MEDITATORS. SINCE 1975. 000582 582 582 5 00 AAARN RN RN TTT, BA BA BA i 3 VE VE VE 30303030 TRE TRE TREEEE CHU CHU CHURRRCCCHS HS HSTTT NT0 TT0 111 EEETTT MON MON MON Don’t just do somethinngg. Sit there. MEDITATION CUSHIONS MEDITATION BENCHES GONGS INCENSE MALAS MEDITATION TABLES BOOKS AND MEDIA BEGINNER SETS Sales support Karmê Chöling here in Vermont and other Shambhala Buddhist Centers worldwide.