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Buddhadharma : Summer 2017
summer 2 0 1 7 buddhadharma: the practitioner’s quarterly 21 Send your questions to email@example.com was?” Milarepa, explains that when you think like that, you are removing the power from the person who practices as well as the power of the practices themselves. This, for me, is the power of Milarepa’s story—the message that you are always enough to manifest awaken- ing through your practice. You mentioned getting out of your head. It was the same for Milarepa. More or less orphaned as a child, he was indentured to his aunt and uncle, then pressured by his mother to murder them through black magic. He killed not only them but also his entire extended family and the angry mobs who come searching for him later. He spent years sifting through his remorse, the pain of what he did, and his sadness and feel- ings of worthlessness. It took meeting his teacher, Marpa, to finally break through that obsessive thinking. Marpa got Milarepa out of his head by putting him through physically trying tasks—by being tough with him and not giving him the room to hate himself. As a result, Milarepa’s perspective was able to shift. He wasn’t stuck anymore. I often see dharma practitioners inadvertently place themselves in a story of how they should practice, even if it doesn’t feel appropriate for them. It feels spiritual, but not good, not empowering; definitely not liberating. In moments like this, practice can feel like a prison. When that’s the case, the important thing is to break free of it. My practice is always changing because I am always changing. In my moments of getting stuck or hitting the wall, I usually get up, do something to shift myself, then do what feels appro- priate in that moment, even if it doesn’t look like “practice.” In moments of frustration, I read biographies of the eighty-four Indian mahasiddhas—my role models on the path. We are all awakened; the practice is finding that unique path that reveals this. What feels right for you? Key code BDA Meditation Cushions Statues . Jewelry & Gifts DharmaKids Sign Up for Emails and Request a Catalog! THE CATALOG OF MEDITATION SUPPLIES since 1979 DharmaC r a f t s dharmacrafts.com 866.339.4198 INSIGHT MEDITATION SOCIETY IMS’s Forest Refuge program is for experienced meditators only. For more information, visit www.dharma.org or call 978-355-2063 Deepen your practice Experience a personal retreat at IMS’s Forest Refuge • Choose the length of your stay – retreat periods range from seven nights to a year or more • Develop an individual program of silent practice – supported by teacher talks and interviews • Balance solititude with community – meditate with others or in your private room • Strengthen practice faith, confidence and self-reliance