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Lion's Roar

Lion's Roar

September 2021

The Lion's Roar celebrates the spirit of wakefulness wherever it appears - in the arts, relationships, politics, livelihood, popular culture, and all the challenges of modern life. It offers a Buddhist view for people of all spiritual traditions who are open, inquisitive, passionate and committed.

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Shambhala Sun Foundation
$5.19(Incl. tax)
$25.94(Incl. tax)
6 Issues

in this issue

5 min
more from lion’s roar

OPEN HEART, VAJRA MIND ONLINE LEARNING SERIES Lion’s Roar is pleased to invite you to deep, insightful, and accessible instruction in explore some of the profound practices these practices. of Tibetan Buddhism in our new online Sessions include Mingyur Rinpoche on learning experience, Open Heart, Vajra Mind. Dzogchen, Willa Blythe Baker on Mahamudra, Venerable Thubten Chodron on Tara Designed for both new and experienced meditators, the program is carefully practice, Lama Tsultrim Allione on Chöd, produced to help you deepen your practice Robert Thurman on investigating emptiness, no matter where you are in your journey. Andrew Holecek on illusory body and dream In this self-paced program, you'll receive yoga, Judy Lief on Lojong (mind training), teachings from eight renowned Buddhist and Pema Khandro on compassion practices. Learn more at teachers with…

2 min
take a deep breath

“WE CAN ALWAYS return to the breath.” Many years ago, at an introduction to meditation for beginners, I heard this instruction and learned of the connection between the breath and our ability to return to balance and ease. My reaction landed somewhere between irritation and relief. I was irritated that the key to undoing my tendency toward anxiousness and distraction was something I’d had access to all along. And I was relieved that an essential foundation of practice—at a time when so much about meditation felt odd and otherworldly to me—was so readily available, even mundane! As the Theravada Buddhist teacher Shaila Catherine explains in this issue, the Buddha recommended going into the forest, sitting under a tree, and “being with” the breath. He was the first person to teach this practice…

5 min
why i do not bow

BUDDHIST GUIDE TO MINDFUL LIVING PROSTRATIONS OF AN ANGRY BLACK MAN You asked me to bow. I couldn’t. You asked me to kneel. I couldn’t figure out how. And it’s not like I didn’t want to. It’s just not in my nature. I have the proper amount of respect for the process and the ritual. And for you and for him. It’s just a little problematic considering our history. Our shared history. And no, I can’t just “get over it.” I can’t serve food to a random white person in public but I would love to be of service. I can’t serve. I can’t bring a white man food. I’m sorry it doesn’t sit well with me. I love you but… Come get it yourself. I grew up in the 60s and 70s. I’ve worked many jobs in many cities. I could never be a waiter. I am the descendant of recent…

3 min
“your life always expresses the dharma”

SUZUKI SAID HE WAS most happy when his students shared in the joy of practice. He said that’s what Buddhism is—not enlightenment or understanding. I asked Suzuki Roshi, “When I work in the kitchen, I feel like I’m in the heart of practice. Why do I have to sit so much?” He answered, “To open your mind wider and wider.” One evening in a sesshin, all of us sitting there cross-legged, many with aching legs and backs, Suzuki said, “Zazen is hard for you, I know. But remember that zazen is also soft and gentle. Please try to sit with a soft mind like bread dough—you know, how it sticks together and then with fire becomes something wonderful to eat!” A student asked, “When does my life express the dharma and when does it…

3 min
who is invisible to you?

THERE’S A MAN who works in the produce department at my neighborhood grocery store. He’s usually present in the morning when I shop there, but for more years than I’d like to admit, he was essentially invisible to me. One day that changed. My hands were dripping wet from handling some particularly wet produce, and he rushed over with a paper towel for me to dry myself with. This simple act of kindness penetrated my heart. Tears welled up as I realized how often I had overlooked him, unconsciously making him invisible. Metta, or loving-kindness practice, teaches us that all humans have the same needs for safety, well-being, and freedom from suffering. To unconsciously make someone the “other,” to render them invisible, strips away this reality. And it separates us from the…

5 min
the universe in a grain of rice

AT THE ELEGANT HOME of a friend of a friend, the hostess served me a generous portion of sticky rice. Although I was perfectly capable of using chopsticks, I felt incapable of eating this bowl of plain, unadorned starch. I was twenty-four at the time and had been living outside of Kobe for many months. So I knew that in Japan it’s considered good manners to finish your rice down to the last grain, and bad manners to pour soy sauce on it. But I’d grown up in the West, with long-grain rice, which I’d been free to douse with soy sauce (of dubious quality) right at the table, and I couldn’t conceive of how to eat my way out of this situation politely. Without sauce, I could not choke down…