Men's Lifestyle
Lion's Roar

Lion's Roar January 2019

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.

Shambhala Sun Foundation
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6 Issues

in this issue

3 min.
more from lion’s roar

The best of Lion’s Roar The latest Lion’s Roar Special Edition showcases some of our all-time favorite, most potent—and most relevant—articles, teachings, and art from the pages of Lion’s Roar. It’s called Awaken Your Heart & Mind and it’s the ideal keepsake for the many who have been inspired by Lion’s Roar’s 40 years of coverage of Buddhism, culture, meditation, and life itself—and for the many more who are discovering the dharma every day. Look for it on newsstands now or order your copy directly at store.lionsroar.com. LEARNING Deepen your understanding With this issue of Lion’s Roar we’re pleased to begin showcasing some of the in-depth dharma featured in our journal, Buddhadharma: The Practitioner’s Quarterly. For fifteen years, committed practitioners have looked to Buddhadharma for teachings, commentary, and discussion of the issues facing Buddhists…

3 min.
what does it mean to be kind?

I HAVE RECENTLY REALIZED that I’ve lived most of my life without knowing the whole definition of kindness. I figured it had something to do with being friendly—perhaps with a pinch of generosity thrown in for good measure. When I thought about what kindness looked like, I envisioned the classic example of swooping in to help someone carry a bursting bag of groceries to their car. But what would be left if I peeled kindness away from action? His Holiness the Dalai Lama famously said, “My religion is simple. My religion is kindness.” If kindness is so radical that it can define someone’s entire spirituality, then it has to be more than just a good deed. Recently, my partner went through a bout of severe anxiety. She was battling demons I couldn’t…

5 min.
no one owns the earth

Before, nature had a life and spirit of its own. The trees, skies, and rivers were living spirits. Now we are only concerned with how they can serve us. According to traditional biographies, Gautama Buddha had a special relationship with trees. He was born among trees in Lumbini Grove, when his mother went into premature labor. Later, when he left home on his spiritual quest, he went into the forest, where he studied with spiritual teachers and engaged in ascetic practices. Finally, he meditated under the Bodhi tree, where he awakened. Afterwards he continued to spend most of his time outdoors, often teaching under trees and eventually dying between two trees. The Buddha’s experience seems to be part of a larger pattern: religious founders often experience their spiritual transformation by leaving human…

2 min.
educating himalayan children

SHIRLEY BLAIR HELPS provide more than five hundred students with free schooling, housing, and medical care. Blair is the director of Shree Mangal Dvip (SMD), a boarding school for Himalayan children in Boudhanath where students learn to speak, read, and write English, Nepali, and Tibetan, along with studying the dharma. Khenchen Thrangu Rinpoche, a Tibetan lama, founded SMD in 1987 to give these mountain children an education grounded in Buddhism and the opportunity to escape the extreme poverty of their villages. “Many high-altitude people were bringing their children to Rinpoche to keep them alive,” Blair says. “Seeing how much sorrow comes from a lack of education, he started this school to help preserve their Himalayan culture and their Buddhist way of life.” While most of the children are Nepali, culturally and linguistically…

5 min.
how to cultivate your beginner’s mind

BEGINNER’S MIND (SHOSHIN) is a term in Zen Buddhism that describes a mind that is eager, without preconceptions, and open to possibility. As the late Zen teacher Shunryu Suzuki Roshi famously said, “In the beginner’s mind there are many possibilities. In the expert’s mind, there are few.” One way to invoke beginner’s mind is to go back to the fundamentals of meditation practice, which are rooted in two essential questions: “What’s going on right now?” and “What is my practice in this situation?” You could spend a long time working on nothing but these two questions, and it would no doubt be very fruitful. Let’s start with the first question: “What’s going on right now?” At the most basic level, what’s going on at the moment is that you’re reading this article.…

2 min.
healthy self or no self?

Question: All my life I’ve defined myself through my accomplishments and others’ approval. Now I don’t have a real inner sense of self. My therapist says I need a healthy ego but Buddhism says ego is the problem. So do I have to choose between healthy self or non-self? Answer: It’s not easy straightening out the different ways that Buddhism and Western psychology talk about the self and the ego. As a Buddhist teacher and psychoanalyst, I’ve heard people asking the question you raise for many decades. When you speak of an “inner sense of self,” what do you mean? An intrinsic feeling of value just as you are, without having to accomplish anything or please anyone? The psychological “ego” is a set of capacities that are not lost as a result…