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Shambhala Sun | September 2014

EXCERPT:

Obstacles on the Path

If there’s a rock in your path, you have to move it, go around it, or climb over it. The same is true in meditation, says SAKYONG MIPHAM. You can’t just pretend obstacles aren’t there. You have to relate to them. 

In meditation, we are on a journey from here to whatever we are trying to accomplish, be it mindfulness, peace, or compassion. We are developing the ability to have a fuller experience of our lives. But as we gain understanding and insight, there is a buildup of residue, which in Tibetan we call döns, or obstacles. An obstacle is something that cuts the line of our intention. If, while sitting in meditation with the motivation of benefiting others, we realize we are thinking about work, then obviously our intention has been cut. We are no longer on our intended journey.

The tricky thing is that we don’t always know when obstacles are arising. To detect them, we have to know our mind and our intention. The point is to be vigilant as we practice. As we settle our mind through meditation, any kind of imperfection in our character becomes stronger. With awareness, we can manifest our own genuineness about any obstacle we face. Intention is important.



Sakyong Mipham Rinpoche’s most recent book is
The Shambhala Principle: Discovering Humanity’s Hidden Treasure.




Read the rest of this article inside the September 2014 Shambhala Sun magazine. To see what else is in this issue, click here.

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