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Jun 01
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Combing Your Hair and Brushing Your Teeth

Geoffrey Gale: tooth brush model

Geoffrey Gale: tooth brush model

Shambhala Times Updates from the Inside Out
Editor’s Column

by Sarah Lipton
Shambhala Times Editor-in-Chief

We like to race to the perceived finish line of vajrayana practice, but we cannot forget the importance of the foundations that allow us to travel that path.

In Sakyong Mipham’s book, Running with the Mind of Meditation, we are urged again and again to take care of our bodies and physicality. It’s not just the mind that needs caring for on the cushion. We have to take care of our bodies so that when we get up off the cushion we can engage fully with the world, and furthermore, be of benefit.

Parents know this, they have to take care of their own bodies so they have the strength and energy to keep up with their little children. Service workers of all kinds know this because they need their bodies to do their jobs. Bodhisattvas know this because without a pure, powerful vessel, they cannot help others to attain a state of wakefulness.

The Vidyadhara, Chogyam Trungpa Rinpoche consistently taught the importance of “combing our hair,” as James Gimian reminds us in True Command, “by which he meant the importance of beginning any study by retracing ones steps over the most basic ground of the topic at hand.” As we leap forward, we can only do so because we have taken care to prepare the ground (the launching pad and the landing pad).

Geoffrey Gale: eating a cookie

Geoffrey Gale: eating a cookie

As we engage this journey, we find ourselves unburdened, free to delight in our experience and our world. As the magic of the present moment opens up, we begin to enjoy the dance. It’s hard work, it takes a while, but it’s called a path for a reason. But finally, we can begin celebrating those moments of delight: early summer breeze, children’s laughter, a hawk flying by, the smile of your teacher, the light of the sun catching on a distant flower, eating a cookie and brushing your teeth.

Article inspired by the hot new music video from the whole Karme Choling Posse with: T-Biggs, G-Breezy, A-Train, F-bomb, G-Vu, Baby Silverman, Lil’ Kehn & Vitamin Z. Brush Cookie Brush!

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Sarah Lipton and a spring turtle

Sarah Lipton and a spring turtle

Sarah Lipton has been the Shambhala Times Editor-in-Chief for three years. She lives in a two-hundred year old farmhouse in the woods with her husband and large garden in North-Central Vermont. Besides running the Shambhala Times, Sarah spends her time writing books, gardening and providing leadership mentoring to leaders in her community. See previous editorials here.

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