User Tools

Site Tools


smile_at_fear

Smile at Fear

Chögyam Trungpa

Fear is nervousness, fear is anxiety, fear is a sense of inadequacy, a feeling that we may not be able to deal with the challenges of everyday life at all. We feel that life is overwhelming. People may use tranquilizers or yoga to suppress their fear: they just try to float through life. (…) Where does fear come from? It comes from basic bewilderment. Where does basic bewilderment come from? It comes from being unable to synchronize mind and body. (…) When you don't feel grounded or properly seated in the world, you cannot relate to your experience or to the rest of the world. -pp4

If you are bottling yourself up with your so called privacy, you find yourself getting in your own way. There is no privacy in that situation. Privacy does not exist. Instead, you feel completely bombarded with internal emotions and thoughts, which take away from your chance to be with yourself and relax with yourself completely/Once you begin to give up privacy, you open your heart an your whole existence to the rest of the world, and then you find greater privacy. You find that an actual discovery of yourself is taking place. -pp7

Whenever you see a bright and beautiful color, you are witnessing your own inherent goodness. Whenever you hear a sweet and beautiful sound, you are hearing your own basic goodness. Whenever you taste something sweet and sour, you are experiencing your own basic goodness. If you are in a room and you open the door and walk outside, there is a sudden breeze of fresh air. Such an experience may last only for a second, but that whiff of fresh air is the smell of basic goodness.

Things like that are always happening to you, but you have been ignoring them, thinking that they are mundane and unimportant, purely coincidences of an ordinary nature. However, it is worthwhile to take advantage of anything that happens to you that has that particular nature of goodness. You begin to realize that there is nonaggression happening all around you in your life and you are able to feel the freshness of realizing your goodness, again and again. -pp9

To describe meditation, we could use the phrase “touch and go”. You are in contact, you're touching the experience of being there, actually being there, and then you let go. That applies to awareness of your breath on the cushion and also beyond that to your day-to-day living awareness. The point of touch and go is that there is a feeling of being yourself fully and truly. The point of touch is that there is a sense of existence, that you are who you are. (…) The go part is that you are there and then you don't hang on to it. You don't sustain your sense of being, but you let go of even that. Touch and go. -pp 13

The attitude towards breath in meditation is to become the breathing. Try to identify completely rather than watching your breath or just observing the process of breathing. You are the breath; the breath is you. Breath is coming out of your nostrils, going out and dissolving into the atmosphere, into the space. You put a certain energy and effort toward your awareness of that. The, as for in-breathing, should you try to deliberately draw things in? That is not recommended here/ Just boycott your breath; boycott your concentration on the breath. As your breath goes out, let it dissolve. Just abandon it, boycott it.

So breathing in is just space. Physically, biologically, one does breathe in, obviously, but that's not a big deal and you don't emphasize it. Then another breath goes out - be with it. So it's: out, dissolve, gap. It is a constant process: opening, gap, abandoning, boycotting. Boycotting, in this case, is a very significant word. If you hold on to your breath, you are holding on to yourself constantly. Once you begin to boycott the end of your out-breath, then there is no world left, except that the next out-breath reminds you to tune in, So you tune in, dissolve, tune in, dissolve. -pp14

Then, there is a further touch that is necessary. Emotional states should not be just acknowledged and pushed off, but actually looked at. During meditation you may experience being utterly aggressive and angry, or being utterly lustful, whatever. You don't just say to your emotion, “Hi. Nice seeing you again. You are ok. Good-bye, I want to get back to my breath.” (…) In this approach to practice, you don't just sign off. You acknowledge what is happening, and then you look more closely as well. -pp 15

Becoming a warrior and facing yourself is a question of honesty rather than condemning yourself. -pp 19

In Buddhist tradition, when we make a genuine connection with ourselves, we also begin to respect the source of wisdom, a teacher. (…) Obviously, there will be resistance to allowing someone to come into your world and inject something into your existence. (…) When that particular element, which is your buddha nature, is awakened in your being, strangely enough you think it is a foreign element in your system. According to the Buddhist tradition, this experience is known as transplanting the heart of enlightenment, or transplanting the full moon into your heart. -pp 20-22

The sun in your head brings natural intelligence to how you organize your world. A building has to have windows and doors and beams and even columns - if necessary. Your life requires structure as well. This sense of organization is more fundamental than putting carpet on the floor or whitewashing your walls. A sense of protection, or the quality of having a container is needed in your life. That sense of a perimeter or container, as well as finding the natural exit and entrance that exist in your world, comes from the sun that you have transplanted into your head. You begin to see how intelligence shines forth in the space, because the brilliance of warriorship has developed. -pp 27

The honesty and trustworthiness of the environment speaks for itself. If someone has been suspicious of what you're doing, when they come into an environment that you've created and they can see your vision actualized, they might begin to relax and accept you. When you transplant the sun of wisdom in your head, there is wakefulness, there is a natural sense of existence, and there is genuineness, all at the same time. It is quite a cheerful world, extraordinarily delightful. -pp 28

Warriorship is a natural process of growth. Having developed a basic understanding and connection to warriorship, we plant the moon in our heart, which contains gentleness, compassion and wakefulness. The we plant the sun in our hear, which brings further wakefulness and genuineness into the whole situation.

The growth of warriorship comes from an absence of laziness. We are generally quite lazy about making a spiritual journey in life. Laziness here is simply that we can't be bothered. You might be vaguely interested in becoming a more developed person, but you are too lazy to do so. -pp 29

If we understand how to go about things in our own life already, then we will develop a natural sense of how to extend out to others as well. The ability to reach out is based first on how one actually views oneself. -pp 30

In the warrior's world, you are the king or queen of your domain, in your own right. This sense of celebration comes from joining the moon in your heart and the sun in your head. Elegance and dignity become natural and lovely, wholesome and good. There is no deceit and no pretense of any kind. -pp 31

Sacredness comes from developing gentleness toward ourselves. Then the irritation of being with oneself is taken away. When that kind of friendliness occurs, then one also develops friendliness toward the rest of the world. At that point, sadness, loneliness and wretchedness begin to dissipate. We develop a sense of humor. We don't get so pissed of if we have a bad cup of coffee in the morning. Appreciating our human dignity comes from that, and then the moon in your heart becomes natural and obvious, and the sun in your head is also obvious and natural. -pp 36

Unconditional fearlessness is cheerful and very light. There is no need for any kind of cowardice or fear, or any moments of doubt. It might actually be better to speak of being doubtless rather than fearless. (…) So the real notion of victory, is not having to deal with an enemy at all. -pp 37

When we describe the education of the warrior here, it is a way of reflecting on what we have accomplished on our own path, as well as providing inspiration for how to work with others. -pp 39

We respect them, but on the other hand, we don't just let them lie in their cocoons forever. -pp40

The important thing is to learn to be friendly toward our problems, by developing what is called maitiri in Sanskrit, or loving-kindness in English translation. All of these problems and difficulties are fundamentally generated from the concept of duality and separatedness.

(…) To work with this dichotomy of self and others, first it is necessary to consider the facts and patterns of life, that is your behavior, your approach to communication, and your way of life overall. There are certain aspects of your life that are not balanced, but those very things can be developed into a balanced state of being, which is the main thing that we need to achieve. Three things make for imbalance: ignorance, hatred and desire. (…) In an unbalanced way of behaving, one does not deal properly with a situation. One's action is not appropriate. One action overlaps another and the action is not properly accomplished, for when a person is halfway through dealing with the present action, he is already drifting on to the next action. This produces a kind of indigestion in the mind, for there is something always left incomplete, like leaving a fruit half eaten.

Ignorance in this case means that someone is not able to accomplish his or her present work thoroughly. Ignorance ignores what is because your mind is occupied by either experiences from the past, or expectations of the future. Therefore, you are never able to be now. Ignorance means ignoring the present.

Another problem is aggression. In the state of aggression, you are constantly trying to fight with someone else. Your mind is so occupied with your opponent that you are continuously defensive, trying to defend yourself in the fear that something will happen to you. Therefore you are unable to see a positive alternative, one that would allow you to actually deal effectively with problems. Instead, your mind is clouded, and you do not have the clarity of mind to deal with situations. (…)

What is necessary is to learn to understand the other side of any situation, to make friends with the opponent or the problem, in order to see the opponent clearly and to understand what move he is going to make next. (…)

The whole point is that, in order to successfully challenge someone, first of all you must develop loving-kindness and a feeling of longing for openness, so that there is no desire to challenge anyone at all. If one has a desire to conquer or win a challenge against another, then in the process of challenging him or her, the mind is filled with this desire and one is not really able to challenge the other person properly. Going beyond the challenge is the art of war. (…)

That is the whole point: when you do not produce another force of hatred, the opposing force collapses. -pp 46 - 50

A warrior should be capable of artfully conducting his or her life in every action, from drinking tea to running a country. Learning how to handle fear, and how to utilize both our own and other people's fears, is what allows us to brew the beer of fearlessness. (…) The basic vision of warriorship is that there is goodness in everyone. -pp 53

We are referring here to overcoming a (…) basic doubt, which is fundamentally doubting yourself and feeling that you have shortcomings as a human being. You don't feel that your mind and body are synchronized or working together properly. You feel that you are constantly being shortchanged somewhere in life. -pp 55

Doubt arises in relating with authority, discipline and scheduling throughout our life. When we don't acknowledge our doubt, it manifests as resistance and resentment. (…) However, resistance in everyday life provides us with many ways to manipulate situations. When we are presented with a challenge, we often try to turn away, rather than having to face it. We come up with all kinds of excuses to avoid the demands that we feel are being put on us. The basic “no” on the other hand, is accepting discipline in our life without preconceptions. -pp 56

The ground of fearlessness, which is the basis for overcoming doubt and wrong belief, is the development of renunciation. Renunciation here means overcoming that very hard and aggressive mentality which wards off any gentleness that might come into our hearts. Fear does not allow fundamental tenderness to enter into us. When tenderness tinged by sadness touches our heart, we know that we are in contact with reality. We feel it. That contact is genuine, fresh, and quite raw. That sensitivity is the basic experience of warriorship, and it is the key to developing fearless renunciation. -pp 58

When people say they are bored, often they mean that they don't want to experience the sense of emptiness, which is also an expression of openness and vulnerability. -pp 59

Renunciation is the willingness to work with real situations of aggression in the world. If someone interrupts your world with an attach of aggression, you have to respond to it. There is no other way. Renunciation is being willing to face that intense kind of situation rather than cover it up. Everyone is afraid to talk about this. -pp 59

How are we going to respond to real opposition when it rises in the world? As a warrior, how are you going to relate with that? (…) In my experience of how students usually relate with conflict, I find that they tend to freeze when someone is very critical of them. They become non communicative which does not help the situation. As warriors, we shouldn't be uptight and uncommunicative. We find it easy to manifest basic goodness when somebody agrees with us. Even if they're half agreeing with you, you can talk to them and have a great time. But if someone is edgy and negative, then you freeze, become defensive, and begin to attack them back. That's the wrong end of the stick. You don't kill an enemy before they become an enemy. You only slash an enemy when they become a hundred percent good enemy and present a real hundred percent challenge. -pp 60

The path of fearlesness begins with the discovery of fear. We find ourselves fearful, frightened, even petrified by circumstances. This ubiquitous nervousness provides us with a stepping-stone so that we can step over our fear. We have to make a definite move to cross over the boundary from cowardice to bravery.

We may not discover bravery right away. Instead, beyond our nervousness, we find a shaky tenderness. We are still quivering, but we are shaking with tenderness rather than bewilderment. This shaky vulnerability contains an element of sadness, but not in the sense of feeling bad about oneself or feeling deprived. Rather, we feel a natural sense of fullness that is tender and sad. -pp 63

To be a good warrior, one has to feel sad and lonely, but rich and resourceful at the same time. This makes the warrior sensitive to every aspect of phenomena: to sights, smells, sounds, and feelings. In that sense, the warrior is also an artist, appreciating whatever goes on in the world. Everything is extremely vivid. The rustling of your armor or the sound of raindrops falling on your coat is very loud. The fluttering of occasional butterflies around you is almost an insult, because you are so sensitive.

Such a sensitive warrior can then go further on the path of fearlessness. There are three tools or practical guides that the warrior uses on this journey. The first is the development of discipline, or shila in Sanskrit, which is represented by the analogy of the sun. (…) in all your mannerisms, every aspect of behaviour, you maintain your openness to the environment. You constantly extend yourself to things around you.

There is a complete absence of laziness. (…) You go along with a situation. You don't withdraw. This allows you to develop your loyalty and connection to others, free from fear.(…) First you develop your own good conduct, and then you can extend yourself fearlessly to others. That is the concept of the sun.

The second guide on the warrior's path is represented by the analogy of an echo, which is connected with meditative awareness, or samadhi. When you try to take time off from being a warrior, when you want to let go of your discipline or indulge mindlessly in some activity, your action produces an echo. (…) Those echoes or reflections happen all the time, and if we pay attention to them, they provide constant reminders to be awake.

The warrior's third tool is actually a weapon. It is represented by the analogy of a bow and arrow, which is connected with developing wisdom, or prajna, and skillful means, or upaya. Prajna is the wisdom of discriminating awareness, which is experiencing the sharpness of sense perceptions and developing psychological accuracy. You can't develop this kind of sharpness unless some experience of egolessness has manifested in your mind. (…) The bow allows you to harness and execute the sharpness of your perceptions.

The development of this discriminating-awareness wisdom also allows you to accurately detect the enemy. A real enemy is someone who propagates and promotes ultimate selfishness, or ego. (…) In the Shambhala warrior tradition, we say that you should only have to kill an enemy once every thousand years. We mean here the real enemy, the basic rudra principle, which is the personification of egohood, or ego run wild. You can work with other enemies by subjugating or pacifying them, buying them out, or seducing them. (…) Your action has to be completely free of aggression, and it cannot be motivated by anger, greed or a desire for retribution or vengeance. The motivation has to be pure compassion. (…) Such an assassination has to be very direct and personal. It's not like dropping bombs on people. If we pop the enemy, and only then, they might be able to connect with some basic goodness within themselves and realize that they made a gigantic mistake. You always look for other alternatives to cure the situation, but sometimes there is none. -pp 64 - 67

The fruition of fearlessness is connected with three analogies. The first is that fearlessness is like a reservoir of trust. This trust arises from the experience of basic goodness, which we have already discussed. When we feel basically good, rather than degraded and condemned, then we become very inquisitive, looking into every situation and examining it. We don't want to fool ourselves by relying on belief alone. Rather, we want to make a personal connection with reality. -pp 69

Communication produces results: either success or failure. That is how the fearless warrior relates with the universe, not by remaining alone and insecure, but by constantly being exposed to the phenomenal world and constantly being willing to take that chance. (…) we're talking about having a continual relationship with the phenomenal world that is not based on either a good or a bad result. We unconditionally trust the phenomenal world to always give us a message, either success or failure. The fruition of your action will always provide us with information. -pp 70

That brings us to the next analogy, which is music. Music is connected with the idea of continuously being joyful. The feedback or the result that comes from the warrior's practice is never a dead end. (…) So while the result of action is fruition, beyond that, the result is the seed for the next journey. Our journey continues, cycling between success and failure, path and fruition, just as the four seasons alternate. There is always further creativity, so there is always joy on the journey, joy in the result. -pp 71

Having developed trust and appreciation, you can finally conquer fear, which is connected with the analogy of a saddle. In the Buddhist teachings we talk about developing such a good sense of mental balance that, if you become mindless, your awareness will automatically bring you back (…) In the saddle, as long as you have good posture and a good seat, you can overcome any startling or unexpected moves your horse makes. So the idea of the saddle is taking a good seat in your life. (…) so even if little unexpected things happen, good or bad, right or wrong, you don't exaggerate them. You come back to your seat in the saddle and maintain your posture in the situation. (…) Assuming your seat in the saddle at this level is achieving inscrutability, in the positive sense. It is also taking your seat on the earth. Once you have a good seat on the earth, you don't need witnesses to validate you. (…) “Earth is my witness.” (…)

Fearlessness in the warrior tradition is not training yourself in the ultimate paranoia. It is based on training in ultimate solidity - which is basic goodness. You have to learn how to be regal. Trust is like becoming a good citizen, celebrating the journey is like becoming a good minister in the government, but holding your seat in the saddle is finally assuming command. It is how to be a king or queen. -pp 72

Unconditional fearlessness (…) is simply based on being awake. Once you have command of the situation, fearlessness is unconditional because you are neither on the side of success nor on the side of failure. Success and failure are your journey. -pp 73

(…) heaven is our state of mind, earth is our physical body and surroundings. When mind and body are joined together properly, there is a sense of joining heaven and earth. This comes from the sitting practice of meditation, to begin with. We have to sit and slow down. The discipline of meditation is both training the mind and training the body. -pp 75

The first stage of fearlessness contains a feeling of joy and relaxation or well-being. From the goodness of simply being yourself, a quality of upliftedness arises, which is not overly solemn or religious. It is joyful to experience that you are alive, you are here. You appreciate colours and the temperature of the air. You appreciate smells and sounds. You begin to use your eyes, your ears, your nose, and your tongue to explore the world. (…) This experience of joy and unconditional healthiness is the basic virtue that comes from being what we are, right now. You have to experience this natural healthiness and goodness personally. When you practice meditation, that brings the beginning of this experience. Then, when you leave the meditation hall and go out and relate with the rest of reality, you will find out what kind of joy is needed and what kind of joy is expendable. (…) In the midst of joy, your memory of fear may come up again. However, you are able to ride that fearful state of mind, whatever it may come from. So the second stage of fearlessness is being able to connect with or ride one's own mind properly. From that, the last stage of of fearlessness is that you can steer your mind in whatever direction you want to go, into whatever area you want to explore and perceive. (…) Fearlessness is powerful, but it also contains gentleness and constant loneliness and sadness. Wisdom and consideration for others are also part of fearlessness. -pp 77-78

The joy of fearlessness brings the sadness. (…) Real fearlessness is like mixing sweet and sour together. The tone of joyful saddness is like the sound of a flute, which is so melodic and beautiful. It ravishes your mind. (…) This experience brings sympathy toward the world, including the world of the setting sun. The sadness you experience, as well as a sense of delight, encourages you to share your experience with others. You want to include them in your vision. You want to work with others and help them as much as you can. (…) Of course, if you are not very strong, you might have to stay away from the most confused experiences for a while, so that you won't be overly influenced by the neurosis of the setting sun world. But when sadness and fearlessness are strong enough, you should look into how people in the setting-sun world conduct themselves. -pp 79

Ordinarily, people have many difficulties in relating to the world, which manifests in the form of passion, aggression and ignorance - and this is far from being able to join heaven and earth. Nevertheless, working with others, regardless of their attitude is still very important. The approach of the warrior in working with the setting-sun world is like an autumn leaf floating down the river. It doesn't change its color, and it doesn't struggle with the river. It goes along with it. (…) It takes people off guard when you don't react to them. You don't fight back when they attack you, but you just remain as an autumn leaf, whatever they do. This is the gentle way of working. (…) Working with others in this way, one is able to work with oneself at the same time. One's appreciation of the world never diminishes. (…) Every decision becomes a part of a celebration, rather than purely a hassle. -pp 80 - 81

The ruler of the Great Eastern Sun views the world, the entire universe, with panoramic vision. He or she sees what needs to be done, what needs to be conquered, what needs to be overcome, what needs to be destroyed, what needs to be cherished. -pp 82

We are discussing how to benefit others by joining heaven and earth, while fulfilling our own wishes and developing a perfect notion of warriorship. -pp 83

Fearlessness arises out of understanding fear. Step by step, you begin to understand why you are terrified of nonexistence, and at last you begin to understand fearlessness. At first there is a sense of relief, that you are finally looking into your fear and facing it. Then you develop inquisitiveness. You want to explore the whole area of fear. Having explored it, you can actualize real fearlessness. Such fearlessness is quite shart, which is the principle of Ashe. The razor knife of Ashe cuts fear. Then fearlessness dawns as a sense of humor and light touch. At that point, you remember that you are not just a frightened, solitary person. You remember that you live in a society. When we connect with other human beings, we touch into our creativity as human beings, and we begin to expend our world. That is the expression of fearlessness. -pp 85

The way of the warrior is to reflect the brilliance of Ashe [manifestation of basic goodness, primordial confidence] in body, speech and mind. You have a good posture of upright head and relaxed shoulders. (…) Ziji [brilliance and dignity] is reflected throughout your appearance. (…) The whole approach is based on how you carry yourself and how you conduct yourself. -pp 88

At the absolute level, the Ashe principle is nonexistence, which here means being vacant or empty of duality. It is just open space. pp 89

Unconditional confidence is the pragmatic aspect of tenderness and gentleness. It is the action arising from the softness. Developing confidence is like watching the sun rise. First it seems very feeble and one wonders whether it will make it. Then it shines and shines. Confidence is not about arrogance or pride. It is a natural unfolding process. It is not a question of needing confidence or not needing it. It is naturally there. In fact we actually don't have to develop confidence. It's more that we have to acknowledge the confidence that already exists. -pp 94

So the real way to share our understanding with others is to cheer ourselves up to begin with. Then, when we communicate with others, it should be very moving. Tenderness is based on touching the aspect of ourselves that is positive, but at the same time, slightly sad. We are talking about a human situation and how to feel like a human being. The humanness that exists within us is perhaps like a woman's womb, which is very sensitive and which nurtures life and is capable of giving birth. The heart of the Shambhala approach is this fertile gentleness. -pp 95

When you are all-victorious, you don't have to conquer anything. That's the attitude that we take here toward ourselves. Recognizing the goodness of human life is not based on suppression or overlooking negativity, however. Rather, if you look at your experience and your mind, and you trace back through the whole process of your life, of who you are, what you are and why you are in this world, if you look systematically, step by step, you won't find even a little drop of any problem at all. -pp 97

(…) we expand and extend ourselves fully into a situation, and from that we receive the feedback to develop a true and clear understanding. There is no doubt about anything. Overall, the warrior's doubtlessness comes from continually connecting back with the original feeling of being truly oneself. From that, tremendous health can be propagated. -pp 98

Genuine communication with others has to be a slow and organic process, which begins with ourselves. If we work with ourselves properly and thoroughly, then we can project wholesomeness effortlessly and naturally. This is not yet the experience of being a warrior completely, but just touching the essence or the seed of warriorship. -pp 99

For the warrior, inquisitiveness arises spontaneously and comes with a sense of raw delight. It is soft and tough at the same time. (…) Whenever there is interest, you reflect back to the fundamental sadness and tenderness, which then allows you to project further genuineness, which in turn sparks further interest. At this point, you feel that your life is constantly moving forward. -pp 99

Great Eastern Sun vision is also connected with the concept of windhorse, or lungta in Tibetan. Windhorse is a sense of gallantry, cheerfulness, upliftedness, and gentleness - all bundled into one state of being in the person of the warrior. -pp 100

(…) meekness refers to the warrior's genuineness. Your life feels wholesome because you have been so thorough and methodical in examining your whole being. (…) When we talk about elegance, we are not talking in terms of arrogance. When we talk about fearlessness, we are not talking about heavy-handedness. Genuineness is different from trying to convince ourselves that something is there when it doesn't exist. Gentleness doesn't mean being polite and putting on the false mask of a bodhisattva. Windhorse arises in the basic atmosphere of awareness and mindfulness. Out of that space of basic, constant sanity, a spark of delightfulness or a sudden flash of wakefulness can take place. This happens over and over again in your life. -pp 101

Discovering windhorse is really just a question of giving up your resistance, rather than working too hard to understand or finalize something. It's very simple and raw. Japanese koto music has these qualities of rawness and genuineness (…) Once you know your cowardice, once you know where the stumbling block is, you just have to climb over it - maybe just three and a half steps. -pp 102

From that point of genuineness where the secular becomes sacred, we begin to discover the true warrior, the genuine warrior, as opposed to the mimicking or amateurish warrior. -pp 103

We have developed our own discipline and understanding of fearlessness, but how can we share that with others? Metaphorically speaking, there are all sorts of extreme ways of waking others: knocking on their doors, pouring cold water on them - all sorts of ways of waking people up. Most of us have tried those ways of communicating with others in our life, as well as pounding on their heads and overwhelming them. When we use too much force without enough basic authority, or presence, then the joke will be on us. Things will bounce back on us. (…)

There is only one way a true warrior can project to others: through personal understanding. Then you can demonstrate to people that their poverty-logic about their lives does not hold truth. Let them wake that way.

A genuine warrior has a lot of resource within herself, resources that are always there. Although you feel that you've run out of ideas, you're not really running out of anything. You're being attacked by your own cowardice. You can go beyond that and find further resources within yourself. Banks and banks of inspiration unfold constantly.

The magical trick of practice, the key to relating with others is to project the physical and psychological healthiness of lungta, or windhorse. You might have had a terrible day, but when you turn your mind to communicating with others in the Shambala style, you tune yourself to lungta. You feel good, healthy and ready to launch. -pp 103-104

Confidence comes from nowhere. It jsut arises. It's a sudden flash that has a very healthy note. Before you have to present yourself to others, you could spend at least five or ten minutes tuning into confidence. Sit in a chair or on a meditation cushion and tune in to the giant ocean of healthiness. Then, when a spark of confidence arises, project it out. Then there is no problem. Genuine communication is based on tuning in to the spark of confidence, which contains all the elements of wakefulness and power that we have been discussing. -pp 105

As a warrior proceeds on the path, he or she may go through phases of intense fear (…) These attacks of fear often happen after you have understood the Great Eastern Sun principle and the principle of unconditional confidence. When you have understood things spotlessly, then this fear may arise. It is actually a further phase in the development of confidence. (…) When this occurs in your life, you should examine the nature of fear. This is not based on asking logical questions about fear (…). It is simply looking at the state of fear and panic that is taking place in you. Just look at it. (…) Fear will definitely arise in your life. Therefore it is crucial to understand how to combat that fear by going further into it and then coming out. None of us should regard ourselves as being trapped. From this point of view we are free. We can do what we want to do. This is one of the key attitudes that we should adopt. Even if you experience great fear, you can go in and out of it. That can be done. (…) The key is whether you're regarding what you are experiencing as simply something real, or instead as monumental entrapment, imprisonment. If you panic further, you breed cowardice. If you don't descend into cowardice, then you just have an experience of fear. (…) If you are able to join fear and uncertainty with genuine confidence. then you will come through to the other side. (…) At that point you are actually witnessing joining together of heaven and earth. Heaven means sanity, or a good and direct understanding. Earth is practicality. Joining them together means that practicality and sanity, or wisdom, are put together, so that we can actually transmit sanity to others. -pp 107-109

Invoking the windhorse and having the confident awareness of the Shambhala warrior are very important disciplines, but there is something else we need to cultivate, which is a constant experience or quality of sacredness in everyday life. (…) Sacredness is not just an idea. It is an experience. Having a realization of sacredness means that you experience an element of power and dignity in everything, including the ballpoint pen you're using, your comb, taking a shower, or driving your car. Such little details of life have an element of the bigger vision and dignity of warriorship in them. Heaven and earth are joining together in each moment, which is the essence of sacredness. (…) This understanding of sacredness can actually ward off attachs of fear and negativity. Our existence is fortified, so to speak, with a sense of appreciation and sacredness. If fear tries to latch on to us, it finds us very slippery and falls off easily. Sacredness also provides space or accommodation in our life. If we don't have a sense of space, we begin to feel claustrophobic, which invites attacks of negativity. -pp 111-112

The reason the warrior is invincible is that he sees his opponent's world so clearly and thoroughly. Because he knows the other world so well already, therefore the warrior can't be attacked or challenged. Here, spaciousness makes you sympathetic to others, but invincible at the same time. Invincibility doesn't have to be insensitive. Instead, because you are so sensitive, so raw and rugged, therefore you can be hard like a diamond at the same time. -pp 113

What inspires Great Eastern Sun vision altogether is the notion of being delighted to be human beings. (…) We are delighted to be who we are and delighted by the situation we are in. We appreciate the coincidences that have led us to this point in our lives.

Having discovered the Great Eastern Sun, how can we fulfill that vision? The first step is just basic warriorship, appreciating who we are, what we are, where we are. Such appreciation and investigation may bring up fear and many questions. Fear becomes our study material, which in turn becomes our working basis. We begin to realize that we have no choice but to work with fear and then to step over our fear and hesitation. Because our journey is choiceless, we develop a further sense of warriorship. We actually identify ourselves as warriors, and beyond that, we become citizens of the Shambala world, the warrior's world. How do we proceed at this point on the warrior's path? The mechanism or technique that we use is to invoke windhorse, or lungta. The practice of windhorse is a way of casting out depression and doubt. It takes the form of a cheering-up process. That is to say, invoking windhorse actualizes the living aspect of fearlessness and confidence. -pp 115

In the process of invoking windhorse, there are three stages. The first is having a joyful mind, free from doubt. (…) The second stage of longing for the horse is having a genuine mind of sadness. (…) You wish you could impart all the things n your mind to somebody else. You wish you could completely communicate with somebody. (…) But it is usually impossible. Such communication can only take place in gestures. There are a lot of things that words don't say. That is the biggest frustration of human beings. (…) Beyond that, the third stage of longing is being suddenly free from fixed mind. You are not looking back, or trying to confirm anything. Free from fixed mind means that there is no feedback. You are not trying to build a case or a logic to confirm your experience. There is the powerful sense that you are experiencing the highest level of genuine sadness and joy without doubt. You have no subconscious gossip in your mind at all. -pp 118-119

As you practice this discipline, you may see many problems in yourself and in society, but please don't reject yourself or your world. We talked earlier about the virtue of renunciation, but that doesn't mean that you should give up on this world. Renunciation here is renouncing a small-minded attachment to privacy. You can jump in and involve yourself in life. As you continue your life's journey through fear and fearlessness, please remember to appreciate your world. -pp 121

When goodness and virtue are awakened through the siting practice of meditation, you train yourself to have good posture and to harmonize your mind and your body. Then goodness or virtue develops naturally in your speech and throughout your life, and you find the genuine way of working with others. (…) When we are resentful, we are somewhere else, because we are preoccupied with something else. Being a warrior is being simply here without distraction and preoccupation. And by being here, we become cheerful. We can smile at our fear. -pp 123

Whenever there is doubt, that creates another step on your staircase. Doubt is telling you that you need to take another step. Each time there is an obstacle, you go one step further, beyond it, step by step. -pp 124

reading_notes

smile_at_fear.txt · Last modified: 2011/04/05 11:38 by maja