fearlessness

June 21, 2007   |   Leave a reply

Chogyam Trungpa Rinpoche, from “Conquering Fear” (Based on a seminar conducted in 1979 for teachers in Shambhala Training, a series of weekend programs on meditation and the view of warriorship):

The starting point on the path of fearlessness is 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. If we do so properly, the other side of our cowardice contains 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. That shaky vulnerability contains an element of sadness, but not in the sense of feeling badly about ourself or feeling deprived. Rather, we feel a natural sense of fullness which is tender and sad.

Discovering these facets of fearlessness is preparation for the further journey on the warrior’s path. If the warrior does not feel alone and sad, then he or she can be corrupted very easily. In fact, such a person may not be a warrior at all. 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 rain drops falling on your coat is very loud. Because you are so sensitive, the fluttering of occasional butterflies around you is almost an insult.

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