Facing Yourself: Awakening to the Warrior Within

You are a warrior when you have the bravery to face who you are, without fear, embarassment, or denial.

I came across this article in the Shambhala Sun. A wonderful explantion of what it means to be a warrior.

"Many people try to find a spiritual path where they do not have to face themselves, but where they can still liberate themselves. In truth, that is impossible. We have to see our gut, our real shit, our most undesirable parts." ~ Chogyam Trungpa Rinpoche

Facing Youself

Our subject matter is warriorship. Anyone who is interested in hearing the truth, anyone who is interested in finding out about him or herself, and anyone who is interested in practicing meditation is basically a warrior.

Many approaches to spirituality and to life in general are influenced by cowardice. If you are afraid of seeing yourself, you may use spirituality or religion as a way of looking at yourself without seeing anything about yourself at all. When people are embarassed by themselves, there is no fearlessness involved. However, if someone is willing to look at himself or herself, to explore and practice wakefulness on the spot, he or she is a warrior.

The general goal of warriorship is to have no fear. But the ground of warriorship is fear itself.

We could get into further details, but first we should discuss he fundamental understanding of fear and fearlessness. One of the main obstacles to fearlessness is the habitual patterns that allow us to decieve ourselves. People may use tranquilizers or yoga to suppress their fear. They may go to Starbucks or the mall. We have all sorts of gimmicks and gadgets that we use in the hope that we might experience fearlessness simply by taking our mind off of our fear.

Ordinarily, we don't let ourselves experience ourselves fully. That is to say, we have a fear of facing ourselves. Experiencing the innermost core of their existence is embarassing to alot of people. Many people try to find a spiritual path where they do not have to face themselves but where they can still liberate themselves, in fact. In truth, that is impossible. We cannot do that. We have to be honest with ourselves. We have to see our gut, our real shit, our most undesirable parts. We have to see that. That is the foundation of warriorship and the basis of conquering fear. We have to face our fear; we have to look at it, study it, work with it, and practice (meditation) with it.

We must decide to look at ourselves and experience ourselves honestly. We need to find ourselves, face ourselves, and beyond that, give up our inhibition. You remain true to yourself if you give up inhibition. You just give up your privacy, your sense of shyness, and the longing to have a personal "trip." It doesn't mean you become an exhibitionist; but you could be a real person.

Then you begin to realize that you have something in yourself that is basically good. It transcends the notion of good or bad. Something that is worthwhile, wholesome, and healthy exists in us all. For the first time, you are seeing the Great Eastern Sun.

But you can't jump the gun. First, let us look at ourselves. If you put one hundred percent of your heart into facing yourself, then you connect with this unconditional goodness.

The heart of the matter, the technique that seems to be the way to realize this, is the sitting practice of meditation. Meditation is key to seeing yourself as well as to seeing beyond yourself. Seeing yourself is the first aspect, discovering all sorts of terrible things going on in you. Facing the possibilities and the realities of that is not all that bad. If you begin to do that, you are being an honest person. Then, beyond that, you have to have further vision. Your honesty allows you to realize your goodness. You do possess Buddha in your heart.

from "Smile at Fear: Awakening the True Heart of Bravery" by Chogyam Trungpa Rinpoche

"For me, contemplating the teachings of Chogyam Trungpa is like dipping into a well from which endless wisdom can be drawn. I have been going back to this source for more than thirty years now, and I always find that it contains something to inspire me, to challenge me, and to help me on my path. More than ever, with the great problems that our society and each of us face, Trungpa Rinpoche's teachings are there to help us. I find that his teachings help us open our hearts and to find real bravery, so we can extend ourselves to others. This is based on being vulnerable yet strong. This is what Rinpoche means by being a Shambhala warrior. I think it is something we all aspire to. As he invites us to do, let's look honestly into ourselves, so that we can be fearless, gentle people." ~ Pema Chodron

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Comment by Sarah Sunny on December 3, 2009 at 9:50pm
“Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness that most frightens us. We ask ourselves, Who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, fabulous? Actually, who are you not to be? You are a child of God. Your playing small does not serve the world. There is nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people won't feel insecure around you. We are all meant to shine, as children do. We were born to make manifest the glory of God that is within us. It's not just in some of us; it's in everyone. And as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same. As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others.” M. Williamson
Comment by Marianne on December 3, 2009 at 12:38pm
Hi Alexa:

Isn't Shambhala Sun the best? Love it!!


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