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Lions Roar : September 2009
SHAMBHALA SUN SepteMBer 2009 19 practice and our mind becomes con- sumed, unstable, and fickle. saying and doing negative things begins to make sense, and developing our warrior’s mind seems completely unrealistic. We have fallen into the lower, cowardly realms, where the mind is trapped and depressed. the cowardly state of mind buys into aggression as a way to accomplish things. We have great confidence in anger; we are really certain it is going to work. We don’t try patience or compassion because we haven’t cultivated enough confidence in these qualities. but this negative state of mind is not natural. In fact, it’s continual- ly recreated. maintaining it is an exhaust- ing process, but even though this negative state of mind does not result in lasting happiness, it perpetually fools itself into thinking that it will. pursuing happiness in this cowardly way is like licking honey off a razor blade—it hurts. to break out of that cycle we need wind- horse, vibrancy, the energy that uplifts and moves us forward. all the great practitio- ners of meditation have taught us that the enlightened qualities of the mind are right here. beginning to trust them depends on our steadiness, because as we build steadi- ness we have more confidence and strength. the confidence of the warrior is a non- created confidence. the practice of shamatha, peaceful abiding meditation, helps us access it in three particular ways. first, it steadies us in terms of all the activities in this life. next it helps in the bardo, the intermediate state between dying and being born again. It also helps in terms of determining our future lifetimes. even if we are not sure we believe in future lifetimes, developing steadiness of mind and having something to come back to is definitely helpful in this life. When we see great teachers, we get a very strong feeling from them. their confidence in compassion radiates out as strength. When we practice meditation, we are deepening that same kind of confidence, strengthening our conviction in the ways of warriorship—kindness, patience, and gen- erosity. by meditating for even a short while every day, we steady ourselves in these as- pects of enlightened mind, developing the fearless mind of the warrior. ♦