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Lions Roar : March 2011
SHAMBHALA SUN MArcH 2011 21 My father, ChögyaM trungpa rinpoChe, introduced the teachings of Shambhala to the West. these teachings are called “the sacred path of the warrior” because they emphasize bravery as an important factor in determining not only our per- sonal future, but that of the world. Bravery is defined as “the act of both personally and socially manifesting.” if we manifest our potential, liberation will arise. if we do not manifest, confusion arises. Bravery is that moment when we manifest 110 percent. it is the act of wholeheartedly having the courage, relaxation, and insight simply to be. We arrive at this ability to be by cultivating a steady and forthright attitude toward the present moment. to be a warrior is to experience life on our own two feet, with- out the companionship of habitual patterns. to engage in brav- ery, we must be willing to be free of deception. the Shambhala tradition regards any aspect of life as a potential path of war- riorship. But if we use our activities as a buffer that prevents us from being, those same activities become a nesting ground for habitual patterns and cowardly traits—elements of deception that allow us not to be fully present. if our lives are based on deception, they are rooted in a seri- ous fabrication. to equate deception with riding posture, we are slightly askew. in a jousting match with an oncoming rider— whom we could equate with genuineness, egolessness, and cheer- fulness—we would fall out of the saddle. if we are to face these principles and incorporate them, we must be properly mounted in our minds and in our lives. the self-deception that prevents us from being brave is based on not living wakefully, in the moment. it is the result of avoiding relative virtue and absolute virtue. at the relative level, because we cannot be strong in our social and personal situation, we deceive our spouse, children, or friends. then, at the ultimate level, when it comes to following a spiritual path, we are already accustomed to a somewhat deceptive momentum. it is hard to be totally hon- est, and difficult to follow the instructions. it makes sense that the prerequisite for facing the facts is known as bravery, for to face the facts is brave. We cannot continuously hide in excuses. the excuses we use fall into three categories. the first is speaking with a double tongue. Because we are un- able to face the facts, we avoid them. the schism in our mind has reached our lips, and we are constantly saying one thing and do- ing another, using words to cover our life with a web of deception. there is a feeling that if we continue to elaborate the deception, it will eventually become true. the second is being cowardly. Being cowardly means being content within our own cowardliness. We have no motivation to go beyond it with bravery. it is similar to being lazy or stuck, when paintingByMiriaMdaviS Confined by Cowardice The way to free ourselves, says Sakyong MiphaM, is to face life head-on without the seductive companionship of habitual patterns. Sakyong MiphaM is the spiritual leader of Shambhala, an interna- tional network of Buddhist meditation and retreat centers. he is the author of turning the Mind into an ally and ruling your World.