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Lions Roar : July 2011
SHAMBHALA SUN JULY 2011 17 BRAVERY IS A HIGHLIGHT of the Shambhala teachings that were introduced to the West by my father, Chögyam Trungpa Rinpoche. My last two columns dealt with the first two forms of bravery—freedom from deception, and the willingness to leap beyond our habitual patterns. Now I am focusing on the third form of bravery—vision. To live life with bravery, we need a game plan that’s not based in shallow inspiration or lukewarm conviction. It must have genuineness that stems from deep inter- nal wisdom that is constantly radiating forth. The Shambhala teachings call such vision the Great Eastern Sun. It is the mental conviction and prowess to engage in life with precision and purpose. When we remove deception and cultivate the willingness to leap into our own inherent brilliance, the forthright, clear intention of the Great Eastern Sun shines through. This form of bravery keeps us always moving forward. The word “forward” is conventionally understood to mean “onward, so as to make progress toward a successful conclusion.” In Shambhala, our conclusion is to practice living life with en- lightened attitude and conduct in every activity. Forward can also mean “toward the future.” Thus it is linked with the word “continuous,” meaning that when we have this kind of vision, the continuity of our intention is not severed. Forward can also mean, “at or to a different time, earlier or later.” An interesting twist in Shambhala logic is that in order to have the Great Eastern Sun shining in our life—and thus to be always journeying forward—we must first turn back to our origin: the primeval ground of basic goodness, the unconditional purity and confidence of all. That reverse journey happens through the relaxation we cultivate in meditation. As we continue to practice, awareness of our nature arises. Intellectually and intuitively, we know we are not wrong or bad; rather, we are good. Such aware- ness gives rise to doubtless precision about our basic goodness, which simultaneously illuminates the basic goodness of the world, allowing us to perceive the multitude of individual experi- ences within our sense fields, bringing incredible precision to our warrior’s mind. “Great” is the discovery of our basic goodness. “Eastern” is realizing that our goodness was always there. “Sun” is the illumi- nation that occurs once that discovery has been made. The illumination of the Great Eastern Sun inherently shows us what is directly in front, and thus forward. It might feel threatening because it does not allow the wiggle room to put on the brakes. On any journey there is the assumption that we should be allowed to avoid danger along the way—at the minimum, to be a little careful. But if we think there is a reverse gear in Shambhala vision, we are misunderstanding a basic reality: life is perpetual motion. We cannot suddenly apply the slow-motion feature, or push the “save” button and deal with it later. Life is always coming at us, or more accurately, we are always PAINTINGBYGEORGEFREDERICWATTS/©TRUSTEESOFTHEWATTSGALLERY,COMPTON,SURREY,UK/THEBRIDGEMANARTLIBRARYINTERNATIONAL SAKYONG MIPHAM explains how cultivating bravery gives us the confidence to live in the brilliance of the Great Eastern Sun. Sunny Side Up OMEGARhinebeck,NewYork Freeing Ourselves from Negative Patterns Tenzin Wangyal Joan Rinpoche Sutherland Sylvia Gaylon Boorstein Ferguson Freeing ourselves from habitual thoughts, emotions, and actions is the very purpose of Buddhist meditation. Using mindfulness and awareness practice, we see the true nature of negative patterns and liberate ourselves on the spot from their power over us. Find out what the Buddhists teach. Cosponsored by July29–31 Visit us online at eOmega.org or call 800.944.1001 2011