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Lions Roar : September 2009
SHAMBHALA SUN SepteMBer 2009 17 In one of the most beautIful buddhist poems ever written, the great Indian teacher shantideva talks about the bodhisattva warrior. the tibetan term is changchup sempa, meaning “the warrior with the mind of enlightenment.” such a warrior dedicates his or her life to others, us- ing compassion as a vehicle, and one of the main qualities of a warrior with this kind of mind is steadiness. a strong, determined mind has a pro- found effect on our body and affects every aspect of how we live. Without steadiness, it is hard to move forward. In terms of the six parami- tas, the transcendental perfec- tions, steadiness is related to exertion because it manifests in incredible determination and fearlessness. on the other hand, lack of steadiness results in fickleness. one characteris- tic of this particular dark age is that we are becoming more and more clever. but we are also constantly changing our minds. We all have the poten- tial to be strong and centered in ourselves, but when we live our life with such speed and distraction, our energy becomes scattered. from a meditation point of view, the predominant energy is in the center of our body, in the core. but if our mind is constantly changing and we are trying to accomplish many activities at once, our energy becomes diffuse. We experience this diffuse energy as a lack of willpower and direction. We are unable to focus—not only within a spiritual practice or a relationship, but even within friendship or work. We are not able to maintain any strength any- where, because lack of steadiness weakens our windhorse. In the warrior teachings of tibet, windhorse, or lungta, means vitality. When we have windhorse, our life moves forward in the way we want. on the inner level, windhorse is connected with good life-force energy, which is connected with being able to have a proper feeling for our mind. If we have the ability to feel at home in our mind and direct it, the mind becomes a support and a friend. If we are unable to harness the mind, it becomes a nuisance to us, aggravating our lives with worry and bad dreams. It can even make us sick. happiness comes from actions that take us forward. to move forward in daily life, we must be steady and brave. to create this bravery inside, we must learn how to handle our mind. Knowing this, the warrior practices meditation every day to know the mind and harness its energy for the good of all. If we are so busy that we do not even have a feeling for our mind, meditation is the first step toward developing that feeling. the approach to harnessing our mind is by using the wind, or the breath. We sometimes regard meditation as an activity of pacifying or calming the mind, but it is also a way to gather and photobyKerrIJamIeson Ready, Steady, Go One of the essential qualities of the bodhisattva warrior, says Sakyong MiphaM Rinpoche, is the steadiness of mind that fosters strength and confidence. We ride the energy of mind through the practice of meditation. Sakyong MiphaM Rinpoche is the spiritual leader of Shambhala, an international network of Buddhist meditation and retreat centers. he is the author of turning the mind Into an ally and ruling your World.