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Lions Roar : November 2009
SHAMBHALA SUN NOVEMBER 2009 52 even before the sun rises. so the east is the smile you have when you wake up. the sun is about to rise. Fresh air is coming with the dawn. so the sun is in the east and it is great. here, the Sun is a completely mature sun, the sun that you see in the sky around ten o’clock in the morning. It is the opposite of the image of the drunken ape dancing at midnight under the light of dim electric bulbs. the contrast is astounding, so extraordinary! the great eastern sun vision is uplifted and awake, fresh and precise. We could get into further details, but first we should discuss the fundamental understanding of fear and fearlessness. one of the main obstacles to fearlessness is the habitual patterns that allow us to deceive ourselves. 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 embarrassing to a lot of people. many people try to find a spiri- tual path where they do not have to face themselves but where they can still liberate themselves—liberate themselves from 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 conquer- ing fear. We have to face our fear; we have to look at it, study it, work with it, and practice meditation with it. We also have to give up the notion of a divine savior, which has nothing to do with what religion we belong to, but refers to the idea of someone or something who will save us without our having to go through any pain. In fact, giving up that kind of false hope is the first step. We have to be with ourselves. We have to be real people. there is no way of beating around the bush, hoping for the best. If you are really interested in working with yourself, you can’t lead that kind of double life, adopting ideas, techniques, and concepts of all kinds, simply in order to get away from your- self. that is what we call spiritual materialism: hoping that you can have a nice sleep, under anesthetics, and by the time you awaken, everything will be sewn up. everything will be healed. In that case, you do not have to go through any pain or problems. In a genuine spiritual discipline, you cannot do that. you might convince yourself that there is some religious discipline that will allow you to pass directly into spiritual ecstasy. you might con- vince yourself that this world does not exist; only the realm of the spirit exists. however, later on, something will bounce back on you, because we cannot cheat the basic norm, which is known as karma, or the law of cause and effect. We cannot cheat that. We have to face quite a lot. We have to give up a lot. you may not want to, but still you have to, if you want to be kind to your- self. It boils down to that. on the other hand, if you want to hurt yourself by indulging in setting-sun neurosis, that is your business and it’s nobody else’s business. nobody can save you from yourself. go ahead. but you are bound to regret it later on, profoundly so. by then, you may have collected so much gar- bage that it will be almost impossible to undo the situation. that would be a very wretched place to end up. often, we prefer to hurt ourselves. It seems to feel better to pursue our habitual patterns than to help ourselves. you may have heard in school that studying hard will be good for you. your parents may have told you to eat all the food on your plate, because it’s good for you. there are a lot of people starving all over the world, and you are fortunate to have this meal in front of you. eat it up. maybe such advice is helpful. at the time you heard these things, they may have seemed completely unskillful, Chögyam TrungPa rinPoChe (1937-1987) was a pivotal figure in the transmission of Buddhism to the West. his best-known books include cutting through spiritual materialism and shambhala: the sacred Path of the Warrior. The eight-volume collected Works of chögyam trungpa was pub- lished in 2003. he was the founder of this magazine. PaIntIngbymIchelelaPorte