Beyond Fearlessness

January 25, 2016 at 2:46 pm Leave a comment

When I was suffering from the negative aspects of my law suit against the Pythons- mainly fear and insecurity – I was helped greatly by a book by the Tibetan Buddhist teacher Chogyam Trungpa. Trungpa was an amazing character who filled his short life with some impressive accomplishments, including establishing the first modern Buddhist University -Naropa- in Colorado. The book that I used was called Shambhala- The Sacred Path of the Warrior, and its teaching helped me to stay centred during my darkest days and nights.

This teaching says that confidence and bravery are primordial, and that fear and doubt are a later imposition upon them. The events that we encounter in life and how we respond to them create fear and doubt which stop us from acting in our best interests. Fear makes us cowards, even though we were not born cowards. By doubting ourselves we create anxiety. The combination of fear and anxiety gives us stress and if this becomes long lasting, we are in danger of serious illness. By understanding that before fear and doubt there was confidence, and in learning techniques (mainly meditation) to  regain that confidence, we are able to go beyond fear into a kind of ‘fearless zone’. In this zone we can feel protected and can bring out our earliest and strongest positive qualities to fight the negative influences that are assailing us. In using our primordial confidence we are able to become warriors, not aggressive war-like soldiers, but warriors who can create, build and grow things. By re-igniting our inherent confidence, we are able to bring our positivity and inherent goodness to bear against the negativity.

There is a strong wisdom in this kind of warriorship, which merely asks us to become who we are, since if we really know who we are we will pursue our aims with bravery and confidence, and not hinder ourselves through fear of the future or doubt about our ability. This is what Heraclitus said about the Warrior:

“Out of every one hundred men, ten shouldn’t even be there, eighty are just targets, nine are the real fighters, and we are lucky to have them, for they make the battle. Ah, but the one, one is a warrior, and he will bring the others back.” 

Bravery is not being afraid of who you are. The Shambhala teachings say that there is a basis of sanity and goodness in our lives which we can tap into at any time. Unfortunately we are not taught how to do this at school, but it’s good there are teachers in the world like Trungpa who can help us to get on the path to this wisdom.

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