This morning, Tricycle's Daily Dharma quote was from Pema Chodron, a short piece taken from an excerpted section of The Places that Scare You: A Guide to Fearlessness in Difficult Times (2001). In this short section she also addresses the idea of the spiritual warrior, which is fitting since she was Trungpa's student up until his death.
I think these are important first steps in reframing the warrior archetype toward a more compassionate and self-aware ideal. One of the things I like about Trugpa's vision of the spiritual warrior is his emphasis on having a "warrior heart."
Warriorship is so tender, without skin, without tissue, naked and raw. It is soft and gentle. You have renounced putting on a new suit of armor. You have renounced growing a thick, hard skin. You are willing to expose naked flesh, bone, and marrow to the world.
~ Adapted from Smile at Fear: Awakening the True Heart of Bravery, by Chogyam Trungpa. Copyright 2009 by Diana J, Mukpo.Jayson's post first:
The Modern Day Spiritual Warrior
January 5, 2013
Chogyam Trungpa Rinpoche
Recently, I realized that I’m in the business of training warriors.
But what is a warrior? what exactly do I mean?
I have not been able to find a better term than warrior. Sure, there is Jedi, Samurai, badass, etc.
But warrior is the closest term I have found for what I’m attempting to describe. And, I love that one of my teachers Chogyam Trungpa Rinpoche spoke of the sacred warrior. He was speaking to the spiritual practitioner who is willing to face their life head on and help others eliminate their suffering. It’s a bold path.
So, the term warrior must be defined here. I get that “warrior” conjures up a lot of historycially and traditional masculine roles. Pick any movie from Gladiator, to Braveheart, to Hunger Games. They all have a hero or heroine who fights to save their people or save the day. But I am not so idealistic or naive here. Sure, we are all great, heros and heroines in our own right. But let’s be realistic and true, meeting our lives directly free from unrealistic expectations, magical thinking, or fairy tales.
So, here’s my definition (or better yet aspiration) of the modern day spiritual warrior:
A modern day spiritual warrior is first and foremost a student of his or her own, direct experience. She is committed to being herself completely and her life journey is about coming home to who she really is. He is always learning, always growing. Her courage gives her the power and choice to face “what is so” directly and head on. He turns toward the darkness in order to transmute it. She learns to train the mind to serve the heart. He learns to “hold his seat” in the midst of life’s challenges. He learns to own and tame his inner stallion so that he may ride him powerfully and elegantly. She is willing to fall down, fail miserably, and get back up in order to be herself. He is embodied, emotionally literate, relationally adept. She is willing to fight, even die, for truth, love, and family. He enjoys the practice of burning up in this way. She desires, and is willing, to go all the way.And, for the men out there, here’s a quick video about an upcoming warrior training.
And here is the Pema Chodron excerpt:
The In-between State
Pema Chodron points to the perfect training ground for the spiritual warrior—anxiety, heartbreak, and tenderness.
By Pema Chodron
The secret of Zen is just two words: not always so.—Shunryu Suzuki Roshi