Saturday, October 20, 2012

shambhala adventure

fan flower

I'm posting this from the road in Birmingham, AL, where I'm finishing up Shambhala Training's Heart of Warriorship. This five-weekend series of meditation workshops is often completed in a year or two, depending on one's proximity to a Shambhala center, but I started in 2006, so it feels pretty amazing to actually be this close to "graduating".

I've wondered lately what's brought me back to Shambhala, after having been away for about five years. And honestly, it's out of love and respect for the man who founded this tradition and poured so much of himself into creating this very series of weekend workshops: dear, brilliant, infuriating Chogyam Trungpa Rinpoche.

When I took the Bodhisattva Vow in 2007, I told the teacher giving the vow that I would be finishing the Heart of Warriorship. It has always weighed on me that I haven't done so, mostly because of the deep love and debt I feel to Chogyam Trungpa. It is especially meaningful to me that when he was alive other senior teachers led Levels I-IV, but he led Level V. In fact, the book The Great Eastern Sun is comprised of his talks for the various Level V groups he instructed. So this is for you, you amazing holy rascal! Thank you for everything you did in your lifetime that continues to resonate and help us to create an enlightened society. I will do my best to live up to it.

"The Education of the Warrior"
by Chogyam Trungpa

That mind of fearfulness
Should be put in the cradle of loving-kindness
And suckled with the profound and brilliant milk
Of eternal doubtlessness.
In the cool shade of fearlessness,
Fan it with the fan of joy and happiness.
When it grows older,
With various displays of phenomena,
Lead it to the self-existing playground.
When it grows older still,
In order to promote the primordial confidence,
Lead it to the archery range of the warriors.
When it grows older still,
To awaken primordial self-nature,
Let it see the society of men
Which possesses beauty and dignity.
Then the fearful mind
Can change into the warrior's mind,
And that eternally youthful confidence
Can expand into space without beginning or end.
At that point it sees the Great Eastern Sun.

fall reflection

beautiful birmingham shrine room