illustration (attribution, if any possible, is at the end of the article)
The key to warriorship (…) is not being afraid of who you are. Ultimately, that is the definition of bravery: not being afraid of yourself. [The] vision teaches that, in the face of the world's great problems, we can be heroic and kind at the same time. [The] vision is the opposite of selfishness. When we are afraid of ourselves and afraid of the seeming threat the world presents, then we become extremely selfish. We want to build our own little nests, our own cocoons, so that we can live by ourselves in a secure way.
But we can be much more brave than that. We must try to think beyond our homes, beyond the fire burning in the fireplace, beyond sending the children to school or getting to work in the morning. We must try to think how we can help this world. If we don't help, nobody will. It is our turn to help the world. At the same time, helping others does not mean abandoning our individual lives. You don't have to rush out to become the mayor of your city or the president of the United States in order to help others, but you can begin with your relatives and friends and the people around you. In fact, you can start with yourself. The important point is to realise that you are never off duty. You can never just relax, because the whole world needs help.
While everyone has a responsibility to help the world, we can create additional chaos if we try to impose our ideas or our help upon others. Many people have theories about what the world needs. Some people think that the world needs communism; some people think that the world needs democracy; some people think that technology will save the world; some people think that technology will destroy the world. [The] teachings are not based on converting the world to another theory. The premise of [the] vision is that, in order to establish an enlightened society for others, we need to discover what inherently we have to offer the world. So, to begin with, we should make an effort to examine our own experience, in order to see what it contains that is of value in helping ourselves and others to uplift their existence.
The essence of warriorship, or the essence of human bravery, is refusing to give up on anyone or anything. We can never say that we are simply falling to pieces or that anyone else is, and we can never say that about the world either. Within our lifetime there will be great problems in the world, but let us make sure that within our lifetime no disasters happen. We can prevent them. It is up to us. We can save the world from destruction to begin with. That is why [the] vision exists. It is a centuries-old idea: by serving this world, we can save it. But saving the world is not enough. We have to work to build an enlightened human society as well.
— Chögyam Trungpa, Shambhala - The Sacred Path of the Warrior
#Buddhism #shambhala #engagedbuddhism
(photo: © Steve McCurry, 2001, for Magnum photos (ref: NYC10203))