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1. The Challenge of Warriorship
The challenge of warriorship is to live fully in the world as it is and to find within this world, with all its paradoxes, the essence of nowness. If we open our eyes, if we open our minds, if we open our hearts, we will find that this world is a magical place. It is not magical because it tricks us or changes unexpectedly into something else, but it is magical because it can be so vividly, so brilliantly. However, the discovery of that magic can happen only when we transcend our embarrassment about being alive, when we have the bravery to proclaim the goodness and dignity of human life, without either hesitation or arrogance.
2. A Good Journey
Our life is an endless journey. It is like a broad highway that extends infinitely into the distance. The practice of meditation provides a vehicle to travel on that road. Our journey consists of constant ups and downs, hope and fear, but it is a good journey. The practice of meditation allows us to experience all the textures of the roadway, which is what the journey is all about. Through the practice of meditation, we begin to find that within ourselves there is no fundamental complaint about anything or anyone at all.
Meditation is the only way to relate with neurosis and self-deception. In this case, meditation does not mean concentrating on objects or trying to intensify certain psychic faculties or anything of that nature. It is simply creating a space, a space in which we can unlearn and undo our subconscious gossip, our hidden fears and hidden hopes, and begin to bring them out. Meditation is simply providing space through the discipline of sitting down and doing nothing. Doing nothing is extremely difficult. At the beginning we can only try to do nothing by imitating doing nothing. And then hopefully we can develop gradually from there.
4. What Is a Warrior?
Anyone who is interested in hearing the dharma, anyone who is interested in finding out about oneself, and anyone who is interested in practicing meditation is basically a warrior. The approach of cowardice is looking for some tremendous external help, whether it comes from the sky or from the earth. You are afraid of actually seeing yourself; therefore you use spirituality or religion as a seeming way of seeing yourself without looking directly at yourself at all. Basically, when people are embarrassed about themselves, there’s no fearlessness involved. Therefore, anybody who is interested in looking at oneself, finding out about oneself, and practicing on the spot could be regarded as a warrior.
5. Facing Ourselves
We have a fear of facing ourselves. That is the obstacle. Experiencing the innermost core of our existence is very embarrassing to a lot of people. A lot of people turn to something that they hope will liberate them without their having to face themselves. That is impossible. We can’t do that. We have to be honest with ourselves. We have to see our gut, our excrement, our most undesirable parts. We have to see them. That is the foundation of warriorship, basically speaking. Whatever is there, we have to face it, we have to look at it, study it, work with it, and practice meditation with it.