23 November 2005

Windhorse, revisited

Cracks me up that I started this blog as a mommy thing, and it looks like we're heading into intense Buddhism and Finance territory (talk about opposites! Ah, the contradictions of modern life!) Anyway. my pal Bryan, who is also quite the Buddhist scholar, had more to say on the topic of Windhorse. This is excerpted from "Shambhala: The Sacred Path of the Warrior", Part One, "How to be a Warrior", Chapter 10, "Letting Go", and Part Two, " Sacredness: The Warrior's World", Chapter 13, "How to Invoke Magic". By Chogyam Trungpa, Rinpoche, Supreme Abbot of the Surmang Monasteries in Pre-China Tibet.

In meditation, you can experience a state of mind that is without second thoughts, free from fear and doubt. That unwavering state of mind is not swayed by the temporary ups and downs of thoughts and emotions. At first you may only have a glimpse. Through the practice of meditation, you glimpse a spark or a dot of unconditional, basic goodness. When you experience that dot, you may not feel totally free or totally good, but you realize that wakefulness, fundamental goodness, is there already. You can let go of hesitation, and therefore, you can be without deception. There is an uplifted quality to your life, which exists effortlessly. The result of letting go is contacting that uplifted energy, which allows you to completely join together discipline and delight, so that discipline becomes both effortless and splendid. Everyone has experienced a wind of energy or power in their lives. For example, athletes feel a surge of energy when they are engaged in their sport. Or a person may experience a torrent of love or passion for another being to whom he or she is attracted. Sometimes we feel energy as a cool breeze of delight rather than a strong wind. For example, when you are hot and perspiring, if you take a shower, you feel so delightfully cool and energized at the same time. Normally, we think that this energy comes from a definite source or has a particular cause. We associate it with the situation in which we became so energized. Athletes may become addicted to their sport because of the "rush" they experience. Some people become addicted to falling in love over and over again because they feel so good and alive when they are in love. The result of letting go is that you discove a bank of self-exisitng energy that is always available to you - beyond any circumstance. It actually comes from no-where, but is always there. It is the energy of basic goodness. This self-exisitng energy is called windhorse in the Shambhala teachings. The wind principle is that the energy of basic goodness is strong and exuberant and brilliant. It can actually radiate tremendous power in your life. But at the same time, basic goodness can be ridden, which is the principle of the horse. By following the disciplines of warriorship, particularly the discipline of letting go, you can harness the wind of goodness. In some sense the horse is never tamed - basic goodness never becomes your personal possession. But you can invoke and provoke the uplifted energy of basic goodness in your life. You begin to see how you can create basic goodness for yourself and others on the spot, fully and ideally, not only on a philosophical level, but on a concrete, physical level. When you contact the energy of windhorse, you can naturally let go of worrying about your own state of mind and you can begin to think of others. You feel a longing to share your discovery of goodness with your brothers and sisters, your mother and father, friends of all kinds who would also benegit from the message of basic goodness. So discovering windhorse is, first of all, acknowledging the strength of basic goodness in yourself and then fearlessly projecting that state of mind to others. Experiencing the upliftedness of the world is a joyous situation, but it also brings sadness. It is like falling in love. When you are in love, being with your lover is both delightful and very painful. You feel both joy and sorrow. That is not a problem; in fact, it is wonderful. It is the ideal human emotion. The warrior who experiences windhorse feels the joy and sorrow of love in everything he does. He feels hot and cold, sweet and sour, simultaneously. Whether things go well or things go badly, whether there is success or failure, he feels sad and delighted at once. In that way, the warrior begins to understand the meaning of unconditional confidence. The tibetan word for confidence is "ziji". Zi means "shine" or "glitter," and ji means "splendor," or "dignity," and sometimes also has the sense of "monolithic." So ziji expresses shining out, rejoicing while remaining dignified. ~*~snip~*~ The chapter "Letting Go" introduced the idea of windhorse, or riding on the energy of basic goodness in your life. Windhorse is a translation of the Tibetan lungta. Lung means "wind" and ta means "horse." Invoking secret drala is the experience of raising windhorse, raising a wind of delight and power and riding on, or conquering, that energy. Such wind can come with great force, like a typhoon that can blow down trees and buildings and create huge waves in the water. The personal experience of this wind comes as a feeling of being completely and powerfully in the present. The horse aspect is that, in spite of the power of this great wind, you also feel stability. You are never swayed by the confusion of life, never swayed by excitement or depression. You can ride on the energy of your life. So windhorse is not purely movement and speed, but it includes practicality and discrimination (judgement), a natural sense of skill. This quality of lungta is like the four legs of a horse, which make it stable and balanced. Of course, in this care you are not riding an ordinary horse, you are riding a windhorse. By invoking the external and internal drala principles, you raise a wind of energy and delight in your life. You begin to feel natural power and upliftedness manifesting in your existance. Then having raised your windhorse, you can accommodate whatever arises in your state of mind. There is no problem or hesitation of any kind. So the fruittion of invoking secret drala is that, having raised windhorse, you experience a state of mind that is free from subconcious gossip, free from hesitation and disbelief. You experience the very moment of your state of mind. It is fresh and youthful and virginal. That very moment is innocent and genuine. It does not contain doubt or disbelief at all. It is gullible, in the positive sense, and it is completely fresh. Secret drala is experiencing that very moment of your ustate of mind, which is the essence of nowness. You actually experience being able to connect yourself to the unconceivable vision and wisdom of the cosmic mirror on the spot. At the same time, you realize that this experience of nowness can join together the vastness of primordial wisdom with both the wisdom of past traditions and the realities of contemporary life. So in that way, you begin to see you the warrior's world of sacredness can be created altogether.
Bringing it back around to parenting...have you ever noticed that some days with the kids are just brilliant, and some days, nothing any of you do is ever quite right? I really think that kids exist in a state of this drala, this windhorse. That's where they get the confidence to scale 30 foot walls, how they pick themselves up from tumbles time and again, and fling themselves back into whatever they were doing. Children never let themselves get drug down by the housekeeping, or stressed out about tomorrow. And I think that "growing up" is the process of beating that natural, innate ability to tap into the power of basic goodness out of them. Who knew Peter Pan was a Buddhist? The idea of flow, groove, or "rush" as mentioned above is something that has also been associated with parenting. In their book "Magical Parent, Magical Child", Michael Mendizza and Joseph Chilton Pearce offer up exercises for keeping your parenting in that space. They refer to it as the "Optimal Learning Relationship", but really, isn't that all just windhorse in psychologists' packaging?


At 12/28/2005 01:57:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

How did it take me over a month to read this one? I love you Laureen, your blog always finds me just when and where I need it. I fall at your feet in grateful appreciation of all your friendship has brought to my life.

PPL! Laura


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