How to Develop Fearlessness
This is such a funny video. Please listen it while reading the hub.
I remember having to spank my only child one day when he was really little. I was crying on the inside while I was doing it but it needed to be done. It was for his own good.
I had to write a quite painful letter the other day. It was to cut off communications with someone I was, and still am, quite fond of. A beloved friend. I did not want to do it but it was necessary.
I had to examine why it was painful. It was because I had to confront my own emotions, the ones that I consider improper and not worthy of me. Not only am I vain, I am also spiritually materialistic. The paradox is that as one becomes spiritually materialistic, it is the same time that one becomes spiritually bankrupt.
There are feelings that we categorize as "not belonging" to a spiritually mature individual: jealousy, rage, envy, thoughts of veangeance, possessivenes. These are considered "bad" feelings.
To develop fearlessness is to confront that which we fear face to face.
This is what is painful. When one decides that it is time to sever one's relationship to rejecting these feelings as bad, a radical severance is required. It is painful to cut through frivolity because we want to hang on to it. It is our nature to want to do so.
Frivolity comes in many forms, not necessarily as simple as vanity paying so much attention to how one looks physically. It could take the form of greed in the sense of spiritual progress. This is even more dangerous than simple vanity.
Just like an umbilical cord that needs to be cut, one has to have ruthless compassion towards oneself when using the Sword of Manjusri. Above all else, it requires absolute honesty with oneself, to accept rather than shove under the rug, to be able to say yes they are there, these feelings and that they do not necessarily diminish oneself.
These feelings are thoughts, fueled with emotions, but when we relate to them fully we find that just like everything else, they pass. To reject them is to empower them and to empower them is to not recognize the fact that like everything else, they are an avenue to freedom.
On the one hand, while it is painful to acknowledge these emotions, facing them with the Sword of Manjusri allows one to do the right thing for oneself- to realize that to progress on the path to freedom, one has to cut through frivolities, not of ones relationship with others but with oneself, and to transmute the fiery nature of emotions.
To become fearless is to reclaim authentic power and to know that everything, every event, every person that we meet, we created in order to usher us to absolute freedom. We invited them there at the deepest level because in the more encompassing view, our objective is to realize that only our thoughts separate us from others.
So we acknowledge that the other person or event was not the cause of anger, it is rather oneself rejecting feelings as they come and questioning why they arise when one is supposed to be above them. We accept that we have them, we do not hang on to them, we do not act on them, rather we observe them. This is discriminating awareness.
And we give thanks for all that there was and hope that in some way we have enriched someone else's life if only for a short time, and that to let them grow, we have to respect their free wills and honor their paths.
*Manjusri is the god of discriminating awareness. In the Buddhist literature, his flaming sword is the symbol of wisdom and ruthless compassion, the one that cuts through all duality, arrogance and frivolity.