Renunciation and Daring
Renunciation and Daring
by Chogyam Trungpa
"What the warrior renounces is anything in his experience that is a barrier between himself and others. In other words, renunciation is making yourself more available, more gentle and open to others.
The situations of fear that exist in our lives provide us with stepping stones to step over our fear. On the other side of cowardice is bravery. If we step over properly, we can cross the boundary from being cowardly to being brave. We may not discover bravery right away. Instead, we may find a shaky tenderness beyond our fear. We are still quivering and shaking, but there is tenderness, rather than bewilderment.
Tenderness contains an element of sadness, as we have discussed. It is not the sadness of feeling sorry for yourself or feeling deprived, but it is a natural situation of fullness. You feel so full and rich, as if you were about to shed tears. Your eyes are full of tears, and the moment you blink, the tears will spill out of your eyes and roll down your cheeks. In order to be a good warrior, one has to feel this sad and tender heart. If a person does not feel alone and sad, he cannot be a warrior at all. The warrior is sensitive to every aspect of phenomena - sight, smell, sound, feelings. He appreciates everything that goes on in his world as an artist does. His experience is full and extremely vivid. The rustling of leaves and the sounds of raindrops on his coat are very loud. Occasional butterflies fluttering around him may be almost unbearable because he is so sensitive. Because of his sensitivity, the warrior can then go further in developing his discipline. He begins to learn the meaning of renunciation."
[This is how I feel each Autumn...]
Chogyam Trungpa continues:
"The need for renunciation arises when you begin to feel that basic goodness belongs to you. Of course, you cannot make a personal possession out of basic goodness. It is the law and order of the world, which is impossible to possess personally. It is a greater vision, much greater than your personal territory or schemes. Nonetheless, sometimes you try to localize basic goodness in yourself. You think that you can take a little pinch of basic goodness and keep it in your pocket. So the idea of privacy begins to creep in. That is the point at which you need renunciation - renunciation of the temptation to possess basic goodness. It is necessary to give up a localized approach, a provincial approach, and to accept a greater world.
Renunciation also is necessary if you are frightened by the vision of the Great Eastern Sun. When you realize how vast and good the Great Eastern Sun is, sometimes you feel overwhelmed. You feel that you need a little shelter from it, a roof over your head and three square meals a day. You try to build a little nest, a little home, to contain or limit what you have seen. It seems too vast, so you would like to take photographs of the Great Eastern Sun and keep them as a memory, rather than staring directly into the light. The principle of renunciation is to reject any small-mindedness of that kind."