Smile at Fear: Awakening the True Heart of Bravery – Chogyam Trungpa

A great book further expounding the teachings of Chogyam Trungpa – to borrow from the book review:

“Many of us, without even realizing it, are dominated by fear. We might be aware of some of our fears—perhaps we are afraid of public speaking, of financial hardship, or of losing a loved one. Chögyam Trungpa shows us that most of us suffer from a far more pervasive fearfulness: fear of ourselves. We feel ashamed and embarrassed to look at our feelings or acknowledge our styles of thinking and acting; we don’t want to face the reality of our moment-to-moment experience. It is this fear that keeps us trapped in cycles of suffering, despair, and distress.

Chögyam Trungpa offers us a vision of moving beyond fear to discover the innate bravery, trust, and delight in life that lies at the core of our being. Drawing on the Shambhala Buddhist teachings, he explains how we can each become a spiritual warrior: a person who faces each moment of life with openness and fearlessness. “The ultimate definition of bravery is not being afraid of who you are,” writes Chögyam Trungpa. In this book he offers the insights and strategies to claim victory over fear.”

Per Chogyam – fearlessness is the state of accepting basic goodness in all situations, and teaching ourselves how to experience joy and a sense of completeness in the face of adversity.  We need to be able to smile at our fear, and the fear of those around us and approach it with a sense of humility, basic goodness and a tinge of sadness, which he refers to as warriorship, a concept that he builds up and skilfully deploys throughout his published works.

An excellent read, sure to prompt reflection and encourage a meta-level of self awareness.   His writing always seems so direct, so straightforward, yet is at the same time deeply profound – can’t help but feel we are lucky that he was so focused and able on spreading his understanding so.