Not being afraid

As Chögyam Trungpa Rinpoche summarizes: “Ultimately, that is the definition of bravery: not being afraid of yourself.” Believing the seemingly non-stop, discursive commentary that courses through our heads simply interferes with letting ourselves be the brave beings we actually are. Such hyper-vigilance stems from fear, of course: “If I don’t check myself constantly, won’t I make a mistake?”

Letting go of incessantly measuring and comparing ourselves to others leads to spontaneous acts of courage and compassion. It’s like learning a dance step well enough that we no longer need to keep looking down at our feet.

Gaylon Ferguson, Natural Bravery

Past, present and future

The mind that tries to shape tomorrow beyond its capacities
will find no rest.

Be kind to yourself, dear – to your innocent follies.

Forget any sounds or any touch you knew that did not help you to dance.

You will come to see that all evolves us.

Rumi, found in Daniel Ladinsky, Love Poems From God

Without freaking out

The question we need to ask ourselves is whether there is any place we can stand in ourselves where we can look at all that’s happening around us without freaking out, where we can be quiet enough to hear our predicament, and where we can begin to find ways of acting that are at least not contributing to further destabilization.

Ram Dass

Be strong

The ongoing news about the pandemic activates the anxious side of our brain and leaves us feeling shaky, imagining worst-case scenarios for the future. These words from Kabir remind us that much of the time we are not grounded in where we actually are.

Be strong then, and enter into your own body; There you have a solid place for your feet. Think about it carefully! Don’t go off somewhere else!

Kabir says this: just throw away all thoughts of imaginary things,
And stand firm in that which you are.

Kabir, 15th-century Indian mystic poet