Imagine the sun rising.
At first it seems weak, then it becomes stronger and stronger as the morning goes on. Soon it is shining with great power.
So it is when we find our genuine wholeness. It may seem a weak thread, but getting comfortable in your own skin, finding your own unique strength and letting that shine, you will grow into great power.
A genuine sense of self, and of trust in one’s place in the universe, is like the sun in many ways. It is a gentle source of energy and renewal, as well as a natural cycle. Sometimes it is occluded by clouds, or hidden at night, but always there.
Let the Great Eastern Sun rise in your heart, and in your head. In this way your wholeness will bring you peace, energy and renewal.
Fearlessness is not like a wild tiger or brown bear that is locked up in a cage and growls every time you open the door. Fearlessness is powerful, but it also contains gentleness and constant loneliness and sadness.
from Chögyam Trungpa, “Smile At Fear”
I love this quote because it is so counter-intuitive and challenging.
Why would fearlessness not be like a wild tiger? Why would it contain sadness?
There is a certain kind of fearlessness that disconnects from our own and other’s pain. Usually a result of a painful experience in early childhood, and a subsequent denial of that pain as a protective mechanism.
We may feel fearful and timid. Timidity may manifest as a lack of boundaries. When those have been violated enough, when we have not been brave enough to stand up for ourselves, we might finally become fearless. We might desire to be like the tiger or the bear in that moment.
But to access a state of fearlessness, we do not have to resort to anger, or wait until we have been tread upon so many times that we no longer care what anyone thinks.
We can access a genuine sense of wholeness, of self connected to the natural universe, of strength like the seed growing, and of the gentle yet powerful shining of the sun.
Be fearless today, but do it softly. Even tigers can be soft.
When we have a feeling that life is worthwhile and we are worthwhile, from that, a sense of softness or gentleness begins to develop.
– Chögyam Trungpa, “Smile At Fear”
When we become hardened, it is a spiritual state. This is the consciousness revealed in the story of the powerful Pharaoh of Egypt, whose stubborn heart would not let the slaves go, even at great cost to himself and his kingdom.
How do we reach a sense of softness, what is the source of gentleness?
It is a feeling of genuine wholeness, when we are fully ourselves. All is right with the world when we find ourselves comfortable in our own skin.
Can we be at peace even in times of struggle, pain, conflict, and lack? Only if we believe we are enough. Only if we believe we are worthwhile, that life is worthwhile.
I’ve been privileged to have had many years of experience as both an oil painter and a violinist. I’ve gotten to see up close how those creative disciplines help people attain peace of mind, and in turn, make progress with themselves. As I’ve gotten to do more teaching of kids and adults, both teaching drawing and violin, I have seen some truly amazing things when it comes to personal transformation and growth.
I don’t want to just promote a sort of vague “artsy” creativity. What I want to do instead is to help people experience the shift into the Right Brain, and then connect that to how to find more grounded, aware, peace-filled state. I believe this is the first step toward making real change in the world.
What kind of change? The right-brain codes for living things rather than non-living. It sees things as subjects, not subjects as things. In other words, the left brain tends to treat everything and everyone as a “thing,” a tool to be used. The right brain tends to treat everything and everyone as a living being, with a sort of personhood or self. The right brain acknowledges that others exist apart from the “I.”
Compass of the Whole
The right brain situates within the whole, its compass points outward to what is good for the whole, rather than how it can use an object for its own good.
Take a GoodMinute
How can we turn on our right brain more?
How important it is to teach the shift to the right brain?
How crucial it is to see others as “ends in themselves” as the philosopher Immanuel Kant put it, and not just as means to an end?