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Jan 17
Dharma Teachings
Shambhala Warriorship and Meditation

By Sakyong Mipham

In one of the most beautiful Buddhist poems ever written, the great Indian teacher Shantideva talks about the bodhisattva warrior. The Tibetan term is changchup sempa, “the warrior with the mind of enlightenment.” Such a warrior dedicates his or her life to others, using compassion as a vehicle. One of the main qualities of a warrior with this kind of mind is steadiness. A strong, determined mind has a profound effect on our body and affects every aspect of how we live. Without steadiness, it is hard to move forward.

In terms of the six paramitas, steadiness is related with exertion. It manifests in incredible determination and fearlessness. On the other hand, lack of steadiness results in fickleness. One characteristic of this particular dark age is that we are becoming more and more clever. But we also are constantly changing our minds. We all have the potential to be very strong and centered in ourselves, but when we live our life with speed and distraction, our energy becomes scattered.

From a meditation point of view, the predominant wind energy is located in the center of our body, in the core. The strength lines up to the top of our head through the various channels. If our mind is constantly changing and we are trying to accomplish many activities at once, our energy becomes diffuse. We experience this diffuse energy as a lack of will power and direction. We are unable to focus—not only within a spiritual practice or a relationship, but even within friendship or work. We are not able to maintain any strength anywhere, because lack of steadiness weakens our windhorse.

In the warrior teachings of Tibet, windhorse, or lungta, means vitality. When we have windhorse, our life is moving forward in the way want. On the inner level, windhorse is connected with good life-force energy, which is connected with being able to have a feeling of our mind. If we have the ability to feel at home in our mind and direct our mind, it becomes a support and a friend. If we are unable to harness the mind, it becomes a nuisance to us, aggravating our lives with worry and bad dreams. It can even make us sick. Happiness comes from actions that take us forward.

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1 response to “ Shambhala Warriorship and Meditation ”
  1. Judy Klamecki
    Jan 20, 2010

    In these times of great obstacles, this is exactly what I needed today. Thank you and may the dharma of love, compassion, clarity and determination be victorious!

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