Aggression has been on my mind. In my heart. With the recent events in Paris and ongoing conflicts taking place throughout the world, how could it not? Thinking about the familiar distorted expressions of power, at times I can become disheartened about my role in making a shift in humanity. I sit at home, with meditation groups, and in local classes meditating, but what difference does it make really to cultivate kindness, self-knowledge, and compassion?
Some days I’m optimistic about the contribution this human makes to the shared pool of humanity. I am one person. Charged with stewarding this being may be as worthwhile and meaningful a cause as all others’. Other days, especially this week, I feel drowned in futility. I imagine myself an ineffectual drop in this deep, wide ocean.
Tonight in KM group, a member shared a reading from Shambhala: The Sacred Path of the Warrior. It’s a book by Chögyam Trungpa. Trungpa created the Shambhala communities of practice found in many large cities worldwide. Last week, I wound up at a dinner with what turned out to be mostly Shambhala Center members. We had a wonderful time. The hostess explained that Trungpa created the centers for people to experience meditation teachings and practices without religious indoctrination.
In his book about the Sacred Warrior, Trungpa wrote this.
“The sacred warrior conquers the world not through violence or aggression, but through gentleness, courage, and self-knowledge.”
This is a new conceptualization for me: one of presence as power.
Presence as power provides a host of alternative choices to the old ways. (Meeting aggression with similar force fueled by vengeance and anger.) Instead, we begin to conceive of meeting distorted uses of power with the substantial strength of presence and the qualities it cultivates. As we meditate, we can re-examine aggression, fear, and anger that arise. Qualities we may normally ascribe to warriors. By sitting with them, they transform. We transform. Into Sacred Warriors.