The-Tibetan-Book-of-Living-and-Dying

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The-Tibetan-Book-of-Living-and-Dying

36 THE TIBETAN BOOK OF LIVING AND DYINGagain the opposite: that letting go is the path to real freedom.Just as when the waves lash at the shore, the rocks sufferno damage but are sculpted and eroded into beautiful shapes,so our characters can be molded and our rough edges wornsmooth by changes. Through weathering changes we canlearn how to develop a gentle but unshakable composure. Ourconfidence in ourselves grows, and becomes so much greaterthat goodness and compassion began naturally to radiate outfrom us and bring joy to others. That goodness is what survivesdeath, a fundamental goodness that is in every one ofus. The whole of our life is a teaching of how to uncover thatstrong goodness, and a training toward realizing it.So each time the losses and deceptions of life teach usabout impermanence, they bring us closer to the truth. Whenyou fall from a great height, there is only one possible place toland: on the ground, the ground of truth. And if you have theunderstanding that comes from spiritual practice, then falling isin no way a disaster but the discovery of an inner refuge.Difficulties and obstacles, if properly understood and used,can often turn out to be an unexpected source of strength. Inthe biographies of the masters, you will often find that hadthey not faced difficulties and obstacles, they would not havediscovered the strength they needed to rise above them. Thiswas true, for example, of Gesar, the great warrior king of Tibet,whose escapades form the greatest epic of Tibetan literature.Gesar means "indomitable," someone who can never be putdown. From the moment Gesar was bom, his evil uncleTrotung tried all kinds of means to kill him. But with eachattempt Gesar only grew stronger and stronger. It was thanksto Trading's efforts, in fact, that Gesar was to become so great.This gave rise to a Tibetan proverb: Trotung tro ma tung na,Gesar ge mi sar, which means that if Trotung had not been somalicious and scheming, Gesar could never have risen so high.For the Tibetans Gesar is not only a martial warrior butalso a spiritual one. To be a spiritual warrior means to developa special kind of courage, one that is innately intelligent, gentle,and fearless. Spiritual warriors can still be frightened, but evenso they are courageous enough to taste suffering, to relateclearly to their fundamental fear, and to draw out withoutevasion the lessons from difficulties. As Chögyam TrungpaRinpoche tells us, becoming a warrior means that "we cantrade our small-minded struggle for security for a much vastervision, one of fearlessness, openness, and genuine

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