The Way of the Spiritual Warrior

spiritual-warriorAS I EMERGE INTO WAKEFULNESS, I am hit by that low-level anxiety and fear that hits me every morning.

What’s that about?  What need is the anxiety and fear pointing to?

I suspect it’s loneliness, a deep longing for a companion.

The irony is that in spite of the anxiety and fear, I don’t seem to be moving in the direction of security, rather I am moving in the direction of “insecurity” the way Alan Watts spoke of it.  I am moving toward unpredictability.  I am moving toward disrupting my routines, as don Juan prescribed for the spiritual warrior.

I think it’s the idea of inoculation.  I am inoculating myself.

Pema Chodron says that Chogyam Trungpa Rinpoche taught us to move in the direction of our fear, not away from it.  This is the way of the spiritual warrior.  Rather than giving into the fear and anxiety and trying to bunker down in a safe little nest, which I have tried to do at times in the past, I am setting off on another adventure.  I am stepping into the Unknown, into the Wilderness.

While I’m out there in the wilderness, I want to be strategic.  I think what don Juan Matus meant by that is to say, a spiritual warrior is always conscious of her choices, her decisions, her actions.  A spiritual warrior knows that she doesn’t have time to waste.  Death is always stalking us.

When I’m out there, I’m hunting power.  I’m striving for freedom.  I want to disrupt my routines as a way of dissolving old neural networks and creating fresh ones in order to create more plasticity in my brain, but also as a way of developing the neural networks related to courage, strength, and flexibility.

After all, don Juan said that a warrior is free, fluid, flexible, and formless.  We cannot really know if we’ve developed these traits until we test them out.  Out there in the wilderness for ten days straight I’ll find out if I am truly free.

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