A student writes:
I’ve been experiencing and noticing a lot of fear reactions and insecurities lately, it is difficult not to feel disheartened.
Lama Shenpen responds:
It is good that you are recognising that fear. It is very common – perhaps for the majority of people. Well it is always there while we are in samsara. It is the ego mandala trying to maintain itself and terrified of the groundlessness of our True Being.
So anything that threatens our false sense of ground sets us off and we become defensive. As you say – a fear reaction.
Fear is of course the opposite of confidence. In the Living the Awakened Heart Training course I talk about confidence and different kinds of confidence, and that there is a kind of confidence in our True Nature that we can really rely on.
Other forms of confidence are ego-mandala devices for giving us a false sense of ourselves that is bound to break down at some point so is unreliable.
We must cultivate the right kind of confidence in what is real and reliable about ourselves and the world. Otherwise there is always this haunting fear or sense of threat.
However disheartened you feel – it is not your Buddha Nature itself that is disheartened – Buddha Nature is always the same. All you need to do is to remember it and trust it and just keep going. Buddha Nature is our openness, clarity and sensitivity.
I feel like there is such a long way to go.
In some ways there is a long way to go but in other ways we are somehow already there – so coming back to the beginning all the time is actually the way forward.
The Living the Awakened Heart Training is a structured, comprehensive, supported, distance learning programme. The training, which is open to all, brings the profound Dzogchen and Mahamudra teachings to a western audience in an experiential, accessible way, through spiral learning. Find out more and how to join at www.ahs.org.uk/training