Spiritual Warriors

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If we are to be
spiritual warriors
we must cultivate
strong determination
to meet whatever life brings us,
without trying to escape from it.
Discomfort can teach us about ourselves,
can show us how to awaken,
if we look at it,
if we don’t try to make it disappear.
As we become familiar with practices
to awaken our compassionate, wise heart
our commitment to awakening deepens.
We learn that we can practice formally
and in all of the moments
of our daily lives.
In joy and in misery
we water the seed of bodhichitta–
the seed of our awakened heart–
and as we feel the seed grow,
our confidence grows with it.
There are ways of meeting our neuroses
with warmth, with tenderness–
the way a gentle mother
would steer her baby away from danger…
When we feel like we’re going down
the path of reactivity
we give ourselves the reminder
that we’ve tried it this way before–
and it didn’t work too well then–
so why not try something new this time?
We hold the aspiration
that our thoughts, words, and actions
might be of benefit to all beings,
that we might nurture the seeds of wisdom,
of clear mind and kind heart.
Holding this aspiration,
the strong warriors that we are
might grow in strength
and in the precious ability to love.

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