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QotD: on Bravery

The first form of bravery is being free of deception. If we are engaged in deception, we are intentionally covering up a bit of nonvirtue. It is difficult to be forthright, open, and genuine. We just go through the motions, so much that we fool even ourselves. Perhaps we have been wearing the clothes of spiritual lifestyle, memorizing the words of spiritual speech, and having spiritual thoughts. Maybe we have even encountered brave individuals on the path. But we have not had the bravery to truly manifest in our daily life.

When we are free of deception, we are able to be fully present. Because we are not looking behind our back, there is a feeling of readiness. We feel immediate. Therefore, the second form of braveness is abruptness, the ability to suddenly jump. Abruptness indicates that bravery is not an indiscernible slow-swinging pendulum, where somehow we move seamlessly from deception to bravery. Rather, abruptness is a sudden, immediate, and noticeable experience of true bravery.

Abruptness snaps our mind out of discursiveness and habit. Coming face-to-face with our deception, there is a moment of challenging ourselves. To practice truly being present, we cannot vacillate in the moment of immediacy. We must leap if we are to overcome our mockery of awakenment.

--Sakyong Mipham Rinpoche
from: Bravery: Taking a Leap, June, 2011

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