Thursday, October 04, 2007


"Jigme," in the Tibetan language, means fearless.
It can also be somebody's name.
I want to talk for just a moment about what it means to be fearless, particularly in terms of the Nyingma School.

If you are associated with the Nyingma School on any level, fearlessness is not an option.
It is your absolute duty.
If you know what it means, then embrace it.
If you don't know what it means, then find out.
You have a lineage to uphold.

When, for example, Nyak was imprisoned by his vicious relations, the Sogdian Pelgi Yeshe rode straight into the mess, killed two prison guards and yanked his guru out of the cold lonesome. Pelgi Yeshe did not sit around agonizing about what he should do. He had a sacred oath to uphold and he upheld it.

Fearlessness and moral courage are not a luxury, they are a necessity. You have to be able to take the worst sort of abuse, approbation, disgrace, torment, and misunderstanding. You have to be able to do the unpopular thing and then take the consequences, no matter what they are. You have to be able to seize a tiny second's worth of opportunity and ride straight into Hell if that is what it takes to bring relief to suffering beings: sometimes to throw your life away as if it were nothing.

Because fearlessness and moral courage are a kind of generosity, and generosity is the most important step, you know? You have to be generous enough to let yourself make mistakes so that you can correct those mistakes and keep on going. You have to be generous enough to experience the power and truth of the dharma as it expresses itself in your life.

I meet people who say, "Well, you shouldn't do this, you shouldn't do that," because they read it in a book or heard it from somebody else. They have never been off the farm. They don't have any immediate, lived-through experience of precisely why they shouldn't do this or that. They are like are parrots, do you know?

It is easy to love yourself to the point where you become incapable of effective activity for the benefit of others. The more you love yourself, the more fearful you become. Yet, when you cast out the self-cherishing and embrace the wide open, naked possibility that presents itself always in front of us... when you become so hopeless that every second is a blank canvas and all colors are your mind... when you send out the ravens to do your dancing and call the witches to witness the sharp, three-bladed dagger that shimmers in your hand... when you go where you never go and you do not care what you find.... then you can call yourself somebody who cares.

If you are in the armed forces of this or any other nation, and you read these words, make compassion your weapon and fearlessness your ammunition. Every man has to die, so please die splendidly, for something useful. If you are a monk, or nun, or some other useless person like me, then learn from the soldiers. They jump out of airplanes in the dead of night and float to the ground in a firestorm because they believe that by so doing, they bring liberation. It does not matter that they do not achieve what they are led to believe they achieve. Sometimes the issue of karma is empty bullshit: an excuse dialectitians use to do nothing. It matters only that they overcame their self-cherishing and that they tried to do their very best for their fellows and for others.

Do not hate the soldiers. Be fearless enough to love them. Be fearless enough to throw away the concepts of what is right and what is wrong, and if someone wishes to drink your blood, take special care to make sure you have properly polished a pure, clean glass for their convenience.

Be fearless enough to quench the thirst of the drunkard.
Be fearless enough to fill the belly of the beast.
Be fearless enough to spontaneously fulfill wishes.

Be fearless enough to discard fearlessness itself in the pursuit of the happiness that endures in others' lives long after it has ceased to mean anything in your own.

No matter what happens!

Stumble Upon Toolbar