Slant

SUNRISE: January 14, 2018

January 14, 2018. Photo: Ariana Reines.

The wrong way to take refuge involves seeking shelter—worshipping mountains, sun gods, moon gods, deities of any kind simply because they would seem to be greater than we. This kind of refuge-taking is similar to the response of the little child who says, ‘If you beat me, I’ll tell my mommy,’ thinking that his mother is a great, archetypically powerful person. If he is attacked, his automatic recourse is to his mother, an invincible and all-knowing, all-powerful personality. The child believes his mother can protect him, in fact that she is the only person who can save him. Taking refuge in a mother or father-principle is truly self-defeating; the refuge-seeker has no real basic strength at all, no true inspiration. He is constantly busy assessing greater and smaller powers. If we are small, then someone greater can crush us. We seek refuge because we cannot afford to be small and without protection. We tend to be apologetic: ‘I am such a small thing, but I acknowledge your great quality. I would like to worship and join your greatness, so will you please protect me?’

Chögyam Trungpa. Caveat emptor.

Surrendering is not a question of being low and stupid, nor of wanting to be elevated and profound. It has nothing to do with levels and evaluation. Instead, we surrender because we would like to communicate with the world ‘as it is.’ We do not have to classify ourselves as learners or ignorant people. We know where we stand, therefore we make the gesture of surrendering, of opening, which means communication, link, direct communication with the object of our surrendering. We are not embarrassed about our rich collection of raw, rugged, beautiful and clean qualities. We present everything to the object of our surrendering. The basic act of surrender does not involve the worship of an external power. Rather, it means working together with inspiration, so that one becomes an open vessel into which knowledge can be poured.

—Chögyam Trungpa, Cutting Through Spiritual Materialism (1973/2002). Shambala Classics, Boulder.

See you tomorrow.

Ariana Reines is a poet & playwright. She astrologizes at lazyeyehaver.com.

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