Thursday, January 08, 2009

Basic NO

January 8, 2009


Basic NO is accepting discipline in our life without preconceptions.
Normally, when we say the word "discipline," it comes with a lot of
mixed feelings. It's like saying "oatmeal." Some people like hot
cereal, and some people hate it. Nevertheless, oatmeal remains
oatmeal. It is a very straightforward thing. We have similar feelings
about discipline and the meaning of NO. Sometimes, it's a bad NO: it
is providing oppressive boundaries that we don't want to accept. Or
it could be a good NO, which encourages us to do something healthy.
But when we just hear that one word, NO, the message is mixed.
Fearlessness is extending ourselves beyond that limited
view. In the Heart Sutra, an essential teaching given by the Buddha,
it talks about going beyond. Gone beyond, gate, is the basic NO. In
the sutra, it says there is no eye, no ear, no sound, no smell -- all
of those things. When you experience egolessness, the solidity of
your life and your perceptions falls apart. That could be very
desolate or it could be very inspiring, in terms of shunyata or the
Buddhist understanding of emptiness. Very simply, it is basic NO. It
is a real expression of fearlessness. In the Buddhist view,
egolessness is pre-existing, beyond our preconceptions. In the state
of egolessness everything is simple and very clear.

From "Overcoming Doubt," in CONQUERING FEAR, forthcoming from
Shambhala Publications, Fall 2009. [Chogyam Trungpa gave the first
teachings on Big No 30 years ago today.]

All material by Chogyam Trungpa is copyright Diana J. Mukpo and used
by permission.

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