Smile at Fear
Awakening the True Heart of Bravery
Publication Date: November 3, 2009
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Many of us, without even realizing it, are dominated by fear. We might be aware of some of our fears—perhaps we are afraid of public speaking, financial hardship, or losing a loved one. But in this book meditation master Chögyam Trungpa shows us that most of us suffer from a far more pervasive form of fear: the fear of ourselves. We feel ashamed and embarrassed to look at our feelings or acknowledge our styles of thinking and behaving; we don’t want to face the reality of our moment-to-moment experience. It is this fear that keeps us trapped in cycles of suffering, despair, and distress.
Chögyam Trungpa offers us a vision of moving beyond fear to discover the innate bravery, trust, and delight in life that lies at the core of our being. Drawing on the Shambhala tradition and on Buddhist teachings, he explains how we can each become a spiritual warrior: a person who faces each moment of life with openness and fearlessness. “The ultimate definition of bravery is not being afraid of who you are,” writes Chögyam Trungpa.
In language that is fresh, accessible, and startlingly direct, this book explains:
• how the practice of sitting meditation can help us to uncover our inherent confidence and bravery,
• how fear and embarrassment about ourselves keep us trapped in cycles of suffering,
• the wisdom of loving-kindness and nonaggression,
• how true invincibility depends on becoming more open and vulnerable.
Here are the essential insights and strategies that will allow us to finally claim victory over fear.
“The teachings presented in this book are transformational—and especially relevant today, when so many of us are facing uncertainty and anxiety. Chögyam Trungpa shows us how to uncover our innate strength, confidence, and joy under any circumstances. I strongly recommend this book to all those seeking awakening and freedom.”—Pema Chödrön
“Chögyam Trungpa offers us a rich banquet with many inviting, intriguing, and delicious glimpses into the Buddhist perspective on our mind and life.”—Daniel Goleman
“There is no one better than Chögyam Trungpa to show us how to be fearless. He overcame great difficulties while remaining true to his principles—bravery, compassion, and gentleness. These are the qualities of a Shambhala warrior, which shine through brilliantly in this book.”—Sakyong Mipham Rinpoche
“This is powerful dharma encouragement to awaken our own fearless and wise heart—from one of the most remarkable and brilliant teachers of modern times.”—Jack Kornfield
“This book offers each of us an encounter with our own fearlessness. I will keep this book close by and treasure it for the rest of my life.”—Margaret J. Wheatley
“Chögyam Trungpa’s vision of fearlessness as honesty, joyfulness, sadness, and openness is inspiring and particularly relevant to our historical moment.”—Norman Fischer
“A book that should be included in nearly every Buddhist’s library.”—Elephant Journal