You Will Be Totally Exposed

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The Buddha

One often hears from Buddhist teachers that following the Buddhist path requires considerable courage. It can be a bit difficult to see how meditating to awaken completely requires much courage.

It does in at least two ways. First, on the path, one effect of meditation is to show you exactly what is going on your mind, which can be pretty terrifying.

Second, being fully awakened means being fully exposed. Your sense of yourself as a self is an impediment to awakening, but it does have the advantage, from the ordinary human perspective, of working as a defense mechanism. You don’t really need this defense mechanism. It’s utility or necessity is a function of your human ignorance.

So, for example, imagine that someone very publicly says you are stupid. The more awake you are, the less you will care what people say about you. The less awake you are, the more likely you are to react the way Donald Trump does, returning insult for insult and generally acting like a spoiled child. You might also loudly assert your intelligence in an attempt to refute the claim.

Being totally without defenses may sound pretty terrifying. But achieving total wisdom and compassion makes it very easy. Once you are fully awakened, you will know no fear.

So keep meditating.

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