Can’t You See the Mighty Warrior?
How often you ask,
What is my path?
What is my cure?
He has made you a seeker of Unity,
isn’t that enough?
All your sorrow exists for one reason -
that you may end sorrow forever.
The desire to know your own soul
will end all other desires.
The smell of bread has reached you -
if that aroma fills you with delight
what need is there for bread?
If you have fallen in love,
that love is proof enough;
If you have not fallen in love,
what good is all your proof?
Can’t you see? -
If you are not the King
what meaning is there
in a kingly entourage?
If the beautiful one is not inside you
what is that light
hidden under your cloak?
From a distance you tremble with fear -
Can’t you see the mighty warrior
standing ready in your heart?
The fire of his eyes
has burned away every veil,
So why do you remain behind the curtain,
scared of what you cannot see? -
Open your eyes! The Beloved
is staring you right in the face!
If a master has not placed
His light in your heart,
What joy can you find in this world? -
every flower is lifeless,
and sweet wine has no taste.
~ Rumi ~
Reflections on the Warrior without War
I am very moved in my life and practice by this sense of the Warrior and what that can mean for me in my journey of peace. There is an energy in the concept of Warrior that intrigues me, that I experience and touch deep inside myself in times of deep presence and clarity. It is something that appears to serve me in my work with myself and others in such a loving and powerful way. That supports me in looking fearlessly and directly at life and experience, and taking in the beauty of whatever shows up. It seems to be a thread in that energy that moves me swiftly when I just seem to know what to do.
What is this ‘warrior’ that is not fighting and has no violence in it? That holds me in possibility of a deeper kind of peace that has both a gentleness and a fierceness to it. And yet there is power and a kind of sharpness there. It can have both weight and lightness to it.
I became very aware of this place in myself a few years ago when I began Tae Kwon Do martial arts training. It surprised me how I was drawn to the energy of ’Warrior’. As a person with a strong value of non-violence I had to sit with it for awhile to find what was true for me in what I was experiencing. I could easily have named it aggression and turned away from it, but when I sat with it, I could tell that’s not what it is for me. Not when it is clear. It seems like aggression, fear and competition can attach itself to that source, but they are not the source itself. There was something else there that I recognized as part of me, and that was clear and strong and loving. What I am naming Warrior, and hear as Warrior in Rumi, lives beneath the thoughts and beliefs that distort it and enlist it for war. And ignoring or suppressing or simplifying that to ’bad’ felt like killing off a beautiful and important (though mysterious) part of myself that I sensed I would need for this journey I was taking with myself and out into life.
When I am still with this energy it in its pure form, I remember it well – as a child stepping out into the world – speaking something true for me; as a young woman heading off to the university of my choice. I remember it from falling in love, giving birth to my children, holding my father's hand when he was dying and looking straight into his beautiful blue eyes. I feel it when I say ‘no’ from an honest place and when I say ‘yes’ from an honest place. I feel it when I open to a powerful question, get still and really take a close look.
I have many amazing teachers in this ongoing practice of connecting to my own honest, peaceful warrior. Bryon Katie shows up for me in this learning so powerfully with the clarity of the Work she offers in inquiry, and the fierce and gentle love as she holds space for others to find their own peace and power – willing to travel anywhere for the love of truth (www.thework.com).
I also continue to be in rich learning with my Warrior of the Heart Senei’s and mates Bob Wing and Toke Moller (www.warrioroftheheart.org)
And with the work these mentors of mine offer in the world, I can find the wise teacher in myself, and work with whatever ‘war’ is left inside me that would keep me from engaging with my own ‘warrior’ energy in the world in a peaceful, wise and loving way.
I can often feel it when it gets mixed up, and I am so grateful to have these tools to open to that, look directly, learn and shift. The journey continues…