April 1, 2011

Unconditionally Cheerful April the First.

The meaning of April Fool’s Day is a beautiful thing: we can afford to take ourselves and our passions lightly.

Thanks for rolling with all the silliness today. I’m not engaged, we haven’t sold out or gone out of business, Whole Foods is not launching Whole Mart for poor people, Lululeman stores are not opening up…but popping the self-serious mind out of preconception and into fresh air and delight? A little moment of enlightenment, whether funny or a bit unpleasant. ~ Waylon Lewis.

Not afraid to be a fool!


Don’t be afraid to be a fool!

Chogyam Trungpa Rinpoche [a famous Buddhist teacher] always encouraged us with the slogan, “not afraid to be a fool.”  This always makes me think of the open-heartedness of a child, and the naïve willingness to extend and entrust that open heart to others.

Yet in buddhadharma 101, basic dharma—we are also encouraged not to trust. The logic goes that: given that everything is impermanent and that everything and everyone changes, we should not trust things or people, even friends.  In one of Trungpa Rinpoche’s famous poems he flatly states, “Do not trust.”

The buddhadharma points out that everything is fundamentally groundless. We think we have a secure, stable job, but then there are cutbacks and we are laid off. There are no guarantees. We think we walk on solid earth—but there are earthquakes, tsunamis, floods, fires, and now man made nuclear disasters spewing radiation. Even if we avoid all of these, no insurance can insure us against our own death.

Yet right from the beginning the Shambhala Buddhist teachings encourage us to trust! Given the above, is this foolish?  Is Trungpa Rinpoche contradicting himself?

It is worth checking out just in what we are encouraged to trust. We are actually being encouraged to trust the spacious aspect of mind, the continuity of awareness. The Shambhala teachings are all about developing our awareness, intelligence, and unconditional confidence—and trusting in that.

This is much better than trusting in things, which tend to fall apart.  And we can trust that they will!

By relaxing into and trusting awareness, the continuity of awareness, the true nature of mind, we discover an inexhaustible source of uplifted energy.  From the very beginning, from the first teachings we hear in Shambhala Training Level I, we are encouraged to connect with the unconditional openness of what is called Basic Goodness.  This is our fresh starting point whenever we get lost or stuck.  Basic Goodness is our unconditional soft spot that is more fundamental than our ignorance of it.  It is the opposite of ego—which is our blind spot.

Basic Goodness inspires us to extend awareness and compassion beyond the reference point of self.  When we open to Basic Goodness, we feel the essence of what it is to be sentient, to feel, to be awake, and to have the willingness to extend our open heart.

In other words, Basic Goodness inspires us to be vulnerable, and to risk being a fool by questioning, offering, and participating in our world.

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Waylon Lewis Apr 3, 2019 5:14pm

April Fool’s is not funny hah hah. It’s a prank.

Pranks can feel harsh if we’re solid-minded about something being bad. Larry David makes fun of the Holocaust–not of the Holocaust, but of our seriousness about it, which does it no service. It’s only in actually looking at it, instead of being solemn about it, that we feel the horror and relearn needed lessons. As I’ve said elsewhere, I’ve had dear friends go through miscarriages and teach me AND TEACH ME to lighten up about it with them.

I’ve addressed that below, more, here: Cheerful Lack of Solidity Day! A Buddhist view of April Fool’s Day, by my sweet mommy…

jlc Apr 1, 2015 6:16pm

Lovely. Thank you.

ARCreated Wellness Apr 1, 2012 11:00am

brilliant!!! I am linking back to this post from my post: http://www.elephantjournal.com/2012/04/i-used-to-… absolutely love this!

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Linda Lewis

Linda Lewis met the Vidyadhara Chogyam Trungpa Rinpoche in 1972 and, following Rinpoche’s invitation, immediately moved to Boulder, Colorado to be a part of his young and vital sangha.

The predominant themes in her life have been teaching in contemplative schools–Vidya, Naropa, and the Shambhala School in Halifax, Nova Scotia–and studying, practicing, or teaching his Shambhala Buddhadharma wherever she finds herself.