often, we associate buddhism with kindness, gentleness, compassion. but buddhism is about the whole human experience. manjushri is the bodhisattva who engenders the human experience of fierceness and determination. here is an excerpt about him from a blog on e-sangha. (a bodhisattva is an enlightened being who has vowed not to enter nirvana until all beings have become enlightened, and who has dedicated her or himself towards this goal).
In determination, perhaps there are words like this: “I can” or “I can’t.” Courage, uncertainty, fury, consent, patience, doubt, love, terror, confusion, reluctance … everything gets wrapped in an increasingly tight ball.
What is it like when “I can?” Can I really?
What is it like when “I can’t?” Can’t I … really?
It takes some fireceness to face such questions, to lift the sword, to cut the last strands, to find a home that isn’t missing.
The goal is never far away. Everyone knows it, but a lot of time is spent claiming we don’t. How do we know? What evidence is there outside the beckoning bullshit of religion or philosophy? What exactly is anyone being fierce about in the first place and what is the reward, what is the ‘attainment,’ what is the prize?
Who could possibly do such things? Who could possibly fail to do them? In fierce determination, we raise the sword. It’s not a joke and it sure isn’t holy. Raise the sword! … this is it! … no turning back! … ready…set… and
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