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Four Dignities of the Warrior’s Path

Excerpt from Rob Brezsny’s book PRONOIA IS THE ANTIDOTE FOR PARANOIA

_four_dignitiesIn Tibetan Buddhism’s “Four Dignities of the Warrior’s Path,” courage and ferocity are absent. In fact, the qualities regarded as essential for being a warrior have nothing in common with the training regimens of Marines or football players or lobbyists.

The first dignity is often translated in English as meekness, but that word doesn’t convey its full meaning. “Relaxed confidence” is a more precise formulation — a humble feeling of being at home in one’s body.

Perkiness, or irrepressible joy, is the second dignity. To develop it, a warrior cultivates the habit of seeing the best in everything and works diligently to avoid the self-indulgence of cynicism.

The third is outrageousness. The warrior who embodies this dignity loves to experiment, is not addicted to strategies that have been successful in the past, and has a passionate objectivity that’s free of the irrelevant emotions of hope and fear.

The fourth dignity is inscrutability, or a skill at evading the pigeonholes and simplistic definitions that might limit the warrior’s inventiveness while fighting for his or her moral vision.

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