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We’re not talking about military rigidity here. Rather, in all your mannerisms, every aspect of behavior, you maintain your openness to the environment. You constantly extend yourself to things around you. There is a complete absence of laziness. Even if what you are seeing, hearing or perceiving becomes very difficult and demanding, the warrior never gives up. You go along with the situation. You don’t withdraw. This allows you to develop your loyalty and connection to others, free from fear. You can relate with other sentient beings who are trapped in the confused world, perpetuating their pain. In fact, you realize that it is your duty. You feel warmth, compassion, and even passion towards others. First you develop your own good conduct, and then you can extend yourself fearlessly to others. That is the concept of the sun.
The second guide on the warrior’s path is represented by the analogy of an echo, which is connected with meditative awareness, or samadhi. When you try to take time off from being a warrior, when you want to let go of your discipline or indulge mindlessly in some activity, your action produces an echo. It’s like a sound echoing in a canyon, bouncing back on itself, producing more echoes that bounce off of one another. Those echoes or reflections happen all the time, and if we pay attention to them, they provide constant reminders to be awake. At first, the reminder might be fairly timid, but then the second, third and fourth time you hear it, it’s a much louder echo. These echoes remind you to be on the spot, on the dot.
However, you can’t just wait for an echo to wake you up. You have to put your awareness out into the situation. You have to put effort into being aware.
Becoming a warrior means that you are building a world that does not give you the setting sun, or degraded, concept of rest, which is purely indulging in your confusion. Sometimes you are tempted to return to that cowardly world. You just want to flop and forget the echo of your awareness. It seems like a tremendous relief not to have to work so hard. But then you discover that this world without even an echo is too deadly. You find it refreshing to get back to the warrior’s world, because it is so much more alive.
The warrior’s third tool is actually a weapon. It is represented by the analogy of a bow and arrow, which is connected with developing wisdom, or prajna, and skillful means, or upaya. In this case we are talking about the wisdom of discriminating awareness, which is experiencing the sharpness of sense perceptions and developing psychological accuracy. You can’t develop this kind of sharpness unless some experience of egolessness has manifested in your mind. Otherwise, your mind will be preoccupied, full of its own ego. But when you have made a connection with basic goodness, you can relate with both the actual sharpness of the arrow and with the skillful means provided by the bow. The bow allows you to harness or execute the sharpness of your perceptions.
The development of this discriminating awareness wisdom also allows you to accurately detect the enemy. A real enemy is someone who propagates and promotes ultimate selfishness, or ego. Such enemies promote basic badness rather than basic goodness. They try to bring others into their realm, tempting them with anything from a cookie up to a million dollars.