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When you are fully engaged in bravery with body and mind, an electric feeling results. It is magnificence, embodiment, synergy. This dignity can occur anywhere in the social spectrum. We take delight in eating good food and enjoying a drink. With bravery in our lives, our body moves gracefully. We are free

from the habitual neurosis of gossip and idle speech. The mind and body are not simply working well together: they are like a well-oiled machine, or music from an orchestra, or the perfectly matched steps of a couple dancing. When body and mind are synchronized there is an overall sense of balance: no discrepancy between what we think and what we do.

On the other hand, when we are unsynchronized, we are unable to do what we think. We read inspiring words and foster kindness in our mind, but then we find ourselves saying something snide or negative about a coworker. In that moment, bravery of mind did not translate into bravery of speech. This lack of synchronicity affects our overall dignity. It is obvious to others and to ourselves.

If body and mind are not synchronized, we could say that the problem is laziness. But the Shambhala teachings generally emphasize positive themes, so we focus on the antidote. In this case, we activate the fourth kind of bravery—realizing the dignity of mind and body being synchronized. This antidote is about applying bravery as a way of overcoming our habitual patterns.

Bravery makes obsolete our self-perpetuated neurosis. What allows this synchronicity to occur is a lack of hesitation and an openness to the world. Similarly, abandoning personal habits allows one dancer to flow with another. This is bravery because there is a lack of hesitation and an appreciation for other. Warriors who are able to peer directly and unflinchingly at the nature and character of their own minds allow any mental and physical discrepancies to be vaporized. Thus synchronicity ensues.

This ability to be synchronized comes back to the fact that the act of bravery eliminates hesitation. The clear-seeing vision of the Great Eastern Sun brings confidence in unchanging basic goodness. From such confidence, doubtlessness occurs. This doubtlessness leads to dignity, which arises because our mind and body are finally in harmony. Our body has good posture, since we are not slouching— trying to lean our back against the past—nor hunched forward, wishing it were the future.

The harmonious relationship of mind and body is an evolutionary outgrowth of the previous kinds of bravery: freeing oneself from deception, acting with abruptness, and gaining the vision of the Great Eastern Sun. In particular, synchronicity arises when we acknowledge a moment of suchness. We are willing to be brave enough to live our life on the razor’s edge of nowness, continually cutting habit of mind and body. Lethargy and sentimentality slide off the blade. This harmony has not occurred because our body was here and our mind was there. Rather, we have quickly realized that without synchronicity, we are only idling in the dark age.

Through this fourth kind of bravery we realize what power and potency can result when we synchronize body and mind. When we are able to be here now, mind and body come together instantaneously, and dignity abounds. If we do not realize this, mind and body remain disenfranchised, and we do not manifest with bravery. Our activity is speedy, unsynchronized, and without vitality. But when mind and body are present on the spot, dignity will naturally arise. This synchronicity manifests in our thought, intention, and conduct. When it occurs, there is tremendous power, even when we pour a cup of tea.


Originally published in the September 2011 issue of the Shambhala Sun. Click here to browse the entire issue online.

Sakyong Mipham is the spiritual leader of Shambhala, an international network of Buddhist meditation and retreat centers. He is the author of Turning the Mind into an Ally and Ruling Your World.






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