Today, I felt afraid. It was a distressing experience; I felt angry, upset and dazed. At the time, I noticed the feeling, like an observer. Observing was like giving space to the emotion so that I was able to see its development – the going up and the sucking in and feeling the tears come and my stomach responding with a twisted sensation. It was a very full awareness; I felt it in my head and in my heart and in my stomach and my hands - each shaking, just a little. It was all like a brief storm. When it passed, calmness and a sense of quiet returned. Watching the storm helped me to transcend this trembling feeling, and respect the storm for what it was - energy. The whole while, I noticed a calm place in my center, like the eye of the storm, that was not touched by this fear.
I feel a sense of peace which is about me always, not punctured by events that happen day to day. This peace gently holds me, like a certain knowing that is always there, only to come forward again and again through fearful or distressing circumstances. I have learned that this is the “Lion’s Roar” identified by the Buddha. In the Indian Ashokan artwork, the proclamation of lion’s roar was depicted by a sculpture of four lions looking in the four directions, which symbolizes that you don’t have a back. Every direction is a front; there is all-pervading awareness. Fearlessness comes from facing all directions. We don’t have to take one direction; once we begin to radiate our fearlessness, it is all pervading, radiating in all directions. This panoramic awareness leaves us with nothing to defend.
The notion of the lion’s roar captures for me that steady foundation I feel existing within, unconditional, no matter what happens externally. Chogyam Trungpa says: “Whatever comes up in our state of mind, including powerful emotions, is workable.” This is a combination of tremendous confidence and deep peace in the present moment.