I was hiking down Enchanted Mesa in the snow over the weekend thinking about being a warrior.

When I started this journey I was the “Mohawk Warrior.” Ready to overcome any obstacle in the way of my goal (staying alive). During that time my buddy, Micheal, surprised me at work with a present. A poster of Johnny Cash flipping off the camera with his guitar slung on his back. That was exactly how I felt and it hung over my desk for months. The first thing you saw when you walked in mine and Justin’s office was that poster and I loved it.

A few weeks ago I took it down. It didn’t feel right anymore. I’d gone to Bodhi School around that time with my kids (Buddhist Sunday school kind of thing put on by Shambala here in Boulder) and the teacher, Rachel, was talking to the class of about 50 children and she asked, “When you think of a warrior what comes to mind?” Kids raised their hands and said things like, “Ninja” “Brave” “Sword” “Gun” “Not Afraid.” Rachel then said, “A Shambala Warrior is a little bit different. A Shambala Warrior is not afraid of one of the scariest things. Does anyone know what it is? (Lots of little heads shaking.) A Shambala Warrior is not afraid to open their hearts to everyone and everything in the world. Sounds kinda scary doesn’t it? (Lots of nodding.) She said, “To just open your heart and let your heart be seen to everyone. Shambala Warriors live from their hearts.”

This was an unknown kind of warrior for me. But, thank God I decided to go to Bodhi School with Nan and the kids. It was as if Rachel was talking directly to my soul. I had recently opened my heart to the one thing I wanted eradicated from my body and spirit. I had realized this thing in my head has become a certain kind of friend, a very difficult one, but one that has taught me more lessons than anyone or anything in my life, and I was grateful to it for 2 big things: vulnerability and my ability to forgive.

My biggest healing and learning experience in this past year has been in a place of vulnerability. Something I hadn’t experience since being very young. To be vulnerable and surrounded by love on all sides from your spouse and parents, relatives and friends (all of you) is the most fulfilling place I’ve been on this journey. I would think that being a Shambala Warrior with your heart open all the time (I think it sounds scary just doing it for a few minutes!) must be a very vulnerable and healing place.

I also saw a bumper sticker at Home Depot yesterday that said “Love Your Enemies.” Something I’ve been working at lately but hadn’t put it to words. Now suddenly I had a reality check, because you can’t have your heart open to someone and not forgive them for past transgressions. I lay next to Nan every night going to sleep listening to guided visualizations while she reads. One of them says, “I know when I can forgive myself and others for errors of the past, I allow my body to heal.”
So Shambala Warrior here I come. Open, vulnerable, forgiving and perfectly healthy. I bet you can do it too. Don’t wait for some crazy thing to happen like I did.
Nancy still rocks as do all of you.
Still eternally grateful, Lance

14 thoughts on “Warriorship

  1. Wow, I never would have thought of warriorship that way but it makes perfect sense. It’s so much easier to complain and criticize than it is to “live from your heart.” Thanks for showing us how it’s done!

  2. Lance, you’re an inspiration and this makes a lot of sense. I need to put this into action. I’m glad you’re feeling strong! And I think of you guys often. Hope to see you soon!

  3. When I read your words, what comes to me is that the underlying reason to “love your enemy’s” and to have a warriors open heart is to allow us to eliminate the noise, static, interruptions that consume our mental energy as we dwell on the hurt we’ve received from (or given to) others.
    Once freed from this “waste of spirit”, we are free to engage in introspection and the healing of ourselves. The focus can be on who WE are in the world, and not the influence of others on how we defined ourselves in the past. Yes it is scary to finally come face to face with ourselves…but how wonderful to do so with an open heart!

    • i never thought of that! you are so smart cousin. yes i believe defining yourself by how others have influenced your spiritual path is dangerous. but peeling all of that away sure feels dangerous! miss you, Larken. hope you had a nice bday celebration with your mamma.

  4. thanks for an amazing post-
    Your words and stories really resonate with me, wonderful reminders of the choices we have in how we want to be in our lives.

    I appreciate the conversation that you are inspiring-


  5. Precious One,
    When you speak from the heart like this, it’s the closest thing I have to being with you, as I can hear your voice saying the words in my head when I read….weird? yes! connected? yes! love? in abundance! Shambala Warrior has to be a most difficult way of life, as you must leave yourself open to injury, but each wound brings a life lesson with it, making the warrior wiser and stronger. I had no idea this little blog was here, but will spend some time poking around and catching up. ICould Three Dog Night really be singing about this same warrior in 1973?

    Wash away my troubles, wash away my pain
    With the rain in Shambala
    Wash away my sorrow, wash away my shame
    With the rain in Shambala
    Everyone is lucky, everyone is kind
    On the road to Shambala
    Everyone is happy, everyone is so kind
    On the road to Shambala
    How does your light shine, in the halls of Shambala?

    Keep exploring on your wondrous journey, sweet boy and remember, you’re always in Auntie Retta’s mind, being loved and prayed for throughout my own journey.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *