Posted inMC Podcasts

Teisho: Importance of Courage

January 1, 2016

Description: In this eloquent teisho, Henry talks about the necessity of courage in Zen practice.  When we sit, we divest ourselves of our habitual views, which block us from seeing clearly what’s going on within. During meditation practice, a multitude of feelings and thoughts may spin through our minds. Feelings of fear, sadness, anxiety, etc. bubble up to our surface awareness. Facing these often troubling feelings, requires courage—defined as an “attitude of acceptance” toward fear.  Once we offer this attitude of acceptance to fear, the energy of courage peals away a layer of our heart, which allows us to be vulnerable and humble.


Henry explores how courage relates directly to the three essentials of zen training:  great faith, great doubt and great determination. Courage may be the key to all of these.  It takes courageous faith and determination to point the beam of awareness onto our habitual preoccupations ,and it takes courageous doubt to ultimately question that little felt-sense nugget of “I” which we each believe to be “me.” To radically feel or see through that nugget is frighteningly disorientating and requires heroic and determined courage.

Post Image: Antelope canyon, by Moyan Brenn, CC BY 2.0.
Featured Image Credit: What would life be if we had no courage to attempt anything?, By Manoj VasanthCC BY 2.0.

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