THE POWER OF AN AUTUMN LEAF
In working with the setting sun or confused world, the attitude of the warrior is like an autumn leaf floating down a river. It doesn't change its color, and it doesn't struggle with the river. It goes along with it. This has a natural effect, because the brook or the river has never carried such an autumn leaf before. The setting sun world will be uncertain what to do with this leaf. So by simply being there, you make people think twice, automatically.
It puts people on the spot when you don't react to them. You don't fight back when they attack you, but you just remain as an autumn leaf, whatever they do. This is the gentle way of working. If there are hundreds of thousands of autumn leaves coming down a small brook, then the appearance of the brook will be changed by them altogether. The joke is on the setting sun people, and they have to think twice. They might smile and pretend to laugh, but really they will be crying, weeping. So you see, an autumn leaf has a great deal of power over the world of the setting sun. Such little leaves could stop the flow of water altogether. If there are enough powerful autumn leaves, that is possible. It has been done in the past.
From CONQUERING FEAR: THE HEART OF WARRIORSHIP, forthcoming from Shambhala Publications in 2009.
All material by Chogyam Trungpa is copyright Diana J. Mukpo and used by permission
Mr. Trungpa has a very poetic way with prose. Beautiful. Enjoy.