Earth is my Witness

When you take your seat on the earth properly, you do not need  witnesses to confirm your validity. In a traditional story of the Buddha, when he attained enlightenment, someone asked him: “How do we know that you are enlightened?”

He said: “Earth is my witness.”

He touched the earth with his hand, which is known as the earth-touching mudra, or gesture. That is the same concept as holding your seat in the saddle. You are completely grounded in reality. Someone may say, “How do I know that you are not over-reacting to situations?”

You can say, simply, “My posture in the saddle speaks for itself.”

At this point, you begin to experience the fundamental notion of fearlessness. You are willing to be awake in whatever situation may present itself to you, and you feel that you can take command of your life altogether, because you are not on the side of either success or failure. Success and failure are your journey.

There may be times on your journey when you are so petrified that you vibrate in the saddle, from your teeth to your hands to your legs. You are hardly sitting on the horse – you are practically levitating with fear. But even that is regarded as an expression of fearlessness, if you have a fundamental connection with the earth of your basic goodness.

Shambhala, The Sacred Path of the Warrior, Chogyam Trungpa

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