Dancing with Hope & Fear – Program Description


In looking at the issue of materialism, we are concerned with the universal human tendency to want something permanent, secure, and comfortable.  This is true whether it’s in the form of possessions and status, philosophical views, or subtle experiences to which we attach deep meaning.  No matter how we try, we cannot make any of these things last.  Yet we keep trying! The result is an unending struggle with hope and fear.

The art of meditation is a dance with the hope and fear that life keeps sending us, rather than a struggle with them. This art is a balance of the gradual process of making friends with ourselves, and the sudden discoveries of fundamental openness, goodness, and brilliance which are our basic nature as human beings.


According to the teachings of Warrior Dharma, becoming a warrior means learning fully not to be afraid of who we are.  Because this is so, fear is always regarded by the warrior-in-training as an opportunity to embrace, rather than a threat to avoid.

In fact, the greater our willingness to turn toward our fear, the greater our potential to access our inherent confidence, kindness, and compassion.  For within and beyond the fear lies our deepest treasure—that joyful, sad, and tender heart  which gives us access to the hearts of others, and makes our lives rich and meaningful.


Whether we choose to call it a spiritual path, or a warrior’s training, its ultimate destination is the same—the realization of sacred wisdom.  This is not merely the conventional understanding of wisdom based on experience, but of wisdom that was primordially there before we ever experienced anything.

Sacredness here is not a dualistic or religious notion, but a simple, complete realization of the perfection of things as they truly are.  Nor does it depend on a Creator for confirmation.  It is so because our wisdom recognizes it as so, beyond any argument or debate. In this experience of confidence and freedom, our inner world, and the outer world with all its beauty, pain, and changeability– become an undivided whole.

In the Tibetan teachings of Maha Ati, the Great Perfection, there are three levels of practicing with hope and fear: abandoning the habit of identifying with them, transforming them into fearless awareness by working with their energy, or seeing them as naturally free and pure.
In the final weekend of this series, we examine the third and ultimate level of meditative practice: seeing the pure nature. We will do so through the study and practice of two of Chogyam Trungpa’s most profound texts: the Sadhana of Mahamudra, and the Three Aspects of Maha Ati.


Please Note: Beginning in September, 2014, the teachings of this four-weekend series will be presented for the first time as an eight-day intensive retreat program at the Blazing Mountain Retreat Center in Crestone, Colorado.

Please mark the dates– September 27th–October 5th, 2014. Further details will be available in the Spring of 2014.

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