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Smile at Fear: Awakening the True Heart of Bravery
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Smile at Fear: Awakening the True Heart of Bravery

4.08  ·  Rating details ·  996 ratings  ·  75 reviews
Many of us, without even realizing it, are dominated by fear. We might be aware of some of our fears—perhaps we are afraid of public speaking, of financial hardship, or of losing a loved one. Chögyam Trungpa shows us that most of us suffer from a far more pervasive fearfulness: fear of ourselves. We feel ashamed and embarrassed to look at our feelings or acknowledge our st ...more
Paperback, 144 pages
Published October 5th 2010 by Shambhala (first published 2009)
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4.08  · 
Rating details
 ·  996 ratings  ·  75 reviews

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I keep this book active on my phone's Nook application so when I need an injection of wisdom, it's there. My favorite line so far: "...fearlessness is unconditional because you are neither on the side of success nor on the side of failure. Success and failure are your journey."
Mar 07, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: re-reading
I read this book because I have gained so much insight from Pema Chodron and I needed to learn how to 'smile at fear'. A book is like a river. You never step in the same one twice. The next reading I will pick up, or understand, what I didn't get the first time, or the second, etc. See me smiling.
I have read many books on Buddhism - both Tibetan and Zen - but this is my first read by Chogyam Trungpa. People tend to gravitate towards certain teachers, and I simply find Trungpa's style of teaching too confusing due to the overuse of analogies and metaphors.

Smile at Fear was an inspiring read until Chapter 7, where it became repetitive and ceased to make any logical sense - again, due to mixed metaphors. While some students respond to this style of teaching, I, personally, prefer logical, s
Nov 14, 2010 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Highly recommended. Caveat: this is not a starter book. If you aren't already knowledgeable on Buddhist teachings, this book isn't for you.
Matt B. Perkins
Mar 29, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Highly encouraging read, especially for someone like me who fears quite a bit. But this poses the idea that instead of fleeing from fear or turning our heads each time it pops up, we instead should face our fear and make friends with it. Sounds simple but is actually quite difficult. This lays the path for getting there, and is quite reassuring along the way.
Jan 06, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is a powerful book.
Kevin Orth
Aug 11, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
There is genuine and deep wealth to be gained by being with our emotions and inviting them to announce their intention and need within our conscious mind. Prescriptive and psychotherapy are invaluable and irreplaceable. At the same time there is room at the table in the discussion of managing mood and being whole by employing meditation, deep awareness, self-talk, and allowing that which comes up to have a voice. Highly recommend.
This book was a disappointment. It is the first book of this type that I have found wanting. The author is surely an enlightened individual who can teach us all much about how to live our lives. Unfortunately, this book is not the way. His metaphors are stretched beyond comprehension. Perhaps he assumes that we are familiar with his tradition and we know what he means by the Sun in the West or the Sun in the East, but it just doesn't translate. His analogies are hard to follow and don't even mak ...more
Jan 12, 2016 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Absolutely ridiculous, impractical, theoretical garbage. A waste of money. Lacking inspiration. Don't buy if you are the pragmatic hands-on type. Even 1 star is too much.

Absolute waste of money.
Hilary Martin
I probably would have enjoyed this more if the narrator's voice hadn't been so pretentious and condescending.
Ricardo Oliveira
Dec 18, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: audible
Great buddhism book on understanding fear and becoming a "warrior". It gets a bit confusing by the end when all concept merges, but still some good insights about facing adversity in life.
Gábor Vészi
Jan 18, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Extremely dense. This is maybe the first book that I wish I would have read in a book form instead of audiobook. There were several times when I had to stop the book to give myself time to process some of the thoughts/sentences. I even had to rewind some parts to get all the details. I think I'll have to reread this book.
Mayra Correa e Castro
Breve nota: Chögyam Trungpa (1940-1987) nasceu no Tibete e já foi reconhecido como uma grande mestre reencarnado. Em 1959, para fugir da perseguição dos comunistas chineses, atravessou os Himalaias a pé e chegou à Índia, onde ficou durante anos. De lá foi pra Inglaterra, onde ensinou meditação e, quando se casou, foi para os Estados Unidos e aí permaneceu. Ele foi um dos primeiros mestres tibetanos a ensinar o budismo em inglês, fundou inúmeros centros, teve centenas de discípulos – entre eles, ...more
Bibhu Ashish
Mar 06, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The worlds greatest fear, the book suggests is the fear of ourselves. We feel ashamed and embarrassed to look at our feelings or acknowledge our styles of thinking and acting; we don’t want to face the reality of our moment-to-moment experience. It is this fear that keeps us trapped in cycles of suffering, despair, and distress.To conquer the fear, the book suggests every one of us to be ourselves. It suggests us to look at the fear, explore it rather than avoiding it. A fearless person is a per ...more
Jan 24, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This book articulated some things that I had put words to in the past, but hadn't heard anyone else put words to before. It was an uncanny and marvelous experience.

I do think that some things here are intuitive, and others feel vague. I think the book is more meaningful when I am fully engaged in listening (I did audiobook), rather than distracted by anything else. Seems obvious, but you do have to focus to get the full meaning, and sometimes go back and listen to parts again.

I thought it would
Þór Hauksson
Mar 26, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is a profound book, capable of initating deep changes that ripple outwards. It's sometimes said that importance of books is really a measure of the reader; of how ready he/she is to receive it. This book found me at a particularly receptive time and resonated deeply. It's not the first book I read on Buddhism or meditation but it is the first book I read on the teachings of Chögyam Trungpa. For some reason, Tibetan Buddishm/Bön tradition seems to speak to me in a way that I struggle to put ...more
Not sure I can do this book justice. Basically from what I gathered the author is advocating conquering fear through the use of meditation and compassion. Through opening ourselves, making ourselves vulnerable, we learn to receive the challenges of life with a compassionate heart. This doesn't mean we don't suffer or feel pain, but it helps us break out of the cycle of despair.

Surprisingly his concept of non-aggression is not what most would think. He is not advocating Pacifism, but instead if v
Carissa Unite
Jun 15, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Through a dark time, feeling lost and empty, hopeless, I picked this book up and it completely rearranged my perspective. Like a phoenix rising from the ashes, this book made me realize the true potential resting inside.

"Smile at Fear" is one of the few books I have read over and over. The words of Chogyam Trungpa are like a favorite blanket, one with the warmest hug and most comforting smells, enveloping you in a sense of self love in that present moment.

Presented as "non-secular" (no religious
Aug 05, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
A great and concise overview of the Shambhala Warrior path of Trungpa's Tibetan Buddhism. As much as there may be reasons to question the Shambhala teaching methods and structure, the qualities of Tibetan Buddhist practice are very useful all the same.

This particular book tends to focus, as the title would suggest, on relating to fear and thus anxiety issues. I think some of the more esoteric aspects of Windhorse training near the end could be made clearer for practice methods, but good to liste
Linda Vituma
Gandrīz droši tā nav grāmatas vaina, ka zvaigznītes ir tikai trīs. Bet varbūt tomēr.
Lūk, citāts no līdzības, ar kuras palīdzību padalos, kāpēc zvaigznītes ir tikai trīs.

Svētītais reiz dzīvoja Kosambi rožkoku mežā. Viņš paņēma rokā dažas lapas un jautāja bhikkus: "Kā jūs domājat, bhikkus, kur ir vairāk lapu - manā rokā vai mežā kokos?"
"Lapas, ko Svētītais ir paņēmis rokā, ir tikai dažas, Kungs; mežā to ir daudz vairāk."
"Tāpat, bhikkus, to lietu, ko esmu izzinājis tiešas zināšanas ceļā, ir daudz v
Apr 08, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: spirituality
This is the third work (with only the first being edited when he was alive). I found it hard to comprehend at moments, but overall extremely helpful and illuminating. I appreciated concepts such as fear being needed to create fearlessness, and the idea of success and failure both sowing seeds of understanding... the idea that we are where we need to be right now. That we can take on a warrior spirit at any point and take joy and laughter at what is.
This was a surprise and a delight. I listened to the new audio version, and the humor of this just shines. Yes it's sort of a primer for Buddhist thought as well, but the conversational tone and the marvelous way things are said make the book so much more. I love that in a book, I love it when words are able to make me laugh and think at the same time, and if it is even better with a second listen, oh double plus good, right?
Feb 06, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Marrakesh could be a foody place. Sandro is all-good isn't it? I live on tea and porridge at the moment. Basically good A<3 Trumorrow.
Sep 15, 2010 rated it really liked it
I'm not sure how accessible this book would be for folks who are not already familiar with Chogyam Trungpa and his teachings. I found it a helpful collection of material, clearly written, that pulls together in a new format things I have heard in different places. I'll look at this again, I suspect, possibly dipping into it at different places for different reasons when I need a refresher about fearlessness and genuineness.
Apr 19, 2013 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: sold-on
Although not a buddhist myself I have read many buddhist books and found them interesting and useful. This I did not and gave up half way through. I did not like the bad language and the use of illustrations. Perhaps a bad translation, but there are other books more enlightening, I would not recommend this one.
J. Whitley
Jan 01, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Rosemary Peek
Recommended to J. by: Eleanor Jones
Shelves: favorites
This book was suggested to me as a different way of looking at the warrior. Many friends had encouraged me to embrace my warrior side but I associated the word "warrior" with violence. In this book Trungpa describes the type of warrior that could (and does) change the world through non-violence. I would recommend this to anyone wishing to be a peaceful warrior.
Sara Gray
Again, Trungpa has lots of pithy and realistic things to say about meditation and enlightened society here, but there's not much new here--just the same messages I've read in his other books, but communicated in a somewhat different way. It has made me want to practice more, though, so at least there's that.
Feb 07, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: buddhism
I wish I had read this years ago. Maybe I wouldn’t have been able to hear it as well as right now, but if you are already on your spiritual path and looking for a way to work with fear, this is it. Trungpa provides both a stance towards working with fear within one’s self, as well as the warrior stance in the Shambahala tradition.
Brandon James
Mar 15, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I have read many Buddhist teachings, generally as a guide to my meditations. However, I found many powerful messages in this book that were equally challenging and reassuring. "Smile at Fear" has given me a starting point to build a pathway toward peaceful and meditative warriorship, a concept I did not understand enough to pursue.
Melissa Sumpter
Nov 11, 2011 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This book is so inspiring. I go back to this book time to time when I need that extra wisdom. The author tells it like is but yet does it in an inspiring and understandable way. The author gives descriptive understanding of each path thats discussed which gives one a better understand of the points that are being conveyed.
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Vidyadhara Chögyam Trungpa Rinpoche (Tibetan: ཆོས་ རྒྱམ་ དྲུང་པ་ Wylie: Chos rgyam Drung pa; also known as Dorje Dradul of Mukpo, Surmang Trungpa, after his monastery, or Chökyi Gyatso, of which Chögyam is an abbreviation) was a Buddhist meditation master, scholar, teacher, poet, and artist. He was the 11th descendent in the line of Trungpa tulkus of the Kagyü school of Tibetan Buddhism. He was al ...more
“Many people try to find a spiritual path where they do not have to face themselves but where they can still liberate themselves--liberate themselves from themselves, in fact. In truth, this is impossible. We cannot do that. We have to be honest with ourselves. We have to see our gut, our real shit, our most undesirable parts. We have to see that. That is the foundation of warriorship and the basis of conquering fear. We have to face our fear; we have to look at it, study it, work with it, and practice meditation with it.” 31 likes
“We also have to give up the notion of a divine savior, which has nothing to do with what religion we belong to, but refers to the idea of someone or something who will save us without our having to go through any pain. In fact, giving up that kind of false hope is the first step. We have to be with ourselves. We have to be real people. There is no way of beating around the bush, hoping for the best. If you are really interested in working with yourself, you can’t lead that kind of double life, adopting ideas, techniques, and concepts of all kinds, simply in order to get away from yourself.” 17 likes
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