Author Topic: The crazy wisdom of Chogyam Trungpa  (Read 11294 times)

Klein

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Re: The crazy wisdom of Chogyam Trungpa
« Reply #30 on: July 29, 2012, 05:05:05 PM »
The one thing I could not understand is that towards the end of Chugyam Trungpa's life, he has been drinking excessively and affected his health a lot. Is this a way he is manifesting for his life to be taken away or be shortened?Is it because of the negative karma of his students that caused him to manifest this heavy drinking? Or any other reasons?

I would not have understood because to me he could have stopped his drinking and benefit more people because he could live longer.

No doubt he is a very skillful guru who has successfully spread the Buddha Dharma across the West.

Dear Galen,

There are many reasons why Chogyam Trungpa Rinpoche would drink a lot and allow the alcohol to affect his health. An attained practitioner like him has full control of his life. He can use anything as an excuse to cause his fatality or just dissolve his winds and go into clear light anytime anywhere without any prior symptoms.

The following are possible reasons for Chogyam Trungpa Rinpoche to manifest his illness:
1) To create opportunities for his students to generate merits when they take care of him.
2) To train his students on being alert to other's needs.
3) To purify his student's negative body karma.
4) To teach his students on impermanence.
5) To absorb the student's collective negative karma with his illness and eventual death so that the dharma can grow further and wider.

Benefiting others is not just in this current lifetime and in this form of existence. The attained teacher can continue to benefit his students in future lifetimes and in other existences as well. So dying is neither good nor bad.

Ensapa

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Re: The crazy wisdom of Chogyam Trungpa
« Reply #31 on: August 01, 2012, 07:02:49 PM »
Here's a little writeup on Chongyam Trungpa that I found on the net somewhere.

Quote
CHOGYAM TRUNGPA BIOGRAPHY

by Charles Carreon

 

Few could begin their first written work, their autobiography, with these words:

"My birthplace was a small settlement on a high plateau of north eastern Tibet. Above it, the celebrated mountain Pago-punsum rises perpendicularly to more than eighteen thousand feet, and is often called the 'the pillar of the sky'. It looks like a tall spire; its mighty crest towers under perpetual snows, glittering in the sunshine."

Such were the origins of Chogyam Trungpa Rinpoche, who was born in February, 1939 in Eastern Tibet, and died forty-eight years later, leaving a legacy as the most influential and controversial teacher of Buddhism in the United States during the last quarter of the twentieth century. Oxford-educated and well-known for the quality of his wit, this high lama wore civilian clothes, and was often photographed in suit and tie during the early seventies. Comfortable swigging hard liquor with anarchist poets, he sped to the head of the guru crew when, in the late seventies, he founded the Naropa Institute in Boulder, Colorado, and in one incredible summer, made Ram Dass feel like an idiot poseur, and cut the long renunciate braid off the head of the renowned sacred songster, Bhagavan Dass, as Dass lay insensate on the floor after a night of dissipation. Or so the stories went.

In the late seventies, Trungpa's milieu was the focus of the lead story in Harper's magazine called "Toward Spiritual Obedience," which featured a cover picture of a pure white megaphone, held in the hand and resting in the lap of a berobed person whose head had been cropped out of the frame. The story told how Trungpa, at a Halloween party he held at Naropa, was miffed that the poet W.S. Merwin and his wife wouldn't consent to appear naked along with him at a party. Trungpa ordered them seized and stripped naked so the party could begin. Merwin and many in the academic establishment didn't take it well. But for a generation of hippies who had lived through the Summer of Love, Woodstock, and Altamont, that kind of hellraising was just alright. For people who were sorry they missed the opportunity to be on the bus with Kesey and the Merry Pranksters, tripping on an endless supply of LSD, someone who wouldn't get naked probably should be helped out of their clothes.

Trungpa's books of teachings didn't disappoint, either. The first one, Meditation in Action, didn't mark off much new territory, but with chapter titles like "The Manure of Experience and the Field of Bodhi," there was some suggestion that his teachings were taking an original turn. The next book, Cutting Through Spiritual Materialism, was slightly less provocative than a molotov cocktail heaved into a yoga class. The lights sere kept burning in ashrams and college dorm rooms way past midnight, as people who had been earnestly practicing breath retention and focussing on the third eye of wisdom began to wonder if they might be missing the boat if a bona fide Tibetan lama said things like this:

"It is important to see that the main point of any spiritual practice is to step out of the bureaucracy of ego. This means stepping out of ego's constant desire for a higher, more spiritual, more transcendental version of knowledge, religion, virtue, judgment, comfort or whatever it is that the particular ego is seeking. One must step out of spiritual materialism."

First of all, what the hell was he doing using a word like "bureaucracy?" That wasn't the sort of word a guru used, because it makes you feel uptight, like you're in a government building to fill out forms and get a license. Next, it poses a problem, and it doesn't sound like an easy one to resolve. If "ego" is going to subvert even spiritual efforts, then where can we take refuge? This isn't what gurus do. They don't sow doubt and uncertainty. They package the problem and a solution together. Trungpa seemed to be declaring a holiday from mysticism to give us all a change to dry out from the long spiritual bender that young people had been on every since Leary and Alpert got kicked out of Harvard and bathtub acid started irrigating every careless brain cell in the 16 - 25 age group.

I think Trungpa showed up on the American scene and was both charmed and dismayed by the unreasoning optimism of the early seventies. You don't know it, but we were everywhere, hitchhiking, doing and distributing psychoactive drugs, screwing on the beach and in the fields, surfing, smuggling, dancing, making music, and believing, believing, believing that heaven was just down the road, around the corner, and right here and now. Trungpa probably saw us as ignorant victims of Eastern religion toxicity, high on the unreleased byproducts of boundless hope fed by chemical realization, sexual exhilaration, meditative exercises and nature worship. "Stop everything!" he seemed to shout. "Stop it now before you dance right off that cliff!"

People hated him, said he was evil, cited his drinking and womanizing as evidence of depravity, and for all the people it deterred from seeking him out as a teacher they might as well have given him a ticker tape parade. He was taking bread out of the mouths of child-gurus like the precocious Maharaj-ji, and stealing disciples from kind old men like Swami Muktananda. Supposedly he called the Berkeley-to-Tennessee guru Steve Gaskin, a "demonic hippy." Who knew the truth? It was all believable. On the spiritual scene, he was like a wrathful deity, appearing everywhere, making anyone feel like an asshole if they flinched. Naturally, legions bowed.

His next book, The Myth of Freedom, was exquisitely designed, a small, square book in a five-by-five format, illustrated with Tibetan line drawings by the amazing Glenn Eddy, the only guy who could make a one-eyed dakini with a shriveled tit and one triangular tooth look cool. Supposedly a former heroin addict, Eddy was one of Trungpa's incredibly cool students, to whom were soon added luminaries like Allen Ginsberg and Anne Waldman. Even as Trungpa stories evermore circled around his drinking and screwing, it seemed his students affected more and more the trappings of legitimacy.

As a cultural hand-grenade, The Myth of Freedom landed in a populated area in the middle of spiritual rush hour. The casualties were enormous, more even that the ashram conflagration ignited by Cutting Through. People could not stop reading the book, or flagellating themselves and each other with its provoking statements. Again Trungpa showed his command of the connotations of language. Using "myth" in the pejorative sense, to mean a false belief, he turned his back on Jungians and Campbellians who had seized on myths as doors to the archetypal unconscious. Saying that "freedom" was a myth, he challenged Americans to examine their most prized political possession. And that was before you even opened the cover.

When you did, the book's force was overwhelming. Starting with discourses on suffering that were as cosmopolitan as a quip by Oscar Wilde, as trenchant as an essay by Orwell, Trungpa proceeded to skewer every sacred cow, both secular and sacred that appeared in his broad-sweeping path. His observations were as irritating as an infestation of ants taking up residence inside your suit of armor. You found yourself wanting to strip off vital protection just to end the torture. The Myth lampooned spiritual striving as a pathetic game of self deception, and activated our own self-doubt to demonstrate for us our tendency to hide our ignorance about what end is up, who we are, and what the hell to do about it.

From then on, the game was pretty much his. Nobody ever threatened Trungpa Rinpoche's pre-eminence as a presenter of Buddhist thought during his lifetime. His crew and vast numbers of others presumed him to be a MahaSiddha of the highest order. His drunkenness and sexual infantilism were accepted as the price of perfection. He lived in paradox as comfortable as a pig in mud or as Guru Rinpoche in the midst of the flames, embracing his beautiful consort.

Trungpa Rinpoche chose a successor who harvested extraordinary opprobrium when he infected several of his students with the lethal AIDS virus due to a mistaken belief that he could do nothing wrong. Whatever Trungpa got right, his successor seems to have missed, leaving an object lesson for all -- do not imitate the deeds of your betters, or be prepared to pay a price.



dsiluvu

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Re: The crazy wisdom of Chogyam Trungpa
« Reply #32 on: August 02, 2012, 08:49:52 PM »
The one thing I could not understand is that towards the end of Chugyam Trungpa's life, he has been drinking excessively and affected his health a lot. Is this a way he is manifesting for his life to be taken away or be shortened?Is it because of the negative karma of his students that caused him to manifest this heavy drinking? Or any other reasons?

I would not have understood because to me he could have stopped his drinking and benefit more people because he could live longer.

No doubt he is a very skillful guru who has successfully spread the Buddha Dharma across the West.

Yes I agree with what Klein said... that there are many reason why but one huge reason is for sure is that all these High Lamas does not do anything randomly and they definitely have control. And if their death would be of more benefit to others then they would manifest the situation. And look at how big and strong they have grown. His center now under the wings of Sakyong Mipham Rinpoche his Sun continues to flourish, Shambala is renowned world wide and still growing strong... their publication Shambala Sun is also well established. Amazing that even after He is gone his legacy continues to grow.

So yeah I guess for highly attained masters such as Chogyam Trungpa it is definitely for the bigger and better good for his students in various different levels. 

dsiluvu

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Re: The crazy wisdom of Chogyam Trungpa
« Reply #33 on: August 03, 2012, 09:06:05 PM »
The one thing I could not understand is that towards the end of Chugyam Trungpa's life, he has been drinking excessively and affected his health a lot. Is this a way he is manifesting for his life to be taken away or be shortened?Is it because of the negative karma of his students that caused him to manifest this heavy drinking? Or any other reasons?
I would not have understood because to me he could have stopped his drinking and benefit more people because he could live longer.
No doubt he is a very skillful guru who has successfully spread the Buddha Dharma across the West.
Yes I agree with what Klein said... that there are many reason why but one huge reason is for sure is that all these High Lamas does not do anything randomly and they definitely have control. And if their death would be of more benefit to others then they would manifest the situation. And look at how big and strong they have grown. His center now under the wings of Sakyong Mipham Rinpoche his Sun continues to flourish, Shambala is renowned world wide and still growing strong... their publication Shambala Sun is also well established. Amazing that even after He is gone his legacy continues to grow.
So yeah I guess for highly attained masters such as Chogyam Trungpa it is definitely for the bigger and better good for his students in various different levels. 

buddhalovely

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Re: The crazy wisdom of Chogyam Trungpa
« Reply #34 on: August 26, 2012, 03:25:31 PM »
Trungpa's fluid grasp of English allowed him to frame the teachings in a fresh but authentic way, making them accessible to the western mind and cultural mindset.   His life, art and teaching all were expressed by his "crazy wisdom" mastery that set him apart from the few teachers who first came to the west as well as the many who have followed.  His unconventional lifestyle, he drank sometimes heavily and had many relationships with women, and his innovative presentation of the teachings, the introduction of the Shambhala Path, a secular spiritual sister path to Buddhism and the development of the Dharma Art form to name just two, are examples of his consistent "crazy wisdom" approach.