April 4, 2008 [The 21st Anniversary of the Parinirvana (death) of Chogyam Trungpa]
MEETING MY TEACHER
Meeting my teacher, Jamgon Kongtrul, was remarkable. Throughout the whole time I was studying with my tutor and being educated at the Surmang monastery in Tibet, they were telling me stories about their admiration for people who had died, great teachers they had met, who lived in the past. I had never met any of them. According to these stories, the whole spiritual thing is that you have to be a completely religious person. Even if you are not, you should pretend. You pretend to be good, and you keep smiling at everybody. You say nice things to everybody, and you half close your eyes all the time, as if you are pretending to meditate all the time. That was the kind of story I heard.
But then, meeting Jamgon Kongtrul, I began to actually see what people really meant. It was not so much that he half-closed his eyes all the time or behaved in a saintly way, particularly. He joked around, he was very jolly, and he was very kind and soft and insightful. Sometimes he didn't even sit upright. I had been told to always sit upright. He lay down in his seat, and he accommodated people. There was immense power coming to you from that presence. From that time onward, I would say that the journey was very definite and really committed. Before that particular point, I felt that I was being made to be a charlatan and asked to make a fool of myself.
From "The Eleventh Trungpa," in MISHAP LINEAGE: THE LINE OF THE TRUNGPAS, forthcoming.
All material by Chogyam Trungpa is copyright Diana J. Mukpo and used by permission.
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Ocean of Dharma Quotes of the Week: teachings by Chogyam Trungpa Rinpoche.
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