Tuesday, October 31, 2006

One's Conduct and one's dwelling

One's conduct and one's dwelling are one's own choice. Bound to none, one enjoys that happiness and contentment which even for a king is hard to find. --Shantideva, The Way of the Bodhisattva

Sunday, October 29, 2006

Questioning the meaning of life

QUESTIONING THE MEANING OF LIFE Buddha nature is not regarded as a peaceful state of mind or, for that matter, as a disturbed one either. It is a state of intelligence that questions our life and the meaning of life. It is the foundation of a search. A lot of things haven't been answered in our life -- and we are still searching for the questions. That questioning is buddha nature. It is a state of potential. The more dissatisfaction, the more questions, and more doubts there are, the healthier it is, for we are no longer sucked into ego-oriented situations, but we are constantly woken up.
From "Awakening Buddha Nature," in GLIMPSES OF MAHAYANA, page 19, published by Vajradhatu Publications. For a copy go to shambhalashop.com. All material by Chogyam Trungpa is copyright Diana J. Mukpo and used by permission. OCEAN OF DHARMA QUOTES OF THE WEEK now has 4,813 subscribers. Please send comments on and contributions to OCEAN OF DHARMA QUOTES OF THE WEEK to the list moderator, Carolyn Gimian at: carolyn@shambhala.com.

Friday, October 27, 2006


Great wisdom awareness will not arise where there is little accumulation of merit,
but on the other hand,
great wisdom awareness will arise
where there is great accumulation from generosity, moral ethics, and so forth,
and it will burn all the obscurations.

--Gampopa, The Jewel Ornament of Liberation.

Healthy Openness


Student: Sometimes you can't be generous without harming either yourself or both yourself and the other person.

Chogyam Trungpa: The general idea is that, if you open yourself to what the given situation is, then you see its completely naked quality. You don't have to put up a defensive mechanism anymore, because you see through it and you know exactly what to do. You just deal with things, rather than defending yourself.

S: But then the feeling might be that you have to refuse somebody.

CT: Sure, yes. Openness doesn't necessarily mean that you have to make yourself available to the other person all the time. Openness is knowing the situation -- if it's healthy and helpful to the other person to involve yourself with them or if it is more healthy not to involve yourself, if showing this kind of commitment is not healthy for the other person. It works both ways. Openness doesn't mean you have to take everything in at all; you have a right to reject or accept -- but when you reject you don't close your self; you reject the situation. Whether you accept or reject it depends on whether it's a healthy situation for the other person or not; it's not purely what they want. Openness doesn't mean that you are doing purely what the other person wants. Their wantingness may not be particularly accurate....So you just work along with what's valuable there.


Thursday, October 26, 2006

Be Friendly Towards Problems


To develop ahimsa, or the nonviolent approach, first of all you have to see that your problems are not really trying to destroy you. Usually, we immediately try to get rid of our problems. We think that there are forces operating against us and that we have to get rid of them. The important thing is to learn to be friendly toward our problems, by developing what is called metta in Pali, maitri in Sanskrit, or loving-kindness in English translation. All of these problems and difficulties are fundamentally generated from the concept of duality, or separateness. On the one hand, you are very aware of other and also very aware of yourself, and you want to do something to work with and make use of others. But you are unable to do this, because there is such a big gap between other and yourself. So a sense of threat or separation develops. That is the root of the problem.

From "The Martial Arts and the Art of War," in Volume Eight of THE COLLECTED WORKS OF CHOGYAM TRUNGPA, page 414.

All material by Chogyam Trungpa is copyright Diana J. Mukpo and used by permission.

OCEAN OF DHARMA QUOTES OF THE WEEK now has 4,802 subscribers.Please send comments on and contributions to OCEAN OF DHARMA QUOTES OF THE WEEK to the list moderator, Carolyn Gimian at: carolyn@shambhala.com.

Sunday, October 22, 2006

Teaching Concerns Actual Experience


I decided to give up the robe, which I feel stood as a subtle obstacle to the formulation of my teaching in the West. The monk's robe confused many as a glorious image of spirituality. However, my teaching concerns actual experience. I don't feel that I need to hide behind something, though some people are critical of me for coming out and showing myself as a human being....But my role is a far deeper one than a mere cultural mission, a representative of the East to the West. I am not Tibetan but Human and my mission is to teach others as effectively as I can in this world in which I find myself.

>From a letter by Chogyam Trungpa written in 1970. The excerpts appear in DRAGON THUNDER: MY LIFE WITH CHOGYAM TRUNGPA. This excerpt was read by Diana J. Mukpo in her keynote address at the OCEAN OF DHARMA conference at Naropa University, now ongoing. To hear the speech, go to www.chroniclesproject.com. For a blog about the DRAGON THUNDER tour and Naropa conference by Carolyn Gimian, go to ChogyamTrungpa.com

Saturday, October 21, 2006

There are many types of meditative stabilization

There are many types of meditative stabilisation, but let us explain calm abiding (samatha) here. The nature of calm abiding is the one-pointed abiding on any object without distraction of a mind conjoined with a bliss of physical and mental pliancy. If it is supplemented with taking refuge, it is a Buddhist practice; and if it is supplemented with an aspiration to highest enlightenment for the sake of all sentient beings, it is a Mahayana practice. Its merits are that, if one has achieved calm abiding, one's mind and body are pervaded by joy and bliss; one can--through the power of its mental and physical pliancy--set the mind on any virtuous object one chooses; and many special qualities such as clairvoyance and emanations are attained.

--from The Buddhism of Tibet by the Dalai Lama, translated and edited by Jeffrey Hopkins, published by Snow Lion Publications

Friday, October 20, 2006


...perception cannot be packed down to form a solid foundation. Perceptions shift and float very much with the experience of life. -- Chogyam Trungpa. Orderly Chaos

Wednesday, October 18, 2006

The Mishap Lineage

Why does the contemplative tradition and tradition that I come from, the Practicing Lineage, or the Kagyü, exist? It is not just an accident or a matter of chance. Rather the whole thing is somewhat planned or programmed, to the extent that there is an intelligent awareness or a vision at work, of how a practitioners' lineage can exist and continue. As far as that vision is concerned, it is a prolonged sense of commitment to humanity and to working with the neurosis of humanity. The Practicing Lineage is not based on practitioners locking themselves up in their meditation cells so that they become social nuisances. But practitioners in our lineage also work with their commitment to their teacher and with surrendering, openness and devotion -- as well as with commitment to the rest of the world: all sentient beings.

From "The Mishap Lineage," in THE COLLECTED WORKS OF CHOGYAM TRUNGPA, Volume Five, page 340.

Thanks to Walter Fordham and the Chronicles of CTR Project for hosting and posting the audio excerpt from THE LINE OF THE TRUNGPAS, Talk Seven.

All material by Chogyam Trungpa is copyright Diana J. Mukpo

Thursday, October 12, 2006

When your hassled

Question: Do you have any suggestion as to how we can actually transmute when we are caught in the speed of a situation?....How is it possible to work at a rate of speed and still have any sanity about it?

Chogyam Trungpa: Well, it's overall view. When you are being hassled, you are reduced into a pinpoint, traditionally. You begin to become so small, that you are hassled by the giant situations that begin to close in on you. You are afraid about your timetable, scheduling, and everything. Whereas if you take a greater view at that point, then you are no longer that small. You can cover a lot of areas. You can extend your tentacles greater that way, so that you have some sort of stronghold, or at least some kind of clear vision of where you're coming from. You are not just being bounced back and forth like a ping-pong ball by the mercy of the situation on your ping-pong table. When you're hassled, there's a tendency to become small. So the opposite approach, in this case, is like taming and entering: when you're hassled, you have to become bigger, so you can't be bounced around.


All material by Chogyam Trungpa is copyright Diana J. Mukpo

Sunday, October 01, 2006

This is my simple religon

This is my simple religion. There is no need for temples, there is no need for complicated philosophy. Our own brain, our own heart is the temple; the philosophy is kindness. --HH XIV Dalai Lama