Friday, April 27, 2007


It is worthwhile for individuals, even student and teacher, to have
eye-level relationships. There is a Sanskirt term, kalyanamitra,
which means "spiritual friend." It seems most appropriate that we
relate to each other as friends, rather than as student and master as
such. If we relate to one another as equal persons, the world in
which we relate is also an equal situation. The physical living
situation is the only way to relate with our lives as such. I do not
believe in the mystical world, the ethereal world, the world of the
unseen, unknown or whatever. There is no reason to believe in it,
because we don't perceive it. Belief comes from perception. If
there's no perception of something, we don't believe it. Belief does
not come from manufacturing ideas. There may be millions of arguments
and logics set forth, saying that there is an unseen world that
operates on higher levels of consciousness, a world which fulfills
human concerns, punishes those who don't believe, and so forth. But
from the point of view of physics, that is unreal. I'm afraid I'm not
going to say that there is another world. The world that we live in
is the only world.

From "Work, Sex, and Money," Talk One of an unpublished transcript
of a seminar in Burlington, Vermont, April, 1972.

Sunday, April 15, 2007


Solidifying by the ego of its space is based on an attitude which trusts complexity. Ego places its trust on very complicated answers, complicated logic. Satipatthana [the sitting practice of meditation] is a way of simplifying the logical mind, the logical mind which...attempts
to fixate, hold onto, grasp, and thus is continually projecting something definite and solid. So the basic practice of simplifying every activity of the mind into just breathing or bodily movement reduces the intensity of the Rudra [or ego] of body.

From "Laying the Foundation" in THE DAWN OF TANTRA, page 9.

Of interest to readers:

The Spring issue of ELEPHANT features a column by Chogyam Trungpa, which will appear in each issue. ELEPHANT online is:

Friday, April 06, 2007


The best doctor of all the doctors, the best medicine of medicines, and the best technology of technologies cannot save you from your life. The best consultants, thebest bank loans, and the best insurance policies cannot save you. Eventually you must realize that you have to do something, rather than depending on technology,financial help, your smartness or good thinking of any kind -- none of which will save you. That may seem like the dark truth, but it is the real truth. In the Buddhisttradition, this is called the vajra truth, the diamond truth, the truth you cannot avoid or destroy. We cannot avoid our lives at all. We have to face our lives, young or old, rich or poor. Whatever happens, we cannot save ourselves from our lives at all. Wehave to face the eventual truth -- not even the eventual truth but the real truth of our lives. We are here; therefore, we have to learn how to go forward with ourlives. This truth is what we call the wisdom of Shambhala.

From "The Wisdom of Shambhala," in ELEPHANT magazine, Spring 2007.

The Spring issue of ELEPHANT features a column by Chogyam Trungpa, which will appear in each issue. ELEPHANT online is:

Wednesday, April 04, 2007


Ocean of Dharma Quotes of the Week

April 4, 2007 The Twentieth Anniversary of the Parinirvana, or death, of Chogyam Trungpa


When the enlightened one was with us,When he talked to us,When he walked with us,When he fixed his robes,When he washed his hands after a meal,The enlightened one was always precise, accurate.He possessed ideal total shinjang, without reference point.He was playful and he was accurate.He was clean, neat, tidy.It was beautiful the way Buddha handled his begging bowl.Watching his fingersHe had no discrimination against or, for that matter, rejection of the way phenomena works:Buddha worked with a blade of grass, Pebbles, dirt, in his begging bowl. He washed his robes with such precision,

We like the way the Buddha is in action.Watching Buddha work is magnificent.There is no discrepancy.Buddha is the best friend.He is the best at working with the unworkables,Therefore he is the king.The best monarch we could ever find is the Buddha.The Buddha's gaze and the Buddha's hands -- the way he washed his handsHe washed his hands as a monarch would.He is not arrogant,He is humble and genuine and imperial.We like Buddha's way:Imperial humbleness.There is no one like him.That is why we call him samyaksambuddha.

O how much I love you Buddha!The way you do things properly,The way you feel the world around you,You have no aggressionO Buddha! O tathagata!You are so tamed, You are so beautiful,You are so royal, You are so humble.O to be like you, the genuine BuddhaWho need not clarify or validate You are buddha as Buddha.O how gorgeous to be Buddha!

We love your simplicity.We are glad that you took human birth and that you conducted yourself in the human realm.O Buddha, samyaksambuddha,We love you.We are astonished that you are Buddha,Fascinated that you are Buddha,Totally captivated that you are Buddha,We are inspired to follow your example.Shakyamuni, O Buddha, we love you.We are your best friend, O best friend.

Homage to the sambuddha, the perfect being.I, Chögyam, emulate you. O Buddha,Namo buddhayaBuddham sharanam gacchami.

By Dharma Sagara, Ananda, Buddha Das, Hotei.

Composed in 1982 at the Vajradhatu Seminary, Bedford Springs, Pennsylvania. Reprinted from THE ESSENTIAL CHOGYAM TRUNGPA, pages 101-102.

Editor's Notes: The 1982 Seminary, where this poem was written, began only a few months after the Parinirvana, or the death, of His Holiness the SixteenthGyalwang Karmapa, the head of Chogyam Trungpa Rinpoche’s lineage. At this Seminary, Rinpoche composed a number of poems as examples of devotionalpoetry for his students. The last two lines of the poem are Sanskrit and mean: "Homage to the Buddha, I take refuge in the Buddha." Chogyam Trungpa signedfour titles as his name at the end of this poem. Dharma Sagara is Sanskrit for Dharma Ocean; Ananda was the servant and a close disciple of Shakyamuni Buddha;Buddha Das is a mixture of Sanskrit and Hindi, which means "servant of the Buddha"; and Hotei is the name of a legendary Chinese Zen Master, known for hiscrazy wisdom teachings. He is the model for the fat, round-bellied buddha figures that traditionally bring good luck and wealth. In the poem itself, shinjang refers to the quality of being tamed or processed, which results from the practice of meditation. Samyaksambuddha is a Sanskritepithet for the Buddha, which means “the completely perfect awakened one.” Tathagata is another Sanskrit epithet that means “He who has gone beyond.”Shakyamuni is the name of the historical Buddha, which means “sage of the shakya clan.” Sambuddha means the perfect Buddha, the perfectly awake one.

Two notices of interest to our readers:


Information about Parinirvana events and a tribute to Chogyam Trungpa from Buddhist teachers, his family, students, and others is being featured on the Chroniclesof CTR website at:

II. The Spring issue of ELEPHANT magazine is now available. A column by Chogyam Trungpa will appear in each issue. The Spring issue features the first column.ELEPHANT online is:

Sunday, April 01, 2007

The Joke is on us_April Fools Day 2007

In order to become a follower of the dharma [the teachings of Buddhism],
one has to become nonaggressive, beyond aggression. In order to do that,
there has to be some kind of warmth in oneself, gentleness in oneself,
which is known as maitri, and there has to be greater gentleness to others,
which is known as karuna, or compassion. When we begin to make a connection
to dharma, we are willing to open our gates, to tear down our walls. Then
for the first time we begin to realize that the joke has been on us all the
time. Accumulating ammunition and building fence after fence was our trip
rather than something actually having taken place. We have wasted so much
of our energy and economy on that trip. When we begin to realize the joke
was on us and created by us, then we are actually following the dharma,
following our minds according to the dharma.

From "Aggression," Talk Two of THE FOUR DHARMAS OF GAMPOPA, a seminar
given at Karme-Choling in July 1975, published in a sourcebook by
Vajradhatu Publications. Available from

Of interest to our readers:


April 4, 2007 is the 20th anniversary of the Parinirvana, or the death, of
Chogyam Trungpa Rinpoche. Information about Parinirvana events and a
tribute to Chogyam Trungpa from other teachers, his family, students, and
others will be featured on the Chronicles of CTR website at: