Monday, March 30, 2009


The person who has already experienced the cessation of suffering is
the Buddha. The Sanskrit word buddha is translated into Tibetan as
sanggye. Sang means "awake," and gye means "expansion," or
"blossoming." The word sang is related with awakening from the sleep
of pain; and within the pain, suffering, and unawareness, gye is like
a blossoming flower....What we are trying to do is to become sanggye.
We are trying to blossom. We're trying to be wakeful. That is
precisely what we are doing. Quite possibly we have a glimpse of
sanggye happening endlessly. Although we may think that we are
fooling ourselves -- and sometimes we are fooling ourselves --that
element of wakefulness takes place constantly. According to the third
noble truth, cessation is possible. On the path of the four noble
truths we are trying to become buddhas, real buddhas, real sanggyes.

From "Awakening and Blossoming," in THE TRUTH OF SUFFERING: and the
Path of Liberation. Order your copy at:

Thursday, March 26, 2009


If somebody is waking for the first time from a deep sleep, she might
see the midnight stars. But if she waits long enough without going
back to sleep, she will begin to see not only stars but the dawn,
then the sunrise, and then the whole landscape being lit by a
brilliant light coming from the sky. She will begin to see her hands,
her palms, her toes, and she will also begin to see her tables, her
chairs, and the world around her. And if she is clever enough to look
at a mirror, she will also see herself. Similarly, the truth of the
cessation of suffering is a personal discovery. It is not mystical
and it does not have any connotations of religion or psychology. It
is simply your experience.

From "Awakening and Blossoming," in THE TRUTH OF SUFFERING: and the
Path of Liberation. Forthcoming from Shambhala Publications.
Pre-order your copy at:

Sunday, March 22, 2009


The third noble truth that the Buddha taught is the truth of
cessation. The truth of cessation (gokpa) is related to the concept
of tharpa, or "liberation." In discussing the possibility of
cessation, we should get rid of fictitious stories about how great it
is to get there and become somebody at last. Such ideas may be
obstacles. In relating to cessation, the question is whether we have
to use our imagination or whether we actually can experience a sense
of relief or freedom. The truth of the matter is, that in regard to
cessation, imagination does not play a very important role. It does
not help at all in getting results. The experience of cessation is
very personal and very real, like the practice of meditation.
Generally, however, our experiences of freedom or liberation are
quite sparse and minute -- and when we do have an occasional glimpse
of freedom, we try to catch it, so we lose it. But it is possible to
extend such glimpses.

From "Awakening and Blossoming," in THE TRUTH OF SUFFERING: and the
Path of Liberation. Forthcoming from Shambhala Publications.
Pre-order your copy at:


The sword of hatred is ornamented with the handle of invasion,
A red star has imprisoned the sun and moon,
The high snow-peaked mountains are cloaked in the darkness of a
poisonous wind;
The peaceful valleys have been shattered by the sound of artillery.
But the dignity of the Tibetan people competes with the glory of the

Composed November 10, 1972.

âChogyam Trungpa Rinpoche, FIRST THOUGHT BEST THOUGHT, © Diana J.

Thursday, March 12, 2009

ORIGINAL SIN_repost from 2005

Coming from a tradition that stresses human goodness, it was something of a shock for me to encounter the Western tradition of original sin....It seems that this notion of original sin does not just pervade Western religious ideas; it actually seems to run throughout Western thought as well,especially psychological thought. Among patients, theoreticians, and therapists alike, there seems to be great concern with the idea of some original mistake which causes later suffering -- a kind of punishment for that mistake. One finds that a sense of guilt or being wounded is quite pervasive. Whether or not such people actually believe in the idea of original sin, or in God for that matter, they seem to feel that they have done something wrong in the past and are now being punished for it..... The problem with this notion of original sin or mistake is that it acts very much as a hindrance to people. At some point, of course it is necessary to realize one's shortcomings. But if one goes too far with that,it kills any inspiration and can destroy one's vision as well. So in that way, it really is not helpful, and in fact it seems unnecessary. As I mentioned, in Buddhism we do not have any comparable ideas of sin and guilt. Obviously there is the idea that one should avoid mistakes. But there is not anything comparable to the heaviness and in escapability of original sin.

--Chogyam Trungpa Rinpoche, From "The Meeting of Buddhist and Western Psychology" in THE SANITY WE ARE BORN WITH: A BUDDHIST APPROACH TO PSYCHOLOGY

Tuesday, March 10, 2009


You, young men and women here,
Don't think that death will come little by little;
It comes fast as lightning.

âMilarepa, From: The Hundred Thousand Songs of Milarepa, Shambhala

Monday, March 09, 2009


The origin of suffering, strangely, can come either from trying to be highly disciplined and aware or from completely losing one’s awareness. Generally, if you are not mindful and aware, suffering begins to arise; whereas, if you are mindful and aware, suffering does not arise. However, suffering can also come from using your awareness discipline as a means of securing yourself by developing set patterns in life. Ego-oriented patterns arise from both attitudes and actions, and lead to suffering. They include (1) regarding the five skandhas, or aspects of ego, as belonging to oneself, (2) protecting oneself from impermanence, (3) believing that one’s view is best, (4) believing in the extremes of nihilism (that nothing matters) and eternalism (that things last forever), as well as the extreme emotions of (5) passion, (6) aggression, and (7) ignorance....
As a practitioner, you realize that these patterns don't particularly go away, but at least you know what they are all about, and as you go along, you will probably know what you should do about it. You may think that once the dharma or the truth has been spoken, it should solve those problems automatically, but that is not the case. First you have to get into the dharma; then you can think about what you can do. Unless you are a businessman, you can't discuss bankruptcy.

From "The Development of Set Patterns," in THE TRUTH OF SUFFERING: and the Path of Liberation. Forthcoming from Shambhala Publications. Pre-order your copy at:

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Sunday, March 08, 2009


Be ever mindful of the shortcomings of desire's rewards,
and know that all the phenomena of the cycle of existence are never
like the ripples on a pond,
and that these manifestations of delusion
which are no things in themselves
are like magic and dreams.
When you have the determination to be free of samsara
and are content with your material situation,
you will be able to sit quietly
with your mind happy and at ease.

âDorje Chang Kalu Rinpoche

Friday, March 06, 2009


The connection between small ideas and large
ideas is very important. For instance, sudden
dramas, such as murdering somebody or creating
immense chaos, begin on the level of minute
concepts and tiny shifts of attention. Something
large is being triggered by something quite
small. The first little hint of dislike or
attraction for somebody eventually escalates and
brings on a much more immense scale of emotional
drama or psychodrama. So everything starts on a
minute scale, at the beginning, and then
expands.Although emotions are seemingly very
heavy-handed, large-scale, and crude, they have
their origin in the subtle twists that take place
in our mind constantly.We experience the arising
of such thoughts right now, all the time. It is
possible for people who have been practicing
meditation and studying the teachings, who are
opened up and intrigued, to see this pattern. If
you have been practicing, you are somewhat raw
and unskinned, which is good. Being able to
relate with the subtleties of mental shifts is
connected with the principle of paying attention
to every activity that we do in smaller doses.

From "The Power of Flickering Thoughts," in THE
TRUTH OF SUFFERING: and the Path of Liberation.
Forthcoming from Shambhala Publications.

Of interest to Ocean of Dharma subscribers:

A weekend conference on Mindfulness, Love and
Relationship sponsored by the Omega Institute and
the Shambhala Sun Foundation will take place
April 3 to 5 in New York City. The presenters are
Sylvia Boorstein, Dzogchen Ponlop Rinpoche, John
Tarrant, and Polly Young-Eisendrath. A chance for
those with an interest in meditation and the
contemplative traditions to bring this together
with the thorny issues of love and relationship
that we all face. These teachings are part of the
"What the Buddhists Teach" series. For
registration and further information, go to:

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.
Taken from works published by Shambhala
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