Guide 1976 Seminary Transcripts: Hinayana - Mahayana

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Buddhist new religious movements
  1. Chögyam Trungpa
  2. Rinpoche, Chogyam Trungpa
  3. From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

IT was, according to Richard Arthure, "a popular underground paper in the '60s and '70S The pace of change in modern society is such that something written thirty years ago now may seem already almost archaic. At the same time, the contents of Volume One set the stage for the extraordinary pageant of dharma that lies ahead in future volumes. There are eight articles on psychology and working with others as a psychotherapist or health professional; six articles based on a dialogue with Christian contemplatives at the Christian-Buddhist Meditation Conferences held between and in Boulder, Colorado; an article on spiritual farming; another on work; one on sex; and four on the educational philosophy of Naropa Institute now Naropa University , a liberal arts college founded by Trungpa Rinpoche.

He was proud that his Tibetan lineage, the Kagyu, is known as the Practicing Lineage. From the time he arrived in North America in until his death in , he almost never gave a public talk or started a seminar without a discussion of the importance of sitting practice. Later, when he introduced more formal discipline and the importance of lineage and devotion, he still recommended the sitting practice of meditation.

Even when he was conducting an advanced pro-gram like the Vajradhatu Seminary or giving an empowerment for his most senior students, events always began with an extended period of sitting meditation. In the later years, when he presented the Shambhala path of the warrior, the fundamental discipline that he recommended was the sitting practice of meditation. Meditation is emphasized in many of Trungpa Rinpoche's books writ-ten in the s and '80s, and some aspects of the technique are presented in various volumes published during his lifetime. As time went on, he became more willing to write about the technique itself.

It is helpful to beginning and continuing practitioners alike in its detailed discussion of both shamatha and vipashyana, or mindfulness and awareness, the two fundamental aspects of sitting meditation, indeed of all practice. The next book in Volume Two is Training the Mind and Cultivating Loving-Kindness, a practice-oriented manual for the nurturing of loving-kindness maitri as the ground for developing true compassion karuna.

Trungpa Rinpoche worked intimately on the translation of the text over a number of years, with a group of his students who make up the Nalanda Translation Committee? Following his death, the translation committee reviewed and revised the text, putting it into its final form for the book's publication.

The seven points of mind training consist of fifty-nine slogans that give us the practical means to understand both the view and the practice of mahayana Buddhism, or the bodhisattva's way of compassion. Key to this instruction is the formal practice of tonglen, or "sending and taking," a meditation that works with the medium of breath, as does basic sitting meditation.

The practice of tonglen is itself introduced as one of the slogans: "Sending and taking should be practiced alternately. These two should ride the breath. Although he arrived in North America in , Trungpa Rinpoche did not present this approach to mind training until Then, when he did introduce this practice at the Vajradhatu Seminary, it was given only to senior students with extensive grounding in both sitting meditation and the study of the Buddhist teachings.

Later, he began introducing tonglen and slogan practice at an earlier stage in students' development, when they took the bodhisattva vow to commit themselves to working for the benefit of others. Tonglen has been used. The other three books included in Volume Two offer a glimpse of varied teachings on the Buddhist path. Glimpses of Abhidharma is an examination of the five skandhas, or constituents of ego, and how we build up this illusory fortress of self in every moment of our existence.

It is a codification and interpretation of the concepts that appear in the discourses of the Buddha and his major disciples. In this brief look at some of the teachings from the abhidharma, Trungpa Rinpoche discusses the place of coincidence tenth-el in Tibetan; pratitya-samutpada in Sanskrit , which describes the karmic patterns that exist in our lives. He describes one's discovery of karmic coincidence not as predestination but as an opportunity to discover the reality, not only of one's karmic patterns, but also of freedom and the need to make a leap of faith in choosing the next moment that presents itself to us.

The core material presented in Glimpses of Abhidharma is the investigation of the five skandhas, or constituents of ego. Trungpa Rinpoche takes a somewhat unusual approach to the discussion of the skandhas. Of his presentation of abhidharma, he himself says, "So our approach has been quite unique. Looking at abhidharma this way, nothing is terribly abstract The psychology of one's own being shows the operation of the five skandhas and the whole pattern that they are part of. As we have seen, this is not the case; rather they constitute an overall pattern of natural growth or evolution.

This kind of primary insight can be achieved by combining the approaches of the scholar and the practitioner. Glimpses of Shunyata Vajradhatu Publications, and Glimpses of Mahayana Vajradhatu Publications, , both edited by Judith Lief, are good complements to Training the Mind, in that they present an overview of the basic teachings of mahayana, a view of the dharmic landscape in which the practice of mind training takes place.

Glimpses of Shunyata is a very atmospheric presentation of lectures on shunyata, or emptiness, given by Trungpa Rinpoche in at Karme Choling, a rural practicecenter in Vermont. Rinpoche doesn't give his audience any ground in the discussion of shunyata, and this book conveys that groundlessness. In order to discover the ground, path, and fruition of shunyata, the reader has to give up territory, abandon hope, and take this journey without expectation.

Glimpses of Mahayana, on the other hand, conveys the warmth and solid beingness of the mahayana. It makes you want to be a bodhisattva, a mahayana warrior treading the path of empty but luminous compassion, and it makes the mahayana path seem accessible. Buddha nature is right there, right here in this volume of teachings. Trungpa Rinpoche had a close relationship with the group of therapists based in Palo Alto , California , that established this journal in The phrase "transpersonal psychology" first came into currency around the time the journal was launched.

Rinpoche was especially close with and very fond of Tony Sutich and had great respect for his pioneering work in transpersonal psychology. It is among his most straightforward, thorough, and clear presentations of the ground of meditation, both theory and practice. Szpakowski based the article on "Educating Oneself without Ego," a seminar given by Trungpa Rinpoche at Naropa in the summer of The language and metaphors that Rinpoche employs here are rich and poetic, as is the practice he describes.

The next eight articles all present further teachings as contrasted with the application of the teachings, which comes later on the topics of mind, meditation, and mahayana—which are the primary topics of the material in this volume. Four articles present topics from the abhidharma on the constituents of mind and how these come together in the situational patterns we experience in life. Many of the articles from Garuda I and II were reworked for inclusion in other publications, so that the final versions that appeared in print were free of the editorial errors they contained in their original versions.

Two chapters of Cutting Through Spiritual Materialism, for example, were based on material in the early Garudas. This article originally appeared as a chapter in the Hinayana-Mahayana Transcripts of the Vajradhatu Seminary, published by Vajradhatu Publications. As Trungpa Rinpoche says, "When someone's mind is mixed with dharma, properly and fully, when a person becomes a dharmic person, you can actually see the difference. We are trying to do every-thing properly, precisely the way the Buddha taught.

They are, one might say, a proclamation of basic sanity that does not need reference points. Dharmas are simply what is. Having this attitude, if a spiritual teaching does not supply us with enough patches, we are in trouble. The Buddhist teaching not only does not supply us with any patches, it destroys them. The next article, "Compassion," reprinted from the Vajradhatu Sun, presents one of the talks on mind training that was used as the basis for Training the Mind.

It is about the workability of the emotions and of every situation we come across in life. Some of the material included in this article also appeared in a chapter by the same name in The Myth of Freedom and the Way of Meditation. The discussion of working with depression is particularly potent; Rinpoche takes the view that, when related to fully, depression becomes a walkway rather than a dead end. In "Aggression," Trungpa Rinpoche talks about how a basic emotional stance, deep-seated anger and resentment, can prevent us from knowing ourselves and from identifying with the dharma, or the teaching of "what is.

The next group of articles is based on Trungpa Rinpoche's participation in the Christian-Buddhist Meditation conferences held at Naropa in the s. It appeared originally in the Naropa Magazine, also edited by Mrs. These articles show us how a contemplative approach to meditation and mind is shared by practitioners in both the Buddhist and Christian traditions and how the similarities and differences between the traditions can stimulate authentic communication.

While at Oxford , he wanted to take Holy Communion in the Church of England, in order to experience the inner spirituality of Christianity. However, since he wasn't a candidate for conversion, it was not possible. He was genuinely disappointed. Taken as a whole, Volume Two demonstrates that the simplicity of meditation also encompasses the myriad facets of mind and leads us to a more open path, the mahayana, which values working with others as much as working on oneself.

The subtleties of mind and meditation are many. It also expresses how seamlessly he was able to join together spiritual development with work in the world. The third book included in this volume, The Heart of the Buddha, was published posthumously. However, a number of the core writings that make up that book were originally published in the early s. Many of them appeared in the Garuda magazines put together as in-house publications by Trungpa Rinpoche's senior students. Following The Heart of the Buddha are a number of articles and inter-views. Several of these are also based on or taken directly from Garudas I and II, while others are from early talks given by Trungpa Rinpoche about the path of Tibetan Buddhism, the problems of spiritual material-ism, and the means for overcoming these problems through meditation.

These capture the eclectic spiritual flavor of the early seventies. Finally, seven forewords to works by other authors complete this volume…. In England , he had difficulty finding students, or they had difficulty finding him. In America , he began to attract many students who came, listened, and stayed. In Cutting Through, he speaks very directly to the reader, often about surprising topics, considering that this is a book on the Buddhist path. Topics such as self-deception and sense of humor were hardly the standard fare of religious discourse at that time, but they were chapter titles in his new book.

He had a real feeling for the right word, the mot juste. Cutting Through Spiritual Materialism is the first place that one can truly see that genius—starting with the title. Yet it precisely defines a tendency to pervert spiritual teachings to support or maintain one's ego-oriented view of reality. Defining this tendency is immensely helpful to students setting out on the path. Yet at the same time that he coined new terminology and used good English words to describe ancient techniques of meditation and stages on the Buddhist path, he also respected the integrity of terms for which no English equivalent existed.

In Cutting Through Spiritual Materialism, one finds that more of these Sanskrit terms are used in chapter titles toward the end of the book, whether that was coincidental or planned. The last four chapter titles of Cutting Through all feature Sanskrit words: "The Bodhisattva In England, he had difficulty finding students, or they had difficulty finding him.

Cutting Through Spiritual Materialism is the first place that one can truly see that genius—starting with the title…. When Cutting Through was published in , it was an almost over-night success. It was the book to be reading, at least in certain circles. Following its publication, lectures by Trungpa Rinpoche, which might previously have drawn an audience of a hundred, now might draw an audience of a thousand in a major American city.

By , he had students in these and other locales who helped host his visits to their area. They set up lectures—and sometimes "dharma festivals" or other special events—in large venues that would accommodate all those who wanted to hear him speak. The atmosphere surrounding his public appearances was sometimes more like a happening than a lecture. He loved to be challenged and seemed to draw energy from the interaction with the crowd. To be sure, there was a more serious side to all this.

Public lectures almost always were a prelude to weekend, sometimes longer, seminars, which generally were attended by fifty to one hundred participants. Although not published until , The Myth of Freedom was largely drawn from public talks and seminars that Trungpa Rinpoche gave in many parts of the country between and While in some ways it is a continuation of the themes articulated in Cutting Through, The Myth of Freedom is also a departure.

The chapters are short and pithy and largely self-sufficient; one can start almost anywhere in this book, read a chapter or two, and feel that one has gained something valuable, something that stands on its own merits. In , the first Vajradhatu Seminary was held. Before that time, all of his students were solely practitioners of sitting meditation. They had been expecting a maximum of five hundred participants.

All of these events had an impact on The Myth of Freedom. First, the success of Naropa Institute and Rinpoche's general celebrity encouraged him and his editors to undertake a second popular volume of his teachings. Finally, although all of the talks in The Myth of Freedom were given to public audiences, there is much vajrayana or tantric content, including the translation of a short but important tantric text, "Mahamudra Upadesa," at the end of the volume. This was, in part, simply the natural outgrowth of the fact that Rinpoche's students—and his editors—were themselves becoming familiarized with and steeped in vajrayana.

With regard to Myth of Freedom, I never liked it quite as much as Cutting Through Spiritual Materialism, felt it t00 much a synthesis from t00 many seminars, that it was overedited and had lost punch, lost some of the sound of his voice. Nevertheless, it has its moments, for sure, as for in-stance, the chapter on love.

At some point I realized that it was pure Anu Yoga [an advanced stage on the tantric path]. I went to Rinpoche and asked him if he really wanted it in the book as it was, if it wasn't revealing teachings he only wanted to present to students intimately, at [the Vajradhatu] Seminary. He laughed and said it was all right, that no one would "get it" anyhow.

With the coming of the Karmapa in , Rinpoche's students had discovered that they were part of a large family. And with tradition came responsibility. The end of the party was in sight. Although there were certainly further celebrations to come, the careless freedom and sometimes wild atmosphere that characterized the earliest years began to fade after the Karmapa's visit. Similarly, although the first summer at Naropa Institute seemed like one huge happening, it also had implications. By , what might have seemed like a lark just a year before now clearly held the potential to build an enduring and important institution of higher learning.

There were departments to build, pro-grams to plan, degrees to offer. Tradition was now an intensely personal affair for Rinpoche's students: it was theirs to carry on. As if to underscore this point, Rinpoche announced that he would be taking a year's retreat in , leaving the administration of his world to his Vajra Regent and all his other students. Still, there was an unfettered exuberant quality that was difficult to leave behind, and indeed some students left around that time, unable to make the transition from emptiness to form. The changes in the community also made room for many others to explore their interest in Buddhism and meditation, for there were many who were not attracted to the formlessness of the early years.

While some had found it liberating, for others it had appeared merely messy and chaotic. The book speaks to readers today who have no relationship to the era from which it sprang. The directness of the prose is hard-hitting, and the fact that the chapters are short makes the book almost more digestible for current readers than it was for its original audience.

The Heart of the Buddha, edited by Judith L. Lief and published in , is a collection of fourteen articles, sixteen if one counts the appendices. These three articles are meaty, in-depth discussions of the topics, and they deserve the wider audience they enjoy by being incorporated into The Heart of the Buddha. The same is true for the chapter "Devotion," which was edited from one of Trungpa Rinpoche's seminars, "The True Meaning of Devotion," to be the main text in Empowerment, a beautiful, slim book with many photographs, commemorating the first visit of His Holiness Karmapa in Each incorporates material from many of Rinpoche's talks on the same subject.

These articles thus have a very personal and direct quality to them. Some of the material in the article was dictated by Rinpoche; some of it was taken from earlier talks he had given. It is material that is not available in any of his other published writings. A later version also appeared in the Naropa Institute Journal of Psychology.

Although health professionals have found it extremely helpful, it is not just aimed at professional caretakers but speaks to anyone dealing with sickness—their own or that of others. Altogether The Heart of the Buddha brings together important and pro-vocative articles by Trungpa Rinpoche on a broad range of topics.

The next article, "Transcending Materialism," is reprinted here directly from Garuda I. It looks at the early history of American interest in non-Western spirituality and some of its roots,including Theosophy, the influence of Anagarika Dharmapala on the translation of Pali texts into English and Gendiin Chophel's attempts to translate Pali sutras back into Tibetan, as well as Aleister Crowley's fascination with the magic and mystery of Tibet and Egypt.

Then Trungpa Rinpoche relates all of this to the modern fascinations with and sidetracks of spirituality. It covers interesting territory that he rarely discussed. The version reproduced here is based mainly on a later version, which appeared in an in-house Vajradhatu periodical called Buddha-dharma. Trungpa Rinpoche talks once again about the problems of spiritual materialism, overcoming self-deception through the practice of meditation, and meditation as making friends with one-self. This is followed by a short piece, "The Three-Yana Principle in Tibetan Buddhism," which was published in another in-house organ, Sangha, in Given by Rinpoche at Tail of the Tiger in , it is about cynicism as a tool for recognizing and cutting through spiritual materialism, and warmth as a tool for cutting through the obstacles of doubt and skepticism produced by the cynical approach.

It is practice-oriented and powerful teaching. This publication is a record of a dialogue between Rinpoche, the representative of the Buddhist tradition, and the students at Lama Foundation, the inhabitants of a hippie commune in northern New Mexico. In some ways the audience at Lama was not that different from an audience of Rinpoche's own students at the time. In fact, soon after his visit to Lama, a number of residents from that community left to study with him. For example, Ram Dass, a former Harvard psychology professor born Richard Alpert who had become a teacher of Hindu spirituality, helped to found Lama and was a resident teacher there in the s.

After making Trungpa Rinpoche's acquaintance there, he came to Naropa Institute for the first summer session in as one of the main teachers. After all, the people at Lama were the editors of Ram Dass's best-selling Be Here Now, which presents quite a different approach from Rinpoche's view of the spiritual path, to say the least. Discussions of the Hindu experience of bhakti and the dialogue about Christianity and Teilhard de Chardin are interesting highlights in these articles.

Readers will have to make what they will of "Report from Outside the Closet," which is a sort of short story or parable, which Trungpa Rinpoche wrote for the Lama Foundation publication. The interview wasdone during the Nalanda Festival in Boston, which was a kind of mini—Naropa Institute on the road, featuring poetry readings, Buddhist talks, music, and other cultural activities, including the opening of an exhibit of Tibetan art at the Hayden Gallery at M. The interview itself covers a wide range of topics, including Rinpoche's thoughts on EST and ecology. He is critical of Er-hard Sensitivity Training, yet points out that Werner Erhard, its founder, is a "friend of ours.

The Codex was a small journal started by Shambhala Publications in as a forum for discussion of its books and as a showcase for its authors. It ceased publication altogether in In "The Myth of Don Juan," Trungpa Rinpoche criticizes Carlos Castaneda for making something of a personality cult out of the figure of Don Juan, rather than emphasizing the teachings themselves—although Rinpoche remains unconvinced that Don Juan actually exists. There is a discussion of the problems with trying to use drugs to shortcut genuine spiritual discipline. This, he suggests, is part of their universal appeal.

They are arranged here chronologically. Two are forewords to translations of important Tibetan Buddhist texts. Guenther and published originally in Rinpoche wrote a foreword to the edition that Shambhala Publications brought out in , and through this made the acquaintance of Dr. The other text for which he wrote the foreword, Mahamudra: The Quintessence of Mind and Meditation by Takpo Tashi Namgyal, was published in , the year before Rinpoche died. He was very happy that this book was being published in translation; his foreword was one of the last things he ever dictated, just a few months before he became quite ill.

He used this text as his own study material—in Tibetan, of course—for many of his talks on the Shambhala tradition of warriorship. This translation, by Lobsang P. Lhalungpa, was a valiant effort. It is quite a difficult work, and the translation is noteasygoing. The book is now out of print, and one hopes that this text will once again be available in English in the not too distant future.

There are also three forewords included here that Trungpa Rinpoche contributed to books about other Buddhist teachers. Trungpa Rinpoche was very grateful for the hospitality Karma Thinley extended to him and his wife, and also respected him very much as a dharma teacher. As well, several of Trungpa Rinpoche's close students had originally studied with Karma Thinley.

Tsultrim Allione was also a student of Rinpoche's in the early s, and he had tremendous fondness for her. Jack Kornfield had been a colleague of Rinpoche's at Naropa Institute; both he and his fellow teacher of insight meditation Joseph Goldstein taught at Naropa in , when they were largely unknown.

Rinpoche respected them both for their dedication to the Buddhist teachings. Both Jose and Miriam were early students of Rinpoche's in California. See John Baker's comments earlier in this introduction. The Arguelleses extended much personal hospitality to Rinpoche and Diana Mukpo in the early years, and he was grateful for both their friendship and their commitment to the Buddhist path. Trungpa Rinpoche was delighted that Osel Tendzin produced a book edited from his own lectures, talks he gave between and , the first four years after he was confirmed as Trungpa Rinpoche's dharma heir.

I remember how diligently the Regent worked on these talks and how carefully he and Donna Holm scrutinized each word that went into the manuscript. I have worked arduously in training him [the Regent] as my best student and foremost leader. Yet Trungpa Rinpoche's belief that buddha-dharma can fully take root in America remains alive, untarnished by all doubts and difficulties. There is no doubt that he bequeathed the stain-less, pure tradition of awakened mind to the West, and it seems doubt-less that it will be carried forward.

There will be twists and turns, but the ultimate truth is fearless. Readers who never met him can still be touched and transformed by what he taught. In that lies great promise. Volume Four is path-oriented, Volume Five is organized around the themes of lineage and devotion, and Volume Six deals with what one might call tantric states of mind or tantric experience. Even when presenting the most overtly tantric material, Trungpa Rinpoche guarded the integrity of the vajrayana teachings, being very careful not to introduce material prematurely to his students and not to cater to public fascination with tantra.

There was certainly plenty of such fascination when he came to America in the early s, which made him even more conservative in his approach. His teachings on the dangers of spiritual materialism were, in part, designed to cut through naive misinterpretations of tantra, which he saw as potentially very harmful to young American spiritual seekers. He was also quite well aware that the misunderstanding of Buddhist tantra had a history in the West that was not particularly easy to over-come.

There had long been misconceptions about Tibetan Buddhism, which went back to opinions primarily formed in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, as well as in earlier times. Tibetan Buddhism was some-times referred to as "Lamaism," a generally disrespectful epithet that implied that Buddhism in Tibet was a distortion, some strange sort of primitive sect controlled by its priests, or lamas.

Interestingly enough, the communist Chinese still use this term pejoratively to describe Tibetan Buddhism. It is as misguided now as it was historically. There were notable exceptions to the closed-mindedness of Western scholars. Evans-Wentz, Herbert Guenther, Marco Pallis, and David Snellgrove, among others, all had a very positive view of Tibetan Buddhism and had made considerable contributions to opening up the understanding of vajrayana, through their translations of major Tibetan tantric texts into English and their explication of the history of Tibet and Tibetan Buddhism.

Nevertheless, in the popular arena, there remained many misconceptions. In addition to the negativity about vajrayana, there was an equally problematic romanticism and a view of tantra as wild abandonment to sense pleasures. In Cutting Through Spiritual Materialism and The Myth of Freedom, his most popular books published in the s which appear in Volume Three of The Collected Works , he included material on the vajrayana, but only after properly laying the ground and only after many dire warnings about the dangers of trying to practice tantra without a grounding in the hinayana and mahayana teachings.

He talked extensively about the teacher-student relationship, particularly in Cutting Through. There were other aspects of the tantric view, such as the five buddha families that describe five styles of human perception and experience, which he talked about quite freely. He seemed to feel that it was a helpful way forstudents to understand the varieties of human experience and to develop their creativity. There is no doubt that a vajrayana sensibility affected much of what he taught.

She produced the groundbreaking translation with his input, and she also put together the commentary—which was eye-opening for most readers—based on Rinpoche's teachings, mainly those given during a seminar on the Tibetan Book of the Dead in The style and language of the translation were a significant departure from earlier renditions. The English was evocative, elegant, and direct, and the book was very well received. Remarks by Francesca Fremantle on her work with Trungpa Rinpoche are also included there. When Prajna ceased publication, the book became a title under the Shambhala imprint.

Journey without Goal is based on a seminar given in , during the first summer session at the Naropa Institute. The talks on which the book is based were recorded on video, along with all the other events at Naropa that year, so it's possible to see, outwardly at least, exactly to whom Rinpoche was talking. In his introduction to Journey without Goal, Rinpoche focused not on appearance but on the motivation and background of the students: "The audience was a very interesting mixture.

They happened onto this class by various coincidences and had very little idea of what tantra, or spirituality at all, might be. As well, there were a number of committed students who had been practicing meditation for some time. In fact, the membership grew rather than decreasing over the weeks. Rinpoche lectured several times a week during the second summer session. Even if you stumble upon this book with no previous background, you can pick up on the energy and the enthusiasm of the material, although many of the details remain somewhat fuzzy.

Al-though you might not understand everything, the book might still make you feel that you'd really like to know more about what the author is talking about. Rinpoche had a way of drawing people in without giving the goods away, even when he was giving away secrets. That was a phrase he coined, which combined smugness with being snug as a bug in a rug.

He was also not interested in selling tantric secrets, the heart secrets of his lineage, on the street corner or in the lecture halls of Naropa. So he gave one talk that spoke very differently to different people in the audience. From time to time, Rinpoche met with them, answering questions or giving them new food for thought. Ask any one of those people, and they would probably tell you that Rinpoche's talks were mind-blowing and that he spoke directly to them in the tantra seminar at Naropa that summer, addressing core issues in their vajrayana practice.

At the same time, these talks were not easy, for anyone. For others, they were intriguing but confusing; for a few, they were a closed door, a turn-off. Rinpoche would have had it no other way. He was happy to invite those with commitment, happy to intrigue those with an open mind, and delighted to shut the door on spiritual shoppers. Journey without Goal begins with a number of chapters that describe different principles or components of the tantric path. The first chapter is on the nature of tantra and the tantric practitioner.

It is about both continuity and egolessness. There are several excellent chapters on the nature of transmission in the vajrayana and on the relationship between student and teacher, who at this level is a vajra master. Reward is perhaps an odd word to use, since what is discussed here is complete surrender and letting go.

Chapters toward the end of Journey without Goal discuss the different yanas, or stages, on the path. The final chapter, entitled "Maha Ati," is beautiful and surprising, as well as profoundly simple. I don't think you can read this book without being moved. If it's not for you, you simply won't make it to the end! Judith L. Lief began the editing of the book while she was editor in chief of Vajradhatu Publications. When she left to become the dean of the Naropa Institute in , in spite of a great deal of work on her part, the book remained unfinished.

I took over the last stages of pre-paring the book for publication, assisted by Sarah Coleman, as well as by Helen Berliner and Barbara Blouin. Trungpa Rinpoche wrote the introduction when the manuscript was completed and ready to go to the publisher. The book itself was published in in the Dharma Ocean Series. They decided to inaugurate a series that would eventually consist of I08 volumes of Rinpoche's teachings. The intent of the Dharma Ocean Series was "to allow readers to encounter this rich array of teachings simply and directly rather than in an overly systematized or condensed form.

Lief was asked to serve as the series editor. All together, eight volumes in the Dharma Ocean Series have been published, which leaves only more to come! He gave several thousand talks that were recorded and archived during his seventeen years in North America , no two of which are the same.

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There is more than enough material in this collection to complete the volumes in the Dharma Ocean Series. That said, it is a valuable book, which provides an overview and quite a lot of detail—from the tantric perspective—of the nine yanas. They are the mighty roaring of a great lion of dharma. In The Lion's Roar, Sherab Chodzin Kohn has reversed the order of the original presentations, starting with the shorter Boulder seminar.

Chögyam Trungpa

At the Seminary, Rinpoche introduced the formal study of tantra to one hundred of his most senior students, who would begin their vajrayana practice within a few months of completing the Seminary. It's not purely coincidental that these two public seminars sandwich the presentation of vajrayana at the Seminary. Indeed, many of the themes and the view that he presented in that advanced program are previewed and echoed in The Lion's Roar.

As Sherab Chodzin Kohn said of him in the introduction to The Dawn of Tantra, "He has become one of the few Westerners to penetrate to a deeper understanding of Tibetan tantric texts. His books. Guenther has been criticized for using abstruse English philosophical terminology in his translations. Currently, there are simpler and perhaps more direct translations available, to be sure, but nevertheless his early renditions of Tibetan texts into English were,.

These two gentle-men were brought together by Shambhala Publications, who published works by both authors. Together, they conducted a weekend seminar on the basic principles and practice of tantra, alternating talks, and this book is the outcome of that meeting. Dawn of Tantra reflects both Dr. Guenther's scholarly approach and the more immediate, popular approach that was Trungpa Rinpoche's hallmark.

It would seem that each man came closer to the other in this situation: Dr. In addition to the talks from the weekend seminar, Dawn of Tantra includes a chapter titled "Visualization" that was based on a talk by Trungpa Rinpoche at the seminar that became part of The Lion's Roar. Guenther in Boulder in There is a great deal of detailed material on the philosophy and practice of tantra in this little book. Its inclusion in The Collected Works as well as its recent reissue in Shambhala Dragon Editions make it available to a new generation of readers.

In addition to personal and penetrating comments by Trungpa Rinpoche on the significance of his accident in England in , the interview focused on the challenge of bringing the vajrayana teachings to America. It's a very candid exchange. He ends the interview with this prediction: "Not only that. Marpa is known as the father of the Kagyu lineage in Tibet , and it is his life and teachings that are the subject of the next two selections in Volume Five.

Since translations in general are beyond the scope of The Collected Works, only the preface and the colophon are included. Rinpoche's own songs, or religious poetry, that are part of the English edition of The Rain of Wisdom are also presented. This is followed by "Joining Energy and Space," an article based on some 0f the teachings that he subsequently gave to his students about the.

The Sadhana of Mahamudra brings together the ultimate teachings from two great Tibetan spiritual lineages: the dzogchen, or maha ati, teachings of the Nyingma and the mahamudra teachings of the Kagyu. Next are two short articles that present the vajrayana practice of mantra, which uses the repetition of sacred syllables to invoke the wisdom and energy of egolessness in the form of various herukas,' or non-theistic deities. The first article, "Hum: An Approach to Mantra," is a general explanation of the basic usage of mantra as well as a specific discussion of the mantra HUM, which is the seed, or root, syllable for all of the herukas.

The next article, "Explanation of the Vajra Guru Mantra," also presents general guidelines for understanding the practice of mantra. However, the main body of this piece is an explanation of this mantra and its association with invoking the power and presence of Padmasambhava.

Trungpa Rinpoche's foreword from this book is also included. Then there is the short piece "Teachings on the Tulku Principle" and finally three articles on Milarepa , Tibet 's most famous Buddhist yogi. Lineage, one of the main topics of this volume, means the continuity and transmission of the awakened state of mind, which is passed down in an unbroken, direct line from teacher to disciple, beginning with the Buddha—or a buddha—and continuing up to the present day.

There are many branches of transmission. Some of them trace back directly to Gautama Buddha, the buddha of this age or world realm who appeared in human form. Other lineages trace back to a transmission from one or more of the buddhas who exist on a celestial plane, such as Vajradhara or Samantabhadra, who manifest in a transcendental or dharmakaya aspect. This is often the case in the Tibetan lineages. As he says in Crazy Wisdom, "Our approach here, as far as chronology and such things are unconcerned, is entirely unscholastic. Nevertheless, the inspiration of Padmasambhava, however old or young he may be, goes on" page In his talks on the forefathers of the Tibetan Buddhist teachings, he drew on events from their spiritual biographies, which are stories of complete liberation, or namthars, composed in order to bring to life the journey that each of these great practitioners made.

He shows us the enormous commitment to sanity that they made and the extraordinary difficulties that they endured in order to become holders of the wisdom of buddhadharma and to transmit that wisdom to others. Above all, he presents their lives as examples to guide us in awakening our own sanity as we tread on the path of dharma. Devotion is the water that flows through the teachings and maintains them as a living transmission. Devotion is the human element of lineage, the bond between teacher and student that brings vajrayana to life.

In fact, it may make it seem that direct personal experience of something so far-reaching and profound would be impossible. What makes the impossible possible is, first, meeting a genuine teacher, someone who is the embodiment of what one is seeking. That is the role of devotion in one's relationship with the teacher. It seems that there is really only one thing that allows us to sacrifice ourselves completely, and that is love. We have to begin with love—completely giving ourselves to one person, the teacher, before we can surrender properly to the whole world.

However, devotion is about unconditional surrender, not about creating further ego-oriented entanglements. In the student's "love affair" with the teacher, you give yourself to space; you give yourself to someone who speaks for space. That someone is the teacher, and that surrender, or abandonment of oneself, is the experience of devotion. Throughout his years of teaching in America , Chogyam Trungpa warned against the dangers of charlatan gurus.

Because America is looking so hard for spirituality, religion becomes an easy way to make money and achieve fame. However, there is an entirely different approach that has become more popular in the last few years, which is to do away with the absolute nature of the student-teacher relationship altogether, so that the student goes it on his or her own, accepting advice where it is helpful but never surrendering beyond a certain point. That is certainly one way to avoid a disastrous relationship with a fraudulent teacher. There is much that can be accomplished on one's own or with a teacher as adviser rather than as the ultimate reference point.

To learn to meditate and practice loving-kindness—one could do far worse than that! For most of us, to accomplish just that is a lifetime's work. Awakening is not achieved easily or comfortably, and the journey is not without dangers and extremes, but that makes it no less real or precious. In this volume are the wonderful stories of some of the outrageous and fully awakened gurus of the Buddhist lineage. What an inspiration they are!

At the same time, it is almost unthinkable that these are stories about real people, not just mythical figures in the past. As though one of them might be your teacher.. An Indian teacher, he brought the Buddhist teachings to Tibet in the eighth century at the invitation of King Trisong Detsen. Thus, he is regarded as the father of Buddhism in Tibet and is revered by all Tibetan lineages and by the Tibetan people.

Often, biographies of a teacher present the story of how that person became a student of the buddhadharma, met his or her guru, underwent extensive trials and training, and finally became en-lightened, or realized. Such stories provide inspiration and many helpful lessons to students entering the path. That is, he was born fully enlightened, it is said, as an eight-year-old child seated on a lotus flower in the middle of a lake. It is a highly improbable story. Such a birth is impossible. But, then, impossible things happen, things beyond our imagination. As he says, "It is possible for us to discover our own innocence and childlike beauty, the princelike quality in us.

It has caught on and has come to be used to de-scribe a variety of styles of behavior, some of them more crazy than wise. Crazy wisdom is sometimes referred to as "wisdom gone beyond. It will also destroy what needs to be destroyed. Padmasambhava was the embodiment of crazy wisdom; hence the title of the book.

It is in part his own fearless wisdom that he communicates in this book. Guenther as his main reference point. Guenther's book. In Illusion's Game, excerpts from Dr. Naropa was the abbot of Nalanda University. One day while he was studying, an ugly old woman suddenly appeared and asked him if he understood the words or the sense of the Buddhist teachings he was reading. She was very happy when he told her that he understood the words, but she became very angry when he said that he also understood the sense.

He asked her to tell him who, then, knew the real meaning, and she answered that he should seek her brother Tilopa. Inspired by this encounter, Naropa left the university, much to the dismay of his colleagues and students, and set out to find his guru Tilopa. On the way, he encountered one horrific illusion after another.

Each situation was a test by Tilopa of his prospective disciple's understanding, and on each occasion Naropa missed the point, so that he had to keep searching on and on. Eventually, he found Tilopa eating fish entrails by the side of a lake. This was just the beginning. Naropa had to undergo many trials, over many years, until finally he became fully realized. Naropa's body was crushed. He suffered immense pain. Tilopa healed him with a touch of his hand, then gave him instructions.

This pattern was repeated eleven more times. Eleven more times Tilopa remained either motionless or aloof for a year; then Naropa prostrated and asked for teaching. Tilopa caused him to throw himself into a fire, It is difficult to know what to make of such a tale. We could dismiss it as craziness or treat it as symbolism. But could we imagine that such things actually took place and that such people could actually exist? Can you imagine seeing such people and receiving and talking to them?

7b Buddhist Sects and Scriptures - Eastern / Mahayana Buddhism

Ordinarily, if you told such stories to anybody, they would think you were a nut case; But, in this case, I have to insist that I am not a nut case; Don't you think meeting such sweet friends is worthwhile and rewarding? I would say meeting them is meeting with remarkable men and women: Let us believe that such things do exist. In that spirit, it may be valuable to explore the life of Naropa and how it might apply personally to oneself. To begin with, he had to unlearn, to undo the cultural facade.

Then he had to undo the philosophical and emotional facade. Then he had to step out and become free altogether. This whole process was a very painful and very deliberate operation. This does not apply to Naropa and his time alone. This could also be something very up-to-date. This operation is applicable as long as we have conflicting emotions and erroneous beliefs about reality. However, on another level, it remains utterly outrageous. They could, in fact, be quite terrifying in their fearlessness.

In the article "Milarepa: A Warrior's Life," which appears in Volume Five, Trungpa Rinpoche includes the last instructions given by the yogi Milarepa to his students, as he lay on his deathbed: "Reject all that in-creases ego-clinging, or inner poison, even if it appears good. Practice all that benefits others, even if it appears bad. This is the true way of dharma. Act wisely and courageously according to your innate in-sight, even at the cost of your life. In fact, they de-lighted in embodying the most extreme aspects of human experience, if in doing so they could help others.

From their point of view, they were not striving to be outrageous or even helpful; their behavior was just the natural expression of what is. A story from his early life illustrates how he put this training into effect, in extreme as well as ordinary circumstances. When Tibet was invaded by the communist Chinese, he had to flee the country over the Himalayas to avoid imprisonment and probable death. Someone in a nearby town had alerted the Chinese that a group of Tibetans was going across that night, and the Chinese ambushed Rinpoche's party.

Out of more than two hundred traveling together, fewer than two dozen made it across. Reaching the other side while hearing gunshots in the background, he and most of the remaining band hid in some holly trees until the next night. In Born in Tibet , he wrote,. We could only moisten our lips with the hoar frost. Their clothes had been soaked during the crossing, and the weather was so cold that their clothing became frozen to their skin, so it crackled when they moved. Later that day, as it became dark, they climbed for five hours to reach shelter in some fir trees above the village.

Several members of the party made jokes about doing the yoga of inner heat to try to keep warm.

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Rinpoche and others found quite a lot of humor in this dire situation. When the going gets tough, these are people you might want to have on your team. It is indeed applicable to things we may face today—or tomorrow. Their compassion was compassion for the toughest times. It may be just what the world needs now.

Both Crazy Wisdom and Illusion's Game are the work of a great story-teller. The life of Padmasambhava was a less common topic. In seminars on other topics, Rinpoche often would bring up a story about Tilopa, Naropa, Marpa, Milarepa, or Gampopa to illustrate a point he was making. These stories are included in Cutting Through Spiritual Materialism and other popular books.

When he told these tales, you felt that he knew these people; he definitely seemed to be on a first-name basis with them. And like any good father telling his children about their grandparents and great-grandparents, one point of his storytelling was to make the younger generation feel close to the ancestors and the ancestral wisdom. He never failed to make those in the audience feel that they were part of or just about to join this lineage of awakened mind.

Rinpoche, Chogyam Trungpa

Marpa was the chief disciple of the Indian guru Naropa, whose search for enlightenment is the subject of Illusion's Game. Marpa was born and lived in southeastern Tibet. He made three journeys to India , filled with obstacles and difficult tests of his understanding and devotion. Marpa's life-style has some parallels to those of modern students, in that he was a married householder with a number of children.

He owned and operated a farm and outwardly led a rather ordinary and quite secular life. Nevertheless, his understanding of and dedication to the dharma were anything but ordinary. Rinpoche also talks about the process of translating this book and the kinship that he feels with Marpa as one translator to another. The Nalanda Translation Committee, the group of Rinpoche's students who collaborated with him on the translation of The Life of Marpa the Translator, as well as on The Rain of Wisdom, is to be congratulated for its excellent work on these and many other projects.

This magnificent collection of poetry, with many accompanying stories, still has the power to evoke joy and sadness and the inspiration to practice the heart teachings of the buddhadharma. Trungpa Rinpoche advises readers of this book to "reflect on the value and wisdom which exist in these songs of the lineage in the following ways. First there are the life examples of our forefathers to inspire our devotion. Some are songs of mahamudra and transmit how we can actually join together bliss and emptiness through the profound methods of coemergence, melting, and bliss.

Once again, the stories and wisdom of past teachers are not just of historical interest but are presented to inspire our own journey on the path. The courage, majesty, and conviction of the Kagyu gurus are overwhelming. The publication of this important text in the English language seems a fitting testament to all that he had accomplished in ten short years. In addition to having produced a brilliant translation, the members of the Nalanda Translation Committee must be acknowledged for the excellent afterword they contributed to the text, as well as for the extensive notes and glossary.

His extensive understanding of Tibetan literature and vajrayana teachings, as well as his growing grasp of English, made it possible for the NTC to make great strides in their translation work. Lama Ugyen worked with the NTC until his death in Next in Volume Five are the excerpt from The Sadhana of Mahamudra and an article about the meaning of the text. This process of rediscovering the treasures has been happening all along, and a lot of sacred teachings have been revealed. How to Sit in a Chair , n. Intergroup for Planetary Oneness newsletters , Sept.

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P'howa Retreat handwritten , Nov. P'howa Retreat photocopies of handwritten transcripts , Nov. P'howa Retreat typescripts , Nov. Prayer commentary, Nov. Red Tara Dream Yoga, Apr. Tara Teachings, Apr. Chagdud Gonpa Los Angeles Newsletter , Mahakaruna Foundation , n.

The Wind Horse , Bay Area, April, ca. Chagdud Gonpa, Sept. Chagdud Gonpa Events, Chagdud Tulku in L. Drup Chen, Oregon, The Dudjom Treasures, The Dudjom Treasures retreat information , Apr. Fifth Annual Dzogchen Retreat, Aug. Flyers for events with Chagdud Tulku, Los Angeles, Apr. Los Angeles, Nov. Los Angeles, May , Los Angeles, Jan. Padma Ling Calendar, Sept. The Vajrayana Path, Nov. Friends of the Buddhadharma, Karma Dzong newsletter , Lecture notes with Allan Sloan and Osel Tendzin, The Lion's Roar promotional material , ca.

Lumbini, Birthplace of the Buddha, [? Director's Meeting, Education of the Warrior sourcebook and lecture notes , Shambhala Politics and Culture Sourcebook, [? Symbolism and Confidence in the Arts lecture notes and handouts , Nov. Taming the Mind, Steve Baker lecture notes , Vajradhatu , Planned Annual Giving. Vajradhatu Sun correspondence and photocopy , Ceremony of the Vajra Crown , performed by H. Gyalwa Karmapa, Chant to the Mahakali Vaitali , n. The Enthronement of the Sakyong , from Shambhala Sun , The Mandala Offering , n.