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Chögyam Trungpa (March 5, 1939 – April 4, 1987) was a Buddhist meditation master.
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Cutting Through Spiritual Materialism
- "Cutting Through Spiritual Materialism" by Chögyam Trungpa (1973)
- According to the Buddhist tradition, the spiritual path is the process of cutting through our confusion, of uncovering the awakened state of mind. When the awakened state of mind is crowded in by ego and its attendant paranoia, it takes on the character of an underlying instinct. So it is not a matter of building up the awakened state of mind, but rather of burning out the confusions which obstruct it. In the process of burning out these confusions, we discover enlightenment. If the process we otherwise, the awakened state of mind would be a product, dependent upon cause and effect and therefore liable to dissolution.
- Walking the spiritual path properly is a very subtle process; it is not something to jump into naively. There are numerous sidetracks which leades to a distorted, ego-centered version of spirituality; we can deceive ourselves into thinking we are developing spiritually when instead we are strengthening our egocentricity through spiritual techniques. This fundamental distortion may be referred to as spiritual materialism.
- Anything which is created must, sooner or later, die. If enlightenment were created in such a way, there would always be a possibility of ego reasserting itself, causing a return to the confused state. Enlightenment is permanent because we have not produced it; we have merely discovered it. In the Buddhist tradition the analogy of the sun appearing from behind the clouds is often used to explain the discovery of enlightenment. In meditation practice we clear away the confusion of ego in order to glimpse the awakened state. The absence of ignorance, of being crowded in, of paranoia, opens up a tremendous view of life. One discovers a different way of being.
- We cannot be truly peaceful unless we have the invincible quality of peace within us; a feeble or temporary peacefulness could always be disturbed. If we try to be kind and peaceful in a naive way, encountering a different or unexpected situation might interfere with our awareness of peace because that peace has no strength in it, has no character. So peace must be stable, deeprooted, and solid.”
- The idea is not to regard the spiritual path as something very luxurious and pleasurable but to see it as just facing the facts of life.
- The point of meditation is not merely to be an honest or good person in the conventional sense, trying only to maintain our security. We must begin to become compassionate and wise in the fundamental sense, open and relating to the world as it is.
- Our vast collections of knowledge and experience are just part of ego’s display, part of the grandiose quality of ego. We display them to the world and, in so doing, reassure ourselves that we exist, safe and secure, as “spiritual” people.
Glimpses of Abhidharma
- "Glimpses of Abhidharma" by Chögyam Trungpa (1975)
- Meditation is a way of scientifically looking at our basic situation and seeing what is important in dealing with it.
- p. 65
- Meditation practice ... has nothing to do with achieving perfection, achieving some absolute state or other. It is purely getting into what we are, really examining our actual psychological process without being ashamed of it.
- p. 65
- Unless we are able to make friends with outselves, there is no hope at all. If we abandon ourselves as hopeless, as villains, then there is no steppingstone.
- p. 66
- Even if our state of being is disgusting we should look into it. It is beautiful to see it.
- p. 66