Chögyam Trungpa

“You can afford to open yourself and walk on the path confidently, without trying to defend yourself all the time. It is the absence of ego, the absence of self-consciousness. That is the ultimate freedom. The absence of self-consciousness brings generosity. You don’t have to watch for dangers or be careful all the time worrying about whether you are going too far or too slow. This is confidence. Developing confidence and breaking out of internal imprisonment brings about freedom naturally.”

~ Chögyam Trungpa ~

“The attainment of enlightenment from ego’s point of view is extreme death. The death of self, the death of me and mine, the death of the watcher. It is the ultimate and final disappointment. Treading the spiritual path is constant unmasking, peeling off of layers after layers of masks. It involves insult after insult.”

“Complete surrender is complete victory. What you are offering is the gift of openness, therefore fearlessness. You reassure others that they don’t have to feel freaked out about their existence. You help them see there is a way to live.”

If there is wisdom in sacred teachings, there should not be any war. As long as a person is involved with warfare, either trying to defend or attack, then the action is not sacred but a mundane and dualistic situation – a battlefield situation. One would not expect the great teachings to be as simple-minded as that, merely trying to be good or fighting the bad. Sense of humor means seeing both poles of a situation as they are, from an aerial point of view. There is good, there is bad, and you see both with a panoramic view.”

“Awakened heart comes from being willing to face your state of mind. The sitting practice of meditation is a means to awaken this within you. When you awaken your heart, to your surprise, you find that it is empty. If you search for awakened heart, if you put your hand through your rib cage and feel for your heart, there is nothing there – except for tenderness. You feel sore and soft, and if you open your eyes to the world, you feel tremendous sadness. It is not the sadness of feeling sorry for yourself or feeling deprived. It is a natural situation of fullness. The genuine heart of sadness comes from this feeling that your nonexistent heart is full. Your experience is so raw, tender, and personal that even if a tiny mosquito lands on you, you feel its touch.”

Chögyam Trungpa (1939 ~ 1987) was born in Tibet and received the most comprehensive instructions from Tibetan Buddhist tradition. At the age of 20 he began his journey to the West and attended Oxford University in 1963 to study comparative religion, philosophy and fine arts. In 1970 he began presenting Buddhist teachings in the US, and became widely recognized as a preeminent teacher of Buddhism in the West.

Being a scholar, a meditation master, as well as an artist, his extraordinary eloquence, profound compassion, and innovative teaching skills were unprecedented during his lifetime, and to this day continue to be an immeasurable source of inspiration.

The spiritual journey is not an easy one, absolutely not easy at all. It demands a lot from us. And we may not find what we want, absolutely not. Our questions may not be answered one by one. But something else is taking place. Maybe the question mark itself is beginning to rot, become disheveled, and turn into a period, full stop. Maybe that is happening. It’s a possibility. And that seems to be the process of the whole journey: dissolving the question mark into a full stop. The question mark becomes a statement or an exclamation, rather than a hollow line longing to be filled by answers.

Source of Rinpoche’s images:

“Enlightened heart is expansive. It is not territorial, and it does not demand that we gather our own flock of egotistic companions.”

“The point is not to want to benefit anyone or make them happy. There is no audience involved, no ‘me’ and ‘them.’ It is a matter of an open gift, complete generosity without the relative notions of giving and receiving. That is the basic openness of compassion: opening without demand. Simply be what you are, be the master of the situation. If you will just ‘be’ then life flows around and through you.”

~ Chögyam Trungpa Rinpoche