The Basics of Sitting Meditation: Chögyam Trungpa, Rinpoche’s Dathun Letter

Via on Aug 8, 2008

In 1973, the Tibetan meditation master Chögyam Trungpa introduced a month- long period of meditation called dathün, which he recommended to all of his students. This intensive meditation practice retreat, where even meals are taken simply, in silence, is to this day a fundamental part of the Shambhala Buddhist path. ~ Carolyn Gimian, ed.

“The shamatha style of meditation is particularly recommended by the Buddha. It has been the way for beginning meditators for 2,500 years. To describe meditation we could use the phrase touch and go. You are in contact, you’re touching the experience of being there, actually being there—and then you let go. That applies to awareness of your breath on the cushion and also beyond that, to your day-to-day living awareness. The point of touch and go is that there is a sense of feel. The point of touch is that there is a sense of existence, that you are who you are.”

Read the full letter here.

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48 Responses to “The Basics of Sitting Meditation: Chögyam Trungpa, Rinpoche’s Dathun Letter”

  1. Richard says:

    I enjoyed this article and especially liked the tag, ‘non new agey’. Excellent!

  2. [...] “The Buddha’s teaching is used merely for political purposes and to draw people together socially.  As a result, the blessings of spiritual energy are being lost.”  ~  Chogyam Trungpa’s Sadhana of Mahamudra [...]

  3. [...] Chögyam Trungpa Rinpoche and his students founded Naropa University in 1974 as a place to present Buddhist teachings and practice, and also as a place where various artistic, spiritual and academic disciplines could come together in a sparky environment that merged intellect and intuition. At Naropa, Rinpoche gave many talks on Buddhist iconography and making a genuine meditative or contemplative connection to art, which he called “dharma art.” [...]

  4. [...] this video highlight of Johanna Demetrakas’ upcoming movie on Mr. Crazy Wisdom himself, Buddhist guru Chogyam Trungpa. [...]

  5. [...] good news, of course, is “Let East meet West, and the sparks will fly!” (as Trungpa famously said of his Naropa University). Particularly since Mao’s 1959 “Liberation” pushed [...]

  6. [...] Regent’s enthronement as Trungpa Rinpoche’s Dharma heir was a big deal—he was I think the first American to be honored [...]

  7. [...] I put this question to you, America: if meditation helps synchronize body and mind, could success in sports be encouraged by [...]

  8. [...] month-long period of intensive meditation practice—was developed by Chogyam Trungpa to give his students a taste of Buddhist monastic life. The idea is that in such a structured [...]

  9. [...] 1985, or something, my parents’ Buddhist teacher, Chogyam Trungpa, decided to move the HQ or ‘capitol’ of his American Buddhist community to Canada. [...]

  10. [...] there is no mind training in the Buddhadharma without both meditation and the haunting hangover that follows—the mindfulness-awareness experience of post-meditation. [...]

  11. [...] up, my mom would tell me how Chogyam Trungpa Rinpoche, my parents’ Buddhist teacher (at least until they divorced, and my Old Man became a Jew for [...]

  12. [...] nothing to do with morality but rather with mindfulness; they’re intended to help keep you in the present moment, and avoid the unnecessary creation of karma. We would take some version of these each morning [...]

  13. Tu Hagler says:

    This is the first site I read on my new Ipad. I'm bookmarking for nostalga.

  14. [...] For the multi-talented beautiful Yoga Goddess, finding a life partner who is traveling down the same road or wants to walk hand-in-hand with a Yoga Goddess on her journey is much more difficult for her than any forearm balance. Yoga Goddess, more specifically, a woman from a Western civilization who teaches yoga for a living, especially in a metropolis of some kind, is a complicated creature who has elected to remove her Western goggles and instead apply and be guided by Eastern philosophies and practices of self-actualization. [...]

  15. [...] Chögyam Trungpa Rinpoche This lightly edited talk and discussion took place at tea for volunteers at Marpa House, Boulder [...]

  16. [...] the sun and sky remain bright and clear behind those clouds, ready to reemerge when the storm of discursive mind passes. Quote of the Day from Mr. Law of Attraction himself, Nooooam [...]

  17. [...] Working directly with one’s state of mind, for a few minutes each morning and evening, or more of course, no matter what, every day, twice a [...]

  18. [...] want to treat him like a piece of meat?) can’t he at least trrryy to stay in the present moment. The hardest part was picking just [...]

  19. [...] beating. Hear the cars racing by. Just be with it. Do not indulge any of them, simply notice them. “Touch and Go.” There is no need to analyze each example of awareness, all the necessary information is contained [...]

  20. [...] with sex and attraction and infatuation…with real happiness. In the Buddhist tradition, the sitting practice of meditation is the tool, the path, the key to training ourselves to become one of those loveable people in love [...]

  21. [...] an effort to get in the zone. The zone, peace, that natural high, can be found naturally: through meditation. The present moment is accessible. We don’t have to risk our precious lives to revel in [...]

  22. [...] For the multi-talented beautiful Yoga Goddess, finding a life partner who is traveling down the same road or wants to walk hand-in-hand with a Yoga Goddess on her journey is much more difficult for her than any forearm balance. Yoga Goddess, more specifically, a woman from a Western civilization who teaches yoga for a living, especially in a metropolis of some kind, is a complicated creature who has elected to remove her Western goggles and instead apply and be guided by Eastern philosophies and practices of self-actualization. [...]

  23. Wilhelmina says:

    Superior thinking deomnstaertd above. Thanks!

  24. [...] Trungpa Rinpoche started his youthful community in Boulder, Colo., and Barnet, Vermont in the very early ’70s, [...]

  25. [...] More good news: “just being” takes practice. And that’s all it takes. [...]

  26. [...] For the multi-talented beautiful Yoga Goddess, finding a life partner who is traveling down the same road or wants to walk hand-in-hand with a Yoga Goddess on her journey is much more difficult for her than any forearm balance. Yoga Goddess, more specifically, a woman from a Western civilization who teaches yoga for a living, especially in a metropolis of some kind, is a complicated creature who has elected to remove her Western goggles and instead apply and be guided by Eastern philosophies and practices of self-actualization. [...]

  27. [...] devotion are beginning to lose heart…” ~ excerpt from The Sadhana of Mahmudra, via Chogyam Trungpa Rinpoche. And yet, as Yvon Chouinard says, “we’re all fucked and I accept that—but I wake up [...]

  28. [...] New Agey Spirituality is not the Way to Enlightenment. [...]

  29. [...] Meditate. Mix your mind, your neurosis, your love, your he said/she said internal arguments and [...]

  30. [...] Buddhism isn’t about meditation. Meditation is called a “practice” for a reason—it’s a practice for real life. [...]

  31. [...] is like the clouds in the sky. The sky is your fundamental nature. Stop being shallow: actually work with your mind, and you’ll see reality glow with direct [...]

  32. [...] Sitting down and pretending isn’t enough. Imagination and discursive out-of-the-present-moment longing happens (sometimes it’s just about lunch, sometimes we’re anxious or stressed, not dreamy), but we’ve got to come back from it and actually practice the meditation technique. [...]

  33. [...] you mention. It’s interesting that this line has formed (at least in Halifax) between the teachings of Chogyam Trungpa and the new [...]

  34. [...] Click here for Best Of meditation instruction. [...]

  35. [...] Lord of Mind refers to the effort of consciousness to maintain awareness of itself. The Lord of Mind rules when we use spiritual and psychological disciplines as the means [...]

  36. [...] is, opinion is dangerous…it biases all of our views of reality. So, well, meditate more, and see things as they [...]

  37. nunh says:

    Beautiful

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