These quotes are taken from a community Facebook Page devoted to Chögyam Trungpa. Please fan it here if you like. All photos are from that page, too. We’ve included attribution in screen capture when there was such.
If you know a source, or there’s a mistake in a quote, please say so in comments.
“The bad news is you’re falling through the air, nothing to hang on to, no parachute. The good news is there’s no ground.”
“There are times to cultivate and create, when you nurture your world and give birth to new ideas and ventures.
There are times of flourishing and abundance, when life feels in full bloom, energized and expanding.
And there are times of fruition, when things come to an end. They have reached their climax and must be harvested before they begin to fade.
And finally of course, there are times that are cold, and cutting and empty, times when the spring of new beginnings seems like a distant dream.
Those rhythms in life are natural events. They weave into one another as day follows night, bringing, not messages of hope and fear, but messages of how things are.”
“In the garden of gentle sanity,
May you be bombarded by coconuts of wakefulness”
“You have an inclination: In the flash of one second, you feel what needs to be done. It is not a product of your education; it is not scientific or logical; you simply pick up on the message. And then you just act: You just do it. That basic human quality of suddenly opening up is the best part of human instinct.”
Talking non-thinker, thinking non-talker.
Some kinds of understanding or realization are hard to take, but we need to push further, to take an immense leap all the time. We need very much to take that kind of leap. Sometimes, looking back, we wonder why we are doing all this, and sometimes we think, why not? Sometimes there is no choice, and sometimes there is a choice, but we would like to find some contrast to that choice. So we have all kinds of relationships to the spiritual path, almost love affairs.
~ Condensed from “Wise Fool,” in True Perception: The Path of Dharma Art
A true warrior is never at war with the world.
Enlightenment is the ego’s ultimate disappointment.
Q. Would you care to sum up the purpose of meditation?
A. Well, meditation is dealing with purpose itself. Generally we have a purpose for whatever we do: something is going to happen in the future, therefore, whatever I am doing now is important — everything is related to that. But the whole idea of meditation is to develop an entirely different way of dealing with things, where you have no purpose at all. In fact, meditation is dealing with the question of whether or not there is a such thing as ‘purpose.’ ~ Meditation in Action
“You cannot really eliminate pain through aggression. The more you kill, the more you strengthen the killer who will create new things to be killed. The aggression grows until finally there is no space: the whole environment has been solidified. There are not even gaps at which to look back or do to do a double take. The whole space has become completely filled with aggression. It is outrageous. There is no opportunity to create a watcher to testify to your destruction, no one to give you a report. But at the same time, the aggression grows. The more you destroy, the more you create.”
“Everybody loves something, even if it’s just tortillas.”
“Compassion is not having any hesitation to reflect your light on things”
“Too often, people think that solving the world’s problems is based on conquering the earth, rather than touching the earth, touching ground.”
“December 23rd…Tsethar remarked that we would have to reach a village within a day or so, otherwise we would all die. A voice called out “Be a strong Khampa and don’t lose heart” and everyone laughed.
December 24…for the first time we saw banana trees, but did not know the fruit was edible and dared not experiment…
December 25…we stayed in the cave all day and kept our spirits up by chanting as we cooked our leather…”
~ Born In Tibet (they ate their own boiled leather bags, shoes, strips, etc. to survive during their escape from Tibet. No one in Tibet had seen bananas before so although they were surrounded by them at one point near the end of their escape, they didn’t know they could eat them)
“There is a children’s story about the sky falling, but we do not actually believe that such a thing could happen. The sky turns into a blue pancake and drops on our head—nobody believes that. But in maha ati experience, it actually does happen. There is a new dimension of shock. A new dimension of logic. It is as though we were furiously calculating a mathematical problem in our notebook, and suddenly a new approach altogether dawned on us, stopping us in our tracks. Our perspective becomes completely different.”
The idea of a warrior is based on a sense of fundamental fearlessness. There is no reason why you should be a coward. It’s as simple as that. You are not being a warrior because a state of war exists in your country. We are not trying to win against the egohood people. We are not trying to fight with them. You are being a warrior because you are a warrior. If someone asks you, “Are you twenty-one years old?” you say, “Yes, I am.” They don’t ask you why you are twenty-one years old or how you have done this. You would have no answer for that. You are just twenty-one. Warriorship is a basic sense of unshakeability. It’s a sense of immovability and self-existing dignity rather than that you are trying to fight with something else.
Replying to the question why he was so late again, “What are you rushing toward? Your death?”
This aspect of taking refuge is particularly applicable in America, where it is quite fashionable to blame everything on others and to feel that all kinds of elements in one’s relationships or surroundings are unhealthy or polluted.
We react with resentment.
But once we begin to do that, there is no way. The world becomes divided into two sections: sacred and profane, or that which is good and proper and that which is regarded as a bad job or a necessary evil. Taking refuge in the Dharma, taking passionless approach, means that all life is regarded as a fertile situation and a learning situation, always.
Whatever occurs—is part of the learning process. So there is nothing to blame; everything is the path, everything is Dharma.
~ The Heart of the Buddha
“When you express gentleness and precision in your environment then real brilliance and power can descend into that situation.”
20. “Everything in life is literal, direct, and personal—and very demanding. But that demand seems to be necessary. Your commitment is to be present. You’re going to experience life as it is, rather than your expectations from the past or your desires for the future. You’re going to relate with life in the fullest sense.”
“When you are afraid of something, it might be a fear of darkness, a fear of knives, a fear of guns, or of anything. You can’t just have fear without fear of something. So what is that other? Who is the other? That’s yourself. There is a story about a man who is locked in a room. He’s sitting in that room, a big room with lots of space and lots of possibilities of noise bouncing back. Things are getting cold and dark and darker. He hears something. So he says ‘Who dat?” When there is no response, he says, “Who dat who said, ‘Who dat?’?” And then he says, “Who dat who said, ‘Who dat?’ when I said ‘Who dat?’?” The antidote to that echo chamber is to make friends with yourself.
“Sanity lies somewhere between the inhibitions of conventional morality and the looseness of the extreme impulse” ~ The Myth of Freedom
“We can change the world, definitely. The problem is that we don’t smile when chaos occurs to us. When chaos occurs, even within that chaos, we can smile which cures confusion and resentment. Do you understand?” ~ Great Eastern Sun
“This transmutation practice is specifically one of remaining open and receptive to your own energy when you are triggered. It has three steps. Step one. Acknowledge that you’re hooked. Step two. Pause, take three conscious breaths, and lean in. Lean in to the energy. Abide with it. Experience it fully. Taste it. Touch it. Smell it. Get curious about it. ” -excerpt from Pema’s Taking the Leap
“Things are there because they are not there, otherwise they could not exist” ~ excerpt from “Luminous Emptiness” with Francesca Fremantle
The clitoris of your heart gets stimulated and you either fall in love or you get pissed off.
Conquering fear is not based on blocking your sensitivity. Otherwise, you become a deaf and dumb monarch, a jellyfish king. Sitting on a horse requires balance, and as you acquire that balance in the saddle, you have more awareness of the horse. So when you sit in the saddle on your fickle horse, you feel completely exposed and gentle. If you feel aggressive, you don’t have a good seat. In fact, you are probably not even riding the horse. You don’t put your saddle on a fence railing. You have to saddle a real horse. In this case, riding the horse is riding somebody else’s mind. It requires a complete connection. In the Buddhist tradition, this is called compassion, or working with somebody else. You are completely exposed in this situation. Otherwise, it’s like a medieval knight encased in his armor. It’s so heavy that he has to be cranked up onto the horse. Then he rides off to battle and usually falls off. There’s something wrong with that technology.
You are sitting on the earth and you realize that this earth deserves you and you deserve this earth. You are there—fully, personally, genuinely.
“Helping others is a question of being genuine and projecting that genuineness to others. This way of being doesn’t have to have a title or a name particularly. It is just being ultimately decent.”
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