Quote of the Day: Chogyam Trungpa, on Reincarnation.

Via elephant journal
on Sep 5, 2011
get elephant's newsletter

“I have some good news and some bad news about reincarnation. The good news is that it happens.

The bad news is that it never happens to you.”

~ Chogyam Trungpa Rinpoche

Chögyam Trungpa Rinpoche, trailblazing Buddhist teacher, never emphasized traditional Buddhist teachings on reincarnation—much like the Buddha himself, who famously said that the Big Questions (is there an almighty, how did the universe begin…) don’t matter.

What matters, they agree, is sitting down and dedicating the merit and practicing some meditation. The rest, too often, is discursive entertainment.

So this quote, and the below videos via Gesar Mukpo and David Nichtern, are offered by way of raising, and grounding, such questions.


Bonus, via David Nichtern, a senior student of Chogyam Trungpa and, might I add, remarkably good-looking gentleman:

Via Chogyam Trungpa Rinpoche’s third son, Gesar, a childhood pal o’mine and talented filmmaker:


On Instagram: “I don’t think I’ve ever read something that captures just how terrifying life feels in one sentence, and then relieves all of those fears in the next. Until now. Leave it to Chögyam Trungpa.”




About elephant journal

elephant journal is dedicated to "bringing together those working (and playing) to create enlightened society." We're about anything that helps us to live a good life that's also good for others, and our planet. >>> Founded as a print magazine in 2002, we went national in 2005 and then (because mainstream magazine distribution is wildly inefficient from an eco-responsible point of view) transitioned online in 2009. >>> elephant's been named to 30 top new media lists, and was voted #1 in the US on twitter's Shorty Awards for #green content...two years running. >>> Get involved: > Subscribe to our free Best of the Week e-newsletter. > Follow us on Twitter Fan us on Facebook. > Write: send article or query. > Advertise. > Pay for what you read, help indie journalism survive and thrive.


7 Responses to “Quote of the Day: Chogyam Trungpa, on Reincarnation.”

  1. […] love the idea of reincarnation. I think it’s beautiful. Some days I just feel so full of ideas, and dreams, and things I want […]

  2. Becky says:

    I still believe in reincarnation. Multiple lifetimes. Etc.

  3. mrchokeys says:

    How does one let go of life without grasping for death?

  4. Linda V. Lewis says:

    I remember Trungpa Rinpoche once said, "Reincarnation is ego's-loop hole!!!"
    The point of practice is egolessness, not to invent a way to think "I" can live forever. Karma continues relatively, but this human life is precious and impermanent, so we should make the most of it.
    Another favorite, often repeated quote of Rinpoche's was, "There's no guarantee!"

  5. elephantjournal says:

    Great response! 🙂

    "There's no guarantee, because there's no guarantor." :)))

  6. Becky says:

    We can discuss what we think will happen… but two things will happen for sure: death, and whatever happens after death, once we're there. Not a big deal, really.