Quote Archives: Chögyam Trungpa

Realistic Ambition ~ Chögyam Trungpa

I’m a very ambitious person. However, I relate with now. On that basis, you see how far you can go, how far you can’t go. Your ambition isn’t focused on the future. If you mentally jump to a conclusion about what you would like to be, rather than what you are, then you are in […]

Beyond concepts ~ Chögyam Trungpa

In the practice of meditation, opinions may provide a way to escape; they create a kind of slothfulness and obscure one’s clarity of vision. The clarity of our consciousness is veiled by prefabricated concepts. Whatever we see we try to fit into some pigeonhole. So concepts and theories can become obstacles. In the practice of […]

The Poverty Approach ~ Chögyam Trungpa

There are two somewhat romantic approaches to basic sanity. One is based on a sense of poverty. You feel you don’t have “it,” but the others do. You admire the richness of “that”: the goal, the guru, the teachings. This is a poverty approach — you feel that those other things are so beautiful because […]

The Dawn of Enlightenment ~ Chögyam Trungpa

The dawn of enlightenment could be described as a form of absorption. But it is not a trancelike state in which one loses contact with the world around one. It is a sense of totality and a sense of openness which does not seem to have any beginning or end. Chögyam Trungpa

Awareness without Concept ~ Chögyam Trungpa

You have to start with what you are, where you are now. You are aware of the present state. You are now, you are not past, you are not future, but you are now. In that state of awareness, you don’t need to cling to a concept about who you are and what you will […]

An autumn leaf ~ Chögyam Trungpa

An autumn leaf floating down a river doesn’t change its color, and it doesn’t struggle with the river. It goes along with it. This has a natural effect, because the brook or the river has never carried such an autumn leaf before. It takes people off guard when you don’t react to them. You don’t […]

Intellect and Intuition ~ Chögyam Trungpa

There are two approaches to the spiritual path: the intellectual and the intuitive. In the intellectual tradition, spiritual development is viewed as a sharpening of intellectual precision, primarily through the study of theology. Whereas in the intuitive or mystical tradition, spiritual development is viewed as a deepening of awareness through practices such as meditation. These […]

Catching the Crazy Monkey ~ Chögyam Trungpa

The mind is like a crazy monkey, which leaps about and never stays in one place. It is completely restless and constantly paranoid about its surroundings. The training, or the meditation practice, is a way to catch this monkey, to begin with. That is the starting point. Chögyam Trungpa

You have to drown more ~ Chögyam Trungpa

Sitting practice is not always going to be smooth, pleasant, comfy, and nice – it is also going to be very painful. However, whether you are experiencing pain or pleasure, what really is needed is the subtle humor of somebody standing behind your back willing to kick you off the cliff. You may think you […]

Popping the Bubbles of Mindfulness ~ Chögyam Trungpa

In talking about discipline and exertion on the Buddhist path, people tend to have the attitude that everything has to be somber and militant. But exertion, discipline, and openness do not need to come along with such confusion. Genuine discipline is very clean-cut, and at the same time, it is powerful and worth celebrating. Mindfulness […]

An Operation without Anesthetics ~ Chögyam Trungpa

Giving, opening, sacrificing ego is necessary. It is like performing an operation. It might be painful because finally we realize that we cannot take part in our own burial. Very painful. We lose our grip on the wishful-thinking world of pleasure and goodness. We have to give up trying to associate ourselves with goodness. Having […]

Let the phenomena play ~ Chögyam Trungpa

So let the phenomena play. Let the phenomena make fools of themselves by themselves. This is the approach. Chögyam Trungpa

Brush Your Teeth with Egolessness ~ Chögyam Trungpa

Little by little, any pressure or tension is relieved by experiencing egolessness. Your shoelaces become tighter, your nails become brighter, and your toothbrush becomes lighter. When you take the attitude that the toothbrush does not exist and the brusher does not exist, you can brush your teeth much more easily. That is why we talk […]

Please give yourself a good time ~ Chögyam Trungpa

We have to learn to be kinder to ourselves, much more kind. Smile a lot, although nobody is watching you smile. Listen to your own brook, echoing yourself. You can do a good job. In the sitting practice of meditation, when you begin to be still, hundreds of thousands, millions, and billions of thoughts will […]

Accommodating both wrong and right ~ Chögyam Trungpa

You are good; fundamentally, you are healthy. Moreover, that particular health is capable of accommodating your badness as well as your goodness. When you’re good, you’re not particularly bashful about your goodness, and when you’re bad, you’re not particularly shocked by that either. These are simply your attributes. When you begin to accept both aspects […]

Chaos is the inspiration ~ Chögyam Trungpa

Very beautiful situations have developed using chaos as part of the enlightened approach. There is chaos of all kinds developing all the time: psychological disorder, social disorder, metaphysical disorder, or physical disorder, constantly happening. If you are trying to stop those situations, you are looking for external means of liberating yourself, another answer. But if […]

Basic decency ~ Chögyam Trungpa

If you have awareness in whatever you do, you always have a sense of basic decency. You do not cheat. You do not do things just because they are traditional, and you don’t just do something this year simply because you did it last year. You always try to practice your discipline as genuinely and […]

Working in the soil of samsara ~ Chögyam Trungpa

Chögyam Trungpa The bodhisattva vow acknowledges confusion and chaos — aggression, passion, frustration, frivolousness — as part of the path. The path is like a busy, broad highway, complete with roadblocks, accidents, construction work, and police. It is quite terrifying. Nevertheless it is majestic, it is the great path. “From today onward until the attainment […]

To be by not being ~ Chögyam Trungpa

It is a very powerful thing that we could be by doing nothing. In fact, we be by not being. Struggle does not play an important part in order to exist. We don’t have to strategize further ways of maintaining ourselves or existing ourselves. Chögyam Trungpa

All irritations are crucial ~ Chögyam Trungpa

All the things taking place around our world, all the irritations and all the problems, are crucial. Without others we cannot attain enlightenment — in fact, we cannot even tread on the path. If there is no noise outside during our sitting meditation, we cannot develop mindfulness. If we do not have aches and pains […]