The hazardous adventures of fearless compassionate wisdom in a world of change
Chögyam Trungpa remains a very strong inspiration, a leading figure for Buddhism in the West. He invented a new language for Buddhism in the West. He was a trail blazer.
I had a short yet significant encounter with him in 1981 in Sikkim, India at the funeral for the 16th Karmapa.
The beauty of life’s coincidences is that, through internet, I came to know about the project of the movie Crazy Wisdom and became a humble sponsor.
The fearlessness of compassionate wisdom, made him dare to move away from his background and culture and embrace life as it presented itself to him, accept reality as it is. He embraced this time and culture and turned it into enlightening art.
We are faced with chaos in unknown, uncharted territories, a time of crisis. People lose the things that define them. When you are riding the tsunami of life on the surf-board of Buddha-Dharma the main obstacles are hesitation and spiritual materialism.
Wisdom and Compassion, as the core of Buddhist teaching, remain the sole refuge and reliable tools of liberation.
If you have compassion, attentiveness, dedication, you can do it. It is not a time for faint or undecided hearts. You have to be dedicated to walk the walk.
The image given in Tantric literature is that of riding a pregnant Tigress; she can be nourishing, she can also kill you and eat you. Honey off a Razor Blade. There’s no time for kidding.
Everybody is kind of numb and shocked by the crisis. We’re in bad shape but it’s also maybe the best time ever. Numbed by fear and loss and potential for disaster, just as earlier we were numbed by abundance.
One among the 84,000 types of dharma the Buddha taught will come to the surface and that will be the set of teachings that will serve us.
America’s no bullshit approach that Alexis de Tocqueville noted in his “Democracy in America” is a saving quality. Combining the critical observation of suffering and its cause with the gentleness and softness of the Bodhisattva engagement we may stand a chance to come wiser and gentler from these challenging times.
We can’t simply sit on your cushion and pretend there is no problem. Engaged Buddhism is a necessary companion to sitting practice. This the path of Mind-Training. It will just come. The dharma will always bring an answer to the question when the question comes. It will take an appropriate form.
What is the position of dharma in the middle of this crisis? There is something that is dead and we are “bailing out” the corpse to make it look like it’s still alive. Something must change as a culture or we’re going to go through a painful dark age. We are already in its shadow.
Trungpa was a huge awakener. Education is not teaching people to think like human beings and question the democracy in order to keep it alive. It tends to manufacture executive officers for the corporate system. Your entire life is just directed towards function.
There is less time for philosophy/meditation because thinking is not being encouraged. We must rediscover what was the basis of culture in other times, a balance of work and leisure. A culture entirely absorbed by work and production will lose compassion and intelligence and that’s the way to Fascism, slavery and bankruptcy.
We have to be free from the system and free from the tradition. Not a revolution for the sake of it, not in the blind sense. Evolutionary not revolutionary.
We can use freedom, as an inspiration for the young generation. Don’t accept tradition for the sake of tradition, examine for yourself. Deconstruct everything and see what we have here, what is useful, what do we have.
Reduce, Re-use, Recycle:
Reduce your grasping, recycle the self into a wise and compassionate tool. Re-use your situations so they become wise and compassionate opportunities.
“I” doesn’t have to disappear–”I” has to be recycled. Discover the mistaken mind.
Let’s have Buddha, Socrates, Rene Descartes, Chögyam Trungpa for diner .