Chogyam Trungpa on transcending spiritual materialism…

Picture of Chogyam Trungpa the old man instagramed to illustrate this episode of Pulp Buddhism in which the Naropa Prairie Dog Players do a dramatic reading from volume five of Rinpoche’s collected works, in his own words…

Jonathan begins.

“Developing basic sanity is a process of working on ourselves in which the path itself rather than the attainment of a goal becomes the working basis.”

Allen replies.

“The path itself is what constantly inspires us, rather than, in the style of the carrot and the donkey, promises about certain achievements that lie ahead of us.”

Caroline replies.

“In other words, to make this perfectly clear, the difference between spiritual materialism and transcending spiritual materialism is that in spiritual materialism promises are used like a carrot held up in front of a donkey, luring him into all kinds of journeys; in transcending spiritual materialism, there is no goal.”

Jonathan replies.

“The goal exists in every moment of our life situation, in every moment of our spiritual journey.”

Jonathan continues.

“In this way, the spiritual journey becomes as exciting and as beautiful as if we were buddha already.”

Allen replies.

“There are constant new discoveries, constant messages, and constant warnings.”

Caroline replies.

“There is also constant cutting down, constant painful lessons—as well as pleasurable ones.”

Jonathan replies.

“The spiritual journey of transcending spiritual materialism is a complete journey rather than one that is dependent on an external goal.”

Allen replies.

“This completeness can be described in terms of certain aspects: it contains basic space, or totality; it contains energy and play; and it also contains pragmatic application, or dealing with life situations as they are.”

Caroline replies.

“We have three principles there: the totality as the whole sense of environment on the path, the sense of play on the path, and the sense of practicality on the path.”

Jonathan replies.

“These are the three categories that develop.”

End scene. Fini.

Another episode of Pulp Buddhism brought to you by the Naropa Prairie Dog Players and by viewers like you, thank you for your support.



Filed under Buddhism

6 responses to “Chogyam Trungpa on transcending spiritual materialism…

  1. Hi friends, you might be able what the opinion of Trungpa’s disciples about the letter Trungpa supposingly wrote to Shamarpa in the 70ies… is it authentic? It predicts clearly that the Gelukpas will harm the Kagyüs again…

    Jaya Hoh!

    The Vajra-Spring is permanent and unchanging.

    Unobstructed Yudronma[1] revealed through the list of verses profound, clear symbolic words.

    The devi[2] of long life who shines like an emerald,

    Always keep at the center of your heart.

    Youth is the messenger of the god of desire who will be burned by the fire of samadhi[3].

    You should do the practice on the wrathful aspect of Guru Rinpoche (Padmasambhava).

    You, the Ruby-crowned one[4], may burn away the darkness of the era.

    In your 50th year[5],

    Do the practice of the essence of the Buddha of Long Life and

    The practice of Vajrakilaya to counter black magic.

    Wash yourself with the water of Mamaki deities.

    An elephant who has been intoxicated by poison will slander and create fighting within the lineage.

    So take extreme caution against the corruption and trembling within the lineage[6].

    The wealthy yellow dialecticians[7] will harm the genuine lineage of the Kagyu dharma,
    So you should strive to sharpen the spear-tip of your mind.

    The Vajra-rock which is golden and shining is where you should abide in holy meditation.

    You should do the three year, three month retreat.

    Through the white luminosity of Vajrasattva you will go to the place of the Dharmakaya which is beyond meditation.

    Keep that meaning in your heart.


    [1] An aspect of Tara

    [2] literally ‘Goddess’ – refers to Yudronma

    [3] literally “burned by the fire at the end of the kalpa”. The oral explanation given by Shamar Rinpoche is that this is a warning to not follow the temptations of youthful desire, to avoid the trap of worldly life by means of the remedy of samadhi.

    [4] Shamar Rinpoche: Sha=hat; mar=red

    [5] literally “10 X 50 rounds”

    [6] literally “…within.”

    [7] According to the tradition of both the Kagyu and Nyingma schools, this term usually refers to the government of the Dalai Lama.

    • Jackie

      It’s interesting how Trungpa wrote in code so he could easily deny he was putting anyone down. It reminds me of early country blues protest song writing.

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