Trungpa's NO

Trungpa's NO

Postby Nilasarasvati » Tue May 28, 2013 3:51 am

I wanted to start a discussion, especially asking former students of the Vidyadhara, about their knowledge and commentary on the poem Trungpa Rinpoche wrote called The Big No. I read it a few weeks ago and, other than some of his other writings, no Dharma work in English has stricken me harder or with more profundity. And I still have no real idea what it means.

Tsem Tulku has this unbelievably lengthy commentary on his page that, to be frank, I don't understand/agree with at all. I realize the context of when Rinpoche wrote this, but it struck me as far more nondual than the moralistic/prohibitive interpretation most seem to give it.


http://chronicleproject.com/stories_117.html

Please share your thoughts.


Not in judgement of Trungpa Rinpoche, btw. This is not to be another Hmm and Haw about the Guru thread.
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Re: Trungpa's NO

Postby Greg » Tue May 28, 2013 8:53 pm

There is a lot of information about this in Diana Mukpo's memoir Dragon Thunder. In her account, Trungpa confronted the Vajra Regent about his out of control conduct. The two of them, along with the Vajradhatu board of directors, did acid together. She writes,

As the LSD started to take effect, the Regent started to manifest more and more in a caricatured feminine way, as a woman. He was apparently quite outrageous and somewhat sleazily seductive, fawning over Rinpoche and the others. Rinpoche was trying to talk to him about the problems with his comportment as the Regent, but the Regent was quite out of it, and didn’t seem able to hear what Rinpoche was saying at all . . . .still unable to get the Regent’s attention, Rinpoche smashed his hand down on the coffee table in our sitting room at the Court and screamed “NO!!!!!!!!!!!” I heard that it was earsplitting. He put a dent in the table with his hand . . At the end of 1980, Rinpoche wrote a poem about what he called the “Big No.”


You might want to check out her book for the full account.
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Re: Trungpa's NO

Postby dzogchungpa » Tue May 28, 2013 10:02 pm

I haven't read this yet, but this new book:
http://chronicleproject.com/stories_407.html
may shed some light on the regent debacle.
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Re: Trungpa's NO

Postby Sherab Dorje » Tue May 28, 2013 10:09 pm

Nilasarasvati wrote:Tsem Tulku has this unbelievably lengthy commentary on his page that, to be frank, I don't understand/agree with at all.
Can you please link to the commentary?

Thanks!
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Re: Trungpa's NO

Postby dzogchungpa » Tue May 28, 2013 10:28 pm

ཨོཾ་ཏཱ་རེ་ཏུཏྟ་རེ་ཏུ་རེ་སྭཱཧཱ༔
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Re: Trungpa's NO

Postby Nilasarasvati » Wed May 29, 2013 5:00 am

Thank you for putting the link up.
Thanks for the quote from Dragon Thunder, Greg. I ought to read it, I suppose! I like to think I understand the context of this poem, at least--the growing problem that was Osel Tendzin, the atmosphere, etc.

Maybe my initial reading was way off--I just wondered if it the Big No was more broad and applicable to much more of the path in general than the cautionary tale it seems to be.
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Re: Trungpa's NO

Postby Sherab Dorje » Wed May 29, 2013 12:22 pm

The initial link doesn't have the poem, so here it is:
There was a giant No.
That No rained.
That No created a tremendous blizzard.
That No made a dent on the coffee table.
That No was the greatest No of No’s in the universe.
That No showered and hailed.
That No created sunshine, and simultaneous eclipse of the sun and
moon.
That No was a lady’s legs with nicely heeled shoes.
That No is the best No of all.
When a gentleman smiles, a good man,
That No is the beauty of his hips.
When you watch the gait of youths as they walk with alternating
cheek rhythm,
When you watch their behinds,
That No is fantastic thighs, not fat or thin but taut in their strength,
Loveable or leaveable.
That No is shoulders that turn in or expand the chest, sad or happy,
Without giving in to a deep sigh.
That No is No of all No’s.
Relaxation or restraint is in question.
Nobody knows that big No,
But we alone know that No.
This No is in the big sky, painted with sumi ink eternally.
This big No is tattooed on our genitals.
This big No is not purely freckles or birthmark,
But this big No is real big No.
Sky is blue,
Roses are red,
Violets are blue,
And therefore this big No is No.
Let us celebrate having that monumental No.
The monolithic No stands up and pierces heaven;
Therefore, monolithic No also spreads vast as the ocean.
Let us have great sunshine with this No No.
Let us have full moon with this No No.
Let us have cosmic No.
The cockroaches carry little No No’s,
As well as giant elephants in African jungles
Copulating No No and waltzing No No,
Guinea pig No No.
We find all the information and instructions when a mosquito buzzes.
We find some kind of No No.
Let our No No be the greatest motto.
No No for the king;
No No for the prime minister;
No No for the worms of our subjects.
Let us celebrate that our constipated dogs can relieve themselves
freely in the name of No No.
Let us have No No so that Presbyterian preachers can have speech
impediments in proclaiming No No.
Let our horses neigh No No.
Let the vajra sangha fart No No–
Giant No No that made a great imprint on the coffee table.

~A Poem by Chogyam Trungpa Rinpoche
My personal opinion is that it sounds like a LSD come down rant and that the significance of the poem is more a projection of meaning by the readers than actual content. Just my 2c worth.
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Re: Trungpa's NO

Postby Jikan » Wed May 29, 2013 12:38 pm

The Big No is also discussed in a different context in The Great Eastern Sun, where it sounds more like the Great Refusal than Trungpa's own poem or like what Tsem Tulku has to say about it. I don't have the book at hand so I can't give a reference or quotation.
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Re: Trungpa's NO

Postby Nilasarasvati » Wed May 29, 2013 4:39 pm

What is the Great Refusal??
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Re: Trungpa's NO

Postby Jikan » Wed May 29, 2013 4:46 pm

Nilasarasvati wrote:What is the Great Refusal??


the negative act of saying no to a mass of behaviors and practices and so on that are harmful is formulated positively as a mode of freedom. here's a summary:

http://researchforcitizenship.wordpress ... t-refusal/

just say no to the BS machine.
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Re: Trungpa's NO

Postby Nilasarasvati » Wed May 29, 2013 5:36 pm

That sounds like radical renunciation mind. :applause:
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Re: Trungpa's NO

Postby flavio81 » Thu Jun 27, 2013 4:54 pm

Nilasarasvati wrote:[color=#4040BF]I wanted to start a discussion, especially asking former students of the Vidyadhara, about their knowledge and commentary on the poem Trungpa Rinpoche wrote called The Big No. I read it a few weeks ago and, other than some of his other writings, no Dharma work in English has stricken me harder or with more profundity. And I still have no real idea what it means.


As mentioned above, the "Dragon Thunder" book puts it in context. It was basically Chogyam Trungpa attempting to straighten out the students who were deluding themselves/veering away from the path, including Thomas Rich.

Or, as one poster above summarized: "The negative act of saying no to a mass of behaviors and practices and so on that are harmful is formulated positively as a mode of freedom."
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Re: Trungpa's NO

Postby Simon E. » Thu Jun 27, 2013 6:27 pm

Jikan wrote:
Nilasarasvati wrote:What is the Great Refusal??


the negative act of saying no to a mass of behaviors and practices and so on that are harmful is formulated positively as a mode of freedom. here's a summary:

http://researchforcitizenship.wordpress ... t-refusal/

just say no to the BS machine.

Whether the Vidyadhara had knowledge of Marcusse's " The Great Refusal " I dont know...he may have. His reading was eclectic.
Certainly CTR's indirect influence on ' Traktung Rinpoche "..( for what it's worth ) was great and the latter had a lot to say on the matter.
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Re: Trungpa's NO

Postby dzogchungpa » Thu Jun 27, 2013 8:20 pm

Simon E. wrote:Certainly CTR's indirect influence on ' Traktung Rinpoche "..( for what it's worth ) was great and the latter had a lot to say on the matter.

Is this:
http://web.archive.org/web/20080511171807/http://www.damtsig.org/articles/niceness.html
what you are referring to?
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Re: Trungpa's NO

Postby kirtu » Sun Jun 30, 2013 5:42 am

Greg wrote:There is a lot of information about this in Diana Mukpo's memoir Dragon Thunder. In her account, Trungpa confronted the Vajra Regent about his out of control conduct. The two of them, along with the Vajradhatu board of directors, did acid together. She writes,

As the LSD started to take effect, the Regent started to manifest more and more in a caricatured feminine way, as a woman. He was apparently quite outrageous and somewhat sleazily seductive, fawning over Rinpoche and the others. Rinpoche was trying to talk to him about the problems with his comportment as the Regent, but the Regent was quite out of it, and didn’t seem able to hear what Rinpoche was saying at all . . . .still unable to get the Regent’s attention, Rinpoche smashed his hand down on the coffee table in our sitting room at the Court and screamed “NO!!!!!!!!!!!” I heard that it was earsplitting. He put a dent in the table with his hand . .


This makes sense now. He really was a Mahasiddha.

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Re: Trungpa's NO

Postby Simon E. » Sun Jun 30, 2013 2:55 pm

dzogchungpa wrote:
Simon E. wrote:Certainly CTR's indirect influence on ' Traktung Rinpoche "..( for what it's worth ) was great and the latter had a lot to say on the matter.

Is this:
http://web.archive.org/web/20080511171807/http://www.damtsig.org/articles/niceness.html
what you are referring to?

Yes.
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Re: Trungpa's NO

Postby lama tsewang » Sun Jun 30, 2013 6:01 pm

this is a great poem , its a discussion of the fundamental teaching its the ground of all, the big NO.

Emptiness , Samantabhadra
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Re: Trungpa's NO

Postby dzogchungpa » Sun Jun 30, 2013 6:13 pm

From "The Teacup and the Skullcup":
In the tantric tradition, the experience of life is regarded as an endless
ocean, a limitless sky-or it is regarded as just one dot, one situation.
Therefore, the idea of"not-two," or the advaita principle, is an important
principle in tantric Buddhism. It is "not two"; but "not two" does not
only mean "be one." If you do not have two, you also do not have one. It
is just "no," rather than even "not." So nothing is left behind to provide
a source of reference point, or a source of meditative indulgence, or for
that matter, a source of disappointment, at all. It is one-value-which
means no-value.

I think you can hear the whole talk here:
http://chronicleproject.com/CTRlibrary/Zen&Tantra1/audio-talk2.html
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Re: Trungpa's NO

Postby Nilasarasvati » Sun Jun 30, 2013 6:16 pm

lama tsewang wrote:this is a great poem , its a discussion of the fundamental teaching its the ground of all, the big NO.

Emptiness , Samantabhadra
, Buddha Nature

Tsewang


This is sort of the idea I got from my first reading of it. It seemed to reach far beyond its original context of caution, reprimand, and wrathful subjugation--the poem reminds me of the reality that the three kayas are really the absence of something rather than the presence of something.

Is that a mistake?
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