More Trungpa talk

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Re: More Trungpa talk

Postby Johnny Dangerous » Fri Mar 29, 2013 12:55 am

I don't understand why people spend so much time on his drinking, the sex stuff and whatnot.

Even if we accept that these are not pointing out, and were nothing but personal failings, people can have huge personal failings and still be realized teachers, why someone would overlook the treasury that is his writings, or the importance of much of what he said based on his personal background is beyond me...

My own take is simply this:

Some people are conventionally "messed up" somehow in a way that puts them closer to the truth, at least when combined with some insight. I know among some Buddhists this idea is anathema,but to me it seems to jive just fine with Vajrayana. Someone can be a messed up individual on one level and still be very close to the truth, and be able to show a bit of it to others.

Keep in ind, this isn't any kind of endorsement of the behavior, or it's karmic consequences..only saying, it's not as if his personal behavior nullifies his message, isn't there a teaching in Mahayana about the Dharma itself being incorruptible by teachers? I don't remember where I read it.
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Re: More Trungpa talk

Postby greentara » Fri Mar 29, 2013 3:53 am

Tenzin Palmo, a mature disciple, saw right through his indulgent behaviour "Trungpa's sexuality has been one of the sources of controversy, as he cultivated relations with a number of his female students. Tenzin Palmo, who met him in 1962 did not become one of his consorts. She mentions that she refused his advances at the time because he had presented himself as "a pure monk."
I too read 'Cutting through spiritual materialism" it was a great book but he did not live the teaching. It's easy to preach when words come easily, but most difficult to live up to.
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Re: More Trungpa talk

Postby Punya » Fri Mar 29, 2013 7:45 am

Johnny Dangerous wrote:I don't understand why people spend so much time on his drinking, the sex stuff and whatnot.

Even if we accept that these are not pointing out, and were nothing but personal failings, people can have huge personal failings and still be realized teachers, why someone would overlook the treasury that is his writings, or the importance of much of what he said based on his personal background is beyond me...


I agree. And even if I didn't I would still follow the views of HH Dilgo Khyentse Rinpoche and HH the 16th Karmapa since I am a deluded being.

GreenTara, what you are saying is not the whole story. A quick Google search confirms that although Jetsumna Tenzin Palma did refuse Chogyam Trungpa Rinpoche's advances because she didn't want to be responsible for him breaking his vows she also said had she known he had already fathered a child her response would probably have been different. In addition, she said regardless of this she did think he was "the real thing".
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Re: More Trungpa talk

Postby greentara » Fri Mar 29, 2013 11:36 am

"Freedom to do what one likes is really bondage,
while being free to do what one must,
what is right, is real freedom."
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Re: More Trungpa talk

Postby Jikan » Fri Mar 29, 2013 12:47 pm

I'm interested in Trungpa's insistence that students of Dharma not seek credentials. It's a brilliant insight. This has value in internet discussions as well, especially when they become circular.

One might suspect they give lapel pins for students who have accomplished the art of "setting the spiritual materialists straight" on one side, or pearl-clutching indignation at the life he led. Each of these positions is repeated and reiterated. Occasionally, a new nuance is added, or a new detail, but mostly it's the repetitive beating of one dead horse or another in order to establish oneself in one position or another.

I'm basing this observation partially on this thread (which is actually a pretty good one by comparison to others... I'm not calling anyone in this thread to the carpet here), old threads on e-sangha and elsewhere, and the contents of my PM box whenever I have to moderate a Trungpa-related thread.

For myself, I find much to admire in Trungpa's teachings. His books have been very, very, very helpful to me, and I feel intensely grateful for them. I don't know what to make of the totality of his conduct and projects, or those of his successors. :shrug:
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Re: More Trungpa talk

Postby Simon E. » Fri Mar 29, 2013 1:40 pm

Nor me Jikan. And I was his student for many years.
I quoted before from one of his funeral eulogies.
" I never knew anyone who did so much harm and so much good ".
The " so much good " should not be brushed aside.
He did more good than I can ever dream of doing in my lifetime.
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Re: More Trungpa talk

Postby dzogchungpa » Fri Mar 29, 2013 4:51 pm

Simon E. wrote:Nor me Jikan. And I was his student for many years.
I quoted before from one of his funeral eulogies.
" I never knew anyone who did so much harm and so much good ".

I'm curious about the "so much harm" part. Can anyone provide examples of
serious harm done by Trungpa? I'm not disagreeing, or trying to arouse negativity,
but I'm trying to learn more about Trungpa, and I have not actually heard
of much harm done by him, other than to himself perhaps.
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Re: More Trungpa talk

Postby Simon E. » Fri Mar 29, 2013 5:08 pm

I suspect someone will oblige, dzogchungpa... ;)
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Re: More Trungpa talk

Postby Silent Bob » Fri Mar 29, 2013 6:44 pm

dzogchungpa wrote:
Simon E. wrote:Nor me Jikan. And I was his student for many years.
I quoted before from one of his funeral eulogies.
" I never knew anyone who did so much harm and so much good ".

I'm curious about the "so much harm" part. Can anyone provide examples of
serious harm done by Trungpa? I'm not disagreeing, or trying to arouse negativity,
but I'm trying to learn more about Trungpa, and I have not actually heard
of much harm done by him, other than to himself perhaps.


Same old rehashed thread, but once again and for the record, I was his student for 12 years and saw quite a bit of him. I honestly cannot think of an instance where he harmed anyone, seriously or otherwise. I was never comfortable with his Trickster aspect, nor with the partying and intense jostling for status that I perceived in the Boulder sangha c. 1972-85, and which eventually motivated me to move on, but "harm"?..not in my experience.

Chris
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Re: More Trungpa talk

Postby conebeckham » Fri Mar 29, 2013 7:40 pm

Yah, this subject is tiresome, and has been done to death, but I'll just head it off at that pass. When people say Trungpa "harmed," they are likely referring to one of two things: some sort of perceived "enabling" in regards to substance abuse, or the Osel Tenzin saga.

IMO, neither holds much weight. Osel bears responsiblity for his actions, I don't believe Trungpa knew he was HIV-positive. But hey, I could be wrong. In any case, do we REALLY need to go there, here?
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Re: More Trungpa talk

Postby sdw » Fri Mar 29, 2013 8:00 pm

Like most of the people who post their views about Trungpa Rinpoche, I never met him personally. I find his books amazing & inspiring, & that's all I can say. It isn't necessary to form an opinion, you know, to be able to put something solid into the My View box & go on to defend it against other My Views. There's a lot to be said for not having an opinion. Because I don't know & I don't need to know. What would be accomplished by groundless speculation except to cloud the air with more fuzzy rumors & emotional posturing?

For those who were his students perhaps the situation is more complicated. Perhaps they need to explain it to themselves in some comprehensible way.

But perhaps they don't. In the film about Trungpa Rinpoche, Crazy Wisdom, Pema Chodron, when asked about the usual controversies revolving around her teacher, says, "I don't know". She doesn't have an explanation for his behavior. But her faith in him is absolute.

The Vajrayana goes beyond sense-making. If we insist that it must not, we eliminate an entire dimension of experience. To our vast detriment, I believe.

That is My View.


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Re: More Trungpa talk

Postby Karma Dondrup Tashi » Fri Mar 29, 2013 8:11 pm

conebeckham wrote:Yah, this subject is tiresome, and has been done to death, but I'll just head it off at that pass. When people say Trungpa "harmed," they are likely referring to one of two things: some sort of perceived "enabling" in regards to substance abuse, or the Osel Tenzin saga.

Or the W.S. Merwin story, which seems to be indicative.
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Re: More Trungpa talk

Postby dzogchungpa » Fri Mar 29, 2013 8:16 pm

Silent Bob wrote:Same old rehashed thread, but once again and for the record, I was his student for 12 years and saw quite a bit of him. I honestly cannot think of an instance where he harmed anyone, seriously or otherwise. I was never comfortable with his Trickster aspect, nor with the partying and intense jostling for status that I perceived in the Boulder sangha c. 1972-85, and which eventually motivated me to move on, but "harm"?..not in my experience.

Chris

OK, thanks for that. That sounds right based on what I've read.
conebeckham wrote:Yah, this subject is tiresome, and has been done to death, but I'll just head it off at that pass. When people say Trungpa "harmed," they are likely referring to one of two things: some sort of perceived "enabling" in regards to substance abuse, or the Osel Tenzin saga.

IMO, neither holds much weight. Osel bears responsiblity for his actions, I don't believe Trungpa knew he was HIV-positive. But hey, I could be wrong. In any case, do we REALLY need to go there, here?

I completely agre with you, but I think the subject is actually pretty important because of the role Trungpa played in the transmission of the Dharma to the west. I haven't really followed all the online discussion about him, so maybe this topic is indeed old hat.
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Re: More Trungpa talk

Postby dzogchungpa » Fri Mar 29, 2013 8:17 pm

Karma Dondrup Tashi wrote:Or the W.S. Merwin story, which seems to be indicative.

Indicative of what?
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Re: More Trungpa talk

Postby Karma Dondrup Tashi » Fri Mar 29, 2013 8:30 pm

dzogchungpa wrote:Indicative of what?

Of yak-farming in Patagonia. Of his behavior, what do you think?
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Re: More Trungpa talk

Postby Silent Bob » Fri Mar 29, 2013 8:43 pm

As for the Merwin story, much of the responsibility for that incident can by laid at the feet of Allen Ginsberg, who had a good deal of influence with Trungpa R. and believed that poets and "bards" like himself, Merwin and Joni Mitchell were somehow annointed and should skip to the head of the line for admission to Seminary without having to wait their turn for years and complete the extensive and (sometimes) difficult prerequisites that Trungpa's actual students had to get checked off on. I think that Merwin may only have had a passing acquaintance with Zen prior to Seminary and it's noteworthy that even after the notorious Halloween party, both he and his companion chose to stay and attend the rest of the teaching cycle. After that 1975 debacle, even poets and geniuses had to wait their turn and complete the prerequisites like everyone else.

Chris
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Re: More Trungpa talk

Postby Karma Dondrup Tashi » Fri Mar 29, 2013 8:46 pm

Silent Bob wrote:As for the Merwin story, much of the responsibility for that incident can by laid at the feet of Allen Ginsberg ...

Ginsberg aked Trungpa “was it a mistake? He said, ‘Nope’” (in Clark, 1980).
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Re: More Trungpa talk

Postby Karma Dondrup Tashi » Fri Mar 29, 2013 8:47 pm

One of Trungpa's follower's: It is a typical incident, it is not an isolated example. At every seminary, as far as I know, there was a confrontation involving violence.
(Clark, 1980)
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Re: More Trungpa talk

Postby Silent Bob » Fri Mar 29, 2013 8:50 pm

Karma Dondrup Tashi wrote:
Silent Bob wrote:As for the Merwin story, much of the responsibility for that incident can by laid at the feet of Allen Ginsberg ...

Ginsberg aked Trungpa “was it a mistake? He said, ‘Nope’” (in Clark, 1980).


I don't really believe that Tom Clark is a reliable source, partly because he had a big axe to grind over the fact that he was never invited to join the poetry faculty at Naropa.
"All the sublime teachings, so profound--to throw away one and then grab yet another will not bear even a single fruit. Persevere, therefore, in simply one."
--Dudjom Rinpoche, "Nectar for the Hearts of Fortunate Disciples. Song No. 8"
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Re: More Trungpa talk

Postby Silent Bob » Fri Mar 29, 2013 8:56 pm

Karma Dondrup Tashi wrote:One of Trungpa's follower's: It is a typical incident, it is not an isolated example. At every seminary, as far as I know, there was a confrontation involving violence.
(Clark, 1980)


That has to be one of the weirdest, most inaccurate things I've ever heard. I attended two seminaries, 1978 and 1981 and nothing of the sort ever happened, nor can I recall hearing of anything remotely similar at other seminaries.
"All the sublime teachings, so profound--to throw away one and then grab yet another will not bear even a single fruit. Persevere, therefore, in simply one."
--Dudjom Rinpoche, "Nectar for the Hearts of Fortunate Disciples. Song No. 8"
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