More Trungpa talk

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Re: More Trungpa talk

Postby Jikan » Fri Mar 29, 2013 9:07 pm

Jikan wrote: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:


I apologize for the lapel pin comment. My intention is not to slander Shambhala International, or its training seminars, in any way.

I do think I'm onto something though about the continued relevance of the "credentialing oneself" business.

:cheers:
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Re: More Trungpa talk

Postby Punya » Fri Mar 29, 2013 9:58 pm

Jikan wrote: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:


What you are saying is interesting Jikan. For my part, I don't see it so much as establishing a position as defending one of my teachers - not having met CTR but having read and been inspired by a number of his books. I reread the section in Dudjom Rinpoche's The Torch Lighting the Way to Freedom recently about how to follow a spiritual friend and it makes me think you should defend your teachers but is it really practical on an internet forum? Especially, as you say, if it's been rehashed many times?

Another thing I find interesting about DW is that often discussions seem to play out among participants depending upon whether you take a Vajrayana view or not. If you apply western logic and common sense to a situation you are going to come to very different conclusions. I'm not saying one view or the other is "right" but, leaving aside personal experiences people may have had, it seems a good predictor of the position that will be taken.
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Strife with outer enemies will never end.
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Re: More Trungpa talk

Postby Wayfarer » Fri Mar 29, 2013 10:46 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.


When the news broke about Chogyam Trungpa's behaviour, and about Osel Tendring, it was profoundly dissilusioning to many, like myself, who didn't now much about him, but had been greatly impressed by his books, particularly Cutting through Spiritual Materialism. The reason why it was disillusioning is because it seemed obvious that here was only delusion after all. After all 'not being alcoholic' would seem a pretty uncontroversial intepretation of what the 5th precept ought to mean. The article which broke the story was in a counter-cultural magazine called Common Ground. My reaction was 'oh no not again'. Most people I know would always have wanted to describe his organisation as 'cultic', and whenever I discussed it, which wasn't often, I was trying to impress on people that this was really a sane, philosophically-deep and mature understanding of life, not some crazy mind-controlling cult. So when this story came out, it was like 'now what do you say'.

It was only one of several events around that time that were profoundly dissilusioning. I walkedd away from the whole thing for quite a few years after that. As time passed I actually came to realise that disillusionment was an important part of the path. Actually Trungpa taught that. The fact that so many of his students, and shambhala itself, has gone on to flourish and contribute so much also helped heal the wound. But nobody ought to try and cover up of sugar coat that riotous behaviour and its effects.
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Re: More Trungpa talk

Postby dzogchungpa » Fri Mar 29, 2013 11:16 pm

jeeprs wrote:But nobody ought to try and cover up of sugar coat that riotous behaviour and its effects.

Who's sugar coating anything? I'm just trying to find out what harm people consider him to have done.
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Re: More Trungpa talk

Postby Wayfarer » Fri Mar 29, 2013 11:25 pm

I didn't say you in particular were sugar-coating the legend but it is a tendency.

As for the harm done - I think that is pretty clear from what has been said in this thread and what has been published elsewhere. It is that alcoholism and sexual promiscuity are unbecoming from one who is supposedly teaching higher truths and indicative of problems.
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Re: More Trungpa talk

Postby anjali » Fri Mar 29, 2013 11:31 pm

dzogchungpa wrote:
jeeprs wrote:But nobody ought to try and cover up of sugar coat that riotous behaviour and its effects.

Who's sugar coating anything? I'm just trying to find out what harm people consider him to have done.


How do you define "harm"? There can be physical damage, psychological damage, damage to faith in the Dharma, etc.
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Re: More Trungpa talk

Postby dzogchungpa » Sat Mar 30, 2013 12:11 am

anjali wrote:
dzogchungpa wrote:
jeeprs wrote:But nobody ought to try and cover up of sugar coat that riotous behaviour and its effects.

Who's sugar coating anything? I'm just trying to find out what harm people consider him to have done.


How do you define "harm"? There can be physical damage, psychological damage, damage to faith in the Dharma, etc.

I just asked a simple question in response to Simon's mentioning that at Trungpa's funeral somebody had said:
"I never knew anyone who did so much harm and so much good ".
I just wanted to see what harm people thought he had done, however anyone who cares to respond would define 'harm'.
Note that, in the higher tantras, there is talk of a self and an I, even though in the lower teachings the absence of self and the absence of I is what is always proclaimed. - Tony Duff
To educate the educated is notoriously difficult. - Jacques Barzun
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Re: More Trungpa talk

Postby anjali » Sat Mar 30, 2013 12:22 am

dzogchungpa wrote:
anjali wrote:How do you define "harm"? There can be physical damage, psychological damage, damage to faith in the Dharma, etc.

I just asked a simple question in response to Simon's mentioning that at Trungpa's funeral somebody had said:
"I never knew anyone who did so much harm and so much good ".
I just wanted to see what harm people thought he had done, however anyone who cares to respond would define 'harm'.


Ah. That seems reasonable. Well, I guess it would be interesting to see what people can offer up regarding the kinds of suffering he caused people.
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  • All activities are like the games children play. If started, they can never be finished. They are only completed once you let them be, like castles made of sand. --Khenpo Nyoshul Rinpoche
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Re: More Trungpa talk

Postby Sara H » Sat Mar 30, 2013 12:50 am

dzogchungpa wrote:
jeeprs wrote:But nobody ought to try and cover up of sugar coat that riotous behaviour and its effects.

Who's sugar coating anything? I'm just trying to find out what harm people consider him to have done.


Are you serious?

Sara
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It is OUR choice." -Rev. Basil

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Re: More Trungpa talk

Postby dzogchungpa » Sat Mar 30, 2013 1:03 am

Sara H wrote:Are you serious?

Sara

Yes.
Note that, in the higher tantras, there is talk of a self and an I, even though in the lower teachings the absence of self and the absence of I is what is always proclaimed. - Tony Duff
To educate the educated is notoriously difficult. - Jacques Barzun
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Re: More Trungpa talk

Postby Sara H » Sat Mar 30, 2013 1:04 am

dzogchungpa wrote:
Sara H wrote:Are you serious?

Sara

Yes.


Ok.
Saying this in a loving way, I'm going to be straightforward about this, because you asked, and so I think it's fair that you get it without me waffling.
I don't think it would be right of me, for you to ask a direct question, and for me to not be respectful of you for that, by not giving you a straight answer.

Although this may be hard to hear.

...

The whole AIDS/disciple fiasco comes to mind.

Someone died because of that. That kind of thing is definitely illegal, and blatantly harmful. He showed complete disregard for the health and safety of those people his disciple was sleeping with, at at time when people were dying of AIDS left and right, and continued to encourage that kind of behavior.

A lot of people might have gotten infected too.

Sexual misconduct is generally seen as harmful, because there can be some pretty drastic consequences as a result.

Cocaine use is not keeping the Precept regarding intoxicants, as well as being a felony.

He was breaking the law to use and buy it. Apparently there was a car accident because of his drunkenness, if that's true, he was putting many people's lives at risk while driving under the influence, not to mention breaking traffic laws.

The whole stripping the clothes off those people and having his goons punch them, is pretty well considered assault and battery under Colorado law. As well as not allowing them to leave when they wanted to.. That's a federal offense.
Telling his disciples to do those things, that's conspiracy to commit a crime...

He basically committed several serious felonies on more than one occasion.

He set an example that basically said not only is it ok for someone to disregard the laws, personal rights of others, public safety, other peoples' right to be free from assault, etc, but also, as he was claiming to be a Buddhist, was setting a horrible example as a Buddhist teacher by doing that, as all of that conduct, is clearly not something the Buddha would have condoned.

And so due to his high profile, by doing that he was defaming Buddhism as well.

I don't mean any offense to you, or any of his disciplines, or related people.
I used to live in Boulder, and had very positive, if limited experiences with Tibetan Buddhists there.
And I certainly don't think Trungpa was a horrible person or anything.
He was just doing the best he could, with the Karma that he inherited from previous lives

But, you asked, so I'm just giving you an honest answer the best I see it.

I agree with Catmoon.
He was a human being, human beings make mistakes.

He did great good. For Buddhism, and for Tibetan Buddhism in general. That's quite apparent.
And he also did some harm.
Those two things co-exist. And are a part of his legacy.

We can acknowledge the harm, and have compassion for him has a human being, and still appreciate his wisdom, and the good that he did.

It doesn't have to be one or the other.

Respectfully,

Sara
"Life is full of suffering. AND Life is full of the Eternal
IT IS OUR CHOICE
We can stand in our shadow, and wallow in the darkness,
OR
We can turn around.
It is OUR choice." -Rev. Basil

" ...out of fear, even the good harm one another. " -Rev. Dazui MacPhillamy
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Re: More Trungpa talk

Postby Sara H » Sat Mar 30, 2013 1:51 am

I just want to say, I personally have no problem with Trungpa.

I have a lot of respect for him actually.

But you asked what harm he did.

That's what comes to mind.

AND, I want to make it clear, I think the good he did, outweighed the harm by a whole lot.

I have a lot of compassion for him actually.

Sara
"Life is full of suffering. AND Life is full of the Eternal
IT IS OUR CHOICE
We can stand in our shadow, and wallow in the darkness,
OR
We can turn around.
It is OUR choice." -Rev. Basil

" ...out of fear, even the good harm one another. " -Rev. Dazui MacPhillamy
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Re: More Trungpa talk

Postby Sara H » Sat Mar 30, 2013 2:20 am

I was talking to my spouse, and thinking the guy's life was pretty spectacular.

Reminds me of the Saturn V space program.

Raw power, tons of get-go, and

We made it to the moon, with some pretty spectacular explosions along the way. *grins*.
"Life is full of suffering. AND Life is full of the Eternal
IT IS OUR CHOICE
We can stand in our shadow, and wallow in the darkness,
OR
We can turn around.
It is OUR choice." -Rev. Basil

" ...out of fear, even the good harm one another. " -Rev. Dazui MacPhillamy
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Re: More Trungpa talk

Postby ttnyc » Tue May 28, 2013 1:31 am

greentara wrote:It's easy to preach when words come easily, but most difficult to live up to.

I very much agree. And thankfully, Venerable Palmo refused Trungpa's advances. If she would have given in to them, maybe we would have lost a very great teacher. This is the danger in this type of self-indulgent behavior of Trungpa. Ven. Palmo was young but thankfully of sound character and apparently with already developed ethical discipline. A lot of people don't yet have these qualities at such a young age. Think of the people who must have followed suit in Trungpa's indulgent behavior because of his elevated status as teacher. Our teachers are the living embodiment of the Buddha. When they make the choice to become teachers, they take on the responsibility to behave with great ethical discipline - as an example to their students. Yes, they're human - but living a life of such self-indulgence as Trungpa is really reprehensible in my opinion - because of the potential to lead others down a wrong path (even if the teacher is wise and strong enough to stay on the correct path himself).
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Re: More Trungpa talk

Postby Konchog1 » Tue May 28, 2013 1:36 am

ttnyc wrote:
greentara wrote:It's easy to preach when words come easily, but most difficult to live up to.

I very much agree. And thankfully, Venerable Palmo refused Trungpa's advances. If she would have given in to them, maybe we would have lost a very great teacher. This is the danger in this type of self-indulgent behavior of Trungpa. Ven. Palmo was young but thankfully of sound character and apparently with already developed ethical discipline. A lot of people don't yet have these qualities at such a young age. Think of the people who must have followed suit in Trungpa's indulgent behavior because of his elevated status as teacher. Our teachers are the living embodiment of the Buddha. When they make the choice to become teachers, they take on the responsibility to behave with great ethical discipline - as an example to their students. Yes, they're human - but living a life of such self-indulgence as Trungpa is really reprehensible in my opinion - because of the potential to lead others down a wrong path (even if the teacher is wise and strong enough to stay on the path himself).
I agree. I had a similar conversation with a friend once, and I essentially said, 'Yes, realized masters can pretty much do anything that's usually forbidden and there is no fault, but for the sake of his disciples no realized master ever will.'
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Re: More Trungpa talk

Postby ttnyc » Tue May 28, 2013 2:30 am

Konchog1 wrote:I essentially said, 'Yes, realized masters can pretty much do anything that's usually forbidden and there is no fault, but for the sake of his disciples no realized master ever will.'

Yes, very well said.
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Re: More Trungpa talk

Postby dzogchungpa » Tue May 28, 2013 3:31 am

Konchog1 wrote:'Yes, realized masters can pretty much do anything that's usually forbidden and there is no fault, but for the sake of his disciples no realized master ever will.'

May I ask how you know that?
Note that, in the higher tantras, there is talk of a self and an I, even though in the lower teachings the absence of self and the absence of I is what is always proclaimed. - Tony Duff
To educate the educated is notoriously difficult. - Jacques Barzun
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Re: More Trungpa talk

Postby Konchog1 » Tue May 28, 2013 3:34 am

dzogchungpa wrote:
Konchog1 wrote:'Yes, realized masters can pretty much do anything that's usually forbidden and there is no fault, but for the sake of his disciples no realized master ever will.'

May I ask how you know that?
Know what?

realized masters can pretty much do anything that's usually forbidden and there is no fault,
or
but for the sake of his disciples no realized master ever will
Equanimity is the ground. Love is the moisture. Compassion is the seed. Bodhicitta is the result.

-Paraphrase of Khensur Rinpoche Lobsang Tsephel citing the Guhyasamaja Tantra

"All memories and thoughts are the union of emptiness and knowing, the Mind.
Without attachment, self-liberating, like a snake in a knot.
Through the qualities of meditating in that way,
Mental obscurations are purified and the dharmakaya is attained."

-Ra Lotsawa, All-pervading Melodious Drumbeats
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Re: More Trungpa talk

Postby dzogchungpa » Tue May 28, 2013 3:45 am

Both.
Note that, in the higher tantras, there is talk of a self and an I, even though in the lower teachings the absence of self and the absence of I is what is always proclaimed. - Tony Duff
To educate the educated is notoriously difficult. - Jacques Barzun
སརྦ་དྷརྨ་དྷཱ་ཏུ་ཨཱཏྨ་ཀོ་྅ཧཾ༔
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Re: More Trungpa talk

Postby dzogchungpa » Tue May 28, 2013 3:52 am

Speaking of Jetsunma, this is amusing:

Note that, in the higher tantras, there is talk of a self and an I, even though in the lower teachings the absence of self and the absence of I is what is always proclaimed. - Tony Duff
To educate the educated is notoriously difficult. - Jacques Barzun
སརྦ་དྷརྨ་དྷཱ་ཏུ་ཨཱཏྨ་ཀོ་྅ཧཾ༔
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