Reflections; Part Two

by Chhi’mèd Künzang, March 2003.
Originally published in vision magazine.
[part one]

On the mirror of the mind
Many reflections could have occurred.
However, the face of the beloved one
Cannot be changed.

`Early Outward’1

It is a foregone conclusion that I will fail here. As `spiritual commentary’ would be out of the question, the only feasible mode to adopt would be that of `literary critique’ – but, entirely apart from the odiousness of that form in general, it would be absurd for any student and possibly some Lamas to place themselves in the role of `critic’ when discussing Trungpa Rinpoche’s writing. However, by way of proving that I am capable of critical thought, and since it is vaguely to the point, I will instead provide a brief but scathing commentary on Allen Ginsberg’s introduction to `First Thought Best Thought’ later reprinted in `Timely Rain’ – both collections of Trungpa Rinpoche’s poetry.

Ginsberg fails in the same way that I will fail, and unfortunately there is no way for me to somehow transmute my failure into success by praising Ginsberg, either – because his attempt is flatly flatulent. Ginsberg, a famous poet, tries to categorise Trungpa Rinpoche as poet par excellence – thereby equating the poetic project with Dharma and anointing himself judge of both, proclaiming that judgment as only a `poet’ can.

I cite the first paragraph:

As lineage holder in Ear-whispered Kagyü transmission of Tibetan Buddhist practice of Wakefulness, Chögyam Trungpa is “Rinpoche” or “Precious Jewel” of millenial practical information on attitudes and practices of mind speech & body that Western Poets over the same millennia have explored, individually, fitfully, as far as they were able – searching thru cities, scenes, seasons, manuscripts, libraries, backalleys, whorehouses, churches, drawing rooms, revolutionary cells, opium dens, merchant’s rooms in Harrar, salons in Lissadell.

`Timely Rain’, page xiii

In short, `Ginsberg on Trungpa Rinpoche’s poetry’ reads like `Ginsberg on the Dharma of Poetry & the Poetics of Dharma’. For those who enjoy Ginsberg, this may be worthwhile, but it does not do justice to the real power of Trungpa Rinpoche’s language. In Ginsberg’s defense, his essay was meant as an introduction only – not to stand alone – and so a `simple’ tribute may be justified. I have no such excuse, and knowing that intend to provide, if nothing else, liberal islands of Trungpa Rinpoche’s text to offset the tributary of my own distracted rambling. The latter represent the nominally necessary (for the purpose of this article) connective tissue surrounding the vital organs of the Rigden King’s own words.

Having sacrificed a deity of my own tradition and offered further insincere personal nonsense to sweeten the pot, I hereby invoke the reader’s good will to transform this swill into an at-least palatable read. Lacking that transformation, may the reader take greatest pleasure in not imbibing this dubious libation.

A vase of pure water marks the eastern quarter with a blue scarf tied round it; this is the vase of Akshobhya Buddha the Imperturbable One, and the water symbolizes purification from the strife of wrath; the peace it brings fills the pupil with Gnosis (jnana). A crown with a yellow scarf marks the south; this is the crown of Ratnasambhava Buddha, the Jewel Born; it symbolizes equanimity and the victory over selfishness. The vajra on the west, tied with a red scarf, symbolizes Amitabha Buddha, Boundless Light, and means discrimination, bringing compassion and freedom from desire. The bell on the north tied with a green scarf is that of Amoghasiddhi Buddha, it symbolizes the achievement of spiritual action and overcomes all envy. In the centre a bell and vajra are placed, tied together with a white scarf in the shape of a cross; these appertain to Vairochana Buddha, the Luminous One and symbolize the Womb of Dharma, that overcomes confusion and ignorance.

`Born in Tibet’2

Trungpa Rinpoche wrote these words in Born in Tibet – his first work published in English. I quote them here because they (along with the rest of that book) stand in contradistinction to his later work. They hail from a period when he was capable of expressing himself in English, but before he had made English his own.

Of course he was a master of his tradition, and from that perspective this descriptive prose is impeccable. But he had not yet adopted the characteristic style which marked him as master of our particular phenomena. His diction includes words such as, `strife’, `Gnosis’, `envy’, `apertain’. Typographically, he leans to capitalisation of Significant Terms. All this is very much in the style of the earlier translations of Buddhism into English – translations typified by Evans-Wentz, which attempt to capture the religious flavour of the text by following the lead of traditional Christian language, most notably that of the King James Bible.

My purpose in pointing out this adherence to the status quo is simply in order to observe that Trungpa Rinpoche’s later break with that status quo did not occur as a default action.This was not the necessary and natural consequence of a Tibetan Lama learning English. Indeed, I would be surprised to discover that others – even to this day – have exploded into the radically vernacular vehicle of Trungpa Rinpoche’s later linguistic.

This fact notwithstanding, let us now do just that:

[discussing the six realms of samsara]

I don’t think replacing them with something else would help. That doesn’t seem to be the point. The point is that within the realm of intensity there is the absence of that intensity as well – otherwise intensity couldn’t exist, couldn’t happen, couldn’t operate. Intensity must develop in some kind of space, some kind of environment. That basic environment is the transcendental aspect.

`Transcending Madness’3

We cut here to a discussion of the six realms of samsara – a topic as suitable for rendition in the stilted prose of a formal or biblical exposition as any. Instead we find the utter conversationalism which came to characterise Trungpa Rinpoche’s style. Indeed the `question & answer’ format was to become a staple of his seminar format books. These books feature transcriptions of the talks of a seminar intercut with the audience query period following each talk.

The effect is to provide the variation of a traditional `root text and commentary’. However, the outer form is completely different: the entire notion of a `seminar’ and its transcriptions is Western in its formulation. This format is indicative of the manner in which Trungpa Rinpoche adopted and adapted our own modes of communication and used them as the medium of his message. These seminar-format books have the further effect of emphasising the degree to which Trungpa Rinpoche was himself dharma. As with the fabled authors of the Tibetan and Sanskrit `root texts’ – the occasion to hear him speak was the occasion to receive lucid and noteworthy teachings, and the fact that a pair of seminars can be consistently transduced into a fully articulated book is evidence of this remarkable fact.

In the passage above, note the use of highly idiomatic speech patterns, indicating Trungpa Rinpoche’s assimilation of our language. Particularly noticeable is his use of anaphora: `otherwise intensity couldn’t exist, couldn’t happen, couldn’t operate’; and `Intensity must develop in some kind of space, some kind of environment.’ This lyrical phraseology suggests an ease and familiarity not available to those struggling to find words – an ease and familiarity unavailable to those without fluent command of both language and topic.

You see, the point is that you can’t have a one-hundred-percent absolute waiting period at all. Whenever there is any kind of process going on, there are always ups and downs – little flickers of doubts and little flickers of understanding. This goes on and on and on. Maybe we don’t need dramatic flashes of bardo experience, but detailed bardo experiences are equally good. And these little details, which we generally ignore, or little problems that come up, are the only way. It could start from the absolutely insignificant level – the very fact of your relationship to your ass is in itself interesting.

`Transcending Madness’, page 110

Here we find Trungpa Rinpoche sketching, as he so often does, a miniature portrait of a psychological process. But he does not do this by invoking convoluted terminology (although he has this available to him), but rather in the way one might describe an interesting physical object – hidden to the listener, but visible to the speaker. There is the sense that he is probing, almost reaching for the right description – but not because of any want of words. Rather, he is feeling out his audience: dynamically tasting the ongoing communication – adding a pinch of this, a dash of that. Unafraid to ground a description of bardo in `your relationship to your ass’.

That willingness to be direct is often presented unvarnished in Trungpa Rinpoche’s exchanges with students as well:

Student: Rinpoche, what is the root meaning of these three words: magic, miraculous, and miracle?

Trungpa Rinpoche: Well, I suppose you could look that up in a dictionary.

`Transcending Madness’, pages 110-1

As Rig’dzin, Trungpa Rinpoche’s remarks are always to the point – even when evidently circuitous. In this case, rather than either indulge a student’s pedantic fantasy – or face some sort of etymological crisis, he makes the obvious, if cutting observation. However, this is not due to any lack of precision, or to any squeamishness about being presumptuous in this regard, as the following quotation demonstrates:

The nature of the gradual path from this point of view, if I may say so, is that the gradual path regards the goal as the goal and the path as the doctrine. And the sudden path regards the path as the goal as well as the goal as the path. There’s no room for doctrine. It is just a matter of personal experience all the time. If you had to give an Oxford dictionary definition of the difference between gradual and suddent elightenment, that could be it.

`Crazy Wisdom’4

This is interesting: he concurrently obviates the need for doctrine, provides a definitive definition, and labels this `an Oxford dictionary defintion’ – a remark which, although not meant seriously, is clearly meant to convey authority. This playfulness is characteristic. Trungpa Rinpoche walked the infinitely subtle line of undermining spiritual materialism (a term he coined) and reliance on authority – while simultaneously functioning as a self-consciously absolute authority. He adopts the stance of cosmic mischief-maker, saying anything, in any manner, as a skillful method of rearranging the conceptual structures of those who hear him.

Jesuits and other Catholic missionaries have recently developed a method in which they tell primitive peoples, “Yes, your gods do exist, it is true, but my god is much wiser than your god, because it is omnipresent and so forth – ambidextrous and all the rest.” But Buddhism faces an entirely different problem. There is no question of your god and my god. You have your god, but I don’t have a god, so I am left just sort of suspended there. I have nothing to substitute. Where is the greatness and power of my approach? I have nothing to substitute. The only thing there is to substitute is crazy widom – mind is very powerful. We all have mind, including animals. Everybody has mind. It does not matter about Him or Them, or Them and Him, or whatever.

`Crazy Wisdom’, page 55

This approach to the theistic thesis is brilliant – and could never be accomplished without detailed knowledge of both our colloquialism and our parochialism. The phrases `omnipresent and so forth – ambidextrous and all the rest’, and `it does not matter about Him or Them, or Them and Him, or whatever,’ are priceless. It is exactly this intersection of penetrating insight, effulgent expressiveness, and nonchalant appropriateness which characterise Trungpa Rinpoche’s unique communication. He has both the will and the capacity to shatter theism with a blow – how amazing! Neither conventional atheist, nor conventional Buddhist can dream of this capacity.

Not only did Trungpa Rinpoche understand the ground of our cultural framework and how to dismantle it, but he knew how to seed it with the energy of something else. There may be `nothing to sbustitute’ – but he continually expressed the energy of that nothing in fearless, glorious form.

I suppose the best way to characterize Padmasambhava for people with a Western or Christian cultural outlook is to say that he was a saint. We are going to discuss the depth of his wisdom and his life-style, his skillful way of relating with students. The students he had to deal with were Tibetans, who were extraordinarily savage and uncultured. He was invited to come to Tibet, but the Tibetans showed very little understanding of how to receive and welcome a great guru from another part of the world. They were very stubborn and very matter-of-fact – very earthy. They presented all kinds of obstacles to Padmasambhava’s activity in Tibet. However, the obstacles did not come from the Tibetan people alone, but also from differences in climate, landscape, and the social situation as a whole. In some ways, Padmasambhava’s situation was very similar to our situation here. Americans are hospitable, but on the other hand there is a very savage and rugged side to American culture. Spiritually, American culture is not conducive to just bringing out the brilliant light and expecting it to be accepted.

So there is an analogy here. In terms of the analogy, the Tibetans are the Americans and Padmasambhava is himself.

`Crazy Wisdom’, page 4

It is difficult to read this passage without being struck by what Trungpa Rinpoche is saying. `The Tibetans are the Americans and Padmasambhava is himself.’ Trungpa Rinpoche makes no secret of his rôle in the situation. He directly draws the parallel between Padmasambhava’s importation of Vajrayana to Tibet, and his own transposition of Dharma. He sketches it in detail – with its problems and its potential. This motif is one to which he returns time and again. He evidently saw the thorough and authentic introduction of the teachings as his purpose – and his alone.

So what was the message? What is `the brilliant light’? Is there anything in general which we can say about the content of what Trungpa Rinpoche taught? In one sense, that would be difficult, because he was so extraordinarily knowledgeable, and he gave teachings across such a wide range of subject matter. Certainly we can say that he taught ‘`Buddhism’, even ‘`Tibetan Buddhism’, – but this seems a little vague, a little unsatisfying. Fortunately there is a theme which runs *beneath* the surface of his content. Trungpa Rinpoche continually highlights the tension between the apparent need for a gradual approach to enlightenment, and the unavoidable conclusion that any such gradual approach is in an ultimate sense, incomplete. He consistently presents the view of Vajrayana – regardless of the particular content of his discourse. Sometimes he discusses this explicitly, as in the following passage:

If you could talk about salvation, it seems that it is when there is no direction, the end of ambition, which is when you become completely one with your experience. Knowledge becomes one with wisdom, which is called buddhahood, or the awakened state of mind. You realize that you never needed to make the journey at all, because the journey is there already and the goal is there already. It is not so much that you are gaining something; it is not so much that you are achieving liberation, but it is more that you realize liberation is there and that you needn’t have sought for it. That is the precise definition of jnana which is the Sanskrit word meaning “wisdom.” Jnana means complete oneness with your experience; you do not relate with the experiencer as such at all.

`Transcending Madness’, page 258

Here we find him once again providing a definition, in this case, defining `jnana’. It would be easy to say, as he does, that jnana is the Sanskrit word meaning `wisdom’, but this is not – in fact – the meat of the definition he provides. Instead he defines the English word `wisdom’ in terms of `knowledge’, `buddhahood’, `the awakened state of mind’. He describes the process of the dissolution of the path into the goal. The sense he ends up with is intimately dependent on the interrelationship of the words he uses. He speaks of the distinction between `achieving liberation’ and `realizing liberation is there’. Passages such as this are informative – both because they provide such a clear explanation of the Vajrayana perspective, but also for what they reveal of Trungpa Rinpoche’s ability to frame dharma in English. He does not work from a framework requiring him to translate backwards and forwards from English to Tibetan to Sanskrit. He does not talk about `prajna’ or `bodhi’ or `vidya’, nor about `shérab’, `chang-chub’, or `rigpa’. He only seems to have even brought `jnana’ into the picture as an afterthought – as an excuse to emphasise what he has just done – which is to redefine the ordinary English word `wisdom’. Whereas we previously thought of `wisdom’ as perhaps some kind of transcendent judiciousness – we find the word transformed. The process of translation is implicit, not explicit; and the real translation is from English to post-Trungpa English. Once that has occurred, the explicit translation from Sanskrit or Tibetan is natural and unforced.

It’s a process of going deeper and deeper. You are unpeeling, unmasking the crude facade to start with. Then you unmask the semi-crude facade; then you unmask a kind of genteel facade; and you go on and on and on. The facades become more and more delicate and more profound, but at the same time they are all facades – you unpeel them, and by doing so you include all experiences. That is why at the end of the journey, the experience of maha ati is referred to as the imperial yana (vehicle or path) which sees everything, includes everything. It is described as being like climbing up the highest mountain of the world and seeing all the other mountains underneath you: you have complete command of the whole view, which includes everything in its absolute perfection.

`Transcending Madness’, page 50

Again, here is an exquisite vignette expressing the nature of the path, culminating in the profound and subtle experience of Dzogchen (or, Maha Ati – his own term). What is striking is the deftness with which Trungpa Rinpoche evokes the images he chooses. When he speaks of having `complete command of the whole view’, it is clear he knows what he says – simply by virtue of his complete command of the language of Dharma. Although he is speaking in a second language, his offhand aptness is well beyond what most native speakers could produce on any subject – clear evidence of his intimacy with the terrain he navigates. Certainly the image of peeling an onion is commonplace to the point of being trite. Perhaps it is even traditional, but he does not use that image or any other inherited formulation. Instead, he describes peeling back `crude’, `semi-crude’, and `genteel’ facades. When he describes this process as `includ[ing] all experiences’, we can understand what he means because the very fact of his utterly fluent expression in our native language is testament to the all-inclusiveness of his experience.

Although I have been going on and on about the relationship between Trungpa Rinpoche’s mastery of language and his mastery of the nine yanas, I should make clear that I am not suggesting that verbal dexterity is itself either a substitute for, a sign of, or a method of accomplishing enlightenment. Rather, I mean to point out that the Vidyadhara’s extraordinary mode of expression sprung from his compassionate connection with the needs of `our society’. His ability to give perfect voice to the teachings in a language we could not misunderstand was a reflection of his stature. When experiencing a `foreign’ teaching, it is so easy to misunderstand – to become fascinated, or to seize the meaning we want to hear. But Trungpa Rinpoche did not leave us with that option. His entry into our dialogue was a means to an end – something that we needed, as a necessary step to truly understanding the radical message of vajrayana.

There is no textbook for becoming a crazy-wisdom person. It doesn’t hurt to read books, but unless you are able to have some experience of crazy wisdom yourself through contact with the crazy-wisdom lineage – with somebody who is crazy and wise at the same time – you won’t get much out of books alone. A lot really depends on the lineage message, on the fact that somebody has already inherited something. Without that, the whole thing becomes purely mythical. But if you see that somebody does possess some element of crazy wisdom, that will provide a certain reassurance, which is worthwhile at this point.

`Crazy Wisdom’, page 58

This was Trungpa Rinpoche’s gift to us. Without the ability to address every aspect of how we are with absolute precision, his crazy wisdom manifestation would have been incomplete. This is not to say that all crazy wisdom masters must speak flawless English. That would be absurd. Any à priori constraint placed on the unfolding of crazy wisdom would be absurd. But at the same time, crazy wisdom is infinitely capable of conforming to whatever temporal parameters are expedient – exactly in order not to be limited by what would otherwise be a shortcoming. When it comes to the large scale communication Trungpa Rinpoche took on – the communication by which future generations will come to know his exact words – anything less than flawless English would be a compromise. So his English was flawless.

You become a fantastic artist, musician, sculptor, or poet. You begin to see the workings of the universe in its ultimate, last details. You are such a genius that you see everything completely. That’s the final level.

`The Lion’s Roar’5

Given the magnitude of Trungpa Rinpoche’s accomplishment – the manner in which he penetrated the fabric of our reality and transformed the lives of everyone with whom he came in contact; the absolute masterfulness of his presentation – we have no choice but to heed his own attribution. Where exactly would we insert our miscomprehension of his statement that, `You are such a genius that you see everything completely’? We are not unfamiliar with genius – but the genius with which we are familiar concerns itself with physics, or music, or literature, or dance. Before Trungpa Rinpoche, we had never encountered the 200 proof genius, who took as subject the mad subject of genius itself. The medicine may burn going down, but it is too concentrated for us to pretend it is not ultimately potent.

So I would like you to understand before we continue: the basic point in tantra at this point is a further approach to reality. Reality could be regarded as unreal, and unreality could be regarded as reality. That’s the logic of tantra, fundamentally speaking. That’s why samsara is regarded as nirvana and nirvana is regarded as samsara. And we do not have any obligation to stick to one doctrine or another. We are free from all dogma.

`The Lion’s Roar’, page 133

Again and again, Trungpa Rinpoche draws out the violent contradiction of enlightenment seen from a Tantric perspective. `We are free from all dogma.’ This is an unequivocal statement. But in order to be ultimately free, we have to penetrate all contradictory goals and methods. The distinction between samsara and nirvana represents the fundamental view of Buddhism, yet in terms of enlightenment, this view itself is empty. Beyond even what could be called `Buddhism’, we cannot even depend on our own sense of reality and unreality. These statements are ultimately threatening because they strike at the heart of our generalised knowledge project: we claim at every level to want to know reality as distinct from unreality. Trungpa Rinpoche’s dismantling of that possibility is simultaneously seemingly laughable and chilling. We want to be able to laugh it off as a meaningless rant, but we cannot. We cannot because the conclusion which follows is not that we should accept just any quackish idea as truth, but rather that even our most cherished theories are ultimately just so much quackery – brilliant and pragmatic quackery perhaps, but quackery nonetheless.

In the Christian approach God is unreachable. The guru is immediate. For one thing, he is a human being like yourself. He has to eat food and wear clothes like you do, so it’s a direct relationship. And the fact that the guru has basic human survival needs makes the situation more threatening because you can’t dismiss the guru as being outside your thing, someone who can survive without our human trips. The guru does thrive on human trips. If we need food, the guru also needs food. If we need a love affair, the guru needs a love affair. A guru is an ordinary human being, but still powerful. We begin to feel personally undermined, because the guru minds our trips too closely and too hard. That is why the guru is powerful: he asks you what food you eat and what clothes you wear. He minds your business on those levels as well as with regard to your relationships, your practice, your body, your job, your house. The guru involves himself with those things more and more. Whereas if he were God, he would just be hanging out somewhere. God doesn’t make any personal comments, except in terms of your conscience – which is your fantasy anyway.

`The Lion’s Roar’, page 190

So here it is: `the guru’. The one element in the whole equation of reality/unreality which cannot be manipulated. It is exactly the manifest reality of the guru, however unreal that reality may be, which pins the notion of trying to accomplish anything to the present. Given this formula, `if we need [x], the guru needs [x]’, we can see the importance of Trungpa Rinpoche’s adoption of our language, our culture, even the shape of our neuroses. Not only is the guru not `someone who can survive without our human trips‘, but it is his or her involvement at every level of our phenomena which makes the guru the ultimately powerful catalyst of our own paradoxical transformation.

Shri Simha reduced Padmasambhava to the form of the letter HUM. Then he ate it, he put it in his mouth and swallowed it. And when Padmasambhava came out the other end of Shri Simha, that completeed his abhisheka. This is an example of the action of the vajra master. He is more than a teacher alone, more than a spiritual friend. The vajra master eats you up and shits you out, having completely processed you in his vajra body. That is the kind of power we’re talking about. Without such a relationship, without this kind of communication, vajrayana cannot be presented. Without this, one cannot even come near to understanding it. So relationships with the various levels of teacher are definitely requirements for progressing on the path.

`The Lion’s Roar’, page 64

Any hope of escaping the process of spiritual involvement without getting dirty; being consumed; being transformed; `‘eaten up and shit out’; being absolutely drawn into and through the convolutions of reality-unreality in the form of the wisdom appearance of the actual, physical, lama – any such hope is in vain. We cannot skip that step: ` without this kind of communication, vajrayana cannot be presented.‘ And ultimately, it is Vajrayana that we need. Individually, in terms of completion, and therefore also as a whole, in order that this level be available:

I feel we are making headway toward establishing 100 percent Buddhism in this country. Without vajrayana we don’t have a head. Hinayana is the feet. Mahayana is purely heart. But Buddhism without a head is dead. Therefore I feel very happy about the possibility of sharing my understanding with you. It is like discovering a new friend. It is a very moving situation for me personally.

`The Lion’s Roar’, page 55

Here we see a direct and straightforward exposition of the importance of establishing Vajrayana in America. This statement that `without vajrayana we don’t have a head. . . . Buddhism without a head is dead,’ leaves absolutely no room for any kind of politically correct evasions. The Buddhadharma comprises a range of methods which culminate in the Vajrayana system (which itself culminates in Dzogchen): a system which depends (increasingly with progress) on the Lama in person to decrypt the begininglessly pure view of reality for beings who have forgotten the key to its encryption. Without this re-introduction to the so-called path of secret mantra, the method of clarifying the parameters of experience – the supposed path to enlightenment – is ultimately incomplete, non-functional, invalid, dead.

Because this introduction was so important for us altogether, we can see that Trungpa Rinpoche’s approach went far beyond even the level of individual compassion. There is something extraordinarily awe-inspiring about the statement that the process of `establishing 100 percent Buddhism in this country . . . is like discovering a new friend.’ He saw himself involved in a personal introduction, one in which he, as the authentic representative of Vajrayana became intimate with America itself. Without this intimate connection, without our having been `completely processed . . . in his vajra body’, Vajrayana would never have been able to authentically take root here. The land itself needed to be re-awakened, and we needed a reminder of how to relate to that profound possibility.

The kind of nationalism we are talking about is spiritual nationalism. Your country, where your belongings are and your life situation takes place, has spirituality, buddha nature in everything. This refers to the experience you have of your country, such as of the landscape – the beauty of America. Taking America as the basic image, let’s suppose you went from California to Colorado to New York, and let’s say you were walking instead of driving. You would begin to appreciate the beauty of your country enormously. . . . We are talking about the very physical existence of the American Land, the United States of America, or North America as a whole, including Canada. It could also be South America. . . . Your country is a really great country. There’s very little need to take a trip to Tibet or visit Darjeeling to view the Himalayas. This is a tantric interpretation, a kind of vajra nationalism, which seems to be necessary at this point.

`The Lion’s Roar’, pages 200-1

This was Trungpa Rinpoche’s project – a poignantly personal and fiercely ambitious undertaking. It was also simply what needed to be done. And, importantly, as indicated by the title of his poem, `Victory Chatter’, he did indeed accomplish his lover-warrior’s mission of potentiating, empowering, and enlivening the body, speech, and mind of America:

How romantic to be fighters
Conquering the American plains!
Good luck to Boulder
The Rocky Mountains
The pine trees –
Full of fantastic battlegrounds.
The kingdom rests at eleven and eleven.
It is good to fight,
It is good to know that victory is,
It is good to know that I alone can wage this particular warfare.
Sharpened sword
I fight in the old fashion.

`Victory Chatter’, Timely Rain, page 143

1 Trungpa, Chögyam, `Early Outward’, Timely Rain: Selected Poetry of Chögyam Trungpa. Boston: Shambhala, 1998. page 106

2 Trungpa, Chögyam, Born in Tibet. Boston: Shambhala, 1966. Reprint, 1995. page 141

3 Trungpa, Chögyam, Transcending Madness: The Experience of the Six Bardos. Boston: Shambhala, 1992. page 31

4 Trungpa, Chögyam, Crazy Wisdom. Boston: Shambhala, 1991. page 107

5 Trungpa, Chögyam, The Lion’s Roar: An Introduction to Tantra. Boston: Shambhala, 1992. page 65

© 2003 Chhi’mèd Künzang


One thought on “reflections

  1. Pingback: Trungpa Rinpoche, language | squishfrog

Comments are closed.