Chögyam Trungpa

‘In order to achieve silence you would not chase the birds away because they make a noise. In order to be still you would not stop the movement of air or the rushing river, but accept them and you will yourself be aware of the silence. Just accept them as part of the establishment of silence. So the mental aspect of the noise of birds affects the psychological aspect in you. In other words, the noise that birds make is one factor, and one’s psychological concept of noise is another. And when one can deal with that side, the noise of birds becomes merely audible silence.’ (Meditation in Action)

There are problematic aspects to Trungpa’s behaviours, by all accounts, and Suzuki Roshi was fond of him and found him a kindred teacher in the days when there weren’t so many around. For those who want to discard his teachings because of this, I would not argue with them, and I find some real wisdom in this book, which I recently picked up again for the first time in a few years. What I had not remembered is that it was published in 1969, a year before Zen Mind, Beginner’s Mind, and was thus one of the earliest books to talk about these matters.

One thought on “Chögyam Trungpa

  1. A Shambala Blessing for Small Children

    “May angels surround you, their silent watch keep.”

    Or not so silent, oh red tailed hawk, angel of death: high-pitched cries jerking me into the present again and again, a narrowing gyre around the walnut tree freezing wood rats and squirrels under the ivy.

    Not so silent, fierce hummingbird, avian chihuahua, tiny buzzing lion’s roar a warning broadcast to all who might share the sweet broth in my feeder.

    No silent meditation compares dear kingfisher with your laughing determination — a thrilling call to action every morning, swinging up and down the creek until the end of days.

    Herons overhead at dusk, three in a row, merge wordlessly with the rising fog.


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