Tao Te Ching

The Power of Goodness, the Wisdom Beyond Words
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Chögyam Trungpa

1939 – 1987 CE

A once-in-a-generation kind of teacher, a mahasiddha for our times, a transducer transforming ancient wisdom into modern idiom. Per Allen Ginsberg, “A Renaissance man of the highest peaks of East, meditation emperor, space awareness Dance-master, witty rude calligrapher whose poetry and flower arrangements unite the Mind with Body… Prime Minister of Imagination… Chairman of the Board of Directors of Ordinary Mind.” Meditation master, scholar, teacher, poet, artist, he was honored as a mahasiddha by teachers like Khyentse Rinpoche and the 16th Karmapa. “The father of Tibetan Buddhism in the US,” his influence was and remains beyond words.

Sources

A Buddhist Approach to Politics

Bodhisattva Path of Wisdom and Compassion

Cutting Through Spiritual Materialism

Illusion's Game

Journey Without Goal

Lojong III

Mandala Principle

Martial Arts and the Art of War

Mudra

Myth of Freedom

Orderly Chaos — The Mandala Principle

Path of Individual Liberation

Political Consciousness

Realizing Enlightened Society

Sadhana of Mahamudra

Shambhala: The Sacred Path of the Warrior

Six States of Bardo

Tantric Path of Indestructible Wakefulness

The Collected Works of Chogyam Trungpa

The New Age

Quotes by Chögyam Trungpa (175 quotes)

“… crazy wisdom is absolute perceptiveness, with fearlessness and bluntness… being wise, but not holding to particular doctrines or disciplines or formats. There aren’t any books to follow, only endless spontaneity… all activity is created by the environment.”

from Journey Without Goal

Chapters: 41. Distilled Life

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“…you are without set ideas and patterns; you are not bound by any social, philosophical, or religious standards. You are free from that indoctrination; therefore you are able to see…”

from Journey Without Goal

Chapters: 38. Fruit Over Flowers

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“‘That’ has a name but ‘this’ doesn’t have a name.”

from Illusion's Game

Chapters: 5. Christmas Trees

Themes: Creativity

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“According the Buddhist scriptures, a true guide is one who helps you to cross the turbulent river, then burns your boat for you.”

from The Collected Works of Chogyam Trungpa

Chapters: 19. All Methods Become Obstacles

Themes: Teachers

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“A warrior doesn’t need color television or video games… doesn’t need to read comic books… the world of entertainment doesn’t arise.”

from Shambhala: The Sacred Path of the Warrior

Chapters: 60. Less is More

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“Again and again it happens… the methods become obstacles… The problem seems to be the attitude that the pain should go and then we will be happy. This is our mistaken belief. The pain never goes, and we will never be happy.”

from Illusion's Game

Chapters: 19. All Methods Become Obstacles

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“All (Buddhist) teachings are basically related with a way of subjugating our ego, shedding our ego.”

from The Collected Works of Chogyam Trungpa

Chapters: 3. Weak Wishes, Strong Bones

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“Arrogant people are so involved with themselves and they are competing so much with others that they won’t even look. When you are fully gentle, without arrogance and without aggression, you see the brilliance of the universe.”

Chapters: 36. The Small, Dark Light

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“Awareness without choice or awareness that contains no experience…you begin to see yourself as tables and chairs or rocks and sky and water. You begin to identify with the phenomenal world completely.”

from Illusion's Game

Chapters: 16. Returning to the Root, Meditation

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“Because of the feminine principle… there is a lot of room, openness, groundlessness… no one is standing on any ground so communication can take place quite freely.”

from Illusion's Game

Chapters: 6. The Source

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“Because they do not bring about notions as to what to reject and what to accept, they are also free from hope and fear, and they are not subject to cultivating and exerting.”

from Tantric Path of Indestructible Wakefulness

Chapters: 72. Helpful Fear

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“coemergent wisdom… refers to confusion and realization existing simultaneously, as opposed to confusion coming first and then realization taking over and cleaning out the confusion… confusion and realization are simultaneous.”

from Illusion's Game

Chapters: 23. Nothing and Not

Themes: Confusion

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“Death can be regarded as a way of extending ourselves into the next life… as some kind of invitation to allow this thing we cherish so very much called our body, to perish.”

from The Collected Works of Chogyam Trungpa

Chapters: 24. Unnecessary Baggage

Themes: Letting Go

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“Death could be said to be birth at the same time… The moment something ends, the next birth takes place naturally. So death is the re-creating of birth.”

from Six States of Bardo

Chapters: 52. Cultivating the Changeless

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“Either you look and see beyond language – as first perception – or you see the world through the filter of your thoughts.”

Chapters: 3. Weak Wishes, Strong Bones

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“Energy is openness and all-pervasiveness. It is constantly expanding. It is decentralized energy, a sense of flood, ocean, outer space, the light of the sun and moon.”

from Illusion's Game

Chapters: 25. The Mother of All Things

Themes: Openness

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“Everybody is a caricature of themselves… as well as everything having its own basic fullness. You represent yourself not by name but by being. So there is a sense of completion.”

from Illusion's Game

Chapters: 50. Claws and Swords

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“Everything is compartmentalized, so you can never experience things completely… packaged food, packaged vacations, package deals of all kinds. There is no room to experience doubtlessness in that world… no room to experience reality fully and properly.”

from The Collected Works of Chogyam Trungpa

Chapters: 18. The Sick Society

Themes: Doubt Technology

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“He feels the joy and sorrow of love in everything he does. He feels hot and cold, sweet and sour, simultaneously. Whether things go well or things go badly, whether there is success or failure, he feels sad and delighted at once.”

from Shambhala: The Sacred Path of the Warrior

Chapters: 24. Unnecessary Baggage

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“Form is empty of our preconceptions, empty of our judgements… Form is empty if we see it in the absence of our own personal interpretations of it.”

Chapters: 2. The Wordless Teachings

Themes: Emptiness

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“From the point of view of samsara, Buddha is mad.”

from Illusion's Game

Chapters: 41. Distilled Life

Themes: Crazy Wisdom

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“Fundamentally we have no idea what we are doing or what we are experiencing, and we are completely missing the point all the time.”

from Journey Without Goal

Chapters: 53. Shameless Thieves

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“Going beyond challenge is learning the art of war… when you do not produce another force of hatred, the opposing force collapses,”

from Martial Arts and the Art of War

Chapters: 31. Victory Funeral

Themes: War Hate

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“I think it’s a question of being in contact with reality, then we don’t have to crank up something else.”

from Realizing Enlightened Society

Chapters: 81. Journey Without Goal

Themes: Reality

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“If we are passionate, if we are in love or in a lustful state, we begin to feel that there is an enormous amount of glue sprayed all over the world… We want to be stuck to things, to objects, wealth, money, friends… so we begin to spray this crude glue all over the place. We are asking to be stuck.”

from Journey Without Goal

Chapters: 44. Fame and Fortune

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“If we try to solve society’s problems without overcoming the confusion and aggression in our own state of mind, then our efforts will only contribute to the basic problems.”

from Shambhala: The Sacred Path of the Warrior

Chapters: 21. Following Empty Heart

Themes: Paradox

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“If you do not start at home, you have no hope of helping the world… the first step is learning to rule your household, your immediate world…. If you do so, then the next step will come naturally. If you don't, then your contribution to this world will only be further chaos.”

from Shambhala: The Sacred Path of the Warrior

Chapters: 54. Planting Well

Themes: Family

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“If you want to solve the world’s problems, you have to put your own household, your own individual life, in order first… the first step in learning how to rule is learning to rule your household, your immediate world.”

from Shambhala: The Sacred Path of the Warrior

Chapters: 17. True Leaders

Themes: Problems

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“inscrutability is based on fearlessness. This is unlike the conventional concept of inscrutability, which is deviousness or a blank wall… From this fearlessness, you develop gentleness and sympathy, which allow you to be noncommittal, but with a sense of humor.”

from Shambhala: The Sacred Path of the Warrior

Chapters: 15. Inscrutability

Themes: Inscrutable Fear

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“Iinstead of seeing things as new, you see them as very ordinary and full of details… You yourself become a living teaching; you yourself become living dharma… the reference point takes the form of awareness… choiceless awareness.”

from Illusion's Game

Chapters: 40. Returning

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“it is absolutely important to make the practice of meditation your source of strength,your source of basic intelligence.”

from Journey Without Goal

Chapters: 29. Not Doing

Themes: Meditation

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“It is the war that is going on inside our own heads to which we have to call the truce.”

from The New Age

Chapters: 31. Victory Funeral

Themes: War

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“It’s actually not trying to do anything at all (even relax). That’s the whole point.”

from Illusion's Game

Chapters: 57. Wu Wei

Themes: Wu Wei

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“It’s not a question of what you should be or what you should not be doing. It’s a question of what you are.”

from Illusion's Game

Chapters: 59. The Gardening of Spirit

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“It’s okay. Everything is okay… Don’t rush; everything is going to be okay… Just cool it. You don’t have to do a complete job, all at once. If you go too far, if you are too hungry, you could become a cosmic monster. That message is very courageous, but very few people have the courage to say that.”

from Journey Without Goal

Chapters: 57. Wu Wei

Themes: Patience Desire

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“Just fully being skillful involves total lack of inhibition. We are not afraid to be. We are not afraid to live… like a tiger in the jungle.”

from Myth of Freedom

Chapters: 57. Wu Wei

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“Meditation in action is… awareness of how we... create our basic perceptions out of our preconceptions… and the games going on do not become big games but simply illusory games.”

from The Collected Works of Chogyam Trungpa

Chapters: 12. This Over That

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“needlessness of reassurance is a source of humility, because you do not have to confirm yourself anymore.”

from Tantric Path of Indestructible Wakefulness

Chapters: 67. Three Treasures

Themes: Humility

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“Once you are really into something,you become part of that experience, or it becomes part of you. When you become part of the teachings, you are no longer hassled. You are no longer an entity separate from the teachings. You are an embodiment of them.”

from Journey Without Goal

Chapters: 27. No Trace

Themes: Oneness

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“One taste does not mean that everything becomes gray and tasteless. By one taste, we mean the absence of all tastes. Tasting in this way becomes very natural and very beautiful. One taste is no taste; therefore, it is everything.”

from Tantric Path of Indestructible Wakefulness

Chapters: 56. One with the Dust

Themes: One Taste

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“Our vast collections of knowledge and experience are just part of ego’s display… we have simply created a shop, an antique shop.”

from Cutting Through Spiritual Materialism

Chapters: 71. Sick of Sickness

Themes: Know Yourself

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“Politics is the ability for all reflections of political situations to arise in the mirror of discriminating awareness at once… the ability to look joyfully in the mirror of mind with a relaxed mind free from projections and doubt… the great confidence that is not afraid to be inspired by unprejudiced views”

from Political Consciousness

Chapters: 32. Uncontrived Awareness

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“Spiritual practice is stepping out of the duality of me-ness and my-ness as opposed to otherness, of who is me and who is not me.”

from Illusion's Game

Chapters: 33. Know Yourself

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“Stop acting, stop speeding. Sit and do nothing. You should take pride in the fact that you have learned a very valuable message: you actually can survive beautifully by doing nothing.”

from Journey Without Goal

Chapters: 26. The Still Rule the Restless

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“Suddenly you’re seeing something extraordinary arising out of a very ordinary thing.”

from Illusion's Game

Chapters: 64. Ordinary Mind

Themes: Ordinary Mind

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“That big-deal quality of our perception is known as a veil that prevents us from relating with reality properly… it makes us more numb.”

from The Collected Works of Chogyam Trungpa

Chapters: 63. Easy as Hard

Themes: Obstacles

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“the basic requirement for treading the spiritual path is hopelessness… the only and best remedy is hopelessness”

from Illusion's Game

Chapters: 13. Honor and Disgrace

Themes: Hope

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“The Buddhist idea of a politician is not so much one of a con man or of a businessman who wins favor with everybody, but someone who simply does what is necessary… having a sense of responsibility to society.”

from A Buddhist Approach to Politics

Chapters: 78. Water

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“The conventional moral law purely has to do with relating with your conscience rather than dealing with situations… that means you don’t actually relate with the situation at all; you don’t even have any idea of understanding.”

from Journey Without Goal

Chapters: 22. Heaven's Door

Themes: Law and Order

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“The great setting sun of the West has provided us with beautiful, comfortable conditions for living our life, like central heating, air-conditioning, taxicabs, and numerous other conveniences. But that setting-sun approach has provided us purely with a comfortable way to die.”

Chapters: 35. The Power of Goodness

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“The key to warriorship and the first principle of Shambhala vision is not being afraid of who you are… If we are willing to take an unbiased look, we will find that, in spite of all our problems and confusion, all our emotional and psychological ups and downs, there is something basically good about our existence.”

from Shambhala: The Sacred Path of the Warrior

Chapters: 51. Mysterious Goodness

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“The more you see that it is very ordinary, the more that becomes an extraordinary case, which creates a further veil.”

from Illusion's Game

Chapters: 8. Like Water

Themes: Ordinary Mind

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“The most important point is that when you take, you take the worst; and when you give, you give the best… So don’t take any credit – unless you have been blamed.”

from Lojong III

Chapters: 77. Stringing a Bow

Themes: Golden Rule

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“The nonexistence of a dualistic barrier does not quite mean that we are one, but that we are zero.”

from Journey Without Goal

Chapters: 39. Oneness

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“the only way to grow up and mature further is through further openness to the world… this is realization of the sacredness of the universe and of yourself.”

from Illusion's Game

Chapters: 25. The Mother of All Things

Themes: Sacred World

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“The past is fiction, the future a dream. We are living on the edge of a razor.”

Chapters: 40. Returning

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“The point at which we can either extend ourselves further and go towards an unfamiliar brilliance, or return to a more soothing and familiar dimness is the threshold of magic.”

from Journey Without Goal

Chapters: 73. Heaven’s Net

Themes: Magic

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“the process of birth and death is continual, taking place all the time… in the West people make birth more important. You congratulate someone for having a child, and you have parties for birthdays. But there are no parties for dying.”

Chapters: 52. Cultivating the Changeless

Themes: Death and Dying

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“the result of anything aimed at enriching the ego is destruction, complete confusion, perpetual confusion.”

from Illusion's Game

Chapters: 11. Appreciating Emptiness
7. Lose Yourself, Gain Your Soul

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“The result of letting go is that you discover a bank of self-existing energy that is always available to you – beyond any circumstance. It actually comes from nowhere, but is always there. It is the energy of basic goodness.”

from Shambhala: The Sacred Path of the Warrior

Chapters: 62. Basic Goodness

Themes: Basic Goodness

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“The source of energy which need not be sought is… that you are rich rather than being enriched by something else.”

from Mudra

Chapters: 9. Know When to Stop

Themes: Wealth

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“The tantric tradition builds us up so we do not have to relate at the level of a donkey reaching for a carrot anymore. The donkey has the carrot already”

from Journey Without Goal

Chapters: 58. Goals Without Means

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“the warrior’s journey is based on resting in the state of warriorship rather than struggling to take the next step.. which is not based on ego-centered concerns but on resting in unconditional confidence, free from aggression.”

from Shambhala: The Sacred Path of the Warrior

Chapters: 46. Enough

Themes: Warriors

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“Then there is the other kind of compassion that Mr. Gurdjieff calls idiot compassion, which is compassion with neurosis, a slimy way of trying to fulfill your desire secretly. This is your aim, but you give the appearance of being generous and impersonal.”

from Illusion's Game

Chapters: 67. Three Treasures

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“There are enormous problems with thinking that we can only trust in what we were told rather than in how we feel… we are trying to become perfect actors rather than real people.”

from Journey Without Goal

Chapters: 14. Finding and Following the Formless Form

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“these twelve experiences that Naropa went through were a continuous unlearning process. To begin with, he had to unlearn, to undo the cultural façade. Then he had to undo the philosophical and emotional façade. Then he had to step out and become free altogether.”

from Illusion's Game

Chapters: 48. Unlearning

Themes: Freedom Education

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“We cannot find an answer, because answers always run out. That is the problem and the promise.”

from Journey Without Goal

Chapters: 67. Three Treasures

Themes: Problems

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“We cannot find the beginning of the tantric thread unless we come to the conclusion that we do not exit.”

from Journey Without Goal

Chapters: 22. Heaven's Door

Themes: Egolessness

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“We cut our ground and have a frightening – terrifying – sudden glimpse of groundlessness… no one is standing on any ground, so communication can take place quite freely”

from Illusion's Game

Chapters: 28. Turning Back

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“we do not have to depend on feedback and we can relate with life as directly and straightforwardly as possible… Working with energy in a tantric sense is a decentralized process… energy is openness and all-pervasive… constantly expanding.”

from Journey Without Goal

Chapters: 34. An Unmoored Boat

Themes: Openness

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“We end up bombarded by all kinds of alternatives, and we are never able to relate with any of them properly.”

from Illusion's Game

Chapters: 80. A Golden Age

Themes: Less is More

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“What seems to be insane is enlightenment.”

from Illusion's Game

Chapters: 41. Distilled Life

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“What we have to deal with is the kind of psychological materialism in our heads. We are allowing ourselves to be fed ideas and concepts from outside in a way that never lets us really be free. It is inward materialism that we have to deal with first.”

from The New Age

Chapters: 65. Simplicity: the Hidden Power of Goodness

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“Whatever we experience in our life – pain, pleasure, happiness, sadness… or whatever – is just purely memories… a phantom… things have a dreamlike quality.”

Chapters: 49. No Set Mind

Themes: Dream Pleasure

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“Whatever you may be doing, every minute of every hour is a new chapter, a new page.”

from Shambhala: The Sacred Path of the Warrior

Chapters: 55. Forever Young

Themes: Impermanence

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“When we draw down the power and depth of vastness into a single perception, then we are discovering and invoking magic.”

from Shambhala: The Sacred Path of the Warrior

Chapters: 4. The Father of All Things

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“When we find… something familiar, we are dying to get on to the next… and we rush. We are constantly looking for. We don’t really want to read the pages of life properly and we panic.”

from Journey Without Goal

Chapters: 35. The Power of Goodness

Themes: Desire

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“When we look at things as they are on a very simple and ordinary level, we find that they are fantastically , obviously true, frighteningly true… There is a kind of courtship, a love affair between the obviousness and you perceiving it.”

from Illusion's Game

Chapters: 47. Effortless Success

Themes: Simplicity Truth

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“when we say that human beings are basically good, we mean that they have every faculty they need, so that they don’t have to fight with their world.”

from Shambhala: The Sacred Path of the Warrior

Chapters: 10. The Power of Goodness

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“When we see things as they are, they make sense to us: the way leaves move when they are blown by the wind, the way rocks get wet when there are snowflakes sitting on them. We see how things display their harmony and their chaos at the same time. So we are never limited by beauty alone, but we appreciate all sides of reality properly.”

from Shambhala: The Sacred Path of the Warrior

Chapters: 76. The Soft and Flexible

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“Whenever you need reassurance, that means you have a fixed idea of what ought to be.”

from Illusion's Game

Chapters: 12. This Over That

Themes: Anonymity

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“Whether it is a vacuum cleaner salesman or a guru, we find the same level of salesmanship.”

from Illusion's Game

Chapters: 38. Fruit Over Flowers

Themes: Teachers

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“Wisdom is connected with looking, and knowledge is connected with seeing.”

from Illusion's Game

Chapters: 47. Effortless Success

Themes: Wisdom

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“You begin to experience the simplicity of awareness,so although the sensorial hallucinations might continue, they don’t mean anything to you. There is a quality of one flavor, or one taste.”

from Path of Individual Liberation

Chapters: 56. One with the Dust

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“You don’t have to try to catch the universe in the same way that you would try to catch a grasshopper or a flea. You don’t have to do something with what you have experienced, particularly… If you actually want to use something, you have to let it be.”

from Journey Without Goal

Chapters: 61. Lying Low

Themes: Letting Go

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“you don’t spell out the truth, you imply the truth with wakeful delight… When you spell out the truth it loses its essence and becomes either ‘my’ truth or ‘your’ truth… By implying the truth, the truth doesn’t become anyone’s property.”

from Shambhala: The Sacred Path of the Warrior

Chapters: 70. Inscrutable

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“You have to recover from the hangover of the previous medicine you were taking.”

Chapters: 19. All Methods Become Obstacles

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“Look into every situation and examine it, so that you won’t be fooling yourself by relying on belief alone. Instead, you want to make a personal discovery of reality through your own intelligence and ability.”

from Shambhala: The Sacred Path of the Warrior

Chapters: 71. Sick of Sickness

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“Inner authentic presence comes from exchanging yourself with others, from being able to regard other people as yourself, generously and without fixation.”

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“The cause or the virtue that brings about authentic presence is emptying out and letting go. You have to be without clinging… earn authentic presence by letting go, and by giving up personal comfort and fixed mind.”

Chapters: 18. The Sick Society

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“When you meet a person with authentic presence, you find he has an overwhelming genuineness, which might be somewhat frightening because it is so true and honest and real. You experience a sense of command radiating from the person of inner authentic presence. Although that person might be a garbage collector or a taxi driver, still he or she has an uplifted quality, which magnetizes you and commands your attention. This is not just charisma.”

from Shambhala: The Sacred Path of the Warrior

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“He subdues what needs to be subdued, he destroys what needs to be destroyed and he cares for whatever needs his care.”

from Sadhana of Mahamudra

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“The bandits of hope and fear are subdued and all experiences are transformed into crazy wisdom.”

from Sadhana of Mahamudra

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“vajra ignorance... sweeps away all thoughts of possessiveness and self like a pile of dust.”

from Sadhana of Mahamudra

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“the distinctions between meditation and the postmeditation experience no longer occur.”

from Sadhana of Mahamudra

Themes: Meditation

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“I have been fool enough to think that I possess my own projections.”

from Sadhana of Mahamudra

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“apparent phenomena are all the books one needs.”

from Sadhana of Mahamudra

Themes: Books Education

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“the mind returns to its naked state.”

from Sadhana of Mahamudra

Themes: Mind

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“The idea of a deity as an external being has deceived us, led us astray.”

from Sadhana of Mahamudra

Themes: God

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“Counting on friends has brought nothing but sorrow and insecurity.”

from Sadhana of Mahamudra

Themes: Friendship

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“The materialistic outlook dominates everywhere and the mind is intoxicated with worldly concerns.”

from Sadhana of Mahamudra

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“The search for an external protector has met with no success.”

from Sadhana of Mahamudra

Chapters: 38. Fruit Over Flowers

Themes: Conformity

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“Every movement of the mind becomes bliss and emptiness”

from Sadhana of Mahamudra

Themes: Happiness Mind

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“Good and bad, happy and sad, all thoughts vanish into emptiness like the imprint of a bird in the sky”

from Sadhana of Mahamudra

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“The whole point is to have a vision of the totality. Then there’s no problem. If you don’t have a vision of the totality, obviously you will have problems.”

Themes: Problems

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“If there isn’t any format; there’s no freedom. Freedom has to come from structure… freedom itself exists in structure.”

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“Compassion is based on some sense of soft spot in us... some kind of opening. It doesn't matter what it is we love as long as there is a sore spot of some kind, an open wound of some kind.”

Themes: Compassion

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“The first expression of compassion is to experience whatever occurs in our life as dreamlike, a phantom, just purely memories.”

Themes: Dream

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“Democracy is built on the attitude that I speak out for myself, the invincible me… but that approach doesn’t work.”

from The Collected Works of Chogyam Trungpa

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“We only develop by understanding ourselves.”

from The Collected Works of Chogyam Trungpa

Themes: Know Yourself

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“Buddha teaches us not just to accept [violence] but to understand the cause of it and do something creative about it.”

from The Collected Works of Chogyam Trungpa

Themes: Crime

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“If you go to a shop and the shopkeeper cheats you and you go back and let him cheat you again, that doesn’t seem to be a very healthy thing to do for others – only a self-indulgent way of thinking that you are creating a compassionate situation when in fact you are feeding the other person’s aggression.”

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“The basic principle of mandala involves working with our life situation, our basic existence, our whole being.”

from Mandala Principle

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“Mandalas multiply so many times that they finally become nonexistent. The boundaries begin to dissolve. This is such an invasion of privacy! That is why it's called freedom.”

from Mandala Principle

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“You don't have to know how to do it... There is no help coming from anywhere at all. You have to make your own individual journey that is purely based on you.”

from Orderly Chaos — The Mandala Principle

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ViewYou will be able to develop American Buddhism, you will be able to teach the rest of the world, to go back to the Tibetans or the Indians and teach them what their earlier understanding was all about.”

from Orderly Chaos — The Mandala Principle

Themes: Buddhism

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“Spiritual materialism is constantly trying to substitute one myth for another.”

from Orderly Chaos — The Mandala Principle

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“We let ourselves be blinded by promises, reduce ourselves to a state of deaf and dumb, and accept without question the battlefield situation of fighting against something else.”

from Orderly Chaos — The Mandala Principle

Themes: War Ignorance

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“If you are willing to make a fool out of yourself, an absolutely perfects fool, then you get to be president.”

from Orderly Chaos — The Mandala Principle

Themes: Power

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“Ape instinct creates projections because the projector has definite ideas and the projections ‘prove’ that the projector is real creating the most gigantic syndicate of hypocrisy that could ever be thought of.”

from Orderly Chaos — The Mandala Principle

Themes: Projection

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“The problems arise because of too many presented ideas about how to save ourselves rather than about why we should save ourselves or what the problem actually is… the how comes spontaneously.”

from Orderly Chaos — The Mandala Principle

Themes: Strategy

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“Talking about confusion is much more helpful than talking about how to save ourselves.”

from Orderly Chaos — The Mandala Principle

Themes: Confusion

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“Our sophisticated frivolousness makes it easy to criticize society, to become anti-establishment and make fun of traditions. But how would we do it? We could take responsibility for running the whole world economically, spiritually, psychologically, and politically.”

from Orderly Chaos — The Mandala Principle

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“There is a big difference between a cynical and a serious joke... enlightened jokes are much lighter because they leave room for wisdom and an acceptance of the past.”

from Orderly Chaos — The Mandala Principle

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“The mother principle, the feminine principle of basic sanity is the basic ground of pure space uncorrupted by dualistic confusion. A fundamental and cosmic principle, it constantly gives birth churning out the colorful display of phenomena while protecting and nurturing discrimination.”

from The Collected Works of Chogyam Trungpa

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“All doctrines are limited and the dogma of the early Buddhists is inseparable from their cultural attitudes. It failed to see the phenomenal world as mother, sister, maiden, or child.”

from The Collected Works of Chogyam Trungpa

Themes: Buddhism

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“We are not saying that the feminine principle belongs to women and the masculine principle belongs to men. Realization does not belong to either sex. Wherever there is a perceiver, that is the masculine principle; wherever there is a perception, that is the feminine principle.”

from The Collected Works of Chogyam Trungpa

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“The shadows of dreams are reality. Dreams produce reality; reality produces dreams.”

from Illusion's Game

Themes: Dream Reality

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“Appreciation deals with qualities, fascination deals with the colors of those qualities.”

from Illusion's Game

Themes: Appreciation

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“No longer under control of other, you are just yourself, very simply.”

from Illusion's Game

Themes: Control

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“Whenever we talk about relationship, we manage to reduce ourselves into just simply one louse trying to fight another louse in the crack of a seam in our shirt — psychiatrists, marriage counselors, physicians, and local gurus all do that.”

from The Collected Works of Chogyam Trungpa

Themes: Marriage

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“In trying to fight for a grain of sesame seed each day, we lose track of our sky.”

from The Collected Works of Chogyam Trungpa

Themes: Livelihood

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“Emotionally, spiritually, domestically, politically; things don't seem to be associated or connected with each other and somehow these isolated situations, which from our confused way of thinking seem to have nothing to do with the basic quality of continuity, are the continuity itself.”

from Six States of Bardo

Themes: Continuity

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“The ultimate idea of rebirth is not purely the idea of physical birth and death. Physical birth and death are very crude examples of it, actually. It's a changing, evolutionary process: there's nothing you can grasp onto; everything is changing. But there is some continuity, of course—the change is the continuity.”

from Six States of Bardo

Themes: Change Evolution

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“Nothing is fatalistic, everything is continuously growing, as an evolutionary, developing process. Rebirth takes place every moment, every instant is death; every instant is birth.”

from Six States of Bardo

Themes: Continuity

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“The process of birth and death is continual, taking place all the time… in the West people make birth more important. You congratulate someone for having a child, and you have parties for birthdays. But there are no parties for dying.”

from Six States of Bardo

Themes: Death and Dying

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“People pick up some kind of psychic vibrations that you put out, and before you exchange words there is a kind of meeting of the two psyches... If you can afford to be what you are, then that automatically means you could receive others as your guests which makes them feel more comfortable and welcome.”

from Six States of Bardo

Themes: True Self

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“Reality is a harry beast.”

Themes: Reality

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“Equanimity, not fabricated by anyone, is a unified circle, not confused anywhere.”

from Sadhana of Mahamudra

Themes: Equanimity

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“[The Shambhala teachings are] a manual for people who have lost the principles of sacredness, dignity, and warriorship in their lives.”

from Shambhala: The Sacred Path of the Warrior

Themes: Shambhala

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“Because of the extraordinary vastness of perception, you have possibilities of communicating with the depth of the world—the world of sight, the world of sound—the greater world.”

from Shambhala: The Sacred Path of the Warrior

Themes: Inspiration

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“Politics are often based on bad-mouthing and copying someone else's aggression. This only snowballs making things worse. A Buddhist approach would look at the chaos and problems that exist as delightful and something to confidently work on.”

from A Buddhist Approach to Politics

Themes: Aggression

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“The best approach is a long-term approach,,, trying to develop some trend of continuity in a different direction rather than believing there will be tremendous good news if the right person is elected. It takes the work of centuries.”

from A Buddhist Approach to Politics

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“We can't expect a golden age... if we have a long period of time without a war, everyone will be effected by a depression; if we have a long period of economic high, everyone will just abuse themselves completely.”

from A Buddhist Approach to Politics

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The idea in the Western world is bringing the Kingdom of God to earth, or trying `to create the ideal Jewish level which is really a poverty-stricken of viewing it. As long as we condemn ourselves, no confidence can take place. People are bewildered and only rely on technicians, technocrats, theologians, politicians...”

from A Buddhist Approach to Politics

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“The Buddhist approach is not based on hope. It would look at the chaos and problems that exist as delightful and something to work on relaxed with the turmoil in complete confidence.”

from A Buddhist Approach to Politics

Themes: Non-Thought

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“The great setting sun of the West has provided us with beautiful, comfortable conditions for living our life, like central heating, air-conditioning, taxicabs, and numerous other conveniences. But that setting-sun approach has provided us purely with a comfortable way to die.”

from Tantric Path of Indestructible Wakefulness

Chapters: 35. The Power of Goodness

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“You and your wakefulness have different opinions altogether... the whole thing goes wrong at the very beginning. And that split is not a 'once upon a time' story—it happens all the time in your everyday life.”

from Bodhisattva Path of Wisdom and Compassion

Themes: Opinion

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“Appreciation of the world outside is called compassion, and the appreciation of yourself is called maitri. Unless those two are working together, it is a dead end.”

from Bodhisattva Path of Wisdom and Compassion

Themes: Appreciation

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“Bodhisattvas are known as warriors because they are visionary. They are not confused, and they do not shy away from others.”

from Bodhisattva Path of Wisdom and Compassion

Themes: Warriors

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“Doubt and compassion are both very direct... There is a sense of something touching your heart, and it is painful.”

from Bodhisattva Path of Wisdom and Compassion

Themes: Doubt

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“Before any kind of perception occurs, wakefulness is already thre—beyond concept, beyond limitation, beyond anything measurable.”

from Bodhisattva Path of Wisdom and Compassion

Themes: Basic Goodness

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“If you have awareness... you do not cheat, you do not do things just because they are traditional, and you don't just do something this year simply because you did it last year... honesty and genuineness begin to hurt.”

from Bodhisattva Path of Wisdom and Compassion

Themes: Integrity

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“Dedication becomes not just dedication to yourself... the path begins to expand beyond one's own individuality.”

from Bodhisattva Path of Wisdom and Compassion

Themes: Evolution

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“You can achieve complete freedom; you can experience vastness. Genuine wakefulness is possible constantly.”

from Bodhisattva Path of Wisdom and Compassion

Themes: Enlightenment

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“There are two types of friends—those who buy and appreciate your habitual patterns and your true friends that don't buy into and support those same patterns.”

Themes: Friendship

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“Devotion is building oneself up without kleshas, it makes you smile and in whatever we do with appreciation makes us feel wholesome.”

Themes: Integrity

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“When you experience total sacred outlook... the forms you see in the outer world are seen as the heavenly realm of the deities; speech is experienced as mantra; and the psychology of the world is experienced as awakened clarity.”

from Tantric Path of Indestructible Wakefulness

Themes: Sacred World

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“It would be good to drop the concept of philosophical schools and view [teachings] as systems of thinking... A philosophical school [mainly only] develops arguments to protect its own concepts and ideas.”

from Bodhisattva Path of Wisdom and Compassion

Themes: Philosophy

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“When you begin to realize aggression as it is, there is a sudden flash of spaciousness, and the aggression is completely cleared out. It is like living is a stuffy room, and suddenly the window is wide open and fresh air is coming in.”

from Bodhisattva Path of Wisdom and Compassion

Themes: Aggression

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“Emotions are very aggressive, so in order to cut through them, you need some kind of cool moon, fresh water, iceberg.”

from Bodhisattva Path of Wisdom and Compassion

Themes: Moon

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“externally empty, internally empty, and absolutely empty... there is nothing particularly to do do. There is nothing to work on, no one to make a reference point, nothing whatsoever.”

from Bodhisattva Path of Wisdom and Compassion

Themes: Ambition

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“We look at national or international things so much in terms of our own projections that we lose track of the actual political situation.”

from Mandala Principle

Themes: Projection

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“Live your life as an experiment so that you're always experimenting.”

from Interview with Pema Chodrin and Alice Walker, 1999

Themes: Strategy Science

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“Maintain the autonomy of what you have.”

Themes: True Self

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“No problems, no path.”

Themes: Problems

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“This life, this experience of the universe is the only thing; there is nothing beyond this at all... it would be much easier to make up a mysterious myth or a mystical experience out of it, rather than seeing things as they are.”

from Secret Beyond Thought, Boston, 1971

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“People who take holidays, vacations, instead of finding luxury where they are, face spiritual problems. The physical world is the spiritual world and all the problems of the world are therefore spiritual problems.”

from Secret Beyond Thought, Boston, 1971

Themes: Travel Problems

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“Universally—in all traditions and schools of thought, religions, philosophies, political theories—there's always a conflict about how to relate the imaginary world to the physical world.”

from Secret Beyond Thought, Boston, 1971

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“If we stop making ingratiating gestures to please the world and just centralize in what is, we begin to see that being alone is a very beautiful thing.”

from Secret Beyond Thought, Boston, 1971

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Mandala means 'society' or 'group' and is connected with unique or alone, loneliness. When you stand in the middle of your mandala, no one else, only you can see this vision.”

from Secret Beyond Thought, Boston, 1971

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“You don't have to dress up in fancy costumes, you don't have to have someone—or a whole organization—behind you to prove that what you're doing is right... a tremendous conflict with form goes along with that.”

from Secret Beyond Thought, Boston, 1971

Themes: True Self

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“Tibetans virtually lived in the Middle Ages and, when they were thrust out by the communist invasion, they were forced to see twentieth-century life which became a kind of novelty.”

from Secret Beyond Thought, Boston, 1971

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“Consciousness is a combination of speech and our basic, sharp intelligence.”

from Secret Beyond Thought, Boston, 1971

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“All people complain to a greater or lesser extent... But the ultimate complaint comes from a sense of having no joy... You are being toasted between two pieces of hot metal.”

from Path of Individual Liberation

Themes: Complaint

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Quotes about Chögyam Trungpa (0 quotes)

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  1. OceanWind
    Chögyam Trungpa was a mahasiddha. We are so fortunate to have had him in our lives.