Volume nine includes five books published between 2003 and 2009, a set of cards that present the Shambhala warrior slogans, and eighteen articles and interviews, all from 1983 or earlier.
The Collected Works of Chögyam Trungpa brings together in ten volumes the writings of one of the first and most influential and inspirational Tibetan teachers to present Buddhism in the West. Organized by theme, the collection includes full-length books as well as articles, seminar transcripts, poems, plays, and interviews, many of which have never before been available in book form. From memoirs of his escape from Chinese-occupied Tibet to insightful discussions of psychology, mind, and meditation; from original verse and calligraphy to the esoteric lore of tantric Buddhism—the impressive range of Trungpa’s vision, talents, and teachings is showcased in this landmark series.
Volume Nine contains an extremely diverse group of teachings. It includes both early and later talks, from an article published in 1966 in India to books published in the new millennium to material from a set of cards that present the Shambhala warrior slogans. The subject matter ranges from Zen to dharma art, from Shambhala politics to Vajrayana buddhadharma. The selected writings in this book are articles from before Chögyam Trungpa’s death in 1987 and include two interviews and several previously unpublished pieces.
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INTRODUCTION TO VOLUME NINE It is early June on Tatamagouche Mountain, as I sit here writing this introduction to volume nine of The Collected Works of Chogyam ? Trungpa. Purple and white lilacs and honeysuckle are in bloom in the front yard of Trident Mountain House, the place I have been coming to compile and edit the writings of Chogyam ? Trungpa for many years now. The house is just across the road from the land where the Dorje Kasung, known also as the 'Vajra Command Protectors? (literally) or the Vajra Guards'the security and service organization established by Chogyam? Trungpa in the mid-1970s'have been holding their summer encampment, the Magyal Pomra Encampment, for more than two decades. About twenty-five years ago, my husband, James Gimian, was heading up the search for a land center for the Dorje Kasung in Nova Scotia. We would tear around the Nova Scotia countryside in an old Nissan sedan looking for suitable sites, with me often in the backseat entertaining our toddler, Jenny, with food, toys, and games. I referred to myself as the 'cosmic vending machine,' a moniker that other parents may understand, especially as regards the challenges of car trips with young children. After a number of people working on this project had made scouting trips to different parts of the province, we had zeroed in on the region around Tatamagouche as a likely area to find land. On one particular day, Jim and I were driving up and down dirt roads outside of town, and as our daughter got fussier and fussier, we got more and more irritated with one another, until we finally decided to stop somewhere for a little xi
introduction to volume nine while, to have a break from the car. We pulled into the parking lot of the Willow Church, on Willow Church Road. We got out and walked around the empty field behind the church. Everyone relaxed. We looked at the view and felt the fresh air, and Jim said: 'You know, this would work. This could be the place!' Then, we got back into the car and tore off down the road again. About a year later, the parcel of land that adjoins the Willow Church went up for sale, and the Kasung bought it. (A year or two after that, another nearby parcel was purchased, now the site of the Dorje Denma Ling practice center.) So now I sit across the road from where we first stopped that chaotic afternoon, composing my thoughts about Chogyam ? Trungpa and his extraordinary and prodigious teachings and equally extraordinary legacy. Included in this volume are five books published between 2003 and 2009, a set of cards that present the Shambhala warrior slogans, and eighteen articles and interviews, all from 1983 or earlier. The first eight volumes of The Collected Works were organized thematically, but we made the decision to go more or less in chronological order from here on out. So the books in volumes nine and ten are presented in the order in which they were published. The selected writings that follow the books in volume nine are all from before Chogyam ? Trungpa's death in 1987 and are roughly presented chronologically. The first book that appears in volume nine is entitled True Command: The Teachings of the Dorje Kasung: Volume One: The Town Talks. It is based on talks given by Chogyam ? Trungpa to the members of the Dorje Kasung between 1975 and 1983. (It does not include talks at the Magyal Pomra Encampments, which someday will form the contents of the second volume of True Command.) In addition to Chogyam ? Trungpa's addresses at various Kasung events, the volume includes remarks by others on these occasions, as well as descriptions of ceremonies that often formed the backdrop for his remarks. There is a lot of specialized language, or lingo'depending on your point of view'that was developed by Trungpa Rinpoche and those around him as he laid out the teachings and the path of warriorship central to the identity and conduct of the Vajra Guards. You might, with some justification, feel that the book is aimed at 'insiders,' people already committed to the general Shambhala path or the specific path of Kasungship that Trungpa Rinpoche presented. It all xii
introduction to volume nine may appear a bit abstruse and bewildering, and possibly a little weird. But you also might feel that you are being given an opportunity, through the inclusion of all these details, to actually experience how Chogyam? Trungpa developed a mandala, or a world, for people. He did so many times and in many contexts. Much of his methodology for 'worldbuilding? is hinted at in other places in his teachings, but here, in True Command, the process is more apparent and more thoroughly laid out. The engaged reader can track the changes and the slow evolvement of the forms in this area of his teaching. The development of the Dorje Kasung is just one of many areas in which Trungpa Rinpoche trained his students to create something out of nothing, as he sometimes called this approach. It's as though you start with an empty field, you put up your tents and establish your perimeter, and your program unfolds within the space as a complete and fully formed world. At the end, you roll up the tents and return the ground to its original, pristine state. This is literally what takes place at the Magyal Pomra Encampments, and it is also the way metaphorically in which Chogyam ? Trungpa trained his students to create different forms and structures for the teachings. For example, beginning in 1973, he conducted a three-month seminary each year for his advanced students. For the first ten years, these programs were held in large hotels that were closed for the winter. Then, at last, permanent facilities were developed to hold the seminaries at the Rocky Mountain Dharma Center, now the Shambhala Mountain Center in Colorado. But in those early times, Rinpoche's students would take over a hotel and transform it into a practice environment. The students would do all the cooking, housekeeping, and most of the maintenance, while also pursuing a full program of meditation practice and study. There are many other examples of creating these physical mandalas. In the introduction to volume seven, I discussed some of this in relationship to dharma art installations. In another book in volume nine, The Mishap Lineage: Transforming Confusion into Wisdom, Chogyam ? Trungpa talks about the origin of this approach in Tibet, where great encampments or tent cities were set up by Buddhist teachers and their followers as they traveled around the country presenting the teachings. He refers to this approach as 'tent culture.' Chogyam ? Trungpa was a pioneer and a key figure in bringing many xiii
introduction to volume nine new elements of the Practicing Lineage of Buddhism to North America. He left Tibet with just a few bundles of his belongings carried by horses and on people's backs, and he reached India with just a fraction of what he'd had when he'd left. Yet he understood how to plant the seeds of wisdom he carried within himself so that they would grow into a full flowering of the Buddhist teachings in the West. He did this not just by talking about the teachings, but by paying attention to every detail of how things were done. Sharing this approach with his students, he trained them so that they too would be able to create a mandala of the teachings for others. Thus, after his death in 1987, his students carried on, establishing many new centers for both the Buddhist and Shambhala teachings, within the organizations he had founded but also in other centers that sprang up later. Perhaps that is why I felt compelled to open this introduction with the description of the physical location where I'm working, for the land I am next to is the site for one of these large mandalas of teaching to unfold, and it has been an excellent training ground for both Chogyam ? Trungpa's early students and for new students who never met the man in person. For more about the context of the material presented in True Command, I would recommend the introduction to the book by James Gimian, who, as a member of the Dorje Kasung, worked closely with Chogyam ? Trungpa on the development of this line of teachings. In general, the books that appear in volumes nine and ten of The Collected Works have a substantial introduction or afterword, which provides more of the context and historical background to the books than earlier publications did. As well, in this case, in the introduction to volume eight of The Collected Works, the role of the Dorje Kasung'more about their origins and development, as well as the meaning of the teachings given to them'is discussed. The second offering in volume nine, Glimpses of Realization: The Three Bodies of Enlightenment, was the fifth volume edited by Judith L. Lief in the 'Glimpses? series published by Vajradhatu Publications. The series began with Glimpses of Abhidharma, the only 'Glimpses? volume published during Chogyam ? Trungpa's life. It is found in volume two of The Collected Works. Glimpses of Mahayana, Glimpses of Shunyata, and Glimpses xiv
introduction to volume nine of Space also were previously included in The Collected Works. This final volume in the series was published in 2003, too late to make it into the original eight. In 2015, Shambhala Publications repackaged four of the 'Glimpses? works, newly titled Glimpses of the Profound: Four Short Works. In her introduction to this edition, Judy Lief succinctly describes the content of Glimpses of Realization: 'Once again it is about space and manifestation, this time in terms of what are called the three bodies of enlightenment: dharmakaya, sambhogakaya, and nirmanakaya. . . . There is a descent, as he [Trungpa Rinpoche] describes it, from the space of dharmakaya to the energy of sambhogakaya to the bodily manifestation of nirmanakaya. He brings this all together by pointing out how the potential for awakening is everywhere and that it manifests in every aspect of our lives? (p. xiii). Additional introductory remarks on the whole series, and especially Lief's comments on the importance of meditation practice, are recommended. Glimpses of Realization has a kind of sparkling, uplifted feeling to it. The humor and the poetry of Trungpa Rinpoche's approach truly come across here. Some of the material is bewildering and confounding; parts of it are immediate and inspiring. It's definitely worth the ride and the read. Next in volume nine is The Shambhala Warrior Slogans: Fifty-Three Principles for Living Life with Fearlessness and Gentleness. This material was originally published in 2004 in a boxed set that included fifty-three slogan cards, each containing a Shambhala warrior slogan with commentary on the reverse side. There was a foldout stand for the cards, a small booklet with guidance for contemplating and applying the slogans, and a paperback edition of Shambhala: The Sacred Path of the Warrior included in the box. The majority of the slogans are drawn from The Sacred Path, and the progression of the slogans loosely follows the progression of the book. A core of twelve slogans was composed by Chogyam ? Trungpa to be used as study material by students in the Shambhala Training program, a program presenting meditation practice and the Shambhala teachings to a secular audience. He also created fourteen additional slogans for the Kalapa Assembly, an advanced Shambhala program, in 1981. Some of the slogans seem obvious: ? 53: Cheer Up.' Some require quite a bit of explanation or information to understand them: ? 43: xv
introduction to volume nine Apply the seven principles of richness.' Some are poetic, but the meaning is not immediately apparent: ? 3: Goodness dawns like the sun.' Some are quite funny: ? 41: Do not wear shoes as a hat!' (My exclamation mark.) Working with these slogans can provide another way to access a personal connection to the Shambhala teachings which were so important to Chogyam ? Trungpa in his later years. Chogyam ? Trungpa originally instituted a Buddhist slogan practice with his students in connection with the presentation of the mahayana lojong teachings, a potent form of mind training. He had received this training himself as a young student in Tibet, and he first introduced it to his own students in the West at the Vajradhatu Seminary in 1975. For more on this, see the introduction to volume two of The Collected Works, as well as Judith Lief's introduction to Training the Mind and Cultivating Loving-Kindness, also found in volume two. Many students love these lojong slogans and the use of the slogan cards as a form of contemplative practice. A number of Buddhist teachers in the West have written about and taught these slogans and this approach, including Dzigar Kongtrul ? Rinpoche, Traleg Kyabgon Rinpoche, and Pema Chodron, ? ? who is largely responsible for them becoming mainstream in American Buddhism. The twelve slogans to be used in the Shambhala Training program had been composed in the late 1970s. A few years after his death, a number of people were wondering if a larger group of Shambhala warrior slogans could be developed. I don't precisely remember how we got from the slogans Rinpoche had composed for Shambhala Training to the idea of creating more of them. In any case, I was invited to undertake this project for Shambhala Publications. In considering what might be appropriate and useful for students, I thought about how the lojong slogans are used both as individual points of instruction and wakefulness and also as a way to learn a body of the mahayana teachings on exchanging oneself for others. So I turned to the Shambhala book itself (as Shambhala: The Sacred Path of the Warrior is often referred to) and began to compile the complete set of fifty-three slogans, as another way of transmitting the core teachings in the book. During this process, I became aware of the slogans written for the Kalapa Assembly in 1981, and I included as many of those in the set as I could. I tried wherever possible to use Chogyam ? Trungpa's own words, although I had to insert a few xvi
introduction to volume nine of my own in places. I sent the draft of the slogan cards and commentary to a number of senior teachers in the Shambhala Training program for review and, incorporating their feedback, proceeded with the project. The Shambhala warrior slogan cards are currently out of print, and Shambhala Publications is looking at ways to adapt them or freshen them up for a contemporary audience. I hope we'll find the way to do this, since the use of Shambhala slogans was something that Trungpa Rinpoche instituted, and slogan practice is such a good way to embed teachings as reminders in one's life. The next book in volume nine is The Teacup and the Skullcup: Where Zen and Tantra Meet, edited by Judith Lief and Tensho David Schneider. A new edition was published in 2015 by Shambhala Publications; the original, published by Vajradhatu Publications, appeared in 2007. David Schneider's excellent introduction describes Chogyam ? Trungpa's encounters and connections with many Zen teachers in America. Two seminars on Zen and tantra form the core of this volume. The wellknown Ox-Herding Pictures, with Trungpa Rinpoche's unique commentary, are also included in the book, along with a short remembrance of Suzuki Roshi, offered by Chogyam ? Trungpa after Roshi's death. Trungpa Rinpoche shows tremendous appreciation for the Zen tradition as well as demonstrating his insight into Zen and how it differs as well as agrees with the tantric approach in which he was trained. In describing the commonalities between Zen and tantra, he looks to the practice rather than to philosophy: 'In discussing Zen and tantra, we should first understand what seems to be their common ground and affinity: the practice of meditation.' The discussion of prajna, or discriminating insight, in this volume is particularly incisive, and the metaphoric and artistic aspects of Zen are more embodied than just discussed. The description of monkey mind and how to trap and tame it is vivid and quite funny, in fact. There is philosophical depth and subtlety in these talks, as well as spontaneous poetry and discussion of art and beauty. In America, for better or worse, we are bringing together different Buddhist traditions to produce new sparks of insight and fresh wisdom. The Teacup and the Skullcup highlights each tradition distinctly, yet each benefits from being viewed from the perspective of the other. Chogyam? Trungpa genuinely appreciated and loved the tradition of Zen. He deeply xvii
introduction to volume nine admired Suzuki Roshi and formed friendships with many other Zen teachers in the United States. Even before he came to North America, he was intrigued by Japanese art and culture. Japanese haiku caught his attention in India; in England, he studied ikebana, the Japanese art of flower arranging, and began doing calligraphies with brush and ink while he was there as well. His enthusiasm for and knowledge of Zen, and his appreciation for the traditional arts of Japan, helped to build a bridge in North America between these two great Buddhist traditions. Next in volume nine, we come to Smile at Fear: Awakening the True Heart of Bravery, which I compiled and edited. The book was published in 2009, and it has become one of Chogyam ? Trungpa's most popular books since Shambhala: The Sacred Path of the Warrior was published in 1984. All of Chogyam ? Trungpa's titles do well, and with very few exceptions they all remain in print. (This is in part a testament to the commitment of Shambhala Publications to the books they publish.) But Smile at Fear struck a particular chord. The first slogan of the Shambhala warrior slogans, discussed above, is 'Don't be afraid of who you are.' A foundational teaching of the whole Shambhala path, it could be described as almost the mantra for the Smile at Fear teachings. Given what has transpired in the world in the last fifteen plus years, both working with fear and uncovering our innate bravery are truly useful, core spiritual teachings. It's somewhat amazing that Chogyam ? Trungpa's teachings on these topics seem so timely, since they are from the 1970s and early 1980s. He was way ahead of his time, and to a large extent he still is. Where else can you find a spiritual teacher who so directly engages the sources of fear, how to work with real enemies in one's life, and how to transcend fear by discovering and employing one's inner bravery and confidence? This is not to say that no one else is talking about these topics, but he was doing so in such a direct, powerful way, one that still hits home and pulls no punches, acknowledging just how difficult life is, while encouraging us to rely on a deep well of human strength without aggression. In chapter 9, 'Overcoming Doubt,' he writes: How are we going to respond to real opposition when it arises in the world? As a warrior, how are you going to relate with that? You don't need party-line logic or a package-deal response. They don't really xviii