Chögyam Trungpa

Chögyam Trungpa

CTR Quote of the Week

What is Monkey Mind?

The monkey-mind, or sem, is the intelligent state that relates with objects. It is fickle in nature, constantly moving, and this movement leaves impressions behind. The mind also takes on the burden of others. Mind is a constant state of movement. Sometimes, extraordinarily, the mind extends itself into speeding along very fast. At some points, it seems to slow down, but that is also an expression of speed. Whether it is slow or fast, the nature of mind is restless, completely restless. At times, there may be room for irritations or obstacles to pass through, but even the occasional stillness of mind lasts no longer than a fraction of a second. That is the definition of monkey mind.

From “Beauty and Absurdity,” in The Teacup and the Skullcup: Where Zen and Tantra Meet, pages 84 to 85.

Visit the Chogyam Trungpa Digital Library to listen to and watch over 300 recordings.

Share Quote

Subscribe to

Quote of the week

Our newsletter

A Breath of Fresh Air

Becoming a warrior means that we can look directly at ourselves, see the nature of our cowardly mind, and step out of it. We can

Read More

Awakening Human Confidence

In Tibetan culture, the principle of warriorship stands on its own. By warriorship here, we are not particularly talking about the skills necessary to wage

Read More

Bittersweet World of Mind

We have created a world that is bittersweet. Things are amusing but, at the same time, not so amusing. Sometimes things seem terribly funny but,

Read More

Waves of Emotion

The mind is our working basis for the practice of meditation and the development of awareness. Mind also includes what are known as emotions, which

Read More

What Is Mind?

Spirituality is based on mind. In Buddhism, mind is what distinguishes sentient beings from rocks or trees or bodies of water. That which possesses discriminating

Read More

A Sudden Memory of Awareness

Commentary on the slogan: If you can practice even when distracted, you are well trained. The idea of this slogan is the realization that whenever

Read More

Mental Balance

Conquering fear is connected with the analogy of a saddle. In the Buddhist teachings we talk about developing such a good sense of mental balance

Read More

Be Grateful to Everyone

Without others, we would have no chance at all to develop beyond ego. So the idea here is to feel grateful that others are presenting

Read More

Obstacles Are Essential

All of our experiences are based on others, basically. As long as we have a sense of practice, some realization that we are treading on

Read More

The Crazy Wisdom of Directness

The crazy wisdom of directness, complete directness, involves relating directly with sanity, or bodhi mind. This is relating with the experience of the Buddha when

Read More

The Ultimate Lion’s Roar

In Padmasambhava’s life, the ultimate good news is that the spiritual journey need never have been made. The journey has already been completed; therefore there’s

Read More

Spiritual Freedom

New techniques are continually being introduced in our society; new books are constantly brought out. You think the books might tell you how to become

Read More

CTR Quote of the Week

The CTR Quote of the Week is coming to you from the Chogyam Trungpa Institute at Naropa University. The compiler of the quotes and the moderator of the list is Carolyn Gimian.

All material is used by permission of Diana J. Mukpo.

Photo of Chogyam Trungpa by James Gritz.

The CTR Quote of the Week may be copied and shared with others. Please include a link to this site.

Subscribe to our newsletter