Week of

Embodying the Teachings

In my education, I was constantly criticized. I had been brought up strictly since infancy, from the age of eighteen months, so that I had no other reference point, such as the idea of freedom or being loose. I had no idea what it was like to be an ordinary child playing in the dirt or playing with toys. Since I did not have any other reference point, I thought that was just the way the world was. I felt extraordinarily hassled and claustrophobic.

Then, at some point, I stopped struggling with the authorities, so to speak, and began to develop. Finally that whole world became my reference point, rather than being a hassle–although the world was full of hassles. At that point, my tutor, who had been so critical of me, seemed to become afraid of me. He began to say less. And my teachers began to teach me less because I was asking them too many questions. I pursued them more and more with my questions, so that they began to have a more relaxed attitude than even I wanted.

I thought that maybe this was all some kind of joke, and that my teachers would leave me alone for ten days and then catch me again. But ten days went by, and a month went by, and finally six months– and nothing changed. The situation just went on and on. Something was actually working. Something was finally clicking. The discipline had become part of my system.

I’m telling you this because there are parallels between my own experience and that of other tantra students. It is a question of interest. 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.

Condensed from “Abhisheka,” in Journey without Goal: The Tantric Wisdom of the Buddha, pages 97 to 99.

Offered in honor of the 37th Anniversary of the death or Parinirvana of Chogyam Trungpa Rinpoche, April 4, 2024.

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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.

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