Week of

How to Read Poetry

When you read poetry you shouldn’t try to understand the words, not even with the words of vajrayana disciplines. Don’t try to scrutinize and finger through word by word, idea by idea. The traditional way is to read the songs very quickly at first and then sit on it–not quite literally–but be with it, and feel how its frame of reference affects your state of being. Just be on it, live on it, sit on it.

From “Poetry and Song,” in Cynicism and Magic: Intelligence and Intuition on the Buddhist Path, page 122.

From a recent review of the book in VICE:

This ridiculously calming audiobook read by Devendra BanhartDaaaaaamn, dude. Cynicism and Magic is a really special book, and a great intro into Buddhism. It assembles a series of lectures by the late Chögyam Trungpa, a Tibetan Buddhist whose teachings really popped off in the 1970s in the United States, and goes through basic concepts like karma, the structure of ego, the paramitas, and the bodhisattva with ease. I bought one version of the hard copy (you’re going to annotate the hell out of this baby), and the audiobook, because it’s read by the musician Devendra Banhart, whose voice sounds like a million little bells drifting down a river. Someone give him an ASMR channel, please. —Mary Frances Knapp



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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.

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Photo of Chogyam Trungpa by James Gritz.

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