Thursday, May 1, 2008

[OceanofDharma] Quotes of the Week: A Staircase to Enlightenment

Ocean of Dharma Quotes of the Week

[Ocean of Dharma: The Everyday Wisdom of Chogyam Trungpa is now available. See information below.]

May 1, 2008


In one of the sutras, or discourses by the Buddha, he says that those who practice shamatha meditation, or dwelling in peace, are building a staircase toward enlightenment. To construct such a staircase to enlightenment requires precise measurement and carpentry. The boards have to be completely measured and properly built. The steps must be built properly, the angles must be looked at, and then finally we have to choose certain particular nails that can bear the pressure of people walking on them, and then we hammer them in. So when we talk about shamatha practice, the sitting practice of meditation, we are talking about building a staircase very deliberately, according to the instructions of Buddha. We might ask," A staircase to what? What's it like at the top of the stairs?" It doesn't really matter. It's just a staircase. We are just building a staircase. No promise. No blame. Let us simplify the whole situation. Let us build this particular staircase very simply and directly.

From OCEAN OF DHARMA: The Everyday Wisdom of Chogyam Trungpa. 365 Teachings on Living Life with Courage and Compassion. Number 133. [Unpublished excerpt from Talk Two of Meditation: the Way of the Buddha, July, 1974, Naropa Institute, Boulder, Colorado.]

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Ocean of Dharma Quotes of the Week: teachings by Chogyam Trungpa Rinpoche.
Taken from works published by Shambhala Publications,  the Archive of his unpublished work in the Shambhala Archives, plus other published sources.
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