Tuesday, July 1, 2008

[OceanofDharma] Quotes of the Week: Buddhism in the Canadian Rockies

Ocean of Dharma Quotes of the Week

July 1, 2008


Chogyam Trungpa lived and taught at Chateau Lake Louise in Alberta, Canada, for several months in 1979 and again in 1980, where he conducted several seminaries for his senior students. This is excerpted from a poem composed there:
Thick and grey clouds of rain and storm,
Desolate mountains which roar with avalanches,
Solitary hotel stands in the midst of nowhere,
Swarmed with holiday-makers with their multicolored outfits and seeming
limps, armed with cameras, uniformed with sunshades,
Complaining, "Where is the Lake Louise?" ...

Canadian Rockies, extraordinary and blunt,
Decorated with snow caps and mist,
Proclaiming their dubious status range after range,
As if there were many weddings, but the couples never ate the cake;
As if there were many birthday celebrations, but the party is never finished.
Ironic sensationalism of the Canadian Rockies,
Young and blunt, treacherous but keen....

Sun and moon shone simultaneously in the Canadian Rockies,
But I never saw them cheering up;
In fact, they usually cry along with the mist and clouds,
Wiping their tears with the local dust….
How splendid the Canadian Rockies: godless, without worshippers.

One wonders how we found ourselves in these Canadian Rockies,
Practicing meditation according to the example of the great teacher Milarepa and our lineage….
How amazing that we could accommodate the Vajrayana world in
the midst of this agitated poverty and business world....
Aren't we too brave? Sometimes I wonder.
Aren't we too cowardly? Sometimes I wonder.
Between the warrior and the coward, we find our path,
As lilies and frogs who never quarreled.
I take pride in the six smiles of the tiger
In this cuckooless world of North American atmosphere.
Spring never comes here, but autumn might be good;
In spite of the summer, we still take pleasure in the overwhelming winter:
It is a good time to practice.
Excerpted from "Buddhism in the Canadian Rockies," in FIRST THOUGHT BEST THOUGHT: 108 Poems, pages 158-160. Composed at Chateau Lake Louise, 24 May 1979.
All material by Chogyam Trungpa is copyright Diana J. Mukpo and used by permission.

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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Taken from works published by Shambhala Publications,  the Archive of his unpublished work in the Shambhala Archives, plus other published sources.
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