Saturday, November 1, 2008

[OceanofDharma] Quotes of the Week: We Live at the Expense of Others

Ocean of Dharma Quotes of the Week

November 1, 2008 


We may try to be a spiritually inclined person who does not care about money. We want to be free of worldly concerns. However, trying to lead life completely free from money or materialism lacks clarity and real feeling. Particularly in this highly organized society, we live at the expense of others, unless we ourselves contribute something. Whether we are living in a remote place, such as the north of Scotland, or wherever we are, we still need food, and this food is produced by somebody. This food is the product of someone's work. Someone has been working, going to a great deal of trouble to produce our food. Some people may spend their lives purely churning milk in order to produce butter. Some people spend their whole lives just screwing bolts into things. Most of their lives are just spent doing that. People are trained in the beginning to do regular, ordinary work, and they do it.
        When the time comes to retire, they feel something is missing, something has been lost. Those people suffer, but they don't think in terms of suffering or pain, because they have so bravely accepted their lives and ignored all the other aspects of life. They close one eye and just do it, just one thing. The world is made out of this, the present world anyway. Perhaps it has always been this way. This is not just a question of money alone, but appreciating the practicality of life and having compassion. There is a limit to how much freedom we take.

In OCEAN OF DHARMA: THE EVERYDAY WISDOM OF CHOGYAM TRUNGPA, #242. Originally from "Money," an unpublished talk given in Scotland circa 1968.

Of interest to readers:

Emacs! Waylon Lewis reviews OCEAN OF DHARMA in the new online version of ELEPHANT magazine, at

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Taken from works published by Shambhala Publications,  the Archive of his unpublished work in the Shambhala Archives, plus other published sources.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