I thought it wasn't bad really. Kinda controversial, but good poetry often is.
You are kind, but no illusions there about the quality of poetry. Was trying to come to terms with this vexing pattern: find someone who finally makes sense, then this feeling of sad betrayal, the slow seepage of toxic stuff: inexcusable ethical lapses even by the most benign of yard sticks. If one has understood the way out of suffering and is able to teach it well, shouldn't one be using their own guide book? Does it not make a lie of one's words if they live contrarily? I readied myself to throw out all, the master and the disciple until...
I walked into this shop in downtown Vancouver B.C. with the slimmest of book selections, and there was Pema Chodron looking serenely from atop a stone wall on a book cover that read, No Time to Lose.
The barcode sticker in tiny letters said, Semperviva
. Was I ready to throw out the truth because I found her mentor repulsive? Was it not the truth that Chodron had found a way to apply the very heart of Buddhist teachings, karuna
, to her guide and moved past his flaws to discover inspired wisdom? In throwing her out as well, was I not running, until one day, I would have no room to stand?Semperviva
, always life, and therefore Chodron with her impeccable ethics and no-nonsense, hearfelt wisdom was ok, inspite of her mentor, this latest incarnation (figure of speech) from the mishap lineage*.
No, there was no time to lose and I picked up the book.
*mishap lineage: Chodron talks about Trungpa's lineage in The Wisdom of No Escape
, so named because of Naropa, the intellectual snob, Marpa the drunk, Milarepa, the murderer. No conflict so far, in fact, I welcomed this lineage, for, after all, they seemed redeemed in the end. Not so, the last one, as far as I can tell. As far as I can tell, for who in the end has a handle on the truth? Is there the truth
comes to mind.
Thanks for this post.
Yes, the mishap lineage. Dogen Zenji called practice "one continuous mistake".
I've been thinking about this "continuous mistake" business. I heard a zen teacher in Dogen's lineage call life a continuous mistake recently and at first I was upset because I thought he was misquoting Dogen. And then I realized his statement was deliberate and he was saying something perhaps a little more profound.
As a westerner, I have been grappling with my own intolerance and judgemental mind. My holier-than-thou ness. The aspects of my own mind that wants to condemn, exclude, excoriate others. Even a basic course in Psychology 101 can tell you what that's about.
But life as a continous mistake, life as one mishap after another. Gee whiz, those are the very conditions in which we practice. Those are the very circumstances of living. Mistakes, mishaps. I don't know about anyone else but my life is full of them.
Maybe yours isn't.
I never met Trungpa Rinpoche. I was not his student. But the most important thing I read in this thread was the statement by one of his students that he [Trungpa] "never hid anything from us". This is an incredibly valuable quality. In an age of duplicity and a tradition full of secrecy and intrigue, this stands out for me.
Does it redeem his behaviour? Not exactly. But imitating a teachers behaviour is not what practicing is about. Practice is about the realization of your own body, speech and mind. In the context of a life lived.