World Viewz

Chögyam Trungpa: “Ladies and gentlemen, we have so much responsibility.”


Earlier today I was talking with a friend about gifts, and passing them on to others.  We noticed that if we don’t share with others what we’ve been given, we tend to forget that we’ve received anything.  But when we share gifts, it can be magical.

It reminded me of this talk excerpt:

CHOGYAM TRUNGPA:  “Look at the sun.  The sun is shining.  Nobody polishes the sun.  The sun just shines.   Look at the moon, the sky, the world at its best….  We can be like the blue sky, sweethearts*, and the clouds so clean, so beautiful….

“In order to help others, stay with the sadness….  We can’t just view the world as if nothing bad had ever happened.  That won’t do.  We have to get into the world.  We have to involve ourselves in the setting sun (i.e. the samsaric world)….  To help a person, you have to have humor, self-existing humor….

“Ladies and gentlemen, we have so much responsibility.  A long time ago, people helped one another in this way.  Now people just talk, talk, and talk.  They read books, they listen to music, but they never actually help anyone.  They never use their bare hands to save a person from going crazy.  We have that responsibility.  Somebody has to do it.  It turns out to be us.  We’ve got to do it, and we can do it with a smile, not with a long face.”

STUDENT:  “Why do you think we’ve got to do it?”

CHOGYAM TRUNGPA:  “Why do we have to do it?  Somebody has to do it.  Suppose you’re very badly hurt in a car crash.  Why does anybody have to help you?  Somebody’s got to do it.  In this case, we have that responsibility, that absolute responsibility.  As far as I’m concerned, I’m willing to take responsibility, and I appreciate the opportunity very much.  I’ve been a prince, I’ve been a monk, I’ve been a householder:  I’ve experienced all kinds of human life.  And I appreciate life.  I do not resent being born on this earth at all.  I appreciate it.  I love it.

“The world doesn’t put me off at all.  Due to my education and my studies with my teacher, I love the world….  The death of His Holiness (the Sixteenth) Karmapa has left me with a lot of responsibility, but I’m quite happy to take it on.”

[Excerpted from Great Eastern Sun:  The Wisdom of Shambhala, by Chögyam Trungpa.  (Boston:  Shambhala Publications, 1999.)  As included in The Basket of Tolerance by Adi Da Samraj.]

*  A term of endearment CTR often used with his students.

Questions for consideration:

  • Considering that CTR reportedly endured extraordinary pain and incredible challenges, what does he mean when he says “I do not resent being born on this earth at all.  I appreciate it.  I love it.”
  • Have you received gifts in your life?  Can sharing gifts with others be done as an expression of joy?
  • What were the happiest moments in your life?

BoT Student

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