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Cutting Through Spiritual Materialism


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Cutting Through Spiritual Materialism

Cutting Through Spiritual Materialism

“We do not have to be ashamed of what we are. As sentient beings we have wonderful backgrounds. These backgrounds may not be particularly enlightened or peaceful or intelligent. Nevertheless, we have soil good enough to cultivate; we can plant anything in it.”
Chögyam Trungpa, Cutting Through Spiritual Materialism

In this modern spiritual classic, the Tibetan meditation master Chögyam Trungpa highlights the commonest pitfall to which every aspirant on the spiritual path falls prey: what he calls spiritual materialism. The universal tendency, he shows, is to see spirituality as a process of self-improvement—the impulse to develop and refine the ego when the ego is, by nature, essentially empty. “The problem is that ego can convert anything to its own use,” he said, “even spirituality.” His incisive, compassionate teachings serve to wake us up from this trick we all play on ourselves, and to offer us a far brighter reality: the true and joyous liberation that inevitably involves letting go of the self rather than working to improve it. It is a message that has resonated with students for nearly thirty years, and remains fresh as ever today.

“Are the great spiritual teachings really advocating that we fight evil because we are on the side of light, the side of peace? Are they telling us to fight against that other ‘undesirable’ side, the bad and the black. That is a big question. If there is wisdom in the sacred teachings, there should not be any war. As long as a person is involved with warfare, trying to defend or attack, then his action is not sacred; it is mundane, dualistic, a battlefield situation.”
Chögyam Trungpa, Cutting Through Spiritual Materialism

“The basic point of the lion’s roar is that, if we are able to deal with emotions directly, able to relate with them as workable, then there is no need for external aid or explanations. It is a self-maintained situation. Any help from outsiders becomes credentials. So self-existing help develops. At that point, one does not need to avoid the credential problem any more, because there is no room for speculation or rationalization. Everything becomes obvious and immediate, workable. And there is no chance or time or space to speculate on how to become a charlatan, how to con other people, because the situation is so immediate. So the idea of charlatanism does not appear at all, because there is no room for the idea of a game.”
Chögyam Trungpa, The Myth of Freedom and the Way of Meditation


With mindfulness comes patience, and with patience you will learn the rest.

Peace and Blessings 

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Christopher Rivas

About the author

I’m Christopher Rivas and I’m the founder of LifestyleDezine. I’m an artist, actor, championship storyteller, and I have a real cute kitty named Chance.

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