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Charnel Ground

' The charnel ground is that great graveyard where samsara and nirvana both lie buried.
Enlightenment in terms of the Buddhadharma is not blisses or blessing. It is clarity. It is the ultimate disappointment of the ego .
Some traditions speak of Oneness, of Realisation of the Self.
Unfortunately the Buddha said that such notions are illusions. The morning dawns, the swan glides across the lake, we awaken to sanity .'

Chogyam Trungpa.
JeffreyInvincible_summerriverflowChazpegembara

Comments

  • Swans and sanity are also illusions. I see the charnel ground much more as a place to attain clarity about the nature of samsara. Chod similarly so. Aghori practices even more so. Westerners often lack the connection with death and corpses to be found in India. Surely the message we take is that neither deep sorrow nor great bliss is appropriate, if derived from attachment. I don't follow CT's logic in using one set of emotive words to negate the reality of another.
  • CittaCitta Veteran
    The swan is a metaphor..sanity I dont think is in contrast to its opposite..I think he means naturalness. But in the end of course its a soundbite lifted from its context. With all the limits that implies. And as he said..unless we share the same space words are all we have.
  • aMattaMatt Veteran

    Swans and sanity are also illusions. I see the charnel ground much more as a place to attain clarity about the nature of samsara. Chod similarly so. Aghori practices even more so. Westerners often lack the connection with death and corpses to be found in India. Surely the message we take is that neither deep sorrow nor great bliss is appropriate, if derived from attachment. I don't follow CT's logic in using one set of emotive words to negate the reality of another.

    His words seem to me to be aimed at people who strive for bliss, oneness, etc from a place of materialism, such as surrounding ourselves with beauty in the hope that it will rub off on us. Instead, he advises, we practice to be clear. It seems similar to the adage "meet the Buddha, kill the Buddha"
    riverflowChaz
  • FyreShamanFyreShaman Veteran
    edited June 2013
    Yes, best to be there when a teaching is given, or watch a video. I've experienced the flipside of that 'live' experience, though - the euphoria of the crowd hanging on every word as a drop of pure nectar. Then you read the transcript and realise it was banal nonsense. For sure, some are milking westerners who regard everyone in a robe as some sort of Shangri-la living Buddha. I call it the 'saviour seeker' syndrome as they bounce from Guru to Guru, ashram to ashram............as they find each teacher to be flawed and move on to the next. Nothing to see here, move on... ;)
    Chaz
  • CittaCitta Veteran
    I was with that particular teacher for 22 years @FyreShaman..But I take your point. Sometimes you had to be there..
  • ChazChaz The Remarkable Chaz Anywhere, Everywhere & Nowhere Veteran

    I call it the 'saviour seeker' syndrome as they bounce from Guru to Guru, ashram to ashram............as they find each teacher to be flawed and move on to the next. Nothing to see here, move on... ;)

    CTR would have called it Spiritual Materialism.
  • DavidDavid some guy The Hammer in Ontario, Canada, eh Veteran
    edited June 2013
    Citta said:

    ' The charnel ground is that great graveyard where samsara and nirvana both lie buried.
    Enlightenment in terms of the Buddhadharma is not blisses or blessing. It is clarity. It is the ultimate disappointment of the ego .
    Some traditions speak of Oneness, of Realisation of the Self.
    Unfortunately the Buddha said that such notions are illusions. The morning dawns, the swan glides across the lake, we awaken to sanity .'

    Chogyam Trungpa.

    I think Buddha was speaking of a "self" which is independent or separate. Between "one" and "not-one" lies the Middle way.

    Yes, the morning dawns, the swan glides across the lake and awaking to sanity is to know the line that separates the perceived self from the swan, lake and morning is just a matter of perspective. That may be just my own perception but it doesn't matter.

    There is joy to be found in this realisation that transcends the individual.

    As for oneness, that's just scientific. The universe is everything that exists, has existed or ever will exist and there can't be more than one "everything that exists anywhere" nor can there be none.

    If we are connected by Karmic laws such as causation then there is a "we" that includes absolutely everything. Even if it is illusion, there is still that which perceives the illusion... And it suffers more than it has to most times.

    I think Buddha was pretty logical in his ideas.





  • CittaCitta Veteran
    Everything that exists or has existed or will exist, is not two.

    We need rangtong AND shentong.
  • Citta said:

    I was with that particular teacher for 22 years @FyreShaman..But I take your point. Sometimes you had to be there..

    Yes, no implied adverse criticism of your teacher or yourself, just an observation that context can clarify or even obfuscate at times. :)
  • CittaCitta Veteran
    Surely...

    _/\_
  • This is how the Buddha taught to contemplate in a charnel ground.
    "Furthermore, as if he were to see a corpse cast away in a charnel ground — one day, two days, three days dead — bloated, livid, & festering, he applies it to this very body, 'This body, too: Such is its nature, such is its future, such its unavoidable fate'...

    "Or again, as if he were to see a corpse cast away in a charnel ground, picked at by crows, vultures, & hawks, by dogs, hyenas, & various other creatures... a skeleton smeared with flesh & blood, connected with tendons... a fleshless skeleton smeared with blood, connected with tendons... a skeleton without flesh or blood, connected with tendons... bones detached from their tendons, scattered in all directions — here a hand bone, there a foot bone, here a shin bone, there a thigh bone, here a hip bone, there a back bone, here a rib, there a breast bone, here a shoulder bone, there a neck bone, here a jaw bone, there a tooth, here a skull... the bones whitened, somewhat like the color of shells... piled up, more than a year old... decomposed into a powder: He applies it to this very body, 'This body, too: Such is its nature, such is its future, such its unavoidable fate.'

    "And as he remains thus heedful, ardent, & resolute, any memories & resolves related to the household life are abandoned, and with their abandoning his mind gathers & settles inwardly, grows unified & centered. This is how a monk develops mindfulness immersed in the body.
    http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka/mn/mn.119.than.html
  • My grandpa used to always say "just sharpen my head like a pencil and drive me into the ground". Works for me.
  • TheswingisyellowTheswingisyellow Trying to be open to existence Samsara Veteran
    As Mohammed said "Die before ye die"
    Laying it down!
    Laying it down!
    All my concepts at the charnel ground! (That goes for you too Enlightenment!!!)
    :)
  • JeffreyJeffrey Veteran
    Citta said:

    The swan is a metaphor..sanity I dont think is in contrast to its opposite..I think he means naturalness. But in the end of course its a soundbite lifted from its context. With all the limits that implies. And as he said..unless we share the same space words are all we have.

    Trungpa often talks about 'basic sanity'. Especially in sacred path of the warrior.
  • CittaCitta Veteran
    It is a paradox that many who are educated in accordance with the western model need to learn to be natural....
    In the movie ' Zorba The Greek' an Englishman, played by Alan Bates, is confronted by his need to learn to be natural when he encounters Anthony Quinn's Zorba...and realises that he habitually experiences life only through the intellect.
    riverflowMaryAnne
  • riverflowriverflow Veteran
    edited July 2013
    Zorba: Damn it boss, I like you too much not to say it. You've got everything except one thing: madness! A man needs a little madness, or else...

    Basil: Or else?

    Zorba: ...he never dares cut the rope and be free.
    Theswingisyellow
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