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Spiritual Materialism

hi ,,i have read about Chögyam Trungpa views on " Spiritual Materialism" and just curious of your views,if you feel like sharing

"As soon as we cast something into a role, as soon as we put a label on it, as soon as we name it and give it life by virtue of our investment (read: ego), we take away all its power and it is nothing more than an event -- it is no longer a spiritual revelation, but simply a material experience. That is spiritual materialism at its peak"
Cutting Through Spiritual Materialism, by Chögyam Trungpa

http://www.sacred-texts.com/bud/tib/cutting.htm

silver
«1

Comments

  • zenffzenff Veteran
    edited June 2015

    It says the Buddha hesitated before he decided to teach what he had come to understand. And this point of “spiritual materialism” could be one of the things that made it complicated for him.

    How are we supposed to strive towards enlightenment without falling into the trap of spiritual ego?

    My guess: “practice for the sake of practice”.

    silverdantepwBunkslobster
  • JeffreyJeffrey Veteran
    edited June 2015

    I own this book and always intend to read it but am trying to get some better understanding of meditation instructions thus reading more focused on meditation along with keeping up with my gurus videos of her dharma talks. But I own spiritual materialism book. That is dangerous because if you own a book or movie you think you will watch it 'tomorrow'.

    sova
  • karastikarasti Breathing Minnesota Moderator
    edited June 2015

    My favorite book of Trungpa's (other than his 3 part ocean of dharma series) is "Shambhala: Sacred Path of the Warrior. A lot of his stuff goes through all of his books, like a stream with different, rocky tidbits along the side. I have read Spiritual Materialism. I have learned, and continue to learn, a lot from all of his books that I have read. One of his former students is one of my teachers and understanding comes like lightning bolts when I have the chance to work with him. The same comes from reading Trungpa's books, but not quite as strong.

    It goes a long with what I have said before (in other threads) that sometimes it seems like things we learn and grasp aren't necessarily for sharing because we can't always find the appropriate words to do explain our experience. Perhaps that is best, the experience just stays what it is instead of being reduced to mere language which non doubt changes our perception of the experience. Because then the experience fades, and our memory of explaining it in language is what is remembered more. Kind of like how when you read a book, you have this amazing vision in your mind, and then you watch the movie...and your vision is replaced with the movie's vision.

    Shoshin
  • lobsterlobster Veteran

    I have read the book twice. The first time people I knew were raving about it and it was being passed around. I eventually got my turn. By then I had read quite a lot from various traditions including Buddhism. My impression was that Chogyam was clever and convincing, with some insight from experience with useful teachings but he did not understand in experiential depth the ideas. This is not uncommon. It is similar to Osho teachings, the 'Buddha' formally know as Bhagawan. If you have only limited experience of wisdom teachings, Rajneesh may seem insightful because he used ideas from various sources but in quite a shallow way. I think Chogyam was far better than Rajneesh or Deepak Chopra incidentally, with more depth and useful experience.

    Ultimately I felt CTR did not know experientally what he was talking about in depth. It did not ring true. A lot of the ideas are genuine as with Osho but the underlying comprehension and digestion is lacking IMHO. It satisfied the audiences need. In other words it was a product of 'spiritual materialism' ...

    Much later when I knew a bit more experientially and read the book again my impression was the same. B)

    I take it @illusion you are inspired by the book? I hope @Jeffrey you get around to reading it as it is influential and underlying much of the arising cult of 'Enlightened' Chogyam.
    http://www.engaged-zen.org/articles/Kobutsu-New_Age_Legacy.html

    HamsakaEarthninja
  • illusionillusion Explorer

    hello Lobster, lovely to meet you,,i'm "inspired" by most people i meet or have contact with,,i feel every body can be ones teacher,,even if its just to reflect my nature,,i have personally realized that to judge or criticize another teacher or belief system,,is a form of spiritual materialism,so i expect we wont agree on that point,,i think ego plays a huge role in our perception of knowledge,,what are your thoughts

  • lobsterlobster Veteran

    @illusion said:
    hello Lobster, lovely to meet you,

    Hello <3

    I have personally realized that to judge or criticize another teacher or belief system is a form of spiritual materialism,

    LOL
    How wrong you are. That is not a criticism or judgement it is just a statement of how the Real World works. Please find a way to take it in that spirit o:)

    I criticise The Buddha, The Sangha, The Dharma and every waste of time Gnu Age Guru but mostly myself. Why? ... because I have given up possessions ...

    ... and now back to the hoarding ...

    OM MANI PEME HUM (thought I would throw that in - don't take it personally)

  • illusionillusion Explorer

    hi Lobster thanks for explaining that,maybe i misinterpreted your word "shallow",,do you think the "real world" works the same way for every body ?

  • DairyLamaDairyLama Veteran Veteran

    @illusion said:> Cutting Through Spiritual Materialism, by Chögyam Trungpa

    I read it years ago and was underwhelmed by it. A curio really.

    lobster
  • lobsterlobster Veteran

    Chogyam was trained from early on as a Rinpoche. He had much experiential insight and grounding in meditation and other practices as well as a Western education. It is hardly surprising that he connected with the drugees, alcoholics and spiritual starved of the sixties onward.

    You found his work of value. Good. You asked for opinions on his book. You were given mine. =)

  • illusionillusion Explorer

    There is no ignorance,
    and no end to ignorance.
    Gaté,gaté,paragaté,parasamgaté.Bodhi Svaha

  • lobsterlobster Veteran

    @illusion never said:

    is there an end to platitudes
    and no end to platitudes
    Gaté, gaté, paragaté, parasamgaté. Bodhi Svaha

    Many thanks for the reminder :)

    Too wikid? ;)

    illusionBuddhadragon
  • federicafederica Seeker of the clear blue sky... Its better to remain silent and be thought a fool, than to speak out and remove all doubt Moderator

    @illusion said:
    hi ,,i have read about Chögyam Trungpa views on " Spiritual Materialism" and just curious of your views,if you feel like sharing

    "As soon as we cast something into a role, as soon as we put a label on it, as soon as we name it and give it life by virtue of our investment (read: ego), we take away all its power and it is nothing more than an event -- it is no longer a spiritual revelation, but simply a material experience. That is spiritual materialism at its peak"
    Cutting Through Spiritual Materialism, by Chögyam Trungpa

    http://www.sacred-texts.com/bud/tib/cutting.htm

    Is that the same with crap and chocolate?
    if we do not label things, how are we to distinguish one thing from another?
    Just curious as to how far this labelling foolishness needs to go.

    Is it ok to label some things and not others, then?
    It's ok to call a spade a bloody shovel, but start talking about Dukkha and Nibbana and suddenly, we're encroaching onto the inadvisable?

    what a load of crock.

  • illusionillusion Explorer

    federica,hello =) is a yellow flower yellow ?

  • lobsterlobster Veteran

    @illusion said:
    federica,hello =) is a yellow flower yellow ?

    Not in every persons reality
    http://www.colour-blindness.com/variations/blue-yellow/

    Walker
  • illusionillusion Explorer

    Shariputra, form does not differ from emptiness; emptiness does not differ from form. Form itself is emptiness; emptiness itself is form. So, too, are feeling, cognition, formation, and consciousness.

    Shariputra, all dharmas are empty of characteristics. They are not produced. Not destroyed, not defiled, not pure, and they neither increase nor diminish.

    Therefore, in emptiness there is no form, feeling, cognition, formation, or consciousness; no eyes, ears, nose, tongue, body, or mind; no sights, sounds, smells, tastes, objects of touch, or dharmas; no field of the eyes, up to and including no field of mind-consciousness; and no ignorance or ending of ignorance, up to and including no old age and death or ending of old age and death. There is no suffering, no accumulating, no extinction, no way, and no understanding and no attaining.
    http://www.cttbusa.org/heartsutra/heartsutra.htm

    Earthninja
  • federicafederica Seeker of the clear blue sky... Its better to remain silent and be thought a fool, than to speak out and remove all doubt Moderator

    @illusion said:
    federica,hello =) is a yellow flower yellow ?

    Who cares? as far as I am concerned, my flower is yellow.
    What inflection, meaning or label you put on it is your business.
    But the fact that you called it a flower, and posited it as yellow, means you're labelling it too.
    So do feel free to dismount from your high horse any time you want... ;)

  • illusionillusion Explorer

    sorry to upset you ,, :o oh wise one =)

  • illusionillusion Explorer

    this quote is quite lovely one strives to keep these words in mind, as they pertain to my own spiritual materialism “Every time you point the finger of blame or criticism, your hand reminds you that there are three fingers pointing back at you and that’s the source to explore.” <3

    lobsterEarthninja
  • lobsterlobster Veteran
    edited June 2015

    ^^^ Criticism it's all about me! In fact I spend more time praising and being positive. Why? It's all about me!

    Karma, simple ain't it.

    However as a skilfull person [yes I can hear the laughter at the back] is it a question of

    what one says
    of who
    how and when?

    ... and now back to the material gal ...

    how
  • DairyLamaDairyLama Veteran Veteran

    Yeah, that's why I had to do a colour blindness test before I trained as an electrician. ;)

    Rowan1980
  • DairyLamaDairyLama Veteran Veteran
    edited June 2015

    @illusion said:> federica,hello =) is a yellow flower yellow ?

    It's reflecting a particular wavelength of visible light which we label as "yellow". Colour perception is reasonably consistent, which is just as well if you're driving a car through traffic lights or decided which wire to cut. ;)

  • federicafederica Seeker of the clear blue sky... Its better to remain silent and be thought a fool, than to speak out and remove all doubt Moderator
    edited June 2015

    @illusion said:
    sorry to upset you ,, :o oh wise one =)

    Oh silly! you didn't upset me! :D

    (You'd know it if you did..... :angry::p )

    VastmindsilverEarthninja
  • BuddhadragonBuddhadragon Ehipassiko & Carpe Diem Samsara Veteran

    There's nothing I love most with my breakfast cereal than reading someone flaunting "Buddhist Brainy Quotes" and the Heart Sutra so early in the morning.
    Actually, I never have cereal for breakfast... O.o

    lobster
  • federicafederica Seeker of the clear blue sky... Its better to remain silent and be thought a fool, than to speak out and remove all doubt Moderator

    Oh I do... nothing I love better than 'Crunchy Nuts'.....

    lobster
  • BuddhadragonBuddhadragon Ehipassiko & Carpe Diem Samsara Veteran

    Nothing beats two toasts with ounces of butter... and reciting the Heart Sutra to forget about the calories consumed.

    lobsterEarthninja
  • lobsterlobster Veteran
    edited June 2015

    @DhammaDragon said:
    Nothing beats two toasts with ounces of butter... and reciting the Heart Sutra to forget about the calories consumed.

    I think I am beginning to understand: 'Nothing is empty and calories are Form'?
    Or to quote the wisdom of Pop Guru and professional holiness:

    "As soon as we cast something into a role, as soon as we put a label on it, as soon as we name it and give it life by virtue of our investment (read: ego), we take away all its power and it is nothing more than an event -- it is no longer a spiritual revelation, but simply a material experience. That is spiritual materialism at its peak"

    Dieting through Dharma. You heard it here first. Don't give up the yoga.
    http://www.kheper.net/topics/gurus/Chogyam_Trungpa.html

    Cheers [hic!] O.o

    Buddhadragon
  • JeffreyJeffrey Veteran

    trust your wings not the finger pointing!

    sovaBuddhadragonEarthninja
  • sovasova delocalized fractyllic harmonizing Veteran

    @Jeffrey said:
    That is dangerous because if you own a book or movie you think you will watch it 'tomorrow'.

    So true. I have this book on my shelf too! Have slowly worked through some of it, but I think it's really relevant. We like to crystalize our worlds into solid objects and spiritual practice should be the antidote!

    illusionEarthninja
  • illusionillusion Explorer

    @DhammaDragon said:
    There's nothing I love most with my breakfast cereal than reading someone flaunting "Buddhist Brainy Quotes" and the Heart Sutra so early in the morning.
    Actually, I never have cereal for breakfast... O.o

    Thank you dear Dhammadragon for your tolerance and understanding, and your amazing insight, how stupid of me to share oops"flaunt" the Buddha's beautiful words on a web forum called "newbuddhist" i must have been, as wise and all knowing federica suggested on my "high horse", don’t you just feel the love <3 thank you

    On a lighter note
    why not try cereal, its great for removing an over abundance of effluent that accumulates in the body,thats according to the heart foundation,i find the heart sutra or as you so wisely call them "Buddhist Brainy Quotes" does that for my mind O.o

    here’s something i found while riding around on my "high horse" =) and i thought i might "flaunt" it with you ,to go with your lunch ;)

    What our minds are going through right now
    and what we are going through in our lives are all arisen from causes and conditions. Our lives start with ignorance and because of ignorance, life goes down to the twelve interdependent links.
    Ignorance is the root cause of all of this. Ignorance is a mental factor, a type of obscuration that prevents the awareness of mind to perceive wisdom. When the mind is obscured, we see things as real, as substantial and we are under the illusion that self exists and we cannot see this interdependence and interconnectedness.
    This essential teaching helps us to see the actual process how samsara is generated; thus, by dispelling our ignorance, the process of samsara is dismantled and the state of liberation, nirvana can be attained.
    [extracted from
    http://www.rinpoche.com/teachings/12links.pdf and
    http://www.ratnashri.se/Karma.htm]

    As I’m just a simple beginner your loving guidance is much appreciated

    silverEarthninja
  • illusionillusion Explorer

    thank you Jeffrey, lovely quote <3

  • geniegenie Explorer

    Back to op what it means is that we tend to develop the same worldly attitude toward spiritual matters. For example ppl complain that they can't meditate,that they fail at meditation. But failure is a worldly concept, so why label a spiritual activity in worldly terms?

  • illusionillusion Explorer

    @genie said:
    Back to op what it means is that we tend to develop the same worldly attitude toward spiritual matters. For example ppl complain that they can't meditate,that they fail at meditation. But failure is a worldly concept, so why label a spiritual activity in worldly terms?

    "Dogen left us a large body of writing celebrated for its beauty and subtlety. Often he returns to his original question -- If all beings are endowed with Buddha Nature, what is the point of practice and enlightenment? Fully penetrating this question has been a challenge to Soto Zen students ever since. Very simply, Dogen stressed that practice does not "make" a Buddha, or turn human beings into Buddhas. Instead, practice is an expression, or manifestation, of our enlightened nature. Practice is the activity of enlightenment."

    lobster
  • howhow Veteran Veteran

    @illusion

    I missed Chögyam Trungpa's book but I think of

    spiritual materialism as quite a common evolution from more base forms of worldly materialism.
    Unfortunately it's main failing, as a compounding of simpler delusions, is how it obfuscates the true source of the suffering it causes while limiting our ability to discern how much we are held in it's thrall.

    It is like asking how one discerns where the legitimate taking refuges can end up manifesting as it's own attachment?
    Most practitioners are not even able to seriously ask themselves such a question.

    Where worldly materialism clearly results in sufferings cause, transitioning from such a state into spiritual materialism results in a greater feeling of control which gets attributed to as one of the fruits of ones practice. The veritable proof of the efficacy of ones path, teacher, linage and school.

    Spiritual materialism, even in folks recognizing their own susceptibility to it, is also so difficult to face because the process to address it requires a deliberate letting go of all that one thought that they had spiritually attained. This course of medicine requires a returning to the very beginnings of ones practice to redo the arduous task of walking the path anew, practicing for practice's sake, bereft of all thoughts of attainment.

    No small wonder that practitioners can stay stuck longer in spiritual materialism than almost any other spiritual disease.

    Buddhadragonnamarupaillusionlobster
  • lobsterlobster Veteran
    edited June 2015

    ^^^ when I say LOL, I of course mean awesome and insightful ...
    but it was a house to us ... eh wait ... got a touch of the 'four Yorkshiremen' mixed in there ...

    Spiritual disease? Zen sickness? Crazed wisdom?

    We iz just a bunch of dharma DODO'S :cry:

    Time for extinction? B)

    Earthninja
  • BuddhadragonBuddhadragon Ehipassiko & Carpe Diem Samsara Veteran
    edited June 2015

    @illusion said:

    We joke a lot around here.
    Humour, not taking oneself seriously, all belong in the Dharma, @illusion.
    Of course, a zen master's take on humour would probably be a good poke on the head...
    That hurts our tiny self-fiction a bit more...

    robot
  • namarupanamarupa Veteran
    edited June 2015

    Practice for practice's sake: A beginner's mind. ;)

    lobster
  • illusionillusion Explorer

    @DhammaDragon We joke a lot around here.

    thanks for helping me understand that,,the next time i see, as quoted by a friend observing this thread "strangely hyped-up defensive buddhism" i'll understand its just humor <3

    I come to realize that mind is no other than mountains and rivers and the great wide earth, the sun and the moon and stars. [Dogen]

  • BuddhadragonBuddhadragon Ehipassiko & Carpe Diem Samsara Veteran

    Look, @illusion, I have plenty of flaws, which will no doubt account for several more rounds of samsara to come for me, the most obvious being wrong speech.
    From the bottom of my heart, I mean no offense here, no libel, no divisive diatribe, but I just have to ask you: do you always have to resort to quotes for every comment you make?
    Who exactly is being defensive here and what exactly is there to defend?
    Metta to you...

    how
  • illusionillusion Explorer
    edited June 2015

    DhammaDragon hi no offence ever taken <3

    in this part of the world we still believe in freedom of expression, are you upset with the way i express mysef,or just seeking people with a similar mindset,, ah spiritual materialism =) every quote posted is for myself another opportunity to connect with words from wiser people, so I’m sorry if my "resorting" to wise quotes upsets you
    Could this say it better =)

    “I do my thing and you do yours.
    I am not in this world to live up to your expectations,
    and you are not in this world to live up to mine.
    You are you and I am I, (not very zen =) "
    and if by chance we find each other,
    then it is beautiful. If not,
    it can't be helped.”

    Frederick Perls

    ps i dont see any flaws <3

    lobsterEarthninja
  • robotrobot Veteran

    @illusion said:
    ps i dont see any flaws <3

    She lusts after gardeners. :p

    BuddhadragonDairyLamaEarthninjaillusion
  • BuddhadragonBuddhadragon Ehipassiko & Carpe Diem Samsara Veteran

    @robot said:
    She lusts after gardeners.

    And fishermen.... <3

    robotEarthninjaillusion
  • federicafederica Seeker of the clear blue sky... Its better to remain silent and be thought a fool, than to speak out and remove all doubt Moderator

    ...and rugby players. Don't forget the rugby players.

    Buddhadragon
  • BuddhadragonBuddhadragon Ehipassiko & Carpe Diem Samsara Veteran

    "Grass is always greener when tilled by cute gardener, and ravaged by the All Blacks charging in."
    (Dogen)

    lobsterillusion
  • lobsterlobster Veteran

    @DhammaDragon said:
    (Dogen)

    Bad Dragon! :pleased:
    Is that pseudo-dogen the well known Zen Dog?

    Lock up your gardeners and buffed males, here be dragons ...

    BuddhadragonJeffreyillusion
  • BuddhadragonBuddhadragon Ehipassiko & Carpe Diem Samsara Veteran
    edited June 2015

    @lobster, you've surpassed yourself this time.
    That was stunning.... =)<3

    @illusion: I love Chögyam Trungpa but have not read "Spiritual Materialism."
    After this funny intermezzo, we promise not to derail the thread any longer with our inside jokes.

    It's summer and the lowest, densest skandhas are rather stirred...
    And while bowing out, before Fede pulls out the red card:
    "Flattery will get you everywhere."
    (Bodhidragon)

    lobster
  • illusionillusion Explorer

    @DhammaDragon said:

    After this funny intermezzo, we promise not to derail the thread any longer with our inside jokes.

    i really dont have a problem you/we derailing threads or your humor,,its all bs anyway,just in a funny form =)

  • lobsterlobster Veteran
    edited June 2015

    @illusion said:
    i really dont have a problem you/we derailing threads or your humor,,its all bs anyway,just in a funny form =)

    :)

    Is it? Quite possibly ...

    Would that include your posts and the words of the spiritually immaterial or are you attached to personal acquisition/preferences? o:)

    We as individuals excuse our behavour as insightful and others as non-Buddhist, trivial and so on. In fact the attention to our reactions maybe more telling than the ostensible content.

    Hope that makes some sort of sense?

  • illusionillusion Explorer
    edited June 2015

    When one understands nothing is as it seems, and “your” heart sutra makes that expressly clear, then words like "your posts" "personal acquisition/preferences?"
    "behavour"require no excusing

    when one realises there is no such thing as non-Buddhist and Buddhist and the idea of "individuals" (just means in division of),which of course is the root cause of non buddhist/buddhist dualistic thinking

    when one realises there is no such thing as a spiritual or non spiritual 'reaction" its all just man made bs to try and justify his/her belief preferences.

    when one realises one is completely trapped in his/her concepts

    Then ask your self, was your comment intended to bring harmony and love, or just to impress your audience ? =)

    lobster
  • federicafederica Seeker of the clear blue sky... Its better to remain silent and be thought a fool, than to speak out and remove all doubt Moderator
    edited June 2015

    I could ask you the same thing.
    To determine that it's all bs anyway, is actually quite rude.
    Kindly measure it twice before cutting it just the once.

    And don't be a smartasss.
    Nobody likes a smartass.

This discussion has been closed.