Today, as I was once again strolling through the social networking gardens of the interwebs (I love that imagery) I saw a posting about one of the authors and founder of the Buddhist tradition of Shambhala, Chögyam Trungpa. It really got the synapses firing it went like this:
Always like Chogyam Trungpa! Personally he was kind of a flake, but as a teacher he had few equals.
That was when the creative juices started flowing! This is my expanded thought on the matter:
Chögyam Trungpa was a man of unorthodox life style, even for a Buddhist, after being exiled from Tibet, he began to explore the world and teach to whomever would listen. Getting caught up with the lifestyle of the 60’s, Chögyam Trungpa embraced the traditions he was seeing in the youth at the time, maybe to connect better with them, maybe out of his own desires, I do not suppose we will ever truly know. My feelings on the matter is that even though he may have come off as a “flake” perhaps instead of judging the man for his personality, perhaps we should see the lessons in his life. It ms my feeling that Chögyam Trungpa showed us that we, as a whole, have become to attached to our ideas of what a teacher should be. We have drawn a line and created a new illusion that only a perfect being can teach us other imperfect beings how to seek enlightenment. This separation not only sets us up for a crisis of faith should our teachers not live up to the now defied title of teacher, it also makes us blind to the lessons we can learn from the every day teachers we encounter from every day ordinary people.
If you seek only to learn from perfect be-ings you miss the perfect do-ings of ordinary people. Embrace the lessons you are taught, do not elevate an imperfect person above yourself or not only do you fuel the ego’s need to create an us (or me) vs them, you can never truly be free of the chains the ego places on your mind.
“Monks, these two are fools. Which two? The one who doesn’t see his transgression as a transgression, and the one who doesn’t rightfully pardon another who has confessed his transgression. These two are fools.” -Buddha
“Everything is naturally perfect just as it is.”
–H.H. Dilgo Khyentse