In this interview, recorded May 2006, Julia talks to Hudson and Janet Shotwell, about the nature of their relationship with Chögyam Trungpa.
To Chogyam Trungpa, Rinpoche On the Nineteenth anniversary of your death.
My dear sir, we miss you.
I remember your flesh, blood and electric presence.
These are my aspirations for your memory.
May you never be the subject of beatification, hagiography or idol worship.
Let no person denigrate and besmirch your memory by turning you into a god.
You were the most human being I’ve ever encountered.
May no person put a halo around your head
And claim that you were the perfect saint for all the ages.
Even Padmsambhava fucked Yeshe Tsogyal, and vice-versa.
Or is that just too icky to visualize?
I hear tell he threw a vajra and phurba up in the air and killed a couple of people.
Can that be?
Lest we become a personality cult,
Like those who grovel at the feet of Rajneesh, Bubba Free John and the Pope,
May the uncomfortable, terrifying and fabulous reality
Of your manifestation in this world
Be remembered in its true light.
That light is the sun at mid-morning,
Not the sunset of devotion
In the name of ego-gratification.
May your dharma daughters and sons not be seen as hypocrites by the world.
When your lesson was complete non-theism, may your essential message never fall
Into the hands of sculptors and word-smiths
Who attempt to sanitize your memory and editorialize your teachings.
What you taught should be proclaimed like the lion’s roar it is.
We are not saints and god-followers, we don’t do god-talk.
We practice following your example, with a cutting, critical mind.
May we, like you, never live a minute of our lives hiding in corners.
Neophytes can be forgiven.
But for this, your real generosity, may those of us who knew you
Not toy with your memroy as a way to talk about ourselves.
May fortunate students in the future meet a dragon like you
Who incinerates self-deception and spiritual materialism without mercy.
Please return soon. We miss you.
Hudson Shotwell, 4 April 2006