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In this conversation from June 2007, Jerry Granelli talks about building Trungpa Rinpoche’s mandala, remaining true to your understanding of his vision, substance abuse, and the pitfalls of imitating the guru.
I loved this! I loved hearing Jerry talk about his path with Trungpa Rinpoche. What he said and the way he said it was so real and genuine. When Julia asked, “What are we going to do as a group of practitioners who have been inspired by Trungpa Rinpoche . . . what are we going to do to preserve those teachings and create the lineage, . . . what can we do to not make what was poured by Trungpa Rinpoche into so many of his students disappear?” I laughed. This is the Big Question that so many of us have, but to phrase it as “not make [it] disappear” was intriguing. I thought what Julia might have meant is, “What can we do to keep it from disappearing?”
Jerry said, “I think . . . you have to be true to your heart . . true to your understanding of it . . . you have to try to put those things into practice in your life. . . . Everybody has to decided what they can do from their heart. And this is not a ‘camp’ issue, not Trungpa Rinpoche camp vs. the Sakyong Mipham camp, because they’re not two camps. You have to be loyal to the teachings, and that loyalty has to be manifest in you following your heart, which may not be a popular move at any given time, but you have to do what you believe to be right. . . . You can’t reject something that’s new because it’s new, but if it doesn’t make sense, you have to relate with that. You’ve been trained, you have intelligence, you’ve been trained to use that. So you have to use that and be honest with yourself and other people without attacking each other. This community has survived some atomic hits . . . we’ve survived things that proved that we are a community, we are a family, we’ve survived things that only families can survive.”
Well, I suppose time will tell. I don’t disagree with Jerry, but I’m not sure that Trungpa Rinpoche’s legacy is safe with SMR’s students, those among the ‘younger generation’ who were not raised in households directly influenced by Trungpa Rinpoche. Because it doesn’t seem that SMR is emphasizing lineage in the way that Trungpa Rinpoche did, which was actually a source of a great deal of strength and conviction, not to mention blessings for us.
Thanks for all you do.
With love, Suzanne Duarte