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On Chögyam Trungpa

On Chögyam Trungpa

Chögyam Trungpa Rinpoche is the quintessential spiritual guide. His teachingssteeped in ancient tradition and presented with relaxed fluency in western language and cultureare profound, accessible, and fresh. In addition to the buddhadharma, he offered the secular path of Shambhala, cultivating an appreciation of inherent bravery, dignity and goodness beyond cultural and religious bounds. Through his many books, Trungpa Rinpoche continues to be an incomparable source of wisdom and courage in the world. The Chronicles is an ongoing celebration of his profound teachings and life example.

Copyright Diana J. Mukpo. Used here by arrangement with Diana J. Mukpo and Shambhala Publications, Inc.
These teachings by Chögyam Trungpa are selected at random from Ocean of Dharma Quotes of the Week: the email service that brings Trungpa Rinpoche’s dharma to your inbox several times each week. For more information, or to add your name to the list, visit OceanofDharma.com.
Ocean of Dharma Quotes of the Week is edited and produced by Carolyn Rose Gimian. Thank you to Lady Diana Mukpo, Mrs. Gimian, and Shambhala Publications for making these teachings available on the Chronicles.

Sacred Communication in Marriage

Student: Could you say more about relationships and marriage? I’m planning on getting married.

Chögyam Trungpa: You shouldn’t expect anything at the beginning, but you should try to work together with your husband or wife. Basically speaking, marriage is a joint effort of trying to solve one another’s problems, and trying to make a creative world. That seems to be the basic point. As long as you are not immediately looking for an ideal, happy life, you can work with marriage. On the other hand, you shouldn’t just forget about the possibility of being overwhelmed by the idea of problems, either. It is a question of intelligence on both sides, and at the same time, there is a need for tremendous awareness and mindfulness. Each communication that takes place between the two of you has to be sacred in some sense. You should regard your partner as a spiritual friend of some type, and try to work along with that. When there is that kind of working basis taking place, I don’t see any particular problems.

The relationship might change anywhere: right at the beginning, or halfway through. It may not always be the same kind of relationship, because each one of you begins to grow up. So it might take a different shape; it might produce different kinds of phenomena. Nonetheless, as long as there is a dharmic connection, a spiritual connection, I don’t see any particular problems.

— From “Exertion,” in The 1982 Hinayana-Mahayana Seminary Transcripts, pages 120 to 121.

Community Talks

Here are a few of the community talks that Trungpa Rinpoche gave during the early years of his teaching in North America.


OUR TOPIC IS DECENCY. Decency here is not in contrast to the indecency of, say, wearing two different-colored socks or not having your zipper done up. We are talking about decency as something more profound to be realized and understood.

Cutting Through Spiritual Materialism

These six talks where given in Boulder, Colorado in December 1970er, Colorado in December 1970

Work Sex Money: Seminar One

Work, sex and money: these are the main things in our lives that we look to instinctively for satisfaction, and yet, they almost never supply it