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The Bodhisattva Path of Wisdom and Compassion

The Bodhisattva Path of Wisdom and Compassion

by Chögyam Trungpa

“By presenting the dharmic path as a natural progression that begins with the hinayana, expands into the mahayana, and reaches its fruition in the vajrayana, Trungpa Rinpoche provides the reader with a complete map of the spiritual journey from confusion to enlightenment.”

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"In teaching about the three stages of the path, Trungpa Rinpoche presented each stage as having its own integrity and power, and taught his students to see each stage as complete in its own right. He especially cautioned students not to denigrate the hinayana or skip the mahayana in favor of wha...

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"'[The hinayana] is to be understood as the life force that carries on whether you are going through the hinayana, mahayana, or vajrayana. . . . The hinayana should be regarded as life's strength.'

Trungpa Rinpoche made it clear that hinayana teachings are not just introductory, but reverbe...

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"The mahayana is called the great vehicle. [...] As the second of the three vehicles, or yanas, the mahayana is known to be a great and powerful journey. Why is it so powerful? Its power comes from the realization of your own potential; it comes from the realization that you are a worthy...

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"In the Buddhist sense, the term yana is used in a more subtle way to refer to the path itself or to the practitioners.

Once you step into the mahayana, you do not have much control. It goes by itself and there is no reverse, none whatsoever. Everything goes forward. Furthermore, t...

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“The Mahayana begins with the discovery of bodhichitta, the heart or mind of awakening. Bodhi again means ‘awake,’ and chitta means ‘heart,’ or ‘mind’; so bodhichitta means ‘awakened heart.’ In Tibetan it is known as changchup kyi sem. Changchup

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“However, passion, aggression, and ignorance are not regarded as deep-rooted problems; they are simply phases we go through, like any other phase. But although they are simply phases, they are obviously obstacles. The problem with such situations is that they occupy your time and space, so they p...

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Kündzop means ‘relative,’ kün means ‘all,’ and dzop means an ‘effigy,’ or ‘outfit,’ and changchup-kyi-sem means the ‘mind of enlightenment,’ or ‘bodhichitta’; so kündzop changchup-kyi-sem is an ‘effigy of bodhichitta,’ or ‘relative bodhichitta.’”

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”Kündzop is like a scarecrow; it is an outfit that fits the world. Kündzop is a kind of facade or medium. If you are a painter, you use paint as a medium, not the meaning. You could represent things much better if there were a greater medium, but since there is not, you use what exists around you...

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“Relative bodhichitta is the common practice of involving yourself in the world with benevolence, fearlessness, and kindness. It is the manifestation of your friendliness and deliberate training, and it is helped a great deal by the experience of vipashyana, or awareness, which brings re...

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Dam means ‘ultimate,’ and tön means ‘meaning’; so töndam means 'ultimate purpose,' 'ultimate meaning,' or 'ultimate goal.' Changchup-kyi-sem, again, means 'bodhitchitta'; 'so töndam changchup-kyi-sem means 'ultimate bodhichitta,' or 'absolute bodhichi...

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"In basic egolessness, you have a sense of nonexistence, but it is still a conceptualized notion of nonexistence. You still have a nonexistent but changing world around you. But with ultimate bodhichitta there is no world outside, no world separate from yourself. From the point of view of ego, th...

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"True bodhichitta combines spaciousness, sympathy, and intelligence; or shunyata, compassion (karuna), and knowledge (prajna). In order to be exposed to intelligence, or prajna, you have to understand that it is not worth struggling, that you have to give up ego fixation. In ord...

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"And in order to relate with spaciousness, or emptiness, you have to realize that there is no point trying to use metaphysical anologies or the language of nonreference point as another reference point; you just need to relate with yourself.

Bodhichitta is fundamental to the teachings of th...

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"With bodhichitta, the heart or chitta comes first, and bodhi comes later: the heart awakens. So we begin by developing a particular kind of heart, one that is not connected with personal longevity, personal entertainment, or egotism. First we develop heart, and then we develop what heart is all ...

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"Enlightened heart is expansive and awake. It is not territorial, and it does not demand that we gather our own flock of egotistic companions. When we look into that quality of basic wakefulness beyond our own territoriality, we find ourselves having a taste of enlightenment for the very first ti...

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"In the hinayana, we may have had a glimpse of gentleness, goodness, and precision, but we never had a taste of the mind clicking in and awakening on the spot, as it should. That has not yet happened. But in the mahayana, it is actually happening. That is why it is very important for us to join m...

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