What would Padmasambhava do?

November 17, 2008 by     Print This Post Print This Post

What would Padmasambhava do?

In the cave of Taktsang Senge Samdrup
He who has buried treasure in rocks and snow mountains in holy places of Tibet
Shows kindness to the people of the future dark age
I supplicate you Dorje Trollö
I supplicate you Urgyen Padmakara.[1]

I humbly present these thoughts.  My humbleness comes from a paucity of intellect and memory, and any real knowledge of Tibetan history.  However,  I do think that what little I do think I know is helpful enough to get feedback from others and to create at least some sort of hope. 

I get the impression that due to the great devotion and  exertion of our Kagyu forefathers, the full transmission of the experiential teachings based on esoteric instructions from the tantras they received from their teachers in India has been preserved up until this time.  Furthermore,  great compendiums of written instructions and commentaries have been collected, contemplated  and preserved  with great insight and exertion by such masters as Rangjung Dorje and Jamgon Kongtrul Lodro Thaye, among others, I’m sure.  There have also been great teachers who were ostracized, punished,  and their works destroyed.  (Such as Dolpolpa, who radically influenced the Shentong tradition, and whose work, apparently,  managed to survive to this day.) 

Somehow,  we  were fortunate enough to receive the pith (and more) of these incredible treasures, baked fresh yet again by a miraculous teacher  appearing in our life time.

Now,  it seems to me,  that one of the  biggest issues  we are facing is  losing these incredible treasures with all their subtleties, and depth.   Basically,  I’m sure that  many would agree that although Trungpa  Rinpoche is  so called “dead,”   he is also alive in the transmission we received from him,  the practices he gave us, and in his written and spoken words.  They must not die with us!!!!

We need to save his legacy. So far, this sort of work is already going on in various ways, most importantly in the Chogyam Trungpa Legacy Project. I wonder if “we concerned” could perhaps work more closely with that group, nobly led by Carolyn Gimian and others,  to find out more about what are the real dangers of copyright losses and also to find ways to protect whatever can be protected,  and to promote whatever can be promoted.  Also, ways to make these teachings more accessible to people now and in the future.  Fabrice Midal is another brilliant resource for this.   Likewise, perhaps in an advisory sense, Reggie Ray and the Ojai group.

Again, I am grateful for this site, to be able to freely discuss these things, and hopefully as a way to work through our rants, misunderstandings and  despair over this serious matter, and to  brainstorm possible avenues of hope.   

– Ginny Lipson

[1] from The Sadhana of Mahamudra, by Chögyam Trungpa


2 Responses to “What would Padmasambhava do?”

  1. Ginny Lipson on November 18th, 2008 7:18 pm


    I wanted to put in a plug for the Chronicle Project, which also seems very helpful and involved in preserving Trungpa Rinpoche’s legacy. (I had forgotten about them earlier.)

  2. Chris Chandler on November 21st, 2008 2:21 pm

    “What would Padmasambhava do?”

    He probably would have thrown a flaming varja from his fingertips to destroy all this current corruption of the authentic dharma. He was a anarchist. Not an apologist for all the incredible b….s..t. he must have seen in his own day in Tibet.

    He brought the King to his knees instead of what King Tritsong Detsun had planned for him.

    STOP APOLOGIZING for ourselves. That’s what got us in this mess in the first place. Accomodating and accepting every “watering down act ” that turned the lineage that we inherited into simple palace theatre because we always believed that “others must know best.”.

    Authentic Dharma is about finding our own voice, stripping ourselves to who we really are, not mimicking another culture. And being willing to give up our “social ego.”. It is about finding the 2 percent of pith dharma, and casting the cultural trappings aside. They are they to enslave us. Not set us free. That’s what the practices are about, peeling off the layers and masks on the journey to our own genuineness.

    Some of us are sixty years old and more. Are we going to continue to apologize for ourselves til the day we die, and assume that intelligence and wisdom are always outside ourselves?. Worship ordinary people who haven’t practiced themselves and have no more realization than ourselves? At some point we have to go deep within and trust ourselves to continue on the journey. Including recognizing bullshit for what it is. There is no other way. Otherwise we have wasted these precious teachings.