Tilopa’s Open Sesame

July 28, 2008

Tilopa, the founder of the Kagyu lineage of Tibetan Buddhism, is said to have spent his time pressing sesame seeds into oil while serving as a bouncer for a prostitute. The Mahamudra tradition, that of the Great Symbol, comes from him, and, in our case, through Chögyam Trungpa who was a direct socket into its transmission stream.

This came to mind recently as I was practicing a very short Chakrasamvara text, composed by Naropa, who was a student of Tilopa. It was translated by Naropa and Marpa, put into writing by the Eighth Karmapa, Mikyo Dorje, and preserved by Surmang Monastery, which was in Trungpa Rinpoche’s care before he left for the west, where we met him, that lineage, and that practice in its living essence.

From that point of view, as Juliete (Judith) Ferris recently pointed out, we, the sangha of Chögyam Trungpa, are Tilopa’s Open Sesame. That’s what this site, and the people contributing to it, are about. That magic is alive, in the world, and in us. Let’s be open to it, and be willing to be its expression as well.