Cutting Through Spiritual Materialism
In this modern spiritual classic, the Tibetan meditation master Chögyam Trungpa highlights the commonest pitfall to which every aspirant on the spiritual path falls prey: what he calls spiritual materialism. The universal tendency, he shows, is to see spirituality as a process of self-improvement—the impulse to develop and refine the ego when the ego is, by nature, essentially empty. “The problem is that ego can convert anything to its own use,” he said, “even spirituality.” His incisive, compassionate teachings serve to wake us up from this trick we all play on ourselves, and to offer us a far brighter reality: the true and joyous liberation that inevitably involves letting go of the self rather than working to improve it. It is a message that has resonated with students for nearly forty years, and remains fresh as ever today.
The Myth of Freedom and the Way of Meditation
Freedom is generally thought of as the ability to achieve goals and satisfy desires. But what are the sources of these goals and desires? If they arise from ignorance, habitual patterns, and negative emotions, is the freedom to pursue these goals true freedom—or is it just a myth?
In this book, Chögyam Trungpa explores the meaning of freedom in the profound context of Tibetan Buddhism. He shows how our attitudes, preconceptions, and even our spiritual practices can become chains that bind us to repetitive patterns of frustration and despair. He also explains how meditation can bring into focus the causes of frustration, and how these negative forces can aid us in advancing toward true freedom.
Trungpa’s unique ability to express the essence of Buddhist teachings in the language and imagery of contemporary American culture makes this book one of the best sources of the Buddhist doctrine ever written.
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