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Refresh and try again. Open Preview See a Problem? Details if other :. Thanks for telling us about the problem. Return to Book Page. 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. It is a message that has resonated with students for nearly thirty years, and remains fresh as ever today.

Get A Copy. Paperback , pages. Published October 22nd by Shambhala first published More Details Original Title. Other Editions Friend Reviews. To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up. To ask other readers questions about Cutting Through Spiritual Materialism , please sign up. Be the first to ask a question about Cutting Through Spiritual Materialism. Lists with This Book. Community Reviews. Showing Average rating 4.

Rating details. More filters. Sort order. Start your review of Cutting Through Spiritual Materialism. Oct 26, Fergus rated it really liked it. How would you define Spiritual Materialism?

Probably as nothing more and nothing less than a day when everything seems to be going right for you.

Our hope springs eternal. I first read this powerful gem of a book 35 years ago. Want to know a secret? At first.

And a feeling of peace. Warm sympathy. High empathy. High anxiety. A glimpse of Tantra. Saint Teresa of Avila knew that period in our spiritual life well. In her books she masterfully charts the changing phases of spirituality - right through to its conclusion in common, everyday, lasting Peace and the Simple Experience of Real and Ordinary Life - as Natural as Breathing!

We have to turn life into something Solid and Lapidary. We need to hang on to it, TOO much. So Trungpa says through meditation we WILL eventually cut through our materialistic fantasies and find rest. But on the way we have to survive Mahamudra.

Like James Joyce tried to do. His autobiographical Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man tells us that. Well, at the end of that book Stephen applies the fix Trungpa was referring to, in Thomistic aesthetic meditation. And it works. He finally seems to have Arrived in life. The fix? Ordinary Logic. That skewers High Empathy. For a while. Ever feel like that?

Like the nightmarish mind of Joyce, in his last work, Finnegans Wake. And the words Here Comes Everybody are only using the initials of H. Earwicker, one of the many faces of the legendary Finn, or mythical progenitor of Ireland - and the main character of that hieroglyphically difficult novel. Is because the everyday world so incessantly disappoints and is unlikely to ever change, and so we need escape. In our dreams. Which never works for long.

Mahamudra is not our destination. It is a methodology for killing our irrational EGOS - by exploding them. So we end up terminating the ego and its mahamudric nightmares with a simple, nondual, kitchen-sink Faith: That yields a wonderful, practical Peace of Mind - and ends in the experience of the Living Suchness of Life, far from all those Joycean Storms of Life. View all 10 comments. Mar 30, Andrea rated it it was amazing Shelves: eastern-and-eastern-influenced. I'd flipped through this many times before and read parts over the years, and it seems like there's always something new that stands out.

This time, it's a reminder of what I love most about the Buddhist approach to the awakened state: that it's something that always exists, not something we need to try to create. When in reality, the awakened state is an act of just being. Just being sane. Just letting be. I see it happen with my yoga students and peers all the time: they practice yoga for some period of time, then start getting really excited about the spiritual side of yoga, and then start doing all this reading and doing all these other practices and making all these rules that they believe they must follow in order to "stay on this spiritual path.

This book is a great reminder of the quite simple experience of just now. Of not identifying with our spiritual highs and then seeking to always be in that exact moment adding on all these things to do and these rules of living in order to always "stay high" , but of allowing and understanding moments as moments and continuing to observe and be in the flow no matter the moment.

Also, the talks were given in , so some of the audience questions have a great hippie vibe. I particularly love the one about what happens if the monkey mind takes LSD? The answer, of course, is that it already has. Apr 22, Roy Lotz rated it liked it Shelves: religion-mysticism-theology , orientalism. We do not consider how we are going to vomit; we just vomit. As a teenager in Tibet, Trungpa fled the Chinese in an escape that involved swimming across a river under gunfire, climbing the Himalayas, and running so short of food that he had to eat his leather belt and bag.

Eventually he emigrated to the United States, where he founded several schools, and pioneered a secular interpretation of We do not consider how we are going to vomit; we just vomit. Eventually he emigrated to the United States, where he founded several schools, and pioneered a secular interpretation of Buddhism, Shambhala Training. You may be surprised to learn that Trungpa, far from being an ascetic monk, also had notorious penchants for bedding his female students and for going on drunken debauches.

In Buddhist thought, this sense of self is illusory; the self is a process, not a thing. This attempt takes many forms. We modify our environment, manipulating the material world and bringing it under our control, in order to create a perfectly comfortable world that never challenges or disappoints us. We create intellectual systems—positivism, nationalism, Buddhism—that rationalize and explain the world, that define our place in the world and dictate to us rules of action.

We also attempt to analyze ourselves: we use literature, psychology, drugs, prayer, and meditation to achieve a sense of self-consciousness, an awareness of who we are. This project of solidification can even use spiritual techniques in its own benefit. The goal of meditation is the dissolution of the ego and the absence of struggle.

And yet many who embark on the spiritual path see meditation as a battle with the ego, an attempt to break certain habits, to overcome certain mentalities, to free themselves from illusions. If spirituality is seen in such a way—as 'you' against 'something else'—then you will hit a wall; and this wall will only get stronger the harder you push against it. This egoless state is the attainment of buddhahood.

It is no use to try to overcome your own negative qualities—to strive to be good, kind, caring, loving. It is no use to accumulate vast amounts of religious knowledge; nor is it beneficial to accumulate religious titles or honorifics.


Cutting Through Spiritual Materialism

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Review: Cutting Through Spiritual Materialism




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