Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Ocean of Dharma, Quotes of the Week - Living in the Gap

Ocean of Dharma is a weekly emailing of quotes from the collected works of Buddhist icon Chogyam Trungpa. Always interesting, always enlightening.

Living in the gap is the idea that we can - through mindfulness - learn to see the gap between thoughts, between feelings, between moments, and in becoming aware of the gap we can expand that tiny space. The more we expand that space, the more free we become.


The definition of dharma (which is the teachings of Buddha and the truth of the teachings) is absence of aggression. In order to perceive such dharma, in order to understand such dharma, we also have to develop a state of mind without aggression as well. Dharma in this case is any materials involved with our experience which are workable, which could be woven into the pattern of the path. The absence of aggression in this case means a sense of non-ego, non-speed. You might find it difficult to understand this tall order because it would be impossible for beginners to develop such perfection. But the idea is that there is a momentary state of mind which occurs, in which there is an element of non-aggression and non-ego....The application of awareness or vipashyana relates with those momentary open gaps which are unconditioned psychologically, unconditioned by dualism, unconditioned by passion, aggression, and so forth. But it's very sudden, it's a fraction of a moment. It's very fast, but also there is still that possibility in us, one hundred percent of gap.

~ From "Comparison of Vipashyana with Shamatha," in the 1973 Hinayana-Mahayana Transcripts, pages 107 to 108.

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