Episode 47: Unpacking Enlightenment

What does the word enlightenment really mean? How does it define Buddhist cultural roles and perceptions? Is the spiritual ideal of enlightenment really that helpful to modern meditators? These are some of the questions Reggie poses in this talk on the importance of deconstructing the concept of enlightenment and critically examining its pervasive use in both ancient and modern expressions of Buddhism. He explains how his teacher, Chögyam Trungpa, jettisoned stereotypical ideas associated with the enlightened image of a Tibetan rinpoche. Instead, Trungpa showed that the true mark of realization in a teacher is a willingness to become ever more human and transparent in sharing one’s own individual process, journey, and emotions with students, communicating awakening through genuine responsiveness — not hierarchical authority.

This excerpt is from a talk given at the 2006 Winter Dathun — a month-long retreat held in Crestone, Colorado. To download more of Reggie’s teachings and to explore a variety of recorded talks and practices to assist you on your spiritual journey, please visit our store.

Episode 46: Discovering the Dharma Anew

Buddhism is often seen as an organized Asian religion that is historically tied to entrenched power structures, authoritative texts, and definitive roles. In today’s episode, Reggie discusses the importance of giving up our ideas and preconceptions about the dharma and Buddhism. At this point in history, he says, many practitioners are called to take part in the unique unfolding of what the dharma is right now: a deeply creative process of questioning, discovery, and sharing. He encourages us to trust our own personal discoveries in meditation, and understand that our unique expression of the dharma is integral to the life of the sangha right now.

This excerpt is from a talk given at the 2010 Winter Dathun — a month-long retreat held at the Blazing Mountain Retreat Center in Crestone, Colorado. To download more of Reggie’s teachings and to explore a variety of recorded talks and practices to assist you on your spiritual journey, please visit our store.

Episode 45: Spirituality in the Modern World

The journey of meditation shows us how our ideas about everyday life are small, regimented, and suffocating. In this talk, Reggie explains that modern spirituality requires a certain bravery, a willingness to be dismantled by the raw reality of our humanity in the midst of everyday circumstances. It’s a journey that requires trust in the radical longing to open up our entire being in a completely undefended way. This approach to spirituality, he says, “is not for all people, but for the people it is for, there is a hunger to know what’s going on beyond reactivity, stories, and defensiveness. When we allow this hunger, then life becomes very interesting.”

This talk was given at a public program Reggie taught in Boulder, CO in 2011. 

Episode 44: Sacredness of the Human Person

Reggie discusses the ways meditation helps us shed habitual patterns so we can discover the true purpose of our life. The human journey, he says, is not about getting rid of our ego but rather connecting more deeply with our authentic person. Then the ego can help us on our path.

Today’s teachings are drawn from a talk hosted by members of the Crestone, Colorado community. To download more of Reggie’s teachings and to explore a variety of audio listening guides to assist you on your spiritual journey please visit our store.

Episode 43: Primordial Fire

our store.“There is no such thing as absolute nothingness. We think that there might be — that’s our deepest fear. As a practitioner, you run into nothingness, but there’s something more, there’s something deeper. And that deeper thing is the warmth of infinity, the warmth of eternity. The warmth arises as a fire, and that fire is the life force. All of us are expressions of the life force and all living things are expressions of the life force. That’s what we are. We are the fundamental nature that expresses itself in the fire of being — all the mountains, all the rivers, all the stars in space — everything is alive and everything is aware. Everything has its own being. Everything sees. Everything experiences. We live in a universe that is utterly alive and sacred, and the journey of Vajrayana is to gradually, over time, disabuse ourselves of all the wrong ideas we have about reality.”

This podcast is an excerpt from a talk given at the 2010 Winter Dathun — a month-long retreat held at the Blazing Mountain Retreat Center in Crestone, Colorado. To download more of Reggie’s teachings and to explore a variety of recorded talks and practices to assist you on your spiritual journey, please visit our store.

Episode 42: Inherent Perfection

In this episode, Reggie explains how meditating in an embodied way allows our lives to flow freely. We are used to thinking that we are never enough — that we are lacking in so many ways. The practice of meditation gives rise humor and joy, through the insight that our situation is actually always abundant and perfect just as is it is. The tantric approach of somatic meditation dismantles our doubt, frees us from the fetters of thinking, and allows us to receive the inherent blessing within each moment. We see how life is a river that flows through us, unencumbered and without boundary, as a profound expression of beauty and love.

This talk was given at the 2010 Winter Dathun — a month-long retreat held at the Blazing Mountain Retreat Center in Crestone, Colorado. To download more of Reggie’s teachings and to explore a variety of recorded talks and practices to assist you on your spiritual journey, please visit our store.

Episode 41: Unconditional Acceptance

This week, Reggie reflects on the meaning of the first line of the Dharma Ocean aspiration chant: “May I develop an attitude of complete acceptance and openness to all situations, emotions, and to all people.” He explores this teaching in the context of Buddhist maitri practice, whereby we cultivate an attitude of loving-kindness toward ourselves. This practice leads to a greater sense of wholeness because it teaches us how to turn toward the full range of our human experience, not just the desirable aspects. “In the Tibetan tradition it is said that positive experiences are much more dangerous than negative ones, because the minute you identify with being a successful person all the other parts of you are immediately marginalized. It happens instantly — a whole universe in you goes into hiding.”

These excerpts are taken from talks given at the 2010 and 2011 Winter Dathüns. Dathün is a month-long retreat held at the Blazing Mountain Retreat Center in Crestone, Colorado. To download more of Reggie’s teachings and to explore a variety of recorded talks and practices to assist you on your spiritual journey, please visit our store.

Episode 40: Love Without Judgment

In today’s podcast, Reggie shows how freedom is found when we refrain from judging our experience. By embracing some aspects of experience and shunning others, we drive the painful, difficult, and unwanted parts of our being into the shadows. These tormented and damaged parts continue to operate, but without our knowledge, as unconscious neurotic behaviors. By making room for and extending love toward all the different aspects of ourselves, we become whole in the fullest sense: everything that happens in our life can become free to uniquely flower in the endlessly abundant field of our experience.

These excerpts are taken from talks given at the 2010 and 2011 Winter Dathüns. Dathün is a month-long retreat held at the Blazing Mountain Retreat Center in Crestone, Colorado. To download more of Reggie’s teachings and to explore a variety of recorded talks and practices to assist you on your spiritual journey, please visit our store.

Episode 39: Trust in the Heart

In today’s teaching, Reggie shows how the fundamental truth of the universe is discovered within the human heart. To trust in the heart means being willing to open to what we are feeling and explore the immediacy of life, no matter what we might think about it. This takes courage because it demands vulnerability and an unreasonable commitment to love the full breadth of our experience without judgment. He says that when we surrender our ideas about who we think we are and what we think our life should be, then we can begin to see that our heart is a jewel in Indra’s net: it reflects the full scope of the universe in its absolute splendor and beauty, and it shows us how we are interconnected with all beings throughout time and space.

This talk was given at the 2010 Winter Dathün — a month-long retreat held at the Blazing Mountain Retreat Center in Crestone, Colorado. To download more of Reggie’s teachings and to explore a variety of recorded talks and practices to assist you on your spiritual journey, please visit our store.

Episode 38: Life Force of the Heart

In this talk, Reggie emphasizes the importance of trusting in the heart on the journey of meditation. He describes how distracted we are by what we think our life is and how meditation brings us back to the true essence of our fundamental life force. The first stage in becoming more present to our life is coming home to our body and recognizing our habitual patterns of thinking. “Then, at a certain point, we realize there is a mandala in the body — there is a kind of organic, gentle flow of energy. And where the energy is flowing is around our heart. We begin to realize that in every situation the body’s wisdom collects itself here, and our heart actually knows the true way — always. It knows the course of our life. It knows what we need to say in situations. It knows the world. It feels the world. It holds all the sadness of the world and all the sweetness of the world. It’s the point of our own inner voice.”

This talk was given at the 2010 Winter Dathun — a month-long retreat held at the Blazing Mountain Retreat Center in Crestone, Colorado. To download more of Reggie’s teachings and to explore a variety of recorded talks and practices to assist you on your spiritual journey, please visit our store.

Episode 37: The Heart of Space

This week, we listen to a talk Reggie gave on the relationship between mahamudra meditation and the bodhicitta practice of awakening the heart. Mahamudra practice allows us to explore the vast space of reality as the ground of our basic nature. Practitioners of mahamudra sometimes think that the experience of unconditioned space is the endpoint of the spiritual journey, and that the circumstances of everyday life are irrelevant. Reggie counters that such attitudes are examples of spiritual bypassing: ways of avoiding the painful realities of one’s personal life. Actually, when we rest in the vast space of the heart, we discover an experience of profound warmth. This love, at the core of our being, compels us to connect with the sacredness of our world and care for it in immediate and specific ways. In this way, mahamudra practice allows us to fulfill our bodhisattva vow.

This talk was given at the 2011 Winter Dathun—a month-long retreat held at the Blazing Mountain Retreat Center in Crestone, Colorado. To download more of Reggie’s teachings and to explore a variety of recorded talks and practices to assist you on your spiritual journey, please visit our store.

Episode 36: Sacred World

In today’s episode, Reggie reflects on the sacredness of our human experience. When we relinquish our preconceptions and ideas about ourselves, he says, we glimpse how truly limitless our experience of life can be. This insight often awakens a longing in us to discover the full beauty and radiance of our world. “In the Vajrayana, there is no profane world — everything we experience is fundamentally an expression of sacredness, of wisdom. Spiritual traditions may tell us the world is degraded, but the soul knows the beauty and ultimate value of the world and our ordinary experience. There is something in us, intuitively, that cannot walk away from that sense of beauty and sacredness.”

These excerpts are taken from a talk given at a weekend program in Portland, OR in 2009 and from Mahamudra for the Modern World, a 37-hour intensive audio training course produced by Sounds True.

Episode 35: Emotional Awakening – Part II

Today’s podcast features the second part of Reggie’s talk on the wisdom of emotions. Emotions in themselves, he says, are not a problem — they are simply explosions of awakened energy. The problem occurs when we attach self-referential storylines to emotions, judging and assigning meaning to them accordingly. If we look closely, we can see that emotions actually “blow wide open” our interpretations, storylines, and judgments about experience. By staying present to the intensity of our emotional life, we learn how the natural energy of emotions can potentially liberate us from our ideas and guide us back to the basic space of our inherent being.

This talk was given at the 2006 Advanced Meditating with the Body retreat held in Crestone, Colorado. To download more of Reggie’s teachings and to explore a variety of audio listening guides to assist you on your spiritual journey, please visit our store.

Episode 34: Emotional Awakening – Part I

A distinctive feature of Vajrayana Buddhism is the view that emotions are intelligent expressions of energy. Today, we begin listening to a talk Reggie gave on the role of emotions on the meditative journey. He says that to understand the wisdom of emotions, we must first understand how our ego habitually shuts out the vast space and energy that is our awakened state of being. When we surrender our preconceptions about our experience and open beyond the confines of ego, we encounter gaps in ego. Through taking an interest in these gaps, we discover gateways to freedom. Next week, we’ll hear how emotions are one such gateway.

This talk was given at the 2006 Advanced Meditating with the Body retreat held in Crestone, Colorado. To download more of Reggie’s teachings and to explore a variety of audio listening guides to assist you on your spiritual journey, please visit our store.

Episode 33: The Intensity of Experience

Confidence means willing to be with your experience with an open heart and not do anything about it — that’s the Vajrayana path.” In this episode, Reggie discusses how the ego reacts to the play of energy that arises when we open to vast space in the practice of meditation. Our mistake, he says, is that we try to solidify energy and turn it into personal territory. This grasping is felt as tension in the body. When we relax our body, release tension, and meet the play of energy on its own terms, we become truly free.

This episode is drawn from talks given at the 2005 and 2010 Winter Dathuns – month-long meditation retreats held in Crestone, Colorado. To download more of Reggie’s teachings and to explore a variety of audio listening guides to assist you on your spiritual journey, please visit our store.

Episode 32: Being with Energy

In today’s episode, we explore how energy manifests as the rich display of our personal experience: our thoughts, feelings, emotions, and sense perceptions. Reggie offers that, rather than being a solid individual self, each of us is a continually unfolding process of energetic movement that is constantly arising from the emptiness of space. He says that when we learn to surrender to the energy of each moment through the practice of meditation, we discover how to enter the flowing river of life.

This talk was given at the 2011 Winter Dathun — a month-long retreat held at the Blazing Mountain Retreat Center in Crestone, Colorado. To download more of Reggie’s teachings and to explore a variety of audio listening guides to assist you on your spiritual journey, please visit our store.

 

 

Episode 31: Mahamudra and Modern Physics

Today, Reggie invites us to consider a recent discovery in modern physics: that everything in the universe ultimately is born from nothing, from the universe itself down to the tiniest particles at subatomic levels. We are able to have direct experiential knowledge of this basic reality when we allow our limited viewpoints to dissolve into emptiness through meditation practice and witness the energy of our existence arise from that. In this way, the journey of meditation reflects a universal process of death and birth that occurs for all that is: from atoms and trees to stars and galaxies, and all of being itself.

This talk was given last Spring during our Mahamudra for the Modern World retreat at the Blazing Mountain Retreat Center in Crestone, Colorado. To download more of Reggie’s teachings and to explore a variety of audio listening guides to assist you on your spiritual journey, please visit our store.

Episode 30: Deep Space — Birthplace of Creativity

“Deep space is completely unconditioned. It’s where everything that’s going to come to birth is held. It’s the origin — the source.” In today’s episode, Reggie explores how our relationship with deep space connects us with the fire of primordial creativity. Boycotting our impulses and waiting for true perception to arise, we discover a depth of genuine creativity that is without limit.

This talk was given at the 2005 Winter Dathun — a month-long retreat held at the White Eagle Conference Center in Crestone, CO. To download more of Reggie’s teachings and to explore a variety of audio listening guides to assist you on your spiritual journey, please visit our store.

Episode 29: How Space Manifests as Protection

When there is a gap in our thoughts, or we suddenly lose track of who we are, that is a moment of protection—reality cuts through our habitual patterns, thus protecting our connection to the fundamental nature of everything. Reggie discusses the way that space—alive, vibrant, vivid space—serves as a protector, and he encourages us to “call into the void” for help.

This talk was given at the 2005 Winter Dathun—a month-long retreat held in Crestone, Colorado. To download more of Reggie’s teachings and to explore a variety of audio listening guides to assist you on your spiritual journey, please visit our store.

Episode 28: Space and the Awareness of Space

“Space and the awareness of space. This is the basic message.” In today’s podcast, Reggie comments on this profoundly simple practice instruction. In meditation, he says, we learn to relate to the basic space of reality. However, when we experience the vastness of space — and lose our habitual reference points — we can experience an ego “freak out.” Reggie encourages us to trust these moments of uncertainty and open further, beyond the confines of ego.

These excerpts are taken from two different talks given at the 2005 Winter Dathun and the 2006 Meditating with the Body retreat held in Crestone, CO. To download more of Reggie’s teachings and to explore a variety of audio listening guides to assist you on your spiritual journey please visit our store.

Episode 27: Mahamudra for the Modern World – Part II

our store.An impediment to the practice of Mahamudra for modern people is the notion that we are insufficiently equipped to make the full spiritual journey: that we are too busy, too materialistic, and too distracted. In today’s episode, Reggie offers an alternative, more optimistic perspective on the spiritual capacity of modern people, examining the traditional context of Mahamudra practice and highlighting the opportunities that modern life offers to us as meditation practitioners.

Today’s episode is drawn from Mahamudra for the Modern World, a 37-hour intensive audio training course produced by Sounds True. Mahamudra for the Modern World is available for download on our store.

Episode 26: Mahamudra for the Modern World – Part I

“The purpose of Mahamudra is to bring us into a state where our mind is so peaceful and so open and so available that every human experience appears as a kind of miracle.” So Reggie begins his description of Mahamudra, the topic of today’s podcast. This profound tradition of Tibetan Buddhist meditation provides a unique entry into the great space of our basic nature, grants us the freedom to be who we fully are, and shows us that our ordinary life is intensely real, vivid, and filled with meaning.

Today’s episode is drawn from Mahamudra for the Modern World, a 37-hour intensive audio training course produced by Sounds True. Mahamudra for the Modern World is available for download in our store.

Episode 25: The Quick Path

Vajrayana Buddhism is sometimes called “the quick path to realization.” In today’s episode, Reggie describes the travails, inspiration, and bravery of practitioners who choose the quick path, an approach to dharma whereby one places meditation at the very center of life. Practitioners who take this approach to the spiritual journey often face “gradations and domains of fear most people can only guess about.” Through a willingness to experience fear, students on the quick path learn to appreciate and explore the full range of possibility in life.

This talk was given at the 2011 Winter Dathun — a month-long retreat held at the Blazing Mountain Retreat Center in Crestone, Colorado. 

Episode 24: Integrity of the Lineage Part II

Today’s episode expands upon Reggie’s remarks from last week on the meaning of lineage. Here he suggests that a living lineage is not a fixed entity – it constantly gives birth to new life and unexpected situations. With examples from his own journey, Reggie shows how the lineage “can only be as deep and as vast as we are as people.” He explains, “The lineage is not a set of teachings, it’s not a person. The lineage is an open-ended unfolding – a deepening and expanding that we’re all invited into.” To practice in such a lineage we must learn to let go of our expectations through dedicated practice and ongoing mentoring. In this way, he says, the lineage is very intimate and human.

This talk was given at the 2011 Winter Dathun – a month-long retreat held at the Blazing Mountain Retreat Center in Crestone, Colorado. 

Episode 23: Integrity of the Lineage Part I

In today’s teaching, Reggie discusses how the power of a living lineage is carried forth through directness, honesty, and an uncompromising commitment to the integrity of the dharma. He shares stories from the lives of Chögyam Trungpa and his teachers, Jamgon Kongtrul and Khenpo Gangshar, to demonstrate how the blazing fire of an authentic lineage is passed down from one generation to the next. Genuine lineage holders, Reggie explains, are willing to challenge conventions, take risks, and not meet the expectations of others. However, this understanding of lineage challenges modern day notions that assign authority based on credentials, high thrones, and wealthy donors. Reggie says, “To find out who is a true lineage holder you listen to them teach. It’s really straightforward and simple.”

This talk was given at the 2011 Winter Dathun – a month-long retreat held at the Blazing Mountain Retreat Center in Crestone, Colorado. 

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