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.