Skip to main content

Series: Naropa Institute: Ego and Its Projections (5 Talks, 1976)

An uncompromising seminar that describes the mechanism of ego, how it generates confusion, and the role of meditation in freeing oneself from it. The overarching theme is the first teaching of the Buddha,  that "suffering is the basis of understanding."  Trungpa Rinpoche describes suffering as the working basis of the path, emphasizing the need to trace its origins back in our own psychological make-up. Our preoccupation with what we like or don't like keeps us stuck in a "blind corner", obscuring a larger vision, and knowing who we really are.  Instead, bewilderment and ignorance pervades our experience, which Trungpa Rinpoche describes using a graphic metaphor. Importance of "being alone, an individual" is stressed, with "first enlightenment" acknowledging the truth of being stuck. Meditation brings clarity and openness, a way of working with ego by making friends with our minds, seeing beyond what we want to who we are.  Also discussed are Western definitions of ego as involving a strong sense of self, whereas Buddhism posits "egomania" in direct opposition to "buddha nature", "tathagatagarbha", which brings clarity, composure, and openness. Trungpa Rinpoche stresses the importance of finding the right teacher at the beginning, someone who encourages us to work with our ego rather than impose their own philosophies on us. He gives the example of Shunryu Suzuki Roshi as an outstanding teacher of Buddhism in America. Ultimately, according to nontheistic tradition of Buddhism, liberation from ego depends on us. Referring to realizations and teachings of the historical Buddha, Trungpa Rinpoche explains that for the first time in human history, "somebody decided to help us help ourselves."
Search all content in this playlist
Playlist Duration: 03:09:39

No Resource Found!


Your Browser is not Supported

To use aviary, please update your browser to the latest version

Download Supported Browser


I understand the consequences
Go to Homepage

Accessibility icon

Accessibility issues with this page?
Please click here to let us know.