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Projects of Transcendence
Record Type: Review   ID: 245

Dharma Art

Trungpa, Chögyam (Judith L. Lief, Ed.).

 The Tibetan tülka (incarnate teacher) Chögyam Trungpa came to the U.S. in 1969 and in 1974 founded "the Naropa Institute, the only accredited Buddhist-inspired university in North America" (p. 130) and established the Shambhala Training program. Dharma art is a way of being, which theoretically includes any and everything. It is concerned with how we handle ourselves. It is also a matter of awareness. "It is a total world in which you pay attention to every detail" (p. 128). In the sense that art is involved, so is creativity. Presumably there are levels of efficiency in practicing Dharma art. Trungpa presents a distillate of his wisdom in Dharma art. It seems to me that most Westerners are not capable of practicing Dharma art all of the time. I would not be able to at least. There is one exception: When Westerners engage in a Project of Transcendence, which is an activity engaged in from choice and love, like a hobby or a sport. It is a long-term pursuit in which one aims at perfection, which calls for continual moments of transcending old limits. As one grows with the project EEs are likely to occur, and as they become EHEs they move the process forward. Those who become masters of their project in effect come to practice Dharma art, at least within that project. For this reason, Trungpa’s dharma wisdom is important, useful, and desirable, even though it is barely achievable. This book is recommended for clues it provides to mastery. At the least, it can provide some of the flavor of what it is like to be perfectly consciously attuned to self and environment as one.
Publisher Information:Boston: Shambhala, 1996. xiv + 144p. Directory: 136-137; 20 illus; Index: 139-144; 27 refs
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