Crazy Wisdom at the Rubin Museum of Art in NYC


“Although I live in the slime and muck of the dark age … in the thick black fog of materialism … the time of hell on earth … I still aspire to see your face.” Chogyam Trungpa, Rinpoche

The words above were written by Trungpa Rinpoche in 1968, part of his Sadhana of Mahamudra. And yet those same words, about greed and the lack of true spirituality, could be referring to today’s world, right here right now. Filmmaker Johanna Demetrakas opens her upcoming documentary Crazy Wisdom: The Life and Times of Chögyam Trungpa Rinpoche, about the eccentric Tibetan Buddhist guru Chogyam Trungpa, with this unorthodox mantra of his and of course, within seconds had me hooked on her cinematic testament to an extraordinary man. One who could speak so clearly to my own heart, even across time, space and the beyond.

Demetrakas was lucky enough to find herself smitten at a live seminar called “Battle of the Ego” given by Trungpa in Los Angeles and has said that he “blew my mind.” She continued “he always created a feeling of stark reality, compassion and biting humor at the same time. Being in his presence was like being suddenly aware of an oncoming truck: it put every cell in your brain SMACK! into the present moment” and her film thoroughly succeeds in doing the same for her audience. While watching it, I scribbled down so many pages of notes I could probably write a thesis on her poignantly touching movie but I’ll try to condense my thoughts to do both the filmmaker and her larger-than-life subject justice.

Chogyam Trungpa was a man like no other. Recognized as the reincarnation of a Buddhist spiritual master at 18 months, he was part of the last generation of Rinpoches to be trained in Tibet. While escaping the Chinese authorities, on his way to India, he asked his traveling companions to keep true to a code of ethics that included never killing another human being, not even in self defense, and never stealing, not even out of desperate hunger. While some of the monks were murdered or died from the hardships encountered on the way, a few made it to safety, months later, under with his guidance…(CONTINUED)

Read the entire piece on the Huffington Post

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