Industrial Deals Books Gift Guide Books Gift Guide Shop Men's Athletic Shoes Learn more nav_sap_SWP_6M_fly_beacon Ed Sheeran egg_2015 All-New Amazon Fire TV Beauty Deals Gifts Under $50 Amazon Gift Card Offer minions minions minions  Amazon Echo Starting at $84.99 Kindle Black Friday Deals TheGoodDinosaur Outdoor Deals on HTL
Cutting Through Spiritual Materialism (Shambhala Classics) and over one million other books are available for Amazon Kindle. Learn more

Enter your mobile number or email address below and we'll send you a link to download the free Kindle App. Then you can start reading Kindle books on your smartphone, tablet, or computer - no Kindle device required.

  • Apple
  • Android
  • Windows Phone
  • Android

To get the free app, enter your email address or mobile phone number.

Buy New
  • List Price: $15.95
  • Save: $1.59 (10%)
FREE Shipping on orders over $35.
In Stock.
Ships from and sold by Gift-wrap available.
Cutting Through Spiritual... has been added to your Cart
Have one to sell? Sell on Amazon
Flip to back Flip to front
Listen Playing... Paused   You're listening to a sample of the Audible audio edition.
Learn more
See all 3 images

Cutting Through Spiritual Materialism (Shambhala Classics) Paperback – October 22, 2002

107 customer reviews

See all 13 formats and editions Hide other formats and editions
New from Used from
"Please retry"
"Please retry"
$8.49 $6.62

Best Books of the Year So Far
Looking for something great to read? Browse our editors' picks for 2015's Best Books of the Year in fiction, nonfiction, mysteries, children's books, and much more.
$14.36 FREE Shipping on orders over $35. In Stock. Ships from and sold by Gift-wrap available.

Frequently Bought Together

  • Cutting Through Spiritual Materialism (Shambhala Classics)
  • +
  • The Myth of Freedom (Shambhala Classics)
  • +
  • Shambhala: The Sacred Path of the Warrior
Total price: $32.72
Buy the selected items together

Editorial Reviews


"The usefulness of this book lies in Trungpa's uncanny ability to cut right to the heart of the matter and presents his understanding of Buddhism and the way of life it teaches in a manner that is applicable to his students' living situation."— Journal of the American Academy of Religion

From the Inside Flap

Examines the self-deceptions, distortions, and sidetracks that imperil the spiritual journey as well as awareness and fearlessness of the true path.

Hero Quick Promo
Holiday Deals in Kindle Books
Save up to 85% on more than 1,000 Kindle Books. These deals are valid until November 30, 2015. Learn more

Product Details

  • Series: Shambhala Classics
  • Paperback: 256 pages
  • Publisher: Shambhala; New edition edition (August 2002)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1570629579
  • ISBN-13: 978-1570629570
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 0.7 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 13.4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (107 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #26,187 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Chögyam Trungpa (1940-1987)--meditation master, teacher, and artist--founded Naropa University in Boulder, Colorado, the first Buddhist-inspired university in North America; the Shambhala Training program; and an international association of meditation centers known as Shambhala International. He is the author of numerous books including Shambhala: The Sacred Path of the Warrior, Cutting Through Spiritual Materialism, and The Myth of Freedom.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

82 of 87 people found the following review helpful By hungryghost on May 1, 2002
Format: Paperback
A no-nonsense, firm, but gentle warning note to those of us committed to the so-called path of self-development. Trungpa patiently brings into fresh air the dangerous and destructive method by which we typically approach the notion of spirituality: i.e. as something to be developed, learnt through discipline or otherwise achieved much as we seek to aquire the prizes in our everyday material life. Trungpa's message was ideally suited to that aspect of ourselves - the Eastern mind as much as the Western - which is constantly looking for something external through which we hope to secure our sense of self and make us happy. Exposing this tendency with great skill and clarity, he outlines a more open, direct and yet infinitely more challenging way to experience Mind beyond the self through correct meditation. Even amongst Buddhist literature this is wonderfully refreshing and at once destroys all hope of bettering oneself and yet points to a far brighter fact: that true liberation inevitably involves letting go of the self rather than working to improve it. The often rather painful process of spiritual awakening is made sense of in this book if we begin to see that our emotions and thoughts cloud our direct experience of reality. An apt message befitting an enlightened being who wore his suits 2 sizes too small as a constant reminder of the irritation and dissatisfaction of the samsaric world.
6 Comments Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
55 of 58 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on March 10, 1999
Format: Paperback
Chogyam Trungpa, often referred to as one of the few oriental, Buddhist lamas who truly understood the Western mind, here transcends East and West by addressing simply and eloquently, the processes of the mind and ego. Trungpa illuminates how some of these processes can undermine an otherwise wholesome relationship to ourselves and our basic goodness (buddha nature) and our relationship with others. These processes can cause our suffering and the suffering of others and disrupt our efforts to be decent and skillful. The non-theistic text, transmitted by this extraordinarily gifted meditation master, is presented freely without prostelytizing and is offered clearly without judgment, blame, guilt, hope or fear. Cutting Through is an important stepping-stone towards developing self-awareness, fearlessness, friendship and loving kindness. A 'must-read' for any diver or warrior of heart and courage. Also recommended are Trungpa's: Shambhala, Path of the Warrior and/or Meditation in Action.
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
162 of 189 people found the following review helpful By Bill Butler on September 4, 2000
Format: Paperback
Trungpa lets loose with his cannon in this book. Christianity, Islam, and Judiasm are totally false because they are "eternalists". They believe in a permanent soul that just goes on and on and on. Hindus are eternalists. Theravada Buddhists are what Trungpa calls "atomistic eternalists". They don't realize that an ant sees a flower as a jungle. Or a spot of dirt as a mountain. The obsever of phenomena is left out. Enlightenment consists of a Self observing impermanence, suffering, and selflessness. The Self is indicated from the fact that the observer is not dealt with. And there is no observer. So Trungpa states that "atomistic materialists" are "half right". Zen speaks of a Big Mind. There is no "Big Mind". And he isn't done with us yet. The spiritual path is horrible! All pain. My collecting of spiritual teachers is called "Spiritual Materialism". My examaning self-help books AND doing reviews on them is called "psychological materialsim". The last is "Physical Materialism". And Trungpa seems to indicate that this last form of materialism is the least harmful! He states that the Guru will cut through your suit of armor. He will keep at you until you are exposed naked. You will try and struggle to keep your armor intact. But the Guru will see your pretense and expose whatever you are hiding. He will strip you clean of all three forms of materialism. WOW! Please remember that this book is composed of his lectures to his students. It is simply brillant beyond belief in it's ability to destroy illogical assumptions made by people. It is a classic. Trungpa always had a way of examining the American Mind and striking at our delusions. It is a great read. Like seeing us all excited about our spiritual journey and kicking here and there until we fall. A must read. Buy it and read it three times like I did. Trunpa always cuts. See what you can do with this book. Thank you.
1 Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
36 of 40 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on September 3, 1997
Format: Paperback
THIS BOOK IS IDEAL FOR SOMEONE WHO HAS READ A NUMBER OF BUDHIST BOOKS AND BELIEVES HIMSELF TO UNDERSTAND THE INNER MEANING OF THE TEACHINGS. It will cut through your arrogance like butter and will help to keep your mind open and your spirit humble.

The book is a great and well rounded look at spirituality and the problems encountered. It gives a brief view of the proper attitude towards spirituality, then gives detailed account of how our attitudes obscure and constantly attempt to manipulate spirituality for personal gain. Also included are good overall views of the most basic budhist the Four Noble Truths and the Six Realms.
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
133 of 159 people found the following review helpful By kaioatey on March 25, 2010
Format: Hardcover
"Spiritual materialism is the belief that a certain temporary state of mind is a refuge from suffering. " In other words, for a 'spiritual materialist', a state of mind can exist inherently on its own (i.e., "Ego") apart from the chains of cause and effect that cause suffering. Classical Nagarjuna & Mahayana. Yet this became one of the towering issues for Chogyam Trungpa's Naropa University community, a perfect concept to flog guilt-ridden Westerners with. It basically means "you are not doing it right". It means "your motives are not pure". It means you need a 'real' guru.

Unfortunately, the guru in question created a personality cult, parading about in expensive robes (brocade, silk, cashmere) in front of his impoverished hippie audiences while women bodyguards in black dresses and high heels, packing automatic weapons, served him saké. Trungpa, having vowed celibacy to his superiors, caroused with female students and nuns, eloped from England with an underage girl, tolerated abuse and exploitation of students by assorted inner circle henchmen while hobnobbing with beatnik superstars and ultimately drank himself into delirium, cirrhotic liver and death. One of his cardinal, and unforgivable, sins is promotion as a successor of Osel Tenzin (aka Thomas Rich) who knowingly passed HIV during unprotected sex to (hundreds?) of his students. Here is the excuse:

"... Rich first swore us to secrecy (family secrets again), and then said that Trungpa had requested him to be tested for HIV in the early 1980s and told him to keep quiet about the positive result.
Read more ›
31 Comments Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse

Most Recent Customer Reviews

Set up an Amazon Giveaway

Amazon Giveaway allows you to run promotional giveaways in order to create buzz, reward your audience, and attract new followers and customers. Learn more
Cutting Through Spiritual Materialism (Shambhala Classics)
This item: Cutting Through Spiritual Materialism (Shambhala Classics)
Price: $14.36
Ships from and sold by

Want to discover more products? Check out these pages to see more: buddha dharma wheel, chogyam trungpa, shambhala fiction, tantra meditation