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Transcending Madness: The Experience of the Six Bardos (Dharma Ocean Series) Paperback – September 8, 1992


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Product Details

  • Series: Dharma Ocean Series
  • Paperback: 356 pages
  • Publisher: Shambhala; 1st edition (September 8, 1992)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0877736375
  • ISBN-13: 978-0877736370
  • Product Dimensions: 5.5 x 0.8 x 8.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 15.2 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (6 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #165,203 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

"The extended discussions are extremely illuminating . . . This is a deeply psychological book, in the sense that Trungpa Rinpoche exhorts us to come to grips with the psychology of our own minds in the most fundamental way."— Ordinary Mind

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.

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36 of 36 people found the following review helpful By Vinay Varma on February 18, 2006
Format: Paperback
Chogyam Trungpa Rinpoche's theory of six states of being/mind is based on Tibetan Buddhist psychology. The cycle of Bardos or states of in-betweeness (similar to Heidegger's idea of throwness) is something through which we all go through. The in-betweeness or bardo described by Trungpa is that state in which we experience the peak of a certain state of mind about to change into another - for example peak of anger, peak of bliss, peak of jealousy, peak of anxiety etc. These situations make us feel trapped because we are on the verge of 'going over' and yet it seems we cannot cross the river.

These are at once states of madness and sanity. Trungpa does not operate through a Western separation of thes concepts but shows that by allowing the peak to pass you realize the insight of the peak. He does not say that you should try hard to move away from a Bardo. If you do, you move into another Bardo and in any case you can only move from one Bardo to another. It is fruitless if you get caught in the same Bardo permanently. So the solution to seeking sanity in everyday experiences of madness is allowing a Bardo to be realized and to pass - neither grasping nor freeing oneself from it. That is, not moving away, and not trying to hold on, but realizing it and allowing it to pass.

Trungpa's language is difficult both because of his Asiatic style of emphasis and because his method of argumentation is based on the Indo-Tibetan (Nyaya-Jain-Buddhist) tradition of syllogism rather than the Western one. Accordingly many of his statements are in the form 'neither this nor that'. This can be frustrating for readers schooled only in Western logic, but is perfectly logical for Oriental minds.
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47 of 49 people found the following review helpful By Peacock Eye on November 22, 2004
Format: Paperback
This is quite a special book about the psychology of bardo experience in Tibetan Buddhism. If you are new to these bardo teachings, then this is probably not the best book to start. However, it is very useful for further reading, particularly on the human psychology of the bardo experiences.

In his book, Trungpa Rinpoche describes what is traditionally known in Tibetan Buddhism as the "six realms", or worlds that we create as the projections of such powerful energies as anger, greed, ignorance, lust, envy, and pride. Having disowned the power of our emotions and projected that power onto the world outside, we find ourselves trapped in a variety of ways and see no hope of escape.

But it is within these projected realms, that the bardo experience arises as the heightened experience of that realm.
Now this heightened experience may go either way: Either we become (further) stuck in complete confusion of entrapment, or we open up to the possibility of sudden transformation of solidity into freedom - thus utilizing the bardo as a turning-point to freedom.

Bardo is explained as a ambiguous peak experience of "being in-between", "being in no-man's-land", neither belonging "here" nor "there". It belongs to situations in which we have emerged from the past and have not yet formulated the future, but strangely enough, we happen to be "somewhere".
It is at once "as if" being completely confused (to the point of being on the verge of madness) "and yet" being on the verge of awakening by resolving the confusion. You are not quite certain whether you have completely gone mad or you are "just about" to receive something. It is at once sanity/insanity.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By K. D. Wilson on January 13, 2015
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
This book is wonderful for those who have serious interest in Tibetan buddhism and the intricacies of our mind. It's not for beginners. This is a book that is to be read and studied with meticulous patience. This is book that conveys wisdom and insight rather than information. It provides unique into how patterns of anxiety, depression, anger are basically manifestations of samsara--and our inability to distinguish between the reaction of our mind/mindstate on the challenges of living in this world.
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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.

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