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The Path Is the Goal (Dharma Ocean Series)
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The Path Is the Goal (Dharma Ocean Series) [Paperback]

Chogyam Trungpa
4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (14 customer reviews)

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The Path Is the Goal: A Basic Handbook of Buddhist Meditation The Path Is the Goal: A Basic Handbook of Buddhist Meditation 4.8 out of 5 stars (14)
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Book Description

April 18, 1995 Dharma Ocean Series
According to the Buddha, no one can attain basic sanity or enlightenment without practicing meditation. The teachings given here on the outlook and technique of meditation provide the foundation that every practitioner needs to awaken as the Buddha did. Trungpa teaches us to let go of the urge to make meditation serve our ambition; thus we can relax into openness. We are shown how the deliberate practice of mindfulness develops into contrived awareness, and we discover the world of insight that awareness reveals. We learn of a subtle psychological stage set that we carry with us everywhere and unwittingly use to structure all our experience—and we find that meditation gradually carries us beyond this and beyond ego altogether to the experience of unconditioned freedom.

Editorial Reviews

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.

Product Details

  • Series: Dharma Ocean Series
  • Paperback: 192 pages
  • Publisher: Shambhala; 1st edition (April 18, 1995)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0877739706
  • ISBN-13: 978-0877739708
  • Product Dimensions: 5 x 0.4 x 7.3 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 6.4 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (14 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,885,618 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

4.8 out of 5 stars
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Top Customer Reviews
58 of 61 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Rinpoche does not engage in "idiot compassion." November 30, 1999
Chogyam Trungpa Rinpoche does not engage in "idiot compassion." This book will not gratify any of the desires of your ego. Instead it has (as the foreward says) an "iron hook" of compassion, which will attempt to cut away your ego & expose you to the hard lonely reality of practice.
In his first exposition of the nature of meditation Rinpoche tells us to sit without pretensions, "like a disused coffee cup." He describes the feeling of spaciousness that comes from abandoning the ego as a reference point as "boring" & "suffocating." He does not give us any room to use meditation as an ego toy.
I recommend this book highly to anyone who is seriously interested in the hard, confusing road of spirituality. After many years of meditation, feeling very confident & special, reading "The Path is the Goal" and "Cutting Through Spiritual Materialism" was a kick to the gut.
When you're done having fun pretending to meditate, come to "The Path is the Goal" & be cut open by Chogyam Trungpa's absolute unwavering compassion.
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25 of 27 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars He doesn't pull any punches March 8, 2002
Another reviewer harshly criticized Chogyam Trungpa's lack of compassion with respect to the meditation practices and the non-dualism that they promote. While I would concur that the Rinpoche's style is very straightforward, I do not believe that is the result of a lack of compassion or any extra "harshness" on the his part.
His writings are direct, and concise. I find that his writing style very much belies his primary language and the translation is almost exact, phrase-for-phrase. This often leads to difficult reading because the subject-verb-object relationships and sentence structures do not map well between Tibetan and English. Additionally, he spends much time discussing the failures of language with respect to non-dualism. The use of any language to describe concepts inherently opposed by language leads to several tricky sections where I was forced to rigorousely parse each section in order to understand his point. The rewards of better understanding and a much diminished ego were well worth the effort.
All in all, this book is an excellent building block that doesn't treat meditation in the same feel-good, "New Age" style of so many other authors. It is definately built upon the underlying structures of Kagyu-style Buddhism. If Trungpa hurts your ego and makes "you" feel virtually non-existant... Well that's kind of the point of non-dualism in the first place.
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40 of 47 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Buddhism will not make your life easier. August 26, 2004
Naropa obtained enlightenment after his teacher, Tilopa, asked him to perform countless grueling tasks, many at the risk of death. One day, Tilopa smacked Naropa on the head with his sandal and that was it, enlightenment.

Milarepa, after killing 12 people, was asked by his teacher, Marpa, to build a temple before he would receive the teachings. When he finished the temple, Marpa found it unsatisfactory and had him rebuild it. It went on and on and on, with Milarepa nearly dying and Marpa treating him brutally. But all along, Marpa loved him like a son. Because of the negativities Milarepa accumulated, this was his ngöndro, his púrification. Milarepa then went into 12 years of solitary retreat, eating barely nothing.

The 84 mahasiddhas displayed outrageous behaviour in order to benefit beings.

The Buddha himself, in a previous life, killed the captain of a boat. Compassion? You may not think so, unless you knew the captain was going to kill his entire crew.

Buddhism will not make your life easier. It is not about having a safe place, but about being homeless. It is not about gathering about you the clothes of bliss, but about going naked. It is not a peaceful journey (until the later stages) but an ardous task. If you feel lonely, discouraged, depressed because of the teachings, it is not the teachings that have depressed you, but your ego which has chosen to respond to them. THAT is what you can work with.

Remember, the working basis is this defiled mind. If we were already enlightened, we wouldn't feel depressed, or discouraged. Everything is workable.

Please keep these things in mind.
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30 of 36 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Somewhat misnamed, and a little short on compassion December 16, 1998
I don't consider this a beginner's ("Basic") guide to meditation. Many of the topics seem more appropriate for experienced meditators: boredom, loss of self, Vipashyana meditation, etc.
The author does a fair job describing methods for beginning meditators, but explains almost nothing for those who feel they're ready for insight meditation, simply stating that the path is very lonely. Actually, I thought much of his advice was discouraging, given his emphasis on the negatives of meditating practice.
This "book" is actually a transcription of two seminars, and I didn't find the student question & answer segment at the end of each section to be very helpful. And, I was surprised at the lack of compassion Chogyam Trungpa showed to one student who felt threatened by his teachings on loss of self. He appeared to be mocking the student as he/she left the teaching.
I'll give this book another chance after a few more months of meditation, but I don't recommend it for idealistic beginners.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars 5-stars and worth the effort...
Yes, 5-stars! This is NOT a simple book to read and understand, It is indeed challenging [at least for me] but in my judgment certainly well worth the effort. Read more
Published 2 months ago by Captain Jack
5.0 out of 5 stars Good lectures excellent Q & A which at times ar ...
A series of lectures each followed by a Q & A session. Good lectures excellent Q & A which at times ar longer than the lectures.
Published 10 months ago by J. L. Parker
4.0 out of 5 stars Four Stars
As ever, clear and insightful
Published 10 months ago by J. Burke
5.0 out of 5 stars Filled with wisdom! A treasure of a little book ...
Filled with wisdom! A treasure of a little book!
Published 12 months ago by Susan
5.0 out of 5 stars Basic Understanding
I learn best if what I am being instructed to practice is explained in a way that my mind understands the rationale for the instruction. This book reads easily - and thoroughly! Read more
Published on June 23, 2014 by Marian J. Broadus
5.0 out of 5 stars The only book you'd ever need
This book is truly a gift to those who meditate, have never meditated, or who plan to soon.

Easy to read and assimilate.

A real treasure.
Published on April 9, 2014 by Ladye E. Stewart
5.0 out of 5 stars One of the best I've read
Clear, to the point, this book is completely straightforward about meditating. Mindfulness/awareness meditation is not a practice to make you feel good, or bad, for that matter. Read more
Published on January 29, 2014 by Rrosered
5.0 out of 5 stars good straightforward meditation book
another good book by trungpa, i love his straightfoward way of relating with the audience, like all of his books actually. Read more
Published on November 19, 2011 by review12345
5.0 out of 5 stars TEACHING HANDBOOK
This is one of the best and most concise books available on the practice of meditation.
It busts many myths, explains that it can be done only by courageous people, and... Read more
Published on November 14, 2011 by J. Chandler
5.0 out of 5 stars Finally I get it
I'm not a Buddhist, not a meditation expert, I don't have an ".edu" at the end of my email address. I'm no specialist in anything. Read more
Published on May 20, 2008 by F.Faulkner
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