Training Notes

Higher Ground

Whenever we begin to evaluate, deciding that we should or should not do this or that, then we have already associated our practice or our knowledge with categories, one pitted against the other, and that is spiritual materialism, the false spirituality of our spiritual advisor. Whenever we have a dualistic notion such as, “I am doing this because I want to achieve a particular state of consciousness, a particular state of being,” then automatically we separate ourselves from the reality of what we are. …when we formulate a second judgement, “I should be doing this and should avoid doing that” then we have achieved a level of complication which takes us a long way from the basic simplicity of what we are. The simplicity of meditation means just experiencing the ape instinct of ego. If anything more than this is laid onto our psychology, then it becomes a very heavy, thick mask, a suit of armor.
It is important to see that the main point of any spiritual practice is to step out of the bureaucracy of ego. This means stepping out of ego’s constant desire for a higher, more spiritual, more transcendental version of knowledge, religion, virtue, judgement, comfort or whatever it is that the particular ego is seeking.
Chogyam Trungpa

Training Notes

When you live your life in accordance with basic goodness, then you develop natural elegance. Your life can be spacious and relaxed, without havingto be sloppy. You can actually let go of your deprssion and embarrassment aboutbeing a human being, and you can cheer up.

The result of practicing the discipline of warriorship is that you learn to stop ambition and frivolity, and out of that, you develop a good sense of balance. Balance comes, not from holding on to a situation, but making friends with heaven and earth. Earth is gravity,or practicality. Heaven is vision orthe experience of open space in which you can uplift your posture, your head and shoulders. Balance comes from joining practicality with vision, or we could say, joining skill with spontaneity.

First trust in yourself. Then you can also trust in the earth or gravity of a situation, and because of that, you can uplift yourself. At that point, your discipline becomes delightful rather than being an ordeal or a great demand… learn to float…Each step is a dance.  Chogyam Trungpa

Training Notes

“The body is a sacred garment.
• There is a vitality, a life-force, an energy, a quickening that is translated through you into action and because there is only one of you in all of time, this expression is unique. And if you block it, it will never exist through any other medium and be lost.
• The body says what words cannot.
• The body is your instrument in dance, but your art is outside that creature, the body.
• Our arms start from the back because they were once wings.
• No artist is ahead of his time. He is his time. It is just that the others are behind the time.
• Dance is the hidden language of the soul.
• Dancing is just discovery, discovery, discovery.”

Martha Graham

Mary Cutrera Tree image

“Beside the river was a grove of tall naked cotton woods- trees of great antiquity and enormous size- so large that they seemed to belong to a bygone age. They grew far apart, and their strange twisted shapes must have come about from the ceaseless winds that bent them to the east and scoured them with sand, and from the fact that they lived with very little water,- the river was nearly dry here for most of the year. The trees rose off of the ground at a slant, and forty or fifty feet above the earth all these white, dry trunks changed their direction, grew back over ther base line, Some split into great forks which arched down almost to the ground; some did notipped downward fork at all, but the main trunk d in a strong curve, as if drawn by a bowstring: and some terminated in a thick coruscation of growth, like a crooked palm tree. They were all living trees and yet they seemed to be of old, dead, dry wood, and had very scant foliage. High up in the forks, or at the end of a preposterous length of twisted bough, would burst a faint bouquet of delicate green leaves- out of all keeping with the lengths of seasoned white trunk and branches. The grove looked like a winter wood of giant trees, with clusters of mistletow growing among the bare boughs.”
Death Comes For the Archbishop by Willa Cather 1927