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Spiritual Shopping

--by Chogyam Trungpa (Aug 30, 2005)


There is a general tendency to be involved with all kinds of fascinations and delusions, and nothing very much takes root in one's being. Everything in one's life experience, concerning spirituality or anything else, is purely a matter of shopping. Our lives consist of problems of pain, problems of pleasure, problems of points of view -- problems about all kinds of alternatives -- which makes our existence complicated. There are hundreds and millions of choices in our lives - particularly in regard to our sense of discipline, our ethics and our spiritual path. People are very confused in this chaotic world about what is really the right thing to do. We try to combine all kinds of traditions together, sometimes they conflict, sometimes they work together harmoniously. But we are constantly shopping and that is actually the basic problem. [...]

The difficulty is more our own personal conflict arising from wanting to have and to be the best. When we take refuge [commit] we give up some sense of seeing ourselves as the good citizen or hero of a success story. We may have to give up our past, we may have to give up our potential future. By taking a particular vow, we end our shopping in the spiritual supermarket. We decide to stick to one brand for the rest of our lives. We choose to stick to a staple diet and flourish on it.

We no longer have to run after this person and that person. We no longer have to compare our lifestyle with anyone else's. Once we take this step, we have no alternatives; there is no longer the entertainment of indulgence in so-called freedom. We take a definite vow to enter a discipline of choicelessness - which saves us a lot of money, a lot of money and lots and lots of superfluous thinking.

--Chogyam Trungpa


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