Here is a unique contribution to the field of poetry: a new collection of works by
America's foremost Buddhist meditation master, Chögyam Trungpa. These poems and songs—most of which were written since his arrival in the United
States in 1970—combine a background in classical Tibetan poetry with Trungpa's intuitive insight into the spirit of...

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First Thought, Best Thought: 108 Poems

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Here is a unique contribution to the field of poetry: a new collection of works by
America's foremost Buddhist meditation master, Chögyam Trungpa. These poems and songs—most of which were written since his arrival in the United
States in 1970—combine a background in classical Tibetan poetry with Trungpa's intuitive insight into the spirit of America, a spirit that is powerfully evoked in his use of colloquial metaphor and contemporary imagery.

Most of the poems were originally written in English—clearly the result of the author's own perceptions of new forms and media offered to him by a different culture. Each poem has its own insight and power, which come from a skillful blend of traditional Asian subtlety and precision combined with a thoroughly modern vernacular. Several of the author's calligraphies accompany the collection.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780834821330
  • Publisher: Shambhala Publications, Inc.
  • Publication date: 9/28/2010
  • Sold by: Barnes & Noble
  • Format: eBook
  • File size: 2 MB

Meet the Author

Allen Ginsberg (1926–1997) was one of the Beat writers who arose as a new voice in the late 1940s. Free thinking and skeptical of authority, Ginsberg produced provocative poetry and was an influential figure of the counterculture movement of the 1960s.

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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Read an Excerpt


listen to the sound of the mind's own utterance,

Within the womb of the beauty of Autumn,

While the setting sun shows the red glory of her smile.

Hearing the bamboo flute which no one plays,

Listen to the reeds swaying in the breeze,

And the silent ripple's song.

The disciples debate,

But never reach the ripple's end.

The teacher's word that lies beyond the mind—Listened to, it cannot be found,

And found, it still cannot be heard.



As an old soldier

Watching the territory:

Flags go up and down

Where the soldiers gather;

Hearing distant archery contests;

Horses are unsaddled in the meadow;

Flute of a soldier who is in love;

Listening to the creaking of the cannon swayed in the wind.

The sound of the flute fades away;

The banner of victory is fluttered by the breeze;

Rustling of armor takes place constantly.

Occasional smell of horse dung,

Occasional cheerful chatter of the armed force—

bide in the tent, the general,

Listening to the occasional grasshopper's leap:

How grateful to be a soldier.

storm rises,

Gold-black cloud in the southern quarter—

can hear the flag fluttered violently by the wind.

thought occurs to me:

"somebody's getting out of the administration."

And another:

The memory of a whistling arrow on the battlefield

And the high-pitched echo of swift swordsmanship.

thought occurs to me:

"Somebody's getting into business,"

As the horses begin to neigh—

They are ready for tomorrow's battle:

"somebody's going to teach philosophy tomorrow

And get out of the administration at the end of the week."

The cloud from the south moves close to the center of the sky,

Dark with wrath.

We hear resounding deep thunder.

The warriors' fight must go on— Vigor and bravery

Sharp sword

Well-cared-for bows and wrestling armor

Are our only resources.

Frontier warfare is sad and happy,

It is romantic and treacherous

How I feel that I am a good soldier

good general,

Listening to the rustling of armor

Where the white tents are blown by the wind.

We are sharpening our swords and our arrowheads.

How romantic to be fighters

Conquering the American plains!

Good luck to Boulder

Rocky Mountains

The pine trees— Full of fantastic battlegrounds.

The kingdom rests at eleven and eleven.

It is good to fight,

It is good to know that victory is,

It is good that I alone can wage this particular warfare.

Sharpened sword

fight in the old fashion.

July 1975



While the grass was falling asleep

Waiting for the snowflakes,

Timid world has been reshaped into warrior world:

My accomplishment is achieved.

Abundance of sympathy, devotion, kindness, politeness—

All amount to asleep and awake.

When dying culture is reintroduced,

It becomes genuinely powerful.

February 1977

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Table of Contents




1. The
Spontaneous Song of Entering into the Blessings and Profound Samaya of the Only
Father Guru 1

2. Stray
Dog 3

3. The
Song of the Wanderer 4

4. Listen,
5. Whistling grasses of the Esk Valley
6. Song

7. In the
north of the sky
8. Goodbye and Welcome 11

9. Meteoric
iron mountain
10. The
Zen teacher
11. American
Good Intentions 14

12. First
Thought 17

13. Samsara and Nirvana 19

14. Gain and Loss 21

15. Cynical
Letter 23

16. Dignified
Rocky Mountain 24

17. Philosopher
Fool 25

18. Does love kill anybody?
19. A
Letter to Marpa 29

20. Aphorisms

21. The
Nameless Child 33

22. The
Myth of Freedom 35

23. Haiku

24. The
red flag flies
25. The
26. Silk
Road 41

27. Tibetan
Pilgrim 42

28. Trans
World Air 43

29. A
flower is always happy
30. True
Tantra Groupie 45

31. Glorious
Bhagavad-Ghetto 47

32. Tail of the Tiger 48

33. Naropa
Institute, 1974 49

34. Pema
Yumtso 55

35. To
Britain's Health 57

36. Supplication to the Emperor 60

37. Literal
Mathematics 62

38. One way
39. Shasta
Road 65

40. Palm is
41. Burdensome

42. Tsöndrü
Namkha 69

43. Pema
Semma 71

44. Dying
Laughing 73

45. Künga
Garma 75

46. 1111
Pearl Street:
47. Wait and Think 81

48. Missing the Point 83

49. RMDC,
Route 1, Livermore 85

50. To
Gesar of Ling 87

51. Love's
Fool 88

52. Report from Loveland 90

53. 1018
Spruce Street (and K.A.) 92

54. 1135
10th Street (and G.M.) 95

55. 1111
Pearl Street (and D.S.) 97

56. 78
Fifth Avenue 98

57. The
Alden (and Thomas Frederick) 101

58. Commentary on "The Alden (and Thomas Frederick)" 102

59. Aurora
7 (#2) 106

60. 1111
Pearl Street: Off Beat 108

61. Aurora
7 (and Nyingje Sheltri) 109

62. Pan-American
Dharmadhatu III 112

63. Tibetan
Lyrics 114

64. Asleep and Awake 115

65. Great
Eastern Daughterlet 116

66. Whycocomagh?

67. Lion's
Roar 119

68. Timely
Rain 120

69. Pan-Dharmadollar

70. Meetings with Remarkable People 124

71. International
Affairs: The Cosmic Joke of 1977 126

72. One sound 130

73. Dixville
(and C.F.)
74. Afterthought

75. Don't
Confuse This for Trick-or-Treat 136

76. Eternal
Guest 140

77. Swallowing the Sun and Moon without Leaving the World in Darkness:
Lady of Wisdom
78. Saddharma
Punsters 144

79. I
Miss You So Much 147

80. The
Doha of Confidence:
Song of the Four Remembrances
81. Eon
Voyage 151

82. Memorial in Verse 152

83. To
My Son 155

84. For
Anne Waldman 156

85. Putting
Up with the Trans-Canada 157

86. Buddhism in the Canadian Rockies 158

87. Praise to the Lady of the Big Heart 161

88. Not
Deceiving the Earth (and M.S.N.) 162

89. Drunken elephant
90. Limp and Talk 165

91. How to Know No 167

92. International
Affairs of 1979:
Uneventful but Energy-Consuming
93. To the Noble Sangha 172

94. Fishing
Wisely 173

95. Miscellaneous
Doha 174

96. Exposé:
Accusations in the Name of Devotion
97. Mixed
Grill Dharma Served with Burgundy of Ground Mahamudra 1980 Vintage:
Feast of Timeless Accuracy
98. Growing
Pains Are Over 181

99. Coming of Age of My Son 182

100. You
Might Be Tired of the Seat That You Deserve 185

101. When
I ride
102. Timely
Innuendo 188

103. A
Heart Lost and Discovered 189

104. Command

105. Golden
Sun 191

106. As skylarks hunt
their prey
107. Seasons'
Greetings 193

108. The
Nonchalant and Dangerously

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