First Thought, Best Thought: 108 Poems

First Thought, Best Thought: 108 Poems

by Chogyam Trungpa
     
 

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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

Overview

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.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780834821330
Publisher:
Shambhala Publications, Inc.
Publication date:
09/28/2010
Sold by:
Barnes & Noble
Format:
NOOK Book
File size:
2 MB

Read an Excerpt

Listen,
listen

Listen,
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.

1111
PEARL STREET

VICTORY
CHATTER

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—

I
bide in the tent, the general,

Listening to the occasional grasshopper's leap:

How grateful to be a soldier.

Ah!
storm rises,

Gold-black cloud in the southern quarter—

I
can hear the flag fluttered violently by the wind.

A
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.

A
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

Oh!
How I feel that I am a good soldier

A
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

Rock
The
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

Arrowheads
I
fight in the old fashion.

2
July 1975


Boulder,
Colorado

ASLEEP
AND AWAKE

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.

11
February 1977



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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