Crazy Wisdom Video
Crazy Wisdom

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Crazy Wisdom (2011)

Available worldwide

Crazy Wisdom explores the arrival of Tibetan Buddhism in America through the story of Chogyam Trungpa, the brilliant "bad boy of Buddhism" who fled his homeland during the Chinese Communist invasion. Trungpa arrived in the U.S. in 1970, and legend has it that he said to his students: "Take me to your poets."

Trungpa eventually became renowned for translating ancient Buddhist concepts into language and ideas that Westerners could understand, while shattering all preconceived notions about the way an enlightened teacher should behave. Judged harshly by the Tibetan establishment to begin with, Trungpa's teachings are now recognized by Western philosophers and spiritual leaders, including the Dalai Lama, as authentic and profound.

Today, twenty years after his death, Trungpa's name still evokes both admiration and outrage. What made him tick, and just what is "crazy wisdom" anyway? With unprecedented access to Trungpa's inner circle and exclusive never-before-seen archival material, Crazy Wisdom looks at the man and the myths about him, and attempts to set the record straight.

Robert Thurman, Allen Ginsberg, Ram Dass, Pema Chodron
Johanna Demetrakas
English, Tibetan with English subtitles

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massrunner, posted on June 1, 2016

He was a taker, like some other "gurus" of that generation, who took advantage of those drugged-out hippies, who followed him blindly. It's that dishonest, self-gratifying, messy, hippie thinking that justifies alcoholism, sexual infidelity, ego-gratification, etc. as "spiritualism" while he created his own ego-gratifying, pathetic, little European-style empire like other Third Worlders, who looked to the British monarchy as the pinnacle to be emulated. It's pathetic to hear the accounts of those who took part in his world of Victorian make-believe justifying it all as "spiritual" and "enlightening", because he was "honest" about it. Really?

heartinmotion888, posted on December 19, 2015

being ONE with all that is...this world we live in ...a world of duality ..good and bad..kindness and cruelty. To reach a point of consciousness where there is no judgement or expectation but only have compassion and understanding of the human experience without needing to take sides of the good or bad. I see how Chogyam Trungpa teachings puts this in perspective to bring PEACE within one own presence...inspite of the many hardships and physical challenges he has held in his body...His connection to his own truth prevailed inspite of experiencing the madness of humanity's challenging experiences throughout history . I have often wondered why we have entered in this time of darkness and TIBET lost its body to the godless submission of GODLESS warriors..and so many lives of BUDDHIST MONKS were sacrificed...what reason was this all about? PERHAPS it was about RELIGIOUS DOGMA that no longer served as it also separates many ....we are ONE AND INTERCONNECTED ...Crazy wisdom was an excellent theme to demonstrate the breaking down of the many traditions and teachings of the THORNS OF SOCIETY that only separates the many teachings...of spiritual truth, that is GOD"S TRUTH. MANY MASTERS and teachers have been sent to human kind yet many have not quite understood ...many types of teachings and masters have taught via many varieties of cultured and nations...yet we have not really understood.,,then to conclude this story ...connecting to the HEART was a perfect conclusion. AS we connect to the HEART we all may live and co create our lives through the CREATIVE INTELLIGENCE in our own special way and presence.....perhaps as a military soldier, or an artist, or a murderer...every thing happens for a purpose and reason for our knowing and understanding that we all are here to bring back wholeness and loving presence of divine love and order as we live through the inspiration of the HEARTinMOTION....where only LOVE exist in all , I am so happy to finally learn of his place in this world; with much admiration for his courage to show us the way breaking the many rules of the Thorns of SOCIETY... , THANK YOU, Chogyam Trungpa for expressing the beauty of your SPIRIT...We are all children of divine CREATOR experiencing the human experience in many ways and it is a free will choice ..then to have the freedom of our souls is what Chogyam Trungpa has taught in his embracing the human experiences ..was quite well done to show the way of compassion and understanding and at the same be a silent witness to the human drama, yet holding the heart of divine love which he did with what many of mankind would have had negative emotions and drowned their emotions in to the darkness or despair. IT is very liberating to watch and not become affected or have any kind of expectations..or attachments to be as a judge and jury of what is good or bad in our own personal lives

Mjhenderson981, posted on October 11, 2015

The film has given me some questions that I have no answers for but would be interested to converse over with him. Did he love himself? Was he traumatised by leaving Tibet where so many died escaping with him and in what ways did he respond to that trauma? Was there isolation in being a heroic figure? If so, how did he explain the isolation and contradictions of heroism to himself? In what ways did 'crazy wisdom' reveal to himself any legacy from others beforehand ? What narratives/stories did he tell himself about who he was given Buddhism was dead as he described it and all things were possibilities for awakening?

If someone wants to answer these questions in their own way I would be interested.

abby6, posted on May 27, 2015

favorite quote

when i ride a horse, i hold my seat,
when i play with snakes, i snap them on my wrist
when i play with dangerous maidens, i let them talk first

chogyam trungpa rinpoche (1939-1987)

p.kokesh, posted on May 26, 2015

for those who question, you must know it's not enough to be a seeker, you must also be a finder...

mcreynoldsra, posted on May 18, 2015

Chogyam Trungpa obviously had a gift for mesmerizing his followers. Some of what he taught was sound, but his notion of the immersion into that which one wishes to address and change or eliminate, such as aggression/militarism cannot be eliminated or changed by immersing oneself in that silliness. What about murder? The question that arises is this: In order to enlighten people that murder is wrong, are we to murder someone and in this full knowledge of murder, will we be better able to address and work towards the elimination of murder?

abby6, posted on May 27, 2015

I do not believe he advocated the action of actual murder but rather the understanding and inclusion of "mind of murderer" or "mind of military" as in what would make a person want to wage war. dress-up and drama to understand the thoughts motivating war mongering. One cannot deny that Americans have a fascination with murder-mysteries, murder as entertainment, unsolved murders...yet they repress this impulse in themselves as if they are above having these thoughts from time to time...others speak these words and do not realize they are creating this in some way by speaking the words desirous of ending someone else's life. Rinpoche wanted to wake people up. Listen to yourself speak. Look at yourself. Look at your values. You do not murder, but does your elected representative do so? Do you kill someone's spirit? A child, perhaps?

In order to defeat the demon we have to face the demon in a fearless state. Milarepa discusses this in his meditation about facing demons, that he reached a point when he could stare at them and not be afraid and then they dissolved into one another. I see it as love the dark side as well as the light because the dark side needs it more. This ultimately heals, because there is no oppression. Having said that, I do not agree with his military costume or his private military. Yet there are "gurus" today that have private security. Does that make him less wise?

When we live in full awareness of the sanctity of all life, the sacredness of all life, even the life of the murder has value. If we cannot at the same time empathize with all the players in this human drama, we still do not have "meeting" of the spirit. we still don't get it as long as there is a bad guy. we each choose in each moment of our aware life to make good, to do good. that is a choice made with awareness. it is not a state of being. it is a series of choices. the dichotomy of "murderer"<> "victim" and good guy<>bad guy implies that humans are static, like rocks, they get labeled and stay that way. nothing is further from the truth. the fact that we can become aware at any time and increasingly include this awareness in any decision, in any action we take, means we can rise from the muck of samsara to an enlightened state each time we do any action at all, each thought, each spoken word, each post, each purchase, an opportunity to ascend over past decisions and choices. Milarepa was considered by his generation to have killed at least 35 people not including anyone else that bothered him or disturbed his meditation, yet he ascended, he made choices to release attachments, including attachment to label, judge, or to have an ego. And he wrote his story for our generation, amongst others that we could know he was human and he did it so can we if it is the only important thing, the focus of our being, our love, our attention. If we want enlightenment more than all these labels, explanations and words, we will get it, but not from a box, or a man, or an idea, from meditation.

ramonet.marcela2, posted on July 22, 2015

Thank you for sharing your thoughts !!!!

nowvoyager, posted on May 18, 2015

Very interesting. Question: Does Buddhism appeal mostly to Europeans? I see no other ethnic groups, other than Asians, in films of this nature., posted on August 28, 2016

I think that Buddhism, being so relatively new to the West, is hard for any westerners to identify with, culturally. It has deeps origins in Asia, hence what you see most, when watching anything regarding the topic, are Asians. It usually isn't until people turn inward, and begin an inner spiritual search, that the concept of meditation and then the natural progression to Buddhism arises. Even then, where does one start. Seeing that it is not a cultural norm in the west, a seeker has to expend a considerable amount of effort to even begin to touch the surface. He may encounter Shambhala Buddhism, as it was originated specifically to help Westerners for various reasons, some of which I have mentioned. So, I do not think that Europeans are more interested either. Geographically, they would have a heavier Asian influence than us here in the west, aside from some West coast cities such as Vancouver.

dona7angel, posted on May 16, 2015


mayamagic, posted on May 15, 2015

He was brilliant and deeply emotionally wounded. He did not have/use the tools to heal the emotional wounds and personality aspects in his unconscious mind. Rather than explain his imbalance as high teaching, seeing it for what it is can drop the denial and free the students.

gmsorceressrose, posted on May 15, 2015

Thank you for having the courage to say this.

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