Film Review: Crazy Wisdom

“Crazy Wisdom”
A film by Johanna Demetrakas

“Any perception can connect us to reality properly and fully. What we see doesn’t have to be pretty, particularly; we can appreciate anything that exists. There is some principle of magic in everything, some living quality. Something living, something real, is taking place in everything.”

I have been looking forward to seeing this for some time. I have to admit, I have not read a ton of Chogyam Trungpa Rinpoche, but what I have read, and know about him, he was quite the audacious and in your face type of guy. His form of wisdom, appropriately dubbed crazy wisdom, broke many of the molds that westerners thought Buddhism was.

In the 60’s he became a teacher that people flocked too, having heard from their friends just how brilliant he was. When they met him, many of them were turned off. I’m sure they expected a figure similar to His Holiness the Dalai Lama. You know, a guy in all of his monkliness regalia, what they got was quite the opposite.

His behavior dumbfounded some and pissed off others, especially Tibetan traditionalists, who were angered by the fact one who had so much karma and mythos behind him could just let himself go. He drank like a sailor at times, had extra-marital sex, but the thing that threw most of them for a loop was he donned a suit, not the robes of typical Tibetan teacher.

This film has re-opened my eyes, and mind, to the Dharma. Chogyam Trungpa has reminded me, and us all, it’s not all about smoke, mirrors and hocus pocus. It about commitment, truly living life for life’s sake. Like a Zen teacher whacks a student with a stick to “wake up”, CTR’s life was one big stick whack. He did not live by the book, he did not live the way it “should be.” He just lived. As we all should.

One Comment

  1. I’ll admit that CTR’s unconventional reputation (and my interactions at Naropa with his disciples) have soured me somewhat to him. Still, I like that this DVD reignited something good in you. Now’s a good time for a new beginning.

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