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Preventing Too Many Activities

February 10, 2009

One characteristic of a dharmic person, someone who practices meditation and the teachings of the Buddha, is to prevent too many activities, or you could say, reduce too many activities. According to tradition, that actually boils down to cutting nonfunctional talking, cutting the baby-sitter mentality, the entertainment mentality. You can get yourself into all kinds of projects, all kinds of engagements. You can become chummy with the world so that you don't have to hold your discipline or your mindfulness properly. ....If you don't like tea, you can have coffee. If you don't like coffee, you could switch to Coca-Cola. If you don't like Coca-Cola, you can drink scotch or vodka. You involve yourself in constant, constant activity. Sometimes you don't even know what you are doing; you just come up with the idea that you need to be occupied with something, but you can't put your finger on anything:" Do I need sex or do I need money or do I need clothes? What do I need?"....You could think about anything; the possibilities are infinite. Getting chummy with the situation involves lots of activity. According to the basic principles of Buddhism, you have to cut that down. When you become too chummy with your world, too familiar with your world, it becomes endless.

From "Seven Characteristics of a Dharmic Person," in The Collected Works of Chögyam Trungpa, Volume Two, pages 486 to 487.

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