The primordial dot ~ Chögyam Trungpa

We call it a dot because it occurs very abruptly in the situation, on the spot. It cannot be traced by scientific examination or by an alpha machine. It is just a dot, which always occurs. The dot occurs when we are uncertain. If you are driving quite fast and you see an intersection up ahead and you are uncertain which way to turn, at that point, there is a gap and the dot occurs. Then there is an afterthought: “Turn right,”, or “Turn left,” or “I’ll have to take a guess.” The dot occurs when you feel sad and you wonder, “Will I burst into tears, or can I hold back my tears?” The dot occurs when you see a person. “Should I frown or smile?” There is indecision, and the dot occurs. That is the human condition. It does not tell you exactly what to do.

At the junction of that and this, the human condition is expressed as a challenge. Therefore, it has been said that this primordial dot is the source of fearlessness and also the source of fear or terror. Sometimes you find the dot petrifying, without any reason. Sometimes you find it makes you quite heroic. One never knows where the fear or the courage comes from. It’s almost at the level of an infant’s experience rather than anything metaphysical or conditional. It’s as simple as jumping into the shower and finding that the water is cold or hot. The water temperature is not your state of mind. A cold shower is a cold shower. A hot shower is a hot shower. Where did it come from? It’s very direct. Unconditional goodness, the primordial dot, is free from any neurosis. It’s 200 percent truth. That’s it! It’s hot or cold, which is not particularly a product of neurosis at all.


Chögyam Trungpa

from the book Great Eastern Sun: The Wisdom of Shambhala


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