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Merwin Affair

To: soc.religion.eastern
From: Gary S. Trujillo (gst@gnosys.svle.ma.us)
Subj: Merwin Affair (Trungpa) (0000.trungpa.gst)
Date: unknown

Quoting: |wachniew@ftjibm.ftj.agh.edu.pl (Przemyslaw Wachniew) 

|Does anyone remember "the Merwin affair" ?
|Few years ago I became acquainted with Chogyam Trungpa's writings that 
|are stil very inspiring for me. Lately I've read about so called "the 
|Merwin affair" in which Trungpa took part. W. S. Merwin and Dana Naone 
|accused Trungpa of using violence against them during the drunken party.
|I was able to find only small pieces about that incident so I'd like to 
|know your opinions, if anybody still cares about it...

In the various followup articles I read here, I didn't find any that
really dealt with the first part of the question.  I would like to
refer anyone who is interested to an excellent feature-length article
in the February 1979 issue of _Harper's_ Magazine.  The seventeen-page
article, by Peter Marin, is entitled "Spiritual Obedience."  It goes
into great detail about what happened at the Naropa Institute in
Boulder, Colorado during the summer of 1977.  The author says that many
details of his story were taken from a manuscript of over one hundred
pages compiled at Naropa by the members of a class in investigative
poetry.  At the date of writing the article, that manuscript was
still on file at the Institute itself.

The account tells of the drunken party, and how two people, one male
and one female, were physically taken from a room where they had
retreated after the party staged by Chogyam Trungpa had grown too
wild for them and forced to return to the party, despite the man
having broken a bottle and used a shard of glass in self-defense to
injure several people who had been sent to the room to bring him and
the woman back.  When they got back down to the place where the
drunken party was being held, they were forcibly stripped of their
clothes.

The point of the exercise was ostensibly part of a lesson in forsaking
the ego.  The author of the article seems to find this idea to be a
rationalization for very questionable behavior.  The piece is very
thoughtful and well done, and I highly recommend it, particularly to
those who have written in support of Trungpa's brand of "crazy wisdom."

Gary
--
    Gary S. Trujillo                            gst@gnosys.svle.ma.us
Somerville, Massachusetts                {wjh12,bu.edu,spdcc,cdp}!gnosys!gst

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