Chogyam Trungpa on Buddha, Information Overload and Being a Universal Expert
My friend Cyndi Elliott posted the quote below fromÂ ChĂ¶gyam Trungpa’s book Crazy Wisdom on her Facebook page this week, calling out the idea of what it means to be a universal expert. It made me stop and think about my own work in the world as well as the work I do with my coaching clients. What does it mean to be a universal expert in today’s world of information overload?
I found the orginial quote on the Shambala website with the following headline:
What if Buddha Doesnâ€™t Know How to Change SnowÂ Tires?
Enlightenment is not purely a matter of collecting information. If a buddha didnâ€™t know how to change his snow tires, for example, a person might begin to have doubts about him, if you have the view of an enlightened being as a learned person, a great scholar. After all, a buddha is supposed to be the omniscient one; how could he be a buddha if he doesnâ€™t know how to change his tires? He or she should be good at everything.
But buddha is not that kind of universal expert, nor a super-professor. Here, the idea of intellectual understanding and sharpening the intellect is not feeding oneself millions of bits of information, making oneself into a walking library. Rather, it is developing sharpness and precision in relating with the nature of reality.
From â€śIntellect and Working with Negativityâ€ť in Crazy Wisdom by ChĂ¶gyam Trungpa, page 155