Stages of the Path, pt. 2 - The Great Refusal
Welcome to the second episode of The Freedom Place podcast! This is a platform for distributing interviews with and teachings of Traktung Khepa.
Spiritual adept, visionary, poet, farmer, Traktung Khepa is an American-born sage who has taught students in America, Europe, and Cuba since 1990. For 30 years he has guided Tsogyelgar, a contemplative community outside Ann Arbor, Michigan. Equally able to explore the most esoteric aspects and methods of the Tantric path or discuss Existentialism, Santeria, Alchemy, Political Philosophy, or Art History, t.k.’s style of teaching is immediate and relevant.
As a child, t.k. traveled with his parents from Marrakesh to Istanbul exploring modern and ancient cultures, museums, churches, whirling dervishes, gypsy caves, healers in the Black Forest, and mysteries of Greek ruins. As a teen he had encounters with spiritual aspirants and adepts of every sort from Jesuit priests and Franciscan monks to Krishnamurti, 32nd degree Freemasons, Sufi and Zen masters and more. At the same time he picnicked on the White House lawn with Reagan and joked with Nixon and Kissinger as they played Happy Birthday for his mother on the piano.
t.k’s lifelong passion for exploring spiritual traditions and life’s meaning has seamlessly melded with his profound realization accomplished through the non-monastic Tantric path. The Adept Thinley Norbu Rinpoche repeatedly encouraged him to share his wisdom and realization to, “Help Westerners clarify the inner meanings of Tantra without distortions.”
t.k. lives outside Ann Arbor, Michigan with his family.
My name is Greg Kaminsky and I'm honored and blessed to be your host. I've been a student of Traktung Khepa for a little more than 2 years and I can attest that he is the most authentic teacher I've ever met. It is with great anticipation and joy that we have begun preparing a series of recordings, both teachings and interviews, with t.k. to share with a larger audience.
Today's recording is from a teaching that was given on Sunday, June 2nd, 2019 at Tsogyelgar near Ann Arbor, Michigan. This teaching was part 2 of the Stages of the Path, continuing the from the prior episode. Rinpoche describes this talk as a LamRim teaching, which encompasses the stages of the path from beginning to the end.
This is part 2 that addresses:
- The Great Refusal - a decision to not take part in any harmful actions whether personal, political, spiritual, or otherwise and the importance of this step with regard to one's spiritual path
- the importance of analyzing teachers and teachings with discernment
- choosing a path that you can actually practice
- to discipline the mind and pay attention in order to love
- to embrace not knowing and insecurity because we need to look again and again since we're not already enlightened
- that authentic gurus love to be questioned about the path
And 2 questions at the end:
1. A comparison between Nisargardatta Maharaj's method of focusing on the feeling of "I am" and then going beyond with the tantric practice of Generation Phase deity yoga and the quality of devotion in practice
2. "Ki Ki So So Pagyalo" at the end of Sang incense offering - a practice to raise the spirit
Feel free to leave comments or questions below or send them to email@example.com
The intro music is "Devotion" by David Modica and the outro music is "Song to a Pigeon Goddess Girl" by Honey Rain.
The name of this podcast, The Freedom Place, is taken from one of t.k.'s poems:
I am only love
This room where I live is only mystery
And here I will live with you
Without beginning or end
In this freedom place