Someone asked Chogyum Trungpa, “Is there a Buddhist equivalent of the Christian term, ‘Grace?’” He answered, “Yes, patience.”


Trungpa Rinpoche (1939-1987), a Tulku of the Karma Kagyu of Tibet Buddhism, left Tibet in 1959 eventually settling in North America in 1970. A dynamic teacher, he founded Vajradhatu, and was the author of many influential books including Meditation in Action, and Cutting through Spiritual Materialsim. Rick Fields, journalist and student of Trungpa’s, said, “This man made more trouble and did more good than anyone I ever knew.”

When Buddhism came to China it dialogued with and absorbed aspects of Taoism and Confucianism. In America, one can see this happening with a variety of disciplines: Christianity, 12-Step Programs, psychology, and physics. Grace in Christianity is often used to mean an unearned virtue or gift granted by God. Patience in Buddhism is one of the six Paramitas, Perfections or Practices of a Bodhisattva. They are Giving, Precepts, Patience, Effort, Meditation, and Wisdom.

Trungpa’s answer was not a literal translation. It was something else. What’s that?

VERSE by Dairyu

The Avatamsaka Sutra asserts that rocks are alive.
Patience isn’t punishment.
It’s the real thing.

Kyle GetschowComment