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Lions Roar : March 2009
SHAMBHALA SUN MArcH 2009 85 Thought or Not? reviews True PercePTion: The Path of Dharma Art by Chögyam trungpa. edited by Judith L. Lief Shambhala Publications, 2008; 224 pp., $16.95 (paper) DrAwing is Thinking by Milton Glaser Overlook, 208 pp., $45 (cloth) reviewed bY robert deL trediCi i tend to assess Modern art by its capacity to absorb energy from black holes. for me, Moby-Dick has always weighed in with five stars on the black Hole scale. Goya, van Gogh, and Kafka score high, as do Lewis Carroll, odilon redon, and dos- toyevsky. true Perception: the Path of Dharma art, a revised edi- tion of Chögyam trungpa’s 1996 book, Dharma art, collects texts from twenty-eight talks he gave throughout the United states be- tween 1974 and 1982. the texts present Chögyam trungpa’s core teachings on art in relation to black holes. His approach sounds at first disarmingly simple: “people often start with art and discover dharma after that. but our approach is different: we begin with dharma, and then we try to find if there is any art in it.” the way of the dharma is the way of non- aggression. out of non-aggression dharma art arises. but get- ting to non-aggression can be tricky. the mind—attached as it is to its surges and riptides, carnivals and curses, its feather boas and guillotines, empires and ingrown toenails—bears watching. that watching, trungpa teaches, best happens from outside the mind’s own known points of reference. when you begin to abandon all possibilities of any kind of reference point that would comfort you, tell you to do some- thing, help you to see through everything, make you a better Chögyam trungpa, photographed by robert Del tredici “Canto XXV” by Milton glaser