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All of us experience obstacles as part of our journey, in life and on the spiritual path. In many cases, we think of them as purely something unpleasant to overcome, or as a mistake that needs correcting. Here, Chögyam Trungpa takes a radically different approach to such obstacles, teaching that unexpected chaos, confusion, and emotional upheavals can actually be used as fuel for the journey—an energy that can transform confusion into sanity and wisdom. He illustrates this transformative principle through telling the lively history of the Trungpa tulkus (a lineage within the Kagyü tradition of Tibetan Buddhism), of which he was the eleventh incarnation. Trungpa referred to his lineage as the "Mishap Lineage" because of the ups and downs and colorful lives that were typical of his predecessors, and true of his own life as well. The stories of the Trungpas are seen as a guide for the practitioner’s journey and help us to understand how important lineage and community remain for us today.

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