Wang tang

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Wang tang (Tib. དབང་ཐང་, Wyl. dbang thang) — literally 'field of power'.

Chögyam Trungpa writes:

In Tibetan, "authentic presence" is wangthang, which literally means a "field of power." However, since this term refers to a human quality, we have loosely translated it here as "authentic presence." The basic idea of authentic presence is that, because you achieve some merit or virtue, therefore that virtue begins to be reflected in your being, your presence. So authentic presence is based on cause and effect. The cause of authentic presence is the merit you accumulate, and the effect is the authentic presence itself.
There is an outer or ordinary sense of authentic presence that anyone can experience. If a person is modest and decent and exertive, then he will begin to manifest some sense of good and wholesome being to those around him. The inner meaning of authentic presence, however, is connected more specifically to the path of Shambhala warriorship. Inner authentic presence comes, not just from being a decent, good person in the ordinary sense, but it is connected to the realization of primordial space, or egolessness. The cause or the virtue that brings inner authentic presence is emptying out and letting go. You have to be without clinging. Inner authentic presence comes from exchanging yourself with others, from being able to regard other people as yourself, generously and without fixation. So the inner merit that brings inner authentic presence is the experience of nonfixed mind, mind without fixation.
When you meet a person who has inner authentic presence, you find he has an overwhelming genuineness, which might be somewhat frightening because it is so true and honest and real. You experience a sense of command radiating from the person of inner authentic presence. Although that person might be a garbage collector or a taxi driver, still he or she has an uplifted quality, which magnetizes you and commands your attention. This is not just charisma. The person with inner authentic presence has worked on himself and made a thorough and proper journey. He has earned authentic presence by letting go, and by giving up personal comfort and fixed mind.[1]

Alternative Translations


  1. Shambhala: The Sacred Path Of The Warrior, in The Collected Works of Chögyam Trungpa, Vol. 8, pages 129-130.

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