Chögyam trungpa Rinpoche


Chögyam Trungpa Rinpoche was born in the Nanjing region of Tibet. Trungpa Rinpoche was the 11th descendent in the line of Trungpa tulkus, important teachers of the Kagyü lineage of Tibetan Buddhism. Among his three main teachers were Jamgon Kongtrul Sechen, His Holiness Dilgo Khyentse Rinpoche and Khenpo Gangshar. He was recognised as an excellent teacher, a major figure in the spread of Buddhism in the West, and Trungpa Rinpoche spent his life striving to bring the teachings he received to the widest possible audience. He founded Vajradhatu and Naropa University and established the Shambhala Training method and Shambhala Meditation Centres. He translated many Tibetan Buddhist texts.

After completing rigorous monastic education, Trungpa Rinpoche became head of the Surmang monasteries in eastern Tibet. When the Chinese Communist Party took control in 1959, Chögyam Trungpa Rinpoche was forced to leave the country. In 1963 he moved to England to study at Oxford University. In 1967, he founded the Samye Ling Meditation Centre, the first Western Tibetan Buddhist practice centre in Scotland. He has written 14 spiritual books. In the meantime, he became a lay teacher after a car accident left the left side of his body partially paralysed. He married and moved to the USA, where he founded his first meditation centre in North America, and later three more. His easy-to-understand teachings found an enthusiastic audience in 1970s America. He continued to write books and founded Naropa University.

Rinpoche invited other teachers to come to the West and give teachings, including His Holiness the 16th Karmapa.

Rinpoche died in Canada on 4 April 1987. His body was packed in salts, placed in a wooden box and transported to Karmê Chöling (Vermont, USA). Disciples claimed that his cremation on 26 May 1987 was accompanied by rainbows, circling eagles and a cloud in the shape of the letter Ashe, symbolising enlightenment.