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1971 talk on Meditation

Like a Foreign country

International Launch: FROM LION'S JAWS

On Shechen Kongtrül

Spookiness

Tribute to Ani Migme

Available for the first time: Audio Recordings of Trungpa Rinpoche's Vajrayogini Teachings


Conversation with Clarke Warren: Part Three


Glimpses of Mahamudra:
An Online Course taught by Judith L. Lief


84000 Posts New Translations in their Online Reading Room


Presentations of the Ngöndro for the Vidyadhara's Termas


In the Kitchen at BPB


Conversation with David Rome Part 3: In the years since ...


Ocean Open House on The Sanity We Are Born With, Tuesday Evening


Ocean Class: Cutting Through Spiritual Materialism start this Wednesday


Ocean: Registration open for autumn classes


Conversation with Clarke Warren: Part One


Ri-me Society Announcement:
Form from Space


Halifax Announcement:
Lee Weingrad Presentation Sept 9 & 10


Tribute to Olive Colón


Dennis Southward: Looking in the same direction


Chakrasamvara Empowerment in New York State this October


Khentrul Rinpoche on Jonang Kalachakra, Shambhala, and the Shentong Middle Way View


Summer Classes: Registration is now open


The Big Thud, a brief encounter from Karen Ritchie


A Conversation With David Rome


Jim Lowrey reads from TAMING UNTAMEABLE BEINGS


An interview with Jack Niland


Tribute to Acharya Allyn Lyon


Chogyam Trungpa in Mousehole


Tribute to Binny


Twenty-Nine years ago in the upper meadow ...


Nothing Else,
By Scott Wellenbach


CTR Retreat:
A Report from James Wilton


Translators Share Top Award


Orgyen Tobgyal Rinpoche on Chogyam Trungpa Rinpoche


Oxford Refuge for Buddhist Monks


Tribute to Suzanne Duarte


Tribute to George Marshall


Jigme Phuntsok On Trungpa Rinpoche


Vajrayogini Abhisheka to be conferred


"No One Has Ever Been There"


The Escape's Place in History


Assistance Requested for Noedup Rongae


A salute from Dzongsar Khyentse Rinpoche


Eleven years of poems and tributes including three poems from April 4, 2016


Trungpa Rinpoche on The Dawn of Enlightenment


An excerpt from an upcoming new book about Trungpa Rinpoche's escape from Tibet


Controversial New Mindfulness Study


An audio Valentine from Chögyam Trungpa


Shambhala Announces Larry Mermelstein's retirement as an acharya


Tribute to Maggie Russell


Shambhala Day Address from 1980


Ocean Update


Dzongsar Khyentse Rinpoche on the Passing of Chatral Rinpoche


Westchester Buddhist Center's Annual Meditation Retreat


Tribute to William Gilkerson


Boston Buddhadharma Invitation: Weekend Retreat, April 2016


Tribute to Andrew MacLean


Devotion: Lama Ugyen Shenpen's Home Video of the Lineage


It was the memory of his kindness, a brief encounter by James Edward Reid


Clarke Warren Reviews TAMING UNTAMEABLE BEINGS


Excerpts from TAMING UNTAMEABLE BEINGS


Glimpses of Mahamudra, Practice Teachings of Chogyam Trungpa


Winter Meditation Retreat


Kindness in the Trenches


Announcing: Ocean's Autumn Classes


Community Talk from 1977


Tribute to Selda Chender

Stayed in Tibet


Halifax News: Robert Dvorkin Plays Benefit Concert


Boulder News: A public talk and seminar with Sam Bercholz


Honouring the
Vajra Regent


Two Opportunities for Intensive Meditation Retreat Practice


Tribute to Pamela Krasney


Tribute to David Harding


Climbing a Staircase, a Brief Encounter by William Hope


Lama Chime on Trungpa Rinpoche 50 Years On


Tribute to Jill Scott


Very sad news from Karma Senge Rinpoche


Derek Kolleeny Part 2: Westchester Buddhist Center


Joining Heart and Mind: An Evening with the Karmapa


First hand account from Nepal


Emptiness, Luminosity, and Compassion: The Path of Tantra Mahamudra, With Dorje Loppon, Lodro Dorje


Interview with Vana Jakic


Tribute to Gail Mueller


A book review by Alan Sloan


May Nepal Endure as Vajra Nature, by Clarke Warren


A conversation with Derek Kolleeny about Trungpa Rinpoche's Diplomatic Corps


Ocean Class for vajrayana students based on the Vidyadhara's 1976 EVAM seminar


An evening with the Karmapa at the New York Ethical Cultural Society: 14 April 2015


Please Give Me Space, by Joan Whitacre


A Stone for your Headstone, by Deanna Dana


Trungpa Rinpoche on "The Teacher"


Ongoing Tributes to Chogyam Trungpa


The Winter It Is Past, sung by Jane Condon


Chogyam the Translator


The Karmapa speaks on interdependence at Harvard Divinity School


Parinirvana Weekend at Dorje Denma Ling with Acharya Marty Janowitz


Tribute to Aba McHardy


Book Giveaway: Mindfulness in Action


Buddhadharma Without Credentials


Smile at Fear, An Introduction to Chogyam Trungpa's Teachings on Bravery


Tribute to
Tom Ryken


Walking the Bodhisattva talk, with Marty Janowitz


Milarepa Day Offering



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Ocean of Dharma

Quotes at random


Copyright Diana J. Mukpo. Used here by arrangement with Diana J. Mukpo and Shambhala Publications, Inc.

Ocean of Dharma Quotes of the Week

These teachings by Chögyam Trungpa are selected at random from Ocean of Dharma Quotes of the Week: the email service that brings Trungpa Rinpoche's dharma to your inbox several times each week. For more information, or to add your name to the list, visit OceanofDharma.com.

Ocean of Dharma Quotes of the Week is edited and produced by Carolyn Rose Gimian. Thank you to Lady Diana Mukpo, Mrs. Gimian, and Shambhala Publications for making these teachings available on the Chronicles.


The calligraphy at the top of this page Mukpo is by Trungpa Rinpoche; used here with the kind permission of Lady Diana Mukpo.

The Chronicles of Chögyam Trungpa Rinpoche bears the Vidyadhara's name with the express permission of Lady Diana Mukpo. We offer our heartfelt gratitude to Lady Diana for her permission, blessings, and trust.




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Chögyam Trungpa Rinpoche was born in a remote village in eastern Tibet in 1940. Recognized while still an infant as the eleventh incarnation of the renowned Trungpa lineage of Buddhist teachers, he was raised to take his seat as head of the Surmang monasteries and governor of the Surmang region of eastern Tibet. His childhood was devoted to a rigorous regime of study and training in the care of some of Tibet's greatest living masters including his root guru, Jamgön Kongtrül of Sechen, Dilgo Khyentse Rinpoche (later to become a beloved teacher and friend to the Shambhala community), and the crazy wisdom master, Khenpo Gangshar. By 1959, when he fled the Chinese occupation of Tibet for India, the Vidyadhara had developed into a brilliant leader and teacher.

The next ten years of the Vidyadhara's life, first in India and later in England, were marked by a passion to absorb everything he could about the West and find a way to present authentic buddhadharma to Western students. Although there was no lack of interest in Buddhism in the West, he found that students were easily distracted by the seemingly exotic nature of the teachings and the teacher.

In 1968, the Vidyadhara spent a significant ten days on retreat in a sacred cave known as Taktsang in Bhutan. Looking back on this experience in 1977, he wrote: "The message that I had received from my supplication was that one must try to expose spiritual materialism and all its trappings, otherwise true spirituality could not develop. I began to realize that I would have to take daring steps in my life."

Shortly after returning to Great Britain, following a series of what he called "smaller warnings," the Vidyadhara blacked out behind the wheel of his car and crashed into a joke shop, sustaining injuries that left him partially paralyzed on the left side of his body for the rest of his life. It was a profound turning point. What he understood from the experience was the need to open up completely in a direct and intimate way to Western students. He saw that his robes and monastic vows formed a veil that blocked direct communication and understood that if Westerners were to hear the dharma, it must be stripped of Tibetan cultural trappings.

When the Vidyadhara arrived in North America in 1970, his presentation of the dharma was simple, direct, and profound—emphasizing the need to let go of expectations and the inherent dangers of the spiritual journey. His early talks struck a profound chord with his mostly young American audiences. Within a few years he was surrounded by a highly dedicated circle of students, all of whom had been deeply moved by his earthy presence, unexpected command of their culture and language, and the utter power behind his words.

In the years that followed, the Vidyadhara traveled extensively in a nonstop display of energy and brilliance, gradually and steadily introducing new aspects of the teachings as students were ready to hear them. Practice centers and study groups formed in his wake, as students developed a personal connection to the teachings and the sitting practice of meditation. In 1973, he established Vajradhatu, an umbrella organization to oversee the needs of the growing community.

In 1974, Vajradhatu hosted His Holiness the Sixteenth Gyalwang Karmapa, head of the Karma Kagyü lineage of Tibetan Buddhism. The community, which had so far enjoyed a somewhat relaxed and informal relationship with the teacher and the teachings, now found itself hosting a dharma king. The Vidyadhara received the Karmapa with an impeccable display of devotion and formality, while his students looked on and followed his example. The visit marked a new phase of the community's understanding and practice of devotion, a practice that is nowhere more vividly manifest than in The Great Stupa of Dharmakaya. A real link and appreciation for the lineage and world of Tibetan tradition, from which the Vidyadhara had emerged, was indelibly forged through this powerful visit.

With a view toward the future, in 1976 the Vidyadhara empowered Thomas Rich, one of his American students, as his Vajra Regent. He served as head of the organizations the Vidyadhara founded until his tragic death in 1990. At that point, the Vidyadhara's eldest son, Ösel Rangdröl Mukpo (Sakyong Mipham Rinpoche), whom he had empowered in 1979 as his successor and Shambhala heir, assumed his responsibility as leader. Sakyong Mipham Rinpoche carries on today as the head of the Shambhala community.

During seventeen years of tireless activity in North America, the Vidyadhara accomplished a miraculous transplanting of buddhadharma into a culture where it had been largely unknown or misunderstood. He gave over five thousand talks, established more than a hundred Buddhist meditation centers, and profoundly touched the lives of thousands of students. The English words and phrases he applied to Buddhist concepts can now be found in the speech and writings of almost all Buddhist teachers and translators in the English-speaking world. His own books have sold over a million copies.

The Vidyadhara's life was dedicated to planting buddhadharma in the West in such a way that it would take root and flourish for many generations. Historically Buddhism has drawn on the innate cultural strength of the many diverse societies in which it has thrived, each culture providing a setting for the dharma in the same way that a gold ring provides a setting for a diamond. The Vidyadhara encouraged his students to seek out what is valuable in Western culture—that which fosters an appreciation of human dignity, courage, and inherent richness—and to avoid the tendency toward nihilism, cynicism, and malaise so prevalent in contemporary society.

Much of the Vidyadhara's work, especially in the last ten years of his life, was dedicated to propagating what he called "enlightened society," which would help the world in many ways and, at the same time, provide a home for buddhadharma in the West. As a model, he pointed to the Kingdom of Shambhala, an ancient (some say mythical, some say real) kingdom of Central Asia ruled by a lineage of enlightened monarchs.

Putting his vision into practice, the Vidyadhara created a whirlwind of activity as he shaped the Vajradhatu community into a rich, multifaceted society. He established a host of organizations and training programs both large and small, including a mediation council, a credit union, an association of health professionals, a translation committee, a theater group, a preschool, an elementary school, and organizations for the study and practice of tea ceremony, Japanese archery, flower arranging, and dressage. He formed the Dorje Kasung, a service organization entrusted with the protection of the Buddhist teachings and the welfare of the community. He also reached beyond the Buddhist community by establishing the Naropa Institute, a fully accredited liberal arts university, and the Shambhala Training program, which offers a secular approach to meditation practice based on an appreciation of innate human goodness.

Working closely with poets, artists, businessmen, educators, medical professionals, gardeners, cooks, and administrators, the Vidyadhara encouraged them to connect deeply with their own traditions and take an uplifted approach to their disciplines. The diverse community was bound together by a common loyalty and love for their teacher, who in turn relinquished personal privacy and gave himself totally to working with others, the consummate enlightened monarch.

Much of this activity, particularly in the later years of his life, took place in his home in Boulder, Colorado, which he fashioned into a court or cultural center, and where he lived with his wife, Diana, and five sons. As a further step toward establishing an enlightened society, he moved his court and the international headquarters of Vajradhatu to the province of Nova Scotia in eastern Canada, a beautiful, rugged, and elemental place with a gentle culture, which he felt had the potential to embrace the Shambhala vision in the years to come.

Trungpa Rinpoche, the man at the center of this activity, never seemed to be in a hurry, spending much of his time quietly—a paradox of seemingly effortless, all-accomplishing action. As an artist, he is best known for his devastatingly beautiful poetry, calligraphy, and flower arrangements. But he was also a highly accomplished painter, playwright, and photographer. There was a quality of impeccable precision and playfulness in the way he conducted his life. From the mundane to the monumental, his actions were carried out with careful attention to detail and a tireless sense of humor, yet, when the need arose, he could be fierce and uncompromising. He never gave up on anyone or anything that entered his sphere of activity.

When the Vidyadhara was young he was playing with a precious jewel that had been handed down through the Trungpa lineage, a symbol of spiritual transmission. Carelessly, he lost it by the banks of a river near his monastery, and no one could find it. Years later, after receiving transmission on the nature of mind from his teacher, the Vidyadhara once again went to the banks of the river, and there he found the jewel.

Thrangu Rinpoche, a good friend of the Vidyadhara, told this story several years ago to members of the Shambhala community. He ended by saying: "And so along with rediscovering the mind's true nature, he found this jewel that had been lost for so many years. He was able to recover this jewel, and having it back in his hand, he was able to come to North America and give it to you. This is an extremely fortunate situation."

May all the aspirations of the Vidyadhara be realized, and may the jewel of his teachings never be lost.

© 2001 by Walter Fordham

















































































































































































































































































































































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