HomeStoriesbriefbriefReader's CommentsFunding

What's new?

Trungpa Rinpoche on the Nature of Mind; Berkeley, Ca, 1971

Ocean Classes Winter/Spring 2017

New DVD sets for Vajrayogini Sadhakas from Kalapa Recordings

A Children's Day Story

Chögyam Trungpa Legacy Project Year-End Newsletter

Glimpses of Alaya

Remembering Denny

Westchester Buddhist Center's 5th Annual Retreat

1971 talk on Meditation

Like a Foreign country

International Launch: FROM LION'S JAWS

On Shechen Kongtrül


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


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

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



Glimpses of Mahamudra, Practice Teachings of Chögyam 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 Chögyam Trungpa

The Winter It Is Past, sung by Jane Condon

Chögyam 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 Chögyam Trungpa's Teachings on Bravery

Tribute to
Tom Ryken

Walking the Bodhisattva talk, with Marty Janowitz

Milarepa Day Offering


When the Karmapa visited the Hopi, a first-hand account from Stephen Roth

The passing of Monika Kretschmar, By Bill Karelis


Dzongsar Khyentse Rinpoche's Advice to Teenagers

Chögyam Trungpa Rinpoche in Quick Charcoal, By William Gilkerson

Extraordinary Being, Ordinary Magic, a book review by Clarke Warren

Sign up for Ocean Pilot Classes

Bob & Lindy King, on behalf of The Konchok Foundation

David Whitehorn reviews THE FOUR NOBLE TRUTHS OF WEALTH, by Layth Matthews

Trip to Baca, by Walter Fordham

Devotion and Leadership:
Talk Five of Karmapas, Holders of the Mahamudra Lineage

"You can sit on my throne anytime"

The Karmapa's Golden Handprints

Johanna Lunn on Mosaics

The Vajra Crown:
Talk four of Karmapas, Holders of the Mahamudra Lineage

Be Our Guide

As a parent, all you can do is ...

Ocean Update: Pilot classes start in January

Holders of the Mahamudra Lineage Seminar,Talk 3: Karma Pakshi and Rangjung Dorje

The Profound Treasury Retreat 2015: Glimpses of Vajrayana

Taming the Space, by Harry Einhorn

The Pop-Up Mandala, by Alicia Fordham

Seminar on the Karmapas: Talk Two, Dusum Khyenpa

It Is Up To Us
[Audio: 4:21]

CTR: Beckoning His Holiness to Return
[Audio: 1:30]

Karmapas: Holders of the Mahamudra Lineage,
Talk One

What I Did on My Summer Vacation, by Meg Federico

newsBiographyBibliographyChronologyContact UsLinks

In the Kitchen at BPB

By Jonathan Michaels

Posted: 14 September 2016

In 1981 or 82, when I was living at Karmȇ-Chöling in the position of head cook, I still couldn't figure out whether I was connected enough to Rinpoche to commit fully and apply to Seminary. At one point during that period he was visiting KCL with his family and staying at his nearby house, Bhumi Pali Bhavan. During that visit, I served as his cook and the first evening, there I was in the kitchen with everyone—Rinpoche, Lady Diana, and their two youngest children—all in there as well, chatting noisily like any family. I recall Lady Diana finding a small container of MSG (which Rinpoche liked in his food) and declaring with great determination that she was throwing it out. Like any husband whose wife is doing something for his own good that he doesn't like, he protested weakly, "But it's only poison if you eat it without awareness" (or words to that effect). However, she was having none of it and out it went.

Meanwhile, I was working away in silence. Then, suddenly, I realized that everyone had left the room except Rinpoche, who was sitting in a chair at a table, with his back to me. I was far too shy to say anything to him, but my mind was racing furiously as I tried to figure out, "Is this my guru? Or isn't he? Yes, I feel an intense awareness right now, but if that were (then president) Ronald Reagan (whom I despised) sitting in that chair and I were alone with him, wouldn't I feel equally aware?" And so it went, with me working and him just sitting there silently doing nothing until dinner was served.

When the evening had ended and everyone had eaten and the cleanup had been done, I returned to Karmȇ-Chöling where my friend, Noreen Morris, a very devoted student of Rinpoche's, greeted me, asking eagerly, "How did it go? How did it go?" I expressed some disappointment, going on about how "ordinary" the experience had been. As I talked, Noreen started laughing quite hard, and surprised, I asked what was so funny? She asked me, "Do you have any idea how the energy is just pouring off you right now?" And all of a sudden I realized that she was right; I was incredibly energized and aware in a way that I had never experienced before. And I immediately realized that it had nothing to do with what I thought or what I wanted—this was not a choice: like it or not, this was my guru.

I often think of that evening. It seems funny that my most vivid memory of Rinpoche is of the back of his head—along, of course, with his electrical presence.

-Jonathan Michaels

Editor's note: Does anyone have a photograph of BPB? If so, please let us know.

Brief encounters

In the Kitchen at BPB
by Jonathan Michaels

The Big Thud
by Karen Ritchie

Nothing Else
by Scott Wellenbach

It was the memory of his kindness
by James Edward Reid

Climbing a Staircase
by William Hope

Please Give Me Space
by Joan Whitacre

by Zenaida Nickel

As a parent, all you can do is ...
by Barbara Blouin

Compliments to the chef
by Marguerite Stanciu

A half hour in his company
by Dan Barnes

First Drive/First Passenger
by Dan Meade

Laughter and relief
by Elisabeth Gold

Your guess is as good as mine
by Michael Ballotti

The Usual
by Valerie Lorig

Lunch is served
by Barry Solomon

I respectfully request ..
by Frank Berliner

Every lifetime
by Emily Danies

More interesting...
by Connie Moffit

Hare Krishna
by Poly Wellenbach

The Day I Shook Hands with my Guru
by Alan Ness

My First Buddhist Event
by Walter Bachteler

The architect
by John Tischer

A Dowsing Lesson
by Olive Col³n

First teaching
by Joel Wachbrit

A penny for your thoughts?
by Hildy Maze

The Mala
by Christine Keyser

Scattered pearls
by Sarah Trefethen Whitehorn

You knocked over the musician
by Mark Hazell

Two moments
by Joel Mandel

It's much more interesting than that
by Erika Wilton

We're going to test your realization
by Richard Holden

A Message
by Kate Abato

No place to go
by Meera Flint

Cooking Indian food at Kalapa Court
by Ravinder Rai

At Waterways duck farm
by Vincent Hawtin

At a campfire
by David Brown

Called on the Carpet
by John Castlebury

What Space?
by David Darwent

Tea Offering
by Cliff Esler

The kiss and the pimple
by Stephane Bedard

The shrine blessing
by Chris Bauman

The apple stem
by Phyllis Segura

Do you have a story about a brief encounter with Trungpa Rinpoche?
Please send it to