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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

Chgyam 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

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Readers' Comments

Please send your comments to

Daryl Susan Brown, 28 July 2012

I have to thank you soooooo very much for making these talks available. I feel soo honoured, lucky, blessed to be able to sit in Trungpa Rinpoche's presence ~ it truly feels like I am! I am so, so grateful.

Loretta, 31 December 2011

What a beautiful page! Thank you so much for all your work. The Chronicles is a treat and there area few of us down here in Adelaide who frequent it with great appreciation.

Cheerful beginning of 2012 to you!

Co-ordinator, Adelaide Shambhala Meditation Group

Jeannie, 15 December 2011

I was not one of the lucky ones to actually know Rinpoche but his teachings and all I learn from the Chronicles site means very much to me. His teachings in audio, video, and written form have helped me so much. I can't learn enough. Thank you.

Rosalina Ho, 11 November 2011

It is my pleasure to be able to support such a meaningful internet site with my modest contribution. I am Khyentse Rinpoche's student and the first book he recommended to me when agreeing to take me on as his student several years back was Trungpa Rinpoche's Meditation in action. So really appreciate and rejoice in all your wonderful efforts in bringing and refreshing us with many of Trungpa Rinpoche's profound teaching! I have circulated this donation drive of yours to Khyentse Rinpoche's students in HK [Hong Kong].

Ross McCleary, 20 October 2011

Just on a feedback note, the "chronicles" website is wife and I also had the good fortune of attending a public talk by Trungpa Rinpoche at "Friends House" in London shortly before he may well have been assisting him on this had such a deep impact on us...I remember that it polarised opinions greatly, however we had no doubt that he was a great mahasiddha.....and how his work lives on!

Marian Slaughter, 5 October 2011

The Chronicles has to be one of, if not, the most important activity associated with preserving and promoting the teachings of VCTR. Listening to senior students such as Bob Rader feels so much like experiencing VCTR and the development of Shambhala first hand. It is so apparent how much and how deeply VCTR impacted his students. Sometimes listening to these most blessed students is like receiving a transmission - I get so open-hearted, sad, inspired and my feelings of gratitude for a) VCTR, b) senior students and c) the Chronicles, soars. Of course I had to make a contribution! Putting one's resources (however small) where one's mouth is, is required. I sincerely hope that more of VCTR's senior students begin to teach. Their experiences are so alive, fresh and raw -so vivid they give me goose-bumps! To allow all of that brilliance to pass from the world without sharing it more is a great tragedy.

Again, the Chronicles has my eternal appreciation and gratitude for bringing VCTR and the voices of this students to the wider world.

Weiran Ji, 15 June 2011

... I just want to show my great appreciation towards your effort on your insightful website! Since I have never met Trungpa Rinpoche in Person, the heartfelt and personal stories with him in the "Brief Encounter" section are definitely making a greater connection with him for me. Thank you again for this great contribution for the community!

Lyndon Comstock, 30 May 2011

What a superb resource the Chronicles has become. For anyone who is inspired by Chögyam Trungpa Rinpoche and his dharma legacy, or wants more information about the Vidyadhara, his teachings, and his world, the Chronicles has become the go-to website. Every month you continue to provide wonderful new offerings. Thank you.

Tenzin Chopak, 13 May 2011

"A big thank you for your work on this truly wonderful site. The site is so inspiring and beautiful - ablaze with love and devotion."

Connie Moffit, 24 April 2011

The Chronicle is so important for all our hearts and minds, for the well being and upliftedness of our community.

Dan Montgomery, 18 April 2011

...I appreciate you having created this platform. My only comment is this - recognizing that there are a lot of different points of view about what's become of all this - that I hope you continue to reflect and propagate that ungraspable edge that our teacher had, that it was not just about buddhism or Tibet or religion or this practice or that but about our reality as human beings. I was watching the videos of the first summer at Naropa last night, which I attended, and it was so powerful.

Lloydine Burris (fka Arguelles), 8 April 2011

I am so pleased to review this beautiful website. It is such an inspiration to remember the power of CTR's teachings. My heart is opened.

Emily Danies, 27 December 2010

"The site has given me so much pleasure and inspiration when I especially feel lonely for the vidyadhara. Thank you for this gift to the sangha."

Susanne Vincent, 29 November 2010

... keep up the incredibly valuable work that you're doing, because its value is inestimable. -Very best wishes, Susie

Anonymous, 27 November 2010

We have been Shambhala meditation group for few years. Of course I can not mention who we are, since it might be dangerous to well being of the group.

Although authoritarian regime, are all around, but the modern technology had been on our side. Of course sometimes the Internet is not working sometimes the government is getting on people's messages and put them in jail for one reason or another. No media can express the difficulty that we are going through and no media other than Chronicle of C.T.R can stand in front of all censorship and help us to open our mind/heart, by being able to listen to teachings of C.T.R.

We have been so fortunate to have access to Rinpoche's teaching all around the world. Once Afghanistan were celebrating Buddhism and the great Buddha sculpture was manifestation of Buddhism in that part of the world years ago. Which later on Taliban destroyed it. Sometimes we have open situation,sometimes it is absolutely shot dawn and close. But by the work of Chronicle, the torch of C.T.R's teachings had been passed on to us.(reader)

Richard Holden, 25 November 2010

Thanks so much for making these videos available..How wonderful to pass onto generations the unique style of presentation and expression of Trungpa Rinpoche..I was fortunate to meet Rinpoche in Rumtek, and it was a memorable experience...I'm particularly enjoying the early Naropa series and have posted them on"Karmapa group"..which I am administrating... Rinpoche was one of my early influences in 1972, when I arrived in India and read his teachings...I was also present for Rinpoche's cremation ceremony..
Quite frankly, I can appreciate even more now Rinpoche's teachings..Its truly a gift that keeps on giving..

Eh Ma Ho.

Ann Pickering, 24 November 2010

I appreciate your work and the work of all the people involved in the Chonicles like Julia. I have learned so much from the Chronicles recordings and webpage.It is a truly lovely site - I have just come back to Australia after a 3 year retreat with Sogyal Rinpoche and looking at how to go forward - it is so wonderful to be able to tap into these teachings on line...I will be a regular visitor! I never meet Chögyam Trungpa but through these early videos it is as if you can step back in time and be there in the room. I appreciate how much work has gone into this site ...may it enable many more people to connect to these teachings. -love, Ann P

Zahra Talan, 30 October 2010

I appreciate your work and the work of all the people involved in the Chonicles like Julia. I have learned so much from the Chronicles recordings and webpage.

Andrea Darby, 16 July 2010

I am sure that I want to continue to support the Chronicles. It is a thread of continuity in what I practice, study and teach. Always.

Chandali Pietrzykowska, 13 July 2010

... I would like to use this opportunity to thank you for what you have done and are doing with the Chronicles. It is a very precious gift to the world. Love, Chandali

Michelle Munro, 23 June 2010

Thanks for posting Rinpoche's talk "CYNICISM AND WARMTH". It really blew my mind. It never ceases to amaze me how relevant and direct his words can be...this talk was before I was born, yet somehow his words feel uncomfortably personal. Sincerely, Michelle

Vicki Alexis Genson, 16 May 2010

The recent earthquake is heart-breaking beyond belief. Thank you for doing an excellent job to cover the tragedy. I've come to rely on Chronicles as my first choice for accurate and cohesive information. Yours in the dharma, and the shadows of CTR, who permeates the sun and the moon and air we breathe.

Marguerite Staciou, 12 May 2010

No doubt you are aware of this dimension of your work, however I wanted to tell you that two people have contacted me who live right here in Indianapolis whose link to the dharma and in particular Chögyam Trungpa ia being forged through the Chronicles Website.

Marvin Mendelow, 20 April 2010

Hi Folks, I explored New Mexico for 10 years and every day found the untouched earth. What you are doing at the chronicle project is very similar. I am astounded to realize that the quality of your re-masters has such a penetrating quality. Its almost like being under the tents again and being present at the original talks. You are providing an inspiration and a kick in the butt to people to move ahead in their practices. It is like touching the original source again. Congratulations, Marvin


Dear Marvin,

Thank you, but it's not our work that you're appreciating. The re-masters are the result of a labor of love over many years by the Shambhala Archives. One person in particular that put many many hours into the audio recovery project is Chris Levy, a good Nova Scotian boy that never met the Vidyadhara, and was hired because he's a professional audio guy. In the process of working on these recordings, Chris became a student of Chögyam Trungpa. You can listen to him talking about his experience on our Shambhala Archives Audio Recover Project page. Thanks very much for writing. -Walter

Joan Polasky, 18 April 2010

[I want to say] THANK YOU every opportunity I can for all you do at the Chronicles, which I support in every way i can ...

Matthew McCabe, 11 April 2010

...the chronicles have greatly enriched my connection to our best friend, CTR, as well as all our Sangha, brothers and sisters. Thank you for all your work. The Chronicles keep me sane through the rigors of the corporate work day.

Lindsay Schachinger, 10 April 2010

Thank you so much for your work keeping the teachings and spirit of the Vidyadhara alive. It means so much to so many of us.

Sally Larrick, 10 April 2010

Thank you for your work on The Chronicles.
I have been listening to the classes taught in Boulder last fall. And Pema's commentary on The Myth of Freedom. I never met the Vidyadhara so am very glad to get a taste of his presence through these teachings.

Ana Carmen, 4 April 2010

I'm delighted to receive Trungpa Rinpoche's chronicles and audios and I always hear them and pay attention, even write down some notes.

Mary Ann Roberson Nunns, 1 April 2010

Receiving the chronicles is such a treat and a real blessing. With all my heart, I thank you for bringing such joy to me and probably to thousands of others.

Kathi Lieb, 29 March 2010

It is way past due, but please accept my deep appreciation for the wonderful work you do to promote the dharma of VCTR through the Chronicles. The teachings are terrific and, most important, very supportive of my practice.

With gratitude,
Kathi Lieb
Evanston, IL

Michele Blumberg, 23 March 2010

I am nobody from nowhere and do not really warrant having a speaking voice in this discussion- but, I am enjoying this site and all it offers immensely. My connection with this lineage (however it defines itself) is as a person who studied and loved the works of Chögyam Trungpa Rinpoche for decades as I led an active life in a different wisdom tradition and who finally, at the age of nearly 50, found herself in the Naropa U. MA program in Contemplative Education. I have been there for the past 10 years, as I became an adjunct faculty member after my graduation. I intensely value, practice and use, everything the Shambhala world has generously shared with me. I am adding my voice to this as a person who lives both within and without the mandala. I want to say that I hope that the Shambhala world will always be a €œbig tent€, and will always allow €œsparks to fly€ in it€„¢s interaction with the greater world. There are many, many people who benefit from your existence, your wisdom and your generosity, the very fact that you have these discussions together, that you debate and interact on matters of lineage, dharma and sangha attests to your strength and your openness. Thank you for your transparency and your courage- it is completely fresh and very, very rare.

Damaris Williams, 23 Feb 2010

I've learned a lot from listening to Trungpa Rinpoche directly and I can't express how much I appreciate the site. Hearing his voice is the closest thing to meeting him and I wish I had when he was around.

Jai, 19 Feb 2010

Thank YOU, Chronicles is an beautifully rich and loving endeavor. I will try to send a contribution soon.

Anonymous, 17 Feb 2010

Peter, Thank you for re-recording class 7 and giving us the opportunity to hear your wonderful presentation of the Bodhisattva path as taught by Trungpa Rinpoche. The entire series of classes have become an important resource for my study and practice as I delve more deeply into Rinpoche's teachings.

James Morgan, 17 Feb 2010

I am new to this site and would like to thank you for the quality that you put forth.

Jack Salamone, 15 Feb 2010

Dear Chronicles,

I am an old student of the Vidyadhara and am amazed how Rinpoche's teachings continue to speak directly to my place and time.

Through new publications and especially the Chronicles and the Ocean of Dharma Quotes of the Week from Carolyn Gimian I feel connected to Rinpoche's presence. The Chronicles just keep getting better and better. Thank you for all of your and everyones' efforts in creating and compiling the site.

John Barnhill and Sara Daly, 10 Feb 2010

Thanks Chroniclers!

We love the work you are doing especially we relish the videos, photos, and interviews.

Particluarily we have enjoyed the interviews of Let Loose -- Thrangu Rinpoche, Dzongzar Khyentse Rinpoche , Ponlop Rinpoche, and khandro Rinpoche.

Keep up the valuable fabulous work

Simone LaVoie, 30 Dec 2009

Thank you so much for continuing to inspire so many of us with the Vidyadhara's teachings. I have sent them out to practitioners and non practitioners who all are so grateful for these poignant teachings, that enrich our lives each day.

20 Dec 2009

I am so grateful to have the opportunity to listen to the talks about CTR in this program and for all of the other materials that you offer about CTR. I have been practicing meditation with some of his students for the past 7 years and unfortunately did not have the opportunity to meet him personally. I feel that the teachings in this programs are so fresh and alive and I feel more connected to CTR as a result. I have forwarded the information about the program and about the Chronicle Project to folks who are a part of a group with whom I meditate in Chicago. I regret that the recording for class seven did not work out. Is there any way of rerecording that talk? I would hope one day to be able to have a CTR discussion group and to use the recordings as the primary resource. If not can I get a copy of the presenters notes or outline? Are there any recordings of CTR teaching about the six paramitas and Buddhanature that we could use instead.

Thanks again for your wonderful work.

Chris Randol, 15 Dec 2009

I just want to say how much I enjoyed the report from the first expedition to PEI. It had a little of everything- the Hindi conversation, the issue with the cow's feed, the decorum, the ground of nothing but genuineness with a twist of humor- the Tibetan prince. I promise I'll send you guys a monthly donation in the New Year. This is more satisfying than NPR.

Colin, 28 Nov 2009

Rinpoches Teachings available on mp3 through the Chronicle is extremely valuable for those of us who did not have the fortunate karma to meet and encounter him but were brought to the path through publication of his teachings; hearing Rinpoche's voice brings alive the teachings in a profound manner that is deeply penetrating and alive ...

Dudley Jackson, 8 Nov 2009

As usual, I am blown away by all the stuff you and Joanne and the other Chronicle's staff have going on with the website. Wow!!! The quality of the new 'dharma classes' section is mind blowing.

With much appreciation, Dudley Jackson

Ilana Storace, 4 Aug 2009

I am a practitioner in Brooklyn, New York, and Chronicles is my favorite website! I've listened to every podcast on Chronicles Radio and I'm hungry for more. When will more be available? I have listened to some interviews more than once (Rinpoche's 1970 radio interview three or four times). I feel the lineage and CTR have come alive for me, thank you from my heart!

Are the unpublished interviews waiting to be posted?

Let me know if there's anything I can do from Brooklyn to help out.

Sincerely, Ilana Storace

Chris Keyser, 4 Nov 2009

Thanks for your scary Halloween offering on the Chronicles.

This poem reminds [below] me of Rinpoche. It's by [Rafael Jesús González] one of our Berkeley treasures. -Chris

Trick & Treat

Death at the door,
or lurking among the leaves,
death itself is the inevitable trick;
the only treat worth the having,
to love fearlessly,
and well.

© Rafael Jesús González 2009

(The Montserrat Review, Issue 7, Spring 2003; author's copyrights)

Edmund, 5 Aug 2009

Firstly, thank you so much for your deeply inspiring work!! I can't tell you how much I'm enjoying the variety of stories and beginning to taste the magic of Chögyam Trungpa Rinpoche's life and legacy. Inspired by Grant Maclean's work in the articles on 50th anniversary of his flight from Tibet, I have picked up Born in Tibet. I read with absolute fascination the story of the tenth Tulku's life and how it reflects Rinpoche's disdain for spiritual materialism. I'm amazed to read how at 12 years old, CTR was already advanced in this observation and scheming to cut through it even as communism was coming at it from another angle!

So thank you for giving life to this most insightful of teachers.

With much appreciation, Edmund

Claire Crevey, 3 Aug 2009

I just wanted to send a personal email thanking you for the Chronicles website. It is so enriching in my life, so meaningful and sustaining for me. I really appreciate you providing this as a resource free to the public.

Richard Assaly, 25 May 2009

One of the things I look forward to in my life is the Chronicles. If you guys weren't doing what you're doing, things would be different. The Chronicles provides much needed perspective.

Alicia Fordham, 15 May 2009

I just listened to whole the interview/slide show with Jack Niland that you have on the site. I had only ever heard the begining. My god, it was amazing! Made me want to learn more about dharma art. -Alicia Fordham

Karl Gross, 15 May 2009

I just returned from Vienna. Following a sadhana of mahamudra practice intensive (3 full days with 3 sessions of doing the sadhana and watching the Vidyadhara's videotapes from the '75 Boulder seminar on the sadhana) in Vienna at the beginning of this month, we had some money left over and decided that the Nalanda Translation Committee and the Chronicles Project were the most appropriate recipients of donations! Please know - and let your colleagues know - that your efforts are really appreciated all over the globe. Thank you for your important work of preserving the history of Trungpa Rinpoche's teachings!

Best regards,

Christine Keyser, 14 April 2009

Regarding the Prajna stories

I particularly appreciated the entries you posted today from Cindy Grieve, the last refugee [Laurie Huck], and the two kasung -- esp. Randy who Rinpoche wanted to cook Armenian food for him. What a riot!

I think Cindy really nailed it when she wrote:
"Prajna had a special energy- an intangible palpableness- closely connected to the earth but clearly part of the sky. The building may be lost but the dralas abide."

It was where the Dorje Dradul brought together heaven, earth, and man on the spot and invited the dralas to partake of his feast of dharma.

Ellen Berger, 9 April 2009

I have been meaning to join chronicles for a long time. As someone who often can't get to programs, due to some health issues, it helps keep me in touch with what's going on. I don't know if you think of it that way, but it does serve that function. I particularly feel indebted to Julia's Dispatches series. Where else would I hear people like Richard Reoch, Judith Simmer-Brown, and Fleet Maull discuss in person issues such as how they came to Shambhala, and how they feel about current events?

Bernard D. Tremblay, 17 March 2009

The stream of resources you've been providing is nothing short of stunning.

Jim & Harriet Campbell, 22 September 2008

In the shifting sands of dharma development in the west, these chronicles may be the best preservation of the original heart essence of Trungpa€„¢s contributions that will endure for future practitioners.

David Whitehorn, 24 July 2008

Bravo to Dr. Julia Sagebien and the Chronicles for their continued integrity and skill in chronically the amazing display of phenomenon they have arisen in relation to the Druk Sakyong, Chögyam Trungpa, Rinpoche.

Whatever opinions each of us may have about Dr. Ray, we certainly know more about him, his views and his activities from listening to this informative and revealing interview.

Dr. Sagebien has a wonderful, surprising interviewing presence that seems to allow those she interviews to clearly articulate their experiences at a deeper than conventional level. Barbara Walters pales in comparison.

May the success of the Chronicles continue.

John Perkins, 27 June 2008

Hi from Mexico where we have been enjoying a different life and helping to establish a Shambhala Centre in San Miguel de Allende.

I wanted to write to thank you for all your efforst with the Chronicles. It's an amazing resource. I listen not only for the teachings and connections to VCTR, but to the sangha. It's so wonderful to hear the voices of friends and have them be a part of our life again via MP3s.

I have yet to do so but will soon click that support box....

I would like to offer a contribution to the stories if that would be appropriate. I never met his body but sure encountered his mindstream when in the archives...Best regards to all there.

* * *

Dear John, Thank you so much. This is very heartening to hear--especially from a professional archivist.

Yes, we would love to have your stories. I think your experience would be very interesting and quite unique. Please write something or record something -- text, audio or video. I'm sure it will be a great addition to our collection.

Clarke Warren, 12 May 2008

Thanks much! I and many here in Colorado regard the Chronicles as one of the most crucial spearheads in preserving the legacy, teachings and blessings of the Vidyadhara. You are electronic tertons!

Michael Munro, 22 March 2008

The Chronicles is a like a field of mind stopping landmines.

I noticed in the comments that some folks were a bit miffed at the fact that issues around the Regent and various letters were posted. As someone who was not around to experience this directly at the time, looking at these issues does help one trust the openness of the community and allows one to take a closer look at things that otherwise only end up being second or third hand reiterations of old memories that are charged with emotion and bias. The clarity that is offered the inquisitive student in presenting these documents is invaluable. This is not a culture of blind faith. I am on my own journey of renewing interest and commitment to the Shambhala mandala, and doing so without such resources available could only lead to a lack of properly established trust.

So keep it up.

Jane Lindsay, 25 January 2008

I became a student of the Vidyadhara back in '81 (Paris, France). For the first time in my life, something in this ur-weird world was not weird, but good, and made sense. '85 seminary, nyondro (the old version, rising in the cold dark while the child was still sleeping at four in the morning to practice, month after month, mala clicking...)

And then Vajradhatu seemed to recede like an endlessly outgoing tide, replaced by unfamiliarity such that connections with sangha loosened and disappeared--Nothing to counter the call of parenting and training + earning a living... Only discreet photographs of the Vidyadhara glowing in the corners of my consulting room.

This is a wordy (I'm sorry) introduction to saying what inspired me to write to you.

Which is Newcomb Greenleaf's essay on the Heart Sutra. It zoomed right into me. I could feel the breath of the Vidyadhara. Timeless stillness. So taut and completely open.

This is sangha that I recognise, that resonates, that ignites my curiosity all over again.

And I don't want to be unfair---there have been many wonderful things on the Chronicles which reminded me of the Vidyadhara. However this has a quality of aliveness which makes my hair feel like it could be on fire all over again.

Thank you.

Emily Danies, 28 January 2008

Jack's slideshow is a wonderful treasure!! Thank you Chronicle Project!! Thank you Jack!! It is such a pleasure to go back to the "early days" and feel the energy, vastness and brilliance of the Vidyadhara's mind through Jack's storytelling abilities.

Barbara Bash, 21 January 2008

Spending the last two hours listening to Jack's voice and studying these wonderful images has brought me back to the feeling of those early years - the uncertainty, the aliveness, the vastness of Rinpoche's world. Thank you Jack for sharing these stories - you are a holder of wonderful teachings for us all. What boldness to actually corner Rinpoche and make him draw. You were the perfect person for the task!

Vicki Giella, 17 January 2008

Just wanting you to know that the Niland slide show is extraordinary and wonderful. Thank you, thank you, thank you!

Newcomb Greenleaf, 17 January 2008

The Vidyadhara taught Jack Niland a new way to see, and helped him turn that vision into art, an art that has shaped the look of Vajradhatu and Shambhala, and marks the beginning of the lineage of Dharma Art and Shambhala Art. Being Tara tells this important story, interlaced with Jack's own acid-laced oddyssey to the dharma. It leaves me most curious about the weekend that followed this introductory slide show.

Kathie Paul, 17 January 2008

WOW - and please pass my appreciation on to Jack for the slideshow. Thanks for all your efforts,

Barry Boyce, 8 January 2008

Absolutely loved the Jack Niland show. Deeply informative, strange, inspiring, scary, penetrating, puzzling, and altogether enjoyable. Jack is the only possible vessel for this particular transmission. He knows how the eye works. Well done.

Rita Ashworth, 3 January 2008

brillant stuff from Jack Niland - i've been taking notes - hope he can come to europe soon. best for the new year,

Larry Mermelstein, 3 January 2008

Dear Jack,

Just wanted to say how much I enjoyed being regaled by you and the dharma art world that you know so well and helped to create for us all. It is a FABULOUS presentation. Our guru's complete being shines through quite nicely. Seeing more of his doodles and sketches is just terrific. The way he characterized the Buddhist and Shambhala principles in terms of the mandala layout is brilliant and amazing. So many wonderful and simple insights, demonstrating quite nicely how ati can be too simple for so many of us, who tend to make everything so complicated. Please continue to present much more of this teaching. It is essential, powerful, transmissional, and fun. Thank you also to Jeff for putting together a very elegant and clear presentation. I hope our paths may cross again soon.

With all best wishes

Alan Kelly, 3 January 2008

Jack Niland's slideshow is very very captivating, beyond interesting, Being Tara.

Malone, 2 January 2008

Every time I listen to a talk, or read an article from the Chronicles I feel closer to the world of CTR. I am left feeling more aware of why I continue down this very long, difficult, and sometimes delightful path. The Chronicles is my breakfast companion. It is the way I start my day, and I can't think of a better way to go out into the world. Thank you for all your hard work, dedication to bringing the dharma into our homes. May this year bring you many blessings. Please double my donation. Cheers,

Hildy, 2 January 2008

Thank you so much for this mesmerizing presentation of Dharma Art by Jack as only he can manifest. It was so tantalizing. Would love to see and hear more. Jack's experimental leap landed beautifully!


Charlotte Linde, 30 June 2007

I have just renewed my membership on line.

I want to tell you how much I appreciate the site as a whole. Particularly I'm pleased with the down-loadable version of the Dispatches. That's a nice new feature -- now you can commute with me.

Another satisfied customer. [I] commuted with you and Khandro Rinpoche today.

* * *

Thanks Charlotte. Glad to hear you like the podcast feature. We're getting a lot of possitive feedback from people who have enjoyed listening to Dispatches in their car, in the supermarket lineup, walking, wherever. To podcast dispatches, visit the our podcast page. -WF

Anonymous, 21 June 2007

Dear Chronicles,
This is by far the most tangible, productive, and inspiring project happening in the Shambhala Community. Thank you for putting our hearts into words and capturing our memories before it's too late. I hope you get the support this project deserves, and needs. In the mean time, thank you for taking this on.

John Barnhill, 11 June 2007

i am greatly in support of what you are doing
having never met CTR in person
but meeting him in books
it is exciting and delightful to "meet him" through the archives and his students

Fred Cook, 7 June 2007

Thank you for doing this service! I travel in my work and it is so good to find myself in some hotel somewhere and to be able to log in and listen to an interview about Dharma. It gives me a chance to remember some more deeply held priorities in the midst of a fast-paced world.

Dave Whitehorn, 28 May 2007

Rainbows around the sun;
Kasung marching;
Khyentse Rinpoche with no shirt.

Barbara Stewarts€„¢ mind
wandering from
past to present.

Comments from
a veritable who€„¢s who
of Buddhism.

Quite a tribute;
Fit for a king;
Jolly Good Show

Susan Peters, 5 April 2007

Thank you for making all of this available. It is comforting to be able to go on the Chronicles website and extract these potent juices of the Vidyadhara's heart and mind.

Ellen Green, 4 April 2007

It's raining here today, and even the weather contributes to the unbelievable loss we all felt that day and to the ever unfolding experience of him to this day.

Thank you for creating this forum.
With much much love,

Jigme Kunga, 9 February 2007

I was just doing my weekly cruise of the site and it hit me....The site makes it sound as though CTR is dead and gone....And so I am writing to let you know CTR is still waking people up... in their dreamtime. I know, because I met him this way years after his "death". When I took refuge with Moh a few years ago, it came out in my interview that I was there because of these dreams ....Moh told me he had granted Refuge to at least 100 people who had all been touched by him in this way, in the past few years. The number will be higher by now. It would be good to track what the Vidyadhara IS doing to liberate sentient beings. He is still very active and I am grateful.
sincerely, Jigme Kunga

Barbara Badessi, 3 January 2007

Just a note to let you know how important The Chronicles are for me as a devoted new student. The articles, the dispaches and photos are a source of joy and inspiration every time I listen to them. It's invaluable work and I appreciate it immensely.
All the best,

Ani Tsultrim Palmo, 24 November 2006

With all my heart I support this wonderful project. Unfortunately, my computer is so slow that i am not able to listen to the audio. Ah, well.. Warm greetings. T.Palmo

Tatiana, 19 November 2006

Since I am a new student of Shambhala and I live in a place like Greece, which is in the "fringe" of the mandala, the work that you and your colleagues do is very precious to me, and I suppose to other people like me, who had never had the chance to meet with Chögyam Trungpa Rinpoche and who did not have the chance to meet with his senior students.

I never miss the radio chronicles shows.

When I first discovered the chronicles on the internet I had financial difficulties, and I was surprised that you offered these high quality services so openly. Now that my financial condition has improved, I am more than delighted to support financially your project.

I appreciate very much what you do. Thank you for offering so generously and with open mind and heart.

Yours in GES,

Bruce Baumer, 25 September 2006

I am writing in order to thank you for all of your hard work on the ChronicleProject site. I am a member of the New York City Shambhala Center and happened upon the site by accident. It is a tremendous window into the world of Trungpa Rinpoche and the early days of the "scene" in Vermont and Colorado. . . . I am so grateful for all of the work you and others have done. Not having been involved in Shambhala when Trungpa Rinpoche was alive, the interviews and articles really help give newcomers the "flavor" of the scene during the early days and helps to provide a context for what Trungpa Rinpoche was doing.

Thanks again so very much for all you do.

Warm regards,
Bruce Baumer

Jennie, 21 July 2006

For the first time I listened to Chronicles Radio and found the interview with William/Bill/Norbu particularly inspiring and helpful and relevant. Thanks to him, and to Julia and yourself for initiating this service.

Why I am writing is that I loved the Shambhala Anthem at the end - it is the first time I ever heard it and it was immensely encouraging and touching and heartwarming and bracing to hear - in almost a 'no-nonsense' kind of English way, if you know what I mean?! Is it available for download anywhere? or could it be made so? I see there is a CD of Rinpoche singing it - is there any other version? Any chance of a 'freebie' on the Chronicles site, and maybe the 'lyrics' too - for your 'non-Shambhala sangha' visitors, perhaps?

I'd love to know more about the origin of both the tune and the words. But no rush if other things more important.

* * *

Dear Jennie

Thank you so much for writing. I'm glad that you found the interview with Bill McKeever inspiring, and I'm very pleased that you enjoyed the Shambhala Anthem at the end of the interview. By the way, at the end of the most recent edition of Dispatches (the interview with Helen Berliner), I've included a choral arrangement of the Anthem, which was also arranged by Peter Leiberson and is available on Dragpon's Thunder, the same CD as the orchestral version.

The melody to the Anthem was borrowed from a traditional Irish song called "Let Erin Remember." Rinpoche was familiar with this melody because it is on an album that he very much loved called "Trooping the Colours" -- a collection of British marching band music. I believe the album was recorded live during the Queen's birthday parade. As I understand it, (and you may know more about this than me) as each regiment marches passed the Queen, they march to the tune of their own regimental song. So when you say " almost a 'no-nonsense' kind of English way, ..." you are definately picking up on the genesis of the anthem. I've never been there, but I imagine that you can't get much more English and no-nonsense than the Queens birthday parade!

The words where written by Rinpoche during his year-long retreat in 1977, and ever since we have been singing the Anthem at the end of programs and talks and celebration of all kinds. I'm sure it's been sung 100,000 times by now. Several of the other songs on Dragon's Thunder have the same origin -- melodies borrowed from various regimental songs as heard on "Trooping the Colours" with words by CTR. I don't think there is anywhere to download these songs. But the Cassette or CD of Dragon's Thunder is a real treasure and it's available online at the Shambhala Shop. Here's a link to the CD

Here are the words:

In heaven the turquoise dragon thunders,
The tiger's lightening flashes abroad.
The lion's mane spreads turquoise clouds,
Garuda spans the threefold world.

Fearless the warriors of Shambhala,
Majestic the Rigdens on vajra thrones.
The Sakyong King joins heaven and earth,
The Sakyong Wangmo harvests peace.

The trumpet of fearlessness resounds,
The all-victorious banner flies.
Temporal and spiritual glory expand,
Rejoice the Great Eastern Sun arises.

John Whitney Pettit, 1 July 2006

Dear Chronicles,

For what it's worth -- and to render homage to the man who introduced me to Kagyu and Nyingma teachings as well as the beauties of spoken Tibetan -- I wish to suggest re: [How To Speak the English Language]

where it says of Trungpa Rinpoche's English that he "was perhaps the first Tibetan to master its subtleties and idioms", that such an honor should be shared by Lobsang P. Lhalungpa, best known for his translations of The Life of Milarepa and Dakpo Tashi Namgyal's Mahamudra commentary (current edition: Mahamudra : The Moonlight -- Quintessence of Mind and Meditation, Wisdom Publications, 2006).

Lhalungpa left Tibet more than ten years in advance of the Dalai Lama. He worked as a English missionary school teacher in Darjeeling and later, as a Voice of America announcer in New Delhi. Of all the Tibetans I've met from his generation (i.e., all of whom would be 80+ years of age now), his spoken and written English is the most fluent and literate.

Lhalungpa's accomplishments are all the more amazing considering that he is self-taught in most respects, as a translator and scholar. The same may be said for his wife and primary editor, whose first language was not English, but German.

Granted that hardly anyone, Tibetan or otherwise, could rival CTR's mastery of the possibilities of English, I hope the history of translation will remember Lhalungpa's contributions for the landmarks that they are.

Best wishes,
John Whitney Pettit

* * *

Thank you for bringing Lhalungpa's work to our attention, John. This brings up an interesting point. What work has been done to document the history of Tibetan-English translation? Are there any books? Articles? Anything we can link to, or post? -WF

Ashoka Mukpo, 26 June 2006

I just wanted to add my voice to the cacophony of others who have expressed support and thanks for the Chronicle project. Every day the site becomes more comprehensive, and I'm always impressed by the genuineness and honesty with which Rinpoche's life is portrayed. You are doing him a great service; I'm sure he would be very happy.

Dr. med. Norbert Hasenöhrl, Austria, 5 June 2006

I just want to thank you wholeheartedly for doing this Chronicle Project. It is invaluable, absolutely invaluable. Thank you from my heart.

Tony Garcia, 16 May 2006

Over the past couple of years my love and connection has deepened with Chögyam Trungpa. It is funny that I say this as I have never met him nor have I ever belonged to the community. This connection has deepened because of his books which mirror whets deep inside my heart. The Shambhala teachings are especially on my mind. These teachings have helped me gain confidence in what I have always known to be true. The path always starts with ourselves and then extends to our families then towards the larger community. I€„¢m always saddened when I see so called successful people and spiritual practioners forget about there immediate families. Thank you for your site, for those students like me who have never had physical contact with him we can taste and feel the environment that Chorgyam Trungpa shared with the community.

Our Parinirvana Day feature (April 4), was announced on the Ocean of Dharma Quotes of the Week, an email list that delivers weekly quotes by Trungpa Rinpoche. For more information and to sign up for the weekly quotes, please visit their site. A hearty welcome to all our Ocean of Dharma visitors.

Below is a note from an Ocean of Dharma visitor about the Line of the Trungpas talk.

Monica, 7 April 2006

I have just finished listening to this talk. Aside from it being a fascinating address to the people, I realised how fresh it sounded, even though it was done in 1975. He is so immediate and clear, that others can benefit from the way he dispels illusion about our culture as a whole. And also the illusion of glamour around the spiritual intent and practice. The best thing I have found is to continue listening to such things, and this makes the quotes through the email vital, because otherwise the thread might be lost. It's great to know that this endures, for the benefit of many people. Just great, glad you made this talk available to the list, best wishes, Monika (Australia)

Clarke Fountain, 5 April 2006

Santa Fe, NM

Dear Walter,

I love your website, Chronicles. However, I have a small beef.

As someone who has worked at Shambhala Publications, and as a former editor at KTD Dharma Goods and someone who has done other dharma transcription within and without the Shambhala sangha, I am keenly aware of how labor-intensive and slow it is, and do not expect your text information on the site to expand quickly.

However, since I am usually reading your site at work, where I must tend to telephones and work in a "bullpen" type situation, I am completely unable to access or make use of the tantalizing audio files you have begun posting a great many of.

So, are you backing off from the written word, or is it simply that you want to provide new content on the site and lack the resources to do it any other way? Because I'd be overjoyed to find some text stuff there...any text stuff...lately, I just check in from time to time to see one of the site's ever-changing pictures of Rinpoche on the front page.

While currently I lack the resources (materials, time, energy) to assist in transcription at the moment, please keep me in mind to help you with that for the future...

Tantalized and rather frustrated, but still a fan,

* * *

Dear Clarke

Yeah, I guess I have been posting a lot of audio material lately. And I haven't really given enough thought about the fact that a lot of people don't have the time or bandwidth to enjoy it. So what to do? Wow, there must be a lot of people in your shoes. Yikes! I guess I'd better get some 'printed' word offerings up there soon.

You're right of course, text is a lot more work than audio. But I'm not abandoning text for audio. I have a number of stories in the works that are strictly text. So please hang in there. I really appreciate you taking the time to write and let me know that you're frustrated. This is important feedback.

Warmly, Walter
PS. Mind if I put this email exchange up on our readers' comments page?

Stefan Carmien, December 2005

I am consitantly impressed with the depth and scope of your project - we burned the childerens day talk to a cd to listen to on our vacation drive to LA.
Love, Stefan & Co

David Senger, 4 April 2006

Just a quick note to say thank you very much for your website. I did not realize that today was such a special day, and your website really helped me connect with the memory of Chögyam Trungpa, whose work has influenced my life tremendously.

Gail Flynn, 7 March 2006

I just wanted to express how much I appreciate your ground, path and ongoing fruition of the Chronicles!! It has been a vehicle to purely communicate, report, and clarify. The current report on the Rigden Abhisheka and the photos that accompanied them is a perfect addition. Thanks a lot and hope that the Chronicles continues to report the truth.

Also, I just listened to the 1982 Shambhala Day talk given by VACT this morning. It is truly dateless, timeless, alive and warm.

Denise Kilshaw, 27 February 2006

It was with delight I read and listened to the Burns Dinner Chronicles article. For 13 years we have hosted The Shambhala Celtic Society Robert Burns Dinner here in Kelowna, BC. Our evening follows the same protocol as the one you write about. People look forward to it as an annual event with lots of singing, dancing and poetry. It is a wonderful way to raise lungta in the midst of dreary January. We have a toast to the Vidyahara, and pass his kilted picture around, even though usually there are only 4 out of 16 people who knew who he was. Terry and I sing the Winter it is Past, and everyone joins in at various parts. It is full of life, humour, elegance and a bit of wild celtic energy. Thank you for sharing the Halifax event with us all.

Pilar Baca, 12 October 2005

....the Carolyn Gimian interview on elocution is the best explanation of that practice I have ever seen! She makes it clear that it is actually a way of being. Thanks.

Stephen Briody, 27 September 2005

Having never met Trungpa, save through his teachings, I find it truly awe-inspiring to read all the personal stories of those that have. I enjoyed the account of elocution lessons with Trungpa. Dan Meade said he didn't know where the other Turner was. According to the link below the three versions of the scene are in Philadelphia, Tate Britain London and Cleveland Museum of Art -

It was interesting to read that the picture was a favourite of Trungpa's. It is a favourite of mine too. Coincidentally I keep a postcard version of it on my desk at work - I work in Westminster for the UK civil service - I find the image a poignant reminder of how fragile even Parliaments are.

The Burning of the Houses of Parliament

Ezra Epstein, 30 August 2005

Thanks for the forum. It has helped me see my own limited view as much as anything and that's greatly appreciated.

Bill Scheffel, 23 August 2005

I'm anything but an on-line junkie. I don't recieve any sangha "announce" or "sangha talk." But I can tell you that your Chronicle Project is a jewel that I visit every so often.

I'm so glad you are embarking on compiling a history of the Vajra Regent, if for no other reason than, as you say,"there is nothing to be gained by relegating this man's life to obscurity and rumor."

I praise your editorial sense: careful and caring, but independent. Much needed and welcome. Thanks.

Grant MacLean, 22 August 2005

Thanks for the notice of all the new riches available on the site. It's becoming really significant not only as a repository of the wealth bequeathed to us, but as a forum for issues concerning the other two times.

Nancy McBride, 13 June 2005

Karma Senge Rinpoche just spent the weekend with us [in Philadelphia], bringing the Vidyadhara to life in a powerful way. Monday at lunch time, I€„¢m surfing and find your website. Now I€„¢m in tears at my desk. Thank you. I can€„¢t think of anything I€„¢d like more than to hear stories from everybody. I have never found a way to comprehend the limitlessness of Rinpoche€„¢s mind, his life, his individual interactions, or the endless impact on me. Reading these stories, and your poem offering at the consecration, transform my experience. Scattered across the world as we now find ourselves, I feel like I€„¢m sitting on my zafu with my sangha sitting at the feet of my teacher.

Hildy Maze, 27 May 2005

Completely inspiring and delightfully funny. I'm eager to hear more. Trungpa's presence is palpable listening to Jack describe the transmissions of Dharma Art. More, please?

Many thanks for this one........

Helen Berliner, 27 May 2005

Jack is a National Treasure. It's so fabulous that he agreed to give this "talk" in New York. What a precious, inimitable transmission of Trungpa Rinpoche's mind and ever-presence! Many thanks ....

Jack Niland, 27 May 2005

I wanted to say something about where this talk came from. Last summer, Walter Fordham called me and said "Let's talk about Trungpa, the early days." My memories were of the usual variety but when I sat down with Walter and really started to talk, I saw that from the very beginning Trungpa was teaching dharma art / dzogchen. Since that interview I've begun to understand Trungpa in a whole new light and that resulted directly in this talk now on Chronicles Radio. I want to thank Walter for allowing all of us to bask in the light of Trungpa Rinpoche.

Andrew Munro, 27 May 2005

Boy, the site just gets richer and richer. Waiting for the smell feature where we can actually inhale the incense. pretty great.

Mark Szpakowski, 27 May 2005

Wow! Jack Niland / Yeshe Tsogyal. This is a hidden treasure. AH

Dipping the terma bucket into peoples' hearts is what the Chronicles project is about.

Alice Haspray, 27 May 2005

Oh my goodness! Richard and I just listened to Jack's talk----absolutely amazing. We must bring him here!

Richard Horrocks, 27 May 2005

Thank you for that splendid talk by Jack Niland. I want to hear more of him reminiscing. Surely what this fellow says on the Vidyadhara and dharma art is significant for the sangha at large. Can we expect more of him on "Chronicle Radio"? How difficult is his arm to twist?

BTW, good concept that, "Chronicle Radio".

* * *
Thank you. You can definitely look forward to more from Jack on C Radio. W

Sarah Whitehorn, 27 May 2005

This is so cool! I turn on my computer, and I get to listen to audio stories about Trungpa!

Judith Smith, May 16, 2005

Wonderful wonderful! I was very struck with Rinpoche teaching Pema how to clean the shrines, since that had been my job for several years, and I hadn't done precisely what he told me to do -- specifically with the silver offering bowls. I ruined them by using silver polish the first couple of times. Still feel a twinge of guilt about that! I switched to Ajax, but the damage had already been done.

Dana Fabbro, 7 March 2005

...I don't know which is more fitting, timely and heartening--the fact that this project is well underway or the fact that you are its vanguard. Either way, extra bandit soup for you. With much love and profound thanks.

Linda Lewis, 21 February 2005

Wonderful stories....Both those of Dzongsar Khyentse R and Michael Chendar's! I really appreciate reading the second talk of DKR in particular... And Michael's was quite moving as well. You bring the Vidyadhara back out of the dharmakaya into the present moment for us. Thank you so much. May you continue until samsara is empty!!!

Ravinder Rai, 18 January 2005

Thanks for the Chronicles which are both amusing and profound, just like the boss€¦ It€„¢s good to remember him. It€„¢s been a while since we€„¢ve had such a laugh as when we read some of the stories. Eh ma ho! Ravi

Beverly Armstrong, 18 January 2005

Thank you so much for the generosity of these stories. I just read Jack's and cried and now it's part of my mind and heart also and brings forth other, similar heart memories that I'd love to share about Roshi and Rinpoche.

Rinpoche, in a Hawaiian print shirt, would wait for Roshi sometimes on a low square bench just next to the doors to the courtyard garden, just an ordinary guy visiting, while whoever was around went upstairs to tell Roshi he was here. They'd often just sit on one of the stone benches in the garden, talking and not talking. I'd see them and feel that perhaps they'd like tea, so I brought them a tray and maybe some cookies or another treat. They treated everything with so much relaxed appreciation, affection, and curiosity: cups, hot tea, tray, wisteria finches lived in, black sillouettes of birds pasted to the one huge glass wall of the courtyard so the birds would see the glass and not collide--and themselves, and each other.

Anyway, It's 5:30 in the morning (going to sleep when I used to get up), so another time. Feel so much appreciation for these offerings, to hear from old friends and see my teachers' face again.

Patrick Daily, 14 January 2005

(After thanking Patrick Daily for his donation to the Chronicles, I got this reply, -WF)

I've gotta say, how could I not? With all the snippets of stories of VCTR that have his heart radiating right through them, right into mine. Thanks for what you are doing.

Laura Simms, 5 January 2005

I am so ensconsed in storytelling that I often don't have the time to read the stories you are so generously publishing. Reading Suzanne's story I was struck by how you are bringing the Vidhyadhara's presence, (the contxt in which we were penetrated) visceral. It is also a function of promoting the third jewel. Every story we read, we become and have an opportunity to be touched again. When I wanted to escape totally from my life in new york, I asked Rinpoche if I could live in Karme Choling. He told me to stick my head in the mud and do my career 200%. So this is a muddy clean note from one teller of tales to another. Laura

Andrew Sacamano, 5 January 2005

Thank you so much for your work on the Chronicle Project - its both a treat and a treasure. It is an privilege to be able to support it.

Rick Finney, 3 January 2005

Keep up the good work. As I read the stories you post, more of my own memories come flooding back, and I'm sometimes overwhelmed with recollections of the richness of those years and the majesty of our teacher.

Rick Finney, 28 November 2004

Speaking from the perhaps less-than-exalted position of someone who left the D.C. Dharmadhatu after the Vidyadhara's parinirvana--but who still feels bound by the past (he wasn't kidding about "haunting" us)--I just wanted to thank you for the stories and interviews you've posted on this web site. These are wonderful accounts, and bring back lots of memories of all kinds. One question, though: only a few of the interviews you've done have been published. Many more are listed simply as "completed." Can more of these be shared?

* * *

Dear Rick,

The rest of the interviews? I'm working on it. The interviews are being transcribed and proofread and organized. Over time I'll be posting more and more of them. In some cases, the transcripts will undergo some level of editing (with the help and approval of the interviewees) before they're ready for public viewing. This also takes time and care.
Yours, Walter

Polly Wellenbach, 18 November 2004

This is brilliant work that you are doing on this site. As we know the teachings survive, even thrive on an accounting of "what's been told and what's been experienced." The sangha needs this golden tapestry you're weaving and we all remember how much Rinpoche liked brocade.

I'm concerned about the financial resources needed for this work to continue on and on and I call on the sangha to consider supporting this work monetarily as well as adding stories and unique experiences. Many people are benefiting by reading these pages as they open the treasury of memory. That is very valuable and worth supporting. Please help Walter to continue by making an offering of appreciation. That is meritorious too! See the "support this work" link. I did and I feel like I'm contributing to a far-reaching legacy.

Edward Taylor, 14 September 2004

...I found the stories incredibly moving, making me laugh and cry at the same time. I loved the redneck story with the waterpistol - talk about fearlessness!
Thanks again - please keep adding anecdotes! The site is awesome....

Joel Mandel, 8 September 2004

I met Rinpoche in person only twice, both in the mid-1980's in Berkeley. Once I waited in a reception line to meet him. When I finally came to the front, I knelt in front of him and thanked him for bringing the dharma to the West. He looked down, smiled, and reached for my tie knot. Immediately several Kusung leaped forward to assist him, but he brushed their hands away and continued to work with my tie knot. I was frozen in space and time, wondering what THIS was all about. He finished his work and beamed down at me and, in his high voice, "There, now that looks better." And the interview was over. I was flabbergasted and immediately went to the men's room to look at my tie. And it DID look better. Needless to say, I have never tied a tie casually since then. In fact, I dress thoughtfully ever since that day.

Some time later I was serving in his household (Michelle and Eamon Killoran's home in Berkeley/Oakland) and was asked to bring his breakfast tray into his bedroom (not serve the breakfast, mind you). Bill Sheffell opened the door and led me in. I was so proud; make that insufferably proud and full of myself. He took one look at me and manifested WRATH. It was very un-nerving. The difference between wrath and anger is now very clear to me and service is now central to my life.

Hope these are helpful to your project.

* * *
Wow, this is great Joel. It really illustrates how one or two moments in his presence is enough to last a life time. Thank you so much for sharing this. - WF

Irene Vliegenthart, 7 September 2004

Thank you so much for these wonderful memories that come to life! Every time an email from €œchronicle€ appears I go to the website to drink in our heart€„¢s history. I remember you talked about this work when you taught the kusung program in Paris [April 2000]. Crazy Wisdom was the first program I followed in Edinburgh after just starting meditation in 198(2?). I just seemed to understand a word here and there but felt connected.

Through the Dradul Gar, the Stupa, the publishing of €œTrue Command€ and the Chronicle stories the connection to the Dorje Dradul and his students is so colorful alive. What a ziji ground for Shambhala to build on.

Eileen Kay, 7 September 2004


Your 'historia de la montaña' is awesome! It inspires me to remember and perhaps recount all my experiences too - first two dathuns, early ATS's cooking for over 250 with no water.... Ah yes! The small A frame was "jonothan's A frame" - one of the first little houses there. He may have chosen another name for it at some point. It deserved its move and renovation I thought.

Dale Asrael, 7 September 2004

You are doing wonderful work. This is the first time I 've visited the website, and it is thrilling to me to contemplate what this collection will eventually be. As I read Frank's piece, I found myself being flooded with personal memories of interactions with Rinpoche that have become teaching koans and core transmissions in my life. Could I tell you some of these stories sometime?

* * *
Dear Dale,

Yes please. Send me your stories! W

Beatrice Martin, 7 September 2004

....this is one of my favourite websites. So wonderful that you can do this work and make it available to others.

David Schneider, 7 September 2004

I loved all of these, and I read them all with great...hmmm, I think €œhunger€ is the word. Congratulations. You are doing great work.

Stéphane Bédard, 7 September 2004

...I take this opportunity to tell you how much I enjoy the Chronicle Projects. All these stories are like little rays of a huge diamond. Thank you for such dedication and for allowing us to see the countless ways of simple wisdom in daily life.

June Crow, 7 September 2004

Thank you for doing this work, it is wonderful and it brings back wonderful memories. With love and devotion to our guru May his blessings continue until samsara is empty.

jacqueline gens , 6 September 2004

....I had a great belly laugh over some of the stories. You're doing wonderful work collecting this material.

Denise Kilshaw, 24 August 2004

...I wish to thank you for your devotion to the guru, and for your work with the chronicle project. I love reading the stories and seeing the photos.

Elizabeth Berlasso, 23 August 2004

I have a confession to make: only once previous to this most recent time have I visited the Chronicle Project Website - feeling a bit like a voyeur into a time and place that I have no connection to personally, but am curious about, (but just a tiny bit curious). I've been enjoying the trip down memory lane - the collection of stories, recollections and photographs from the past. After viewing your latest offerings, I have a much deeper appreciation of what actually transpired in those early years, the potency of CTR's influence and the magnitude of his devotion & love for his students back then. You were all so very fortunate!

I can understand now, why it is so important to keep the connection to those times alive and present in some way. The seal of his loyalty and love has been emblazoned on your hearts. While the connection to his early Boulder students was very direct and palpable, these lovely offerings bring an immediacy to his presence that enliven my connection to him as well. Thanks for continuing with this work. best, Elizabeth

Gregory Bronswinkel, 10 June 2004

My name is Gregory Bronswinkel born 1977 in Curacao. I'm a Shambhala Buddhist practitioner from Aruba which is a small Island in the Caribbean. Here in Aruba there is no sangha and no center etc. I came in contact with the Vidyadhara by reading his books when I was studying in Amsterdam in 1999. I feel a strong connection with Rinpoche even though I never met him. It makes me sad that I did not get the opportunity to meet personally the person who gives me what I most long for. As a Shambhala practitioner far from other Sangha members and the whole community, the chronicleproject is for me one of the most powerful source to a deeper connection, trust and commitment to Rinpoche and the whole Shambhala Mandala. Thank you very much for your exertion. Love, Gregory Bronswinkel

* * *
Dear Gregory,

It's very moving for me to receive your message. During Rinpoche's life time it was clear to me that he was teaching not just for those of us who were there, but for a much wider audience -- both in terms of time and space. Those of you who weren't there at the time and place are, nevertheless, very much a part of his teaching circle, which is wide and vast and continues far into the future. Stay in touch. Love to you, Walter

Betty Sholle, 10 June 2004

...Thank you for gathering these wonderful stories. I've been a student since the mid seventies, mostly in NY, but have kept to the fringe much of the time. It's wonderful to read again some things I've heard before and to hear new tales. It's heart warming and ties us together with a sort of rainbow ribbon of memories of our amazing guru and of our own young lives. Nicely done.

Boyce Taylor, 9 June 2004

Thanks very much for doing this, i very much enjoy and appreciate the site.

Jeff Rubin, 9 June 2004

Great work.......loved the interview with Jack about the front door...

Roger Tucker, 5 June 2004

There are a number of great Joe Patnaude stories. One of my favorites was told to me by Billy McKeever, who was sort of the butt of the joke. Anyway, Billy was proudly showing Joe the blueprints of the proposed new construction, and Joe at some point said, "You're gonna have to do a lot of blasting." Billy, brows furrowed, said what do you mean, the architects said all they'll have to do is excavate." Joe: well excavating through solid rock ain't excavating. We call it blasting. That building sits on a mountain of chert."

I've sort of made up the quotes, Billy can tell the story so it's really funny. Most of these stories derive their humor from the fact that the people in charge of Tail (and then KCL for a number of years) were chosen for their dharma qualifications, not their knowledge or mundane experience. There are numerous garden stories like the one you [Alan] told. []

* * *

Sounds like good book idea -- The collected sayings of Joe Patneaude. Thanks for writing. W

Patricia Myerson, 5 June 2004

I'm very grateful to you for doing this project and also for posting updates for us so we can check them out.

Kathy Gritz, 2 June 2004

I want to thank you for your work on the Chronicle. I love the stories and the Red Neck Bar one, I'm surprised I'd never heard about before. I am wondering about the Interview Page. There is a list of many "completed interviews" but they are not posted on the site. Why? [ ] Best regards, Kathy

* * *

Dear Kathy, The reason I haven't posted all of those interviews is mostly just man power and timing. My main effort is to write a book about Rinpoche's life and teachings in North America. Updating the site is very time consuming and it comes down to priorities. The website started as the tail end of the project (just like a poster kind of thing to let people know what I'm doing) but it's starting to wage the dog and I'm feeling the need work on more long range goals. Hope you're well. I'll be in Boulder in September. Hope to see you then. Yours, Walter

Robyn Traill, 31 May 2004

Did Gloria Laborie tell you about the ghost that used to hang out around Rinpoche in that room at McIndoe Falls? I'm not sure if she said that he discovered it, or just told her more about it. Best, Robyn

* * *


She told me about ghosts at the inn, but not about one that hung out around Rinpoche. W

Robyn Traill, 30 May 2004

I have to say, that your own stories are some of the most poignant to me. Some you will be reticent to tell obviously . . .

But the story of your attending him (or being around him) for a couple of years and never getting anything but semi-wrathful disinterest from him until the night you told someone else who was on duty (was it at RMDC? outside?) the contents of the talk that he had missed, and then Rinpoche called you over and told you what a good student you were, and you cried in his chest until you soaked his shirt.

I get such a rush of devotion from remembering that story, it has been a bright light in difficult times. Best, Robyn.

* * *

Thank you Robyn, Maybe I should put that story online. I've been holding back but I'm not really sure why. Thanks for writing. It's very helpful. Best, Walter

Clarissa Stanley, 30 May 2004

I just love this project - I almost always end up laughing and crying when I read the stories. Have you ever considered collecting people's dreams of Rinpoche (I know I have had some that did not feel like ordinary dreams) or collecting copies of personal pictures to post? I wish I was working with you all!

Alan Schwartz, 30 May 2004

Amazing Grace! Oh my, Alice is still alive.

The funniest story I know is actually true. It is a "Joe Patnaude" story from the early days of "Tail":

On one of his trips to care for his cows, Joe came across an amusing sight as he passed the garden, which was right across the driveway from the main house. It made him pause and lean on the fence to watch for a while. Most of the residents of Tail were in the garden, each armed with a paper cup and a Q-Tip, patiently sweeping bugs off the rows and rows of cauliflowers into their cups. When they had a sufficient number, they transferred them to a bucket held by one worker, who took the bucket over to the fence, reached over and dumped it out.

I came and stood alongside him.

Joe had one of those Vermont farmer bemused expressions on his face, to say the least. So I asked him, "Hey, Joe, whaddya think?"

His reply was priceless. He scratched his chin. "Well I dunno.....those bugs got pretty short legs, they'll be mighty hungry when they get back!"


The Tail of the Tiger sign in your picture was stolen from the entrance to the driveway at Tail shortly after it was mounted, I seem to recall one winter night in 1970, but I may be off on the timing. I lived at Tail during the summer of 1970, then as a permanent resident and Executive Committee member (treasurer for a while) from the fall of 1970 into 1972 or 1973, when I went to live at the first "Maitri" community at George Marshall's place in Elizabethtown New York.

Best to you,

* * *

By the way, I show Jack Niland the photo of that sign and it turns out that he painted it. He was very happy to see that it had reappeared. W

Leila Bruno, 30 May 2004

thank you, THANK YOU, for sharing your road trip adventures on Chronicles. it's infinitely better than the newspaper each morning with that first fresh brewed up of steamy coffee....hugs,

Marc Matheson, 30 May 2004

Thank you, ... I'm enjoying your updates and all of your good efforts in keeping alive the humor and vitality of the Vidyadhara Trungpa Rinpoche.

Judith Smith, 25 May 2004

Your "on the road" report makes me want to be in your side-car! I also am very appreciative of David Rome's remarks, and the Sakyong's support, and the photos. More "on the road" photos would be neat too -- just temporary snaps. Hopefully more and more people will tune in to this and decide to donate...

Richard Peisinger, 25 May 2004

Fantastic. More from on the road. It's fresh and deep. Quite magnetizing.

Arline Mathieu, 27 May 2004

I'm always delighted to read the next tale in chronicleproject. I've undertaken a similar, but less ambitious, project out here in California. A few years ago, I interviewed with video Kwong Roshi and Shinko Kwong about their memories of the Vidyadhara. Roshi is abbot at Sonoma Mountain Zen Center and both are former students of Suzuki Roshi and knew the Vidyadhara. I'm not a professional filmmaker but loved the Kwongs warmth and generosity--and their stories-- so much that I decided to make the video available more widely. ...

Keep up the good work. And, happy trails. Best, Arline Mathieu

Robin Olson, 25 May 2004

Thank you!!!!! For those of us who never had the chance to know the Vidyadhara this will certainly be a precious resource. I just returned from doing Golden Key at Karme Choling and was lucky to hear some tales of how he found water for the well and how the main shrine room came to be designed the way it was. Carol and Patton Hyman might be good prospects for an interview when you're at KCL next. They were the directors of the program and were at KCL in the early '70's. Best regards and safe journey.

David Rome, 14 May 2004

...I love what you're doing--I've been skimming through Carolyn's magnificent collected works with her carefully researched introductions. Having the Chronicles is like having an oral tradition beside the written one--something I'm very familiar with from Judaism. In the oral tradition you can't be quite sure what is fact and what fiction or individual memory, but it doesn't matter--this is how people were affected and how CTR's living presence is carried forward by living people.

Shenpen Hookham, 4 April 2004

Please follow this link to a very interesting letter from Shenpen Hookham. It's on a separate page because it's quite long.

Peter Champe, 19 March 2004

I've read all the stories now (some of them twice) and really enjoyed them. Can you (you know who you are) please write some more and post them? Thanks.

Christine Keyser, 8 March 2004

After Jonathan gave his inheritance to Rinpoche he got a job washing dishes at the bakery next door to Karma Dzong when the center was at 1111 Pearl Street. When I meditated there in the morning and smelled the delicious fragrance of fresh baked bread I thought of Jonathan hard at work washing pots and pans in the bakery kitchen below -- polishing the mirror of Bodhi to benefit sentient beings.

.... In those early days, Jonathan often complained to me about his "failure" with women. Once at a party he sang a satirical song he wrote, "Oh beautiful ball stomping woman.." I got mad at him because it was about a woman who he was attracted to but had rejected his tentative advances. I thought he was being a horrible sexist and hypocritical, so I poured some beer over his head. He screamed, thrust his guitar down, and fled the room. He never said anything to me about it afterwards, but I always felt guilty for publicly humiliating such a kind, gentle man.

... I sent my comments because you mentioned that we deify and idolize people after they're gone and forget their warts and weaknesses. One of the reasons why Jonathan was such a wonderful person is because he openly displayed all of his weaknesses for the world to see, enabling us to also witness his transformation through his steadfast dharma practice. I could have written much more because I used to know Jonathan quite well in the early days. But a few words often goes a long way.
Take care,

David Rome, 24 February 2004

Thanks Walter, that's a lovely tribute. My recollection is that when we returned from 73 Seminary in January of 04, Jonathan was BOTH Rinpoche's secretary and director of Karma Dzong. It was then that he approached me one day in Karma Dzong (1111 Pearl) and said "Rinpoche was wondering if you would be willing to help out with scheduling interviews for him." That's how my own career began. And it wasn't just interviews secretary, because what I inherited from Jonathan included proto kusung and kasung as well--Jonathan used to ferry R around in his van, and one of my credentials was that I had a regular car that it was easier for R to get in and out of. Once the two of us were in conversation with R and Jonathan asked about a challenge in his meditation practice--he was starting to notice and label his own labeling, leading to an infinite regression that was confusing. R said--that's what is supposed to happen! and that's quite advanced, so don't mention it to anyone else. Being the bright young thing that I was, I promptly forgot the warning and mentioned this in a conversation with someone else--with Jonathan present. He gave me a sharp look and said, "And do you remember that R said not to repeat that?" Oops!

Jane Arthur , 23 February 2004

Thanks for this Walter. Jonathan was so kind to me as a new arrival to Boulder. He quietly was available for sage advice. He was coming around more and that was a good thing. He umdzed on Harvest of Peace right before he died. I miss him a lot. All the best,

Tania Leontov, 22 February 2004

Walter, I would like to share two things concerning Jonathan. One was that I was the first person Jonathan met when he reached Tail of the Tiger. This blue folkswagen bus pulled up and out came a hippie musician. He said he was in despair and i asked if he wanted an interview with Rinpoche. Which happened. He told me years later that he was on the verge of suicide when he arrived and the interview saved his life.

The other thing - Jonathan and I were half of the committee, the last three or four years, to make the Boulder Shambhala Center disabled accessible. I dont know if anyone else knew but behind his even and undemanding mien there was a terrible sadness and bitterness that he could not enter the center and be in the environment soaked with the Vidyadharas presence. It was as if, in a way, the community had abandoned him.

* * *

This is very helpful. Can I add your comment to the site? Walter

* * *

Yes Walter please add the comments to the site. Every detail that brings the stories down to a very human level, where the real magic happens should be shared. I am so conerned that we bring these teachings down to earth. Our vision is glorious and bright and there is no lack of it, but we often cant find the earth. I experienced our Rinpoche as continuously and vigorously celebrating the earth . "Sacred world is in the details." One taste was the mantra. Tania

Robert Ward, 21 February 2004

What you're creating for us all is so wonderful. I really thank you.

Have you ever considered a feature, something like "When I first met the Vidyadhara"? I mean one for people whose relationship with him was rather more brief than those who have long stories to tell for the archives. Something that would allow a large number of people to tell small stories about the first - and prehaps only - time they were introduced to him, or ran into him. My thought is that perhaps each such story might not, in itself, seem all that cosmic, but that taken together might help paint a picture of our guru in a different way. One mural made of a hundred small incidents to complement the wonderful portraits you're compiling already.

If you thought this had any merit, it would be very simple indeed to provide a way for people to write a paragraph or two via the web and have it accessible to you.

Warmest regards, with much gratitude for your work,

Rob Ward

* * *

Dear Rob,

Thanks. Yes I have been thinking about a collection of first meetings. It's been on my mind quite a bit. And I agree with your thinking about it. I like your image of one mural and many parts.

Thanks, Walter

Robyn Traill, 12 November 2003

Thank you so much. Just beautiful. Khenpo is here in Vancouver, and I miss him all the time when he is away. When I asked him to be my guru in '93 I asked how I could follow his command and remain committed forever to Shambhala and Trungpa Rinpoche's work, and Khenpo said that I should view him as an emanation of Trungpa Rinpoche.

Rochelle Weithorn, 12 November 2003

What a heart warming interview. Thank you! I study with KTGR at KCL and am also a senior student of VCTR so it was very special to read these very inspiring words about our very dear root guru. Much love and appreciation for all your efforts, Rochelle

Bob Anders, 12 November 2003

It is very moving to read these stories. And after all, what is there really to do but to remember this man we met. Thank you for doing this. From no lane, Bob

Emily Danies, 12 November 2003

I just wanted you to know how much I appreciate the chronicle project and all your work. The stories are wonderful. I have a short story about Rinpoche and was wondering if I should submit it. Thanks

Dan Hessey, 12 November 2003

As I read this wonderful interview at my desk at work, my heart fills with joy and my eyes fill with tears. thank you. Dan

Jacqueliner Gens, 29 October 2003

Thank you for turning our attention to James George. I really enjoyed reading his communications. I worked with Mr. George during the time I was secretary to Allen Ginsberg while they were both on the board of directors for Dr. Trogawa's Chakpori Institute. If you have an email or mailing address, I would be most grateful to be in contact with Mr. George once again. Sincerely, Jacqueliner Gens

Chris Battis, 29 October 2003

Walter--While I very much enjoyed the interview with Mr. George, I must take issue with the spurious Sarmoung=Surmang connection that he makes. The Sarmoun(i) Brotherhood were a subsect of the Naqshbandi Sufis and had a monastery or complex of monasteries in the Hindu Kush mountains of northeastern Afghanistan. A google search on "Sarmoun Brotherhood" would give you a number of links, some of them quite interesting. Gurdjieff may indeed have studied in Tibet; we have no way of knowing, but Surmang and Sarmoung are two distinct entities. We might also safely assume that the Sarmoun monasteries are no longer, given the destructiveness of the Soviet occupation and the Taliban's hatred of Sufism.

For what it's worth, before meeting Trungpa Rinpoche in 1973, I spent several years as a member of a group in Boulder that was affiliated with the Naqshbandi Sufis. Best regards, Chris Battis (Dixville Notch, '78)

Judith Smith, 24 October 2004

Have just finished going over your interview with KTGR. It's wonderful! And it makes me realize even more that interviewing the Tibetans with their perspective is a super idea.

Glenn Dorskind, 6 January 2003

Walter, I thought you might enjoy the attached poem, Rinpoche's Naropa, and perhaps want to post it at "The Chronicle Project." I recently read this poem at the N.Y. Shambhala Center's commemoration of 9/11. . . .I attended Naropa in 1974, 1977, 1978. I have lots of Ginsberg and Rinpoche stories. I also have some very neat poet pictures. Great job on your website. . . .I am in the midst of prostrations, which I should have finished when I was 30 instead of 48, but needed a 15 year break (long story - I'll tell you if we become friends), and am suffering the woes of an older body. Yet I feel incredibly inspired and I actually read the stories on your site before I prostrate to get motivated. (Last night it didn't work, I got too tired.) Sincerely, Glenn Dorskind

* * *

Glenn, I enjoyed your poem very much. Please do pass on your Ginsberg and Rinpoche stories. And I'd also love to see your poet pictures. Glad these stories are inspiring for you. Good luck with prostrations. W

Steve Gleich, 9 January 2003

This project is excellent. Not to mention huge. I frequently think of the Vidyadhara's departure from 1986 seminary where I was a participant and rusung. I have frequently imagined what a full account of that departure would reveal. I have gone so far as to talk to a number of sangha members who were there and we have talked over some of our memories of the departure day and its aftermath. I was not directly involved in the departure ( I was not on duty that day with him) so my memories are mainly about the aftermath - the rumours, the confusion, the sanity, the impact on seminary and on me. I don't know if that fits with your project, but I have always felt that his departure from Seminary was a turning point in the history of our sangha in that it represented a preparation for his final departure and a show of trust in us all. Others may have seen it quite differently. If such a story would be helpful, let me know, and I will have a go at writing my recollection. My hope would be that it would trigger others who were with him (you were probably one of them) to tell their stories of that day.

* * *

Steve, Thank you for writing. Yes. Please. Write about that day. . . .I really like the idea of getting many stories from many different points of view about the same day. . . Thanks again, Walter

Marilyn Thurrott, 15 January 2003

Dear Walter, Would you be so kind as to send me the rules and instructions on how to play the Qualities Game! I have played it several times at Kasung Banquets several years ago, but do not remember the finer points. I now live in Nelson, B.C. where there are a budding group of practitioners and a few older students. No one has ever played the game. I would very much like to introduce it to them on Shambhala Day. Thank you so much, Marilyn Thurrott

P.S. I may contribute a story or two of my encounters with CTR, while living in Halifax from 83-85. One was a feet tickling session that took place at the Mill Village retreat, the other an elocution lesson to (the only Canadian-me) at the first Centre in Halifax on Barrington.

* * *

I hope you do contribute these stories. I look forward to reading them.

How to play the Qualities Game?

Let me see. One person, (it was almost always himself when he was present) thinks of something -- a thing or a person or a place -- and writes it down on a piece of paper, which is then left face down so no one can see it. The Vidyadhara wrote the answer in English on one side and in Tibetan on the other side and left the Tibetan side facing up.

Then the questions begin. In his presence, it was always very formal. Something like: "Sir, if the object of this game were a sports car, what kind of sports car would it be?" And then he would give his answer. There was always a scribe who would keep a record of the answers and questions. Periodically someone might ask to hear them and the scribe would read the list aloud.

If you thought you knew what the object of the game was, you had to ask for permission to ask a direct question. You would say: "Sir, may I ask a direct question at this time?" And he would say either yes or no. Sometimes, if he suspected that you actually knew the answer, he would prolong the game by denying permission. But when he was ready, or when the right person asked for permission, he would grant it and you would ask: "Sir is the object of this game your horse, Drala?" If you got it right: game over. If not, you might be in for a long night.

Now here's where I get fuzzy. I think that the rules specified a limited number of direct questions. Like maybe 4 or 5? I don't remember. But the point was that you had to use your direct questions sparingly and only when you were pretty sure you knew the answer.

Thanks for asking, W

Would anybody like to chime in here? Any further details, insights, or stories about the Qualities Game?

Una Morera, 30 January 2003

i just went to this site
all i can say is
thank you so much walter for doing this!
thank you!

Una Morera
daughter of Phyllis Segura
dharma brat

Jeanne Baker, 30 January 2003

Dear Walter, I just read Dan Meade's story. Wow! This project is such a wonderful and inspiring endeavor. I have to say heartfelt thanks to you and your fellow project people for making this happen. I always go right to the site when I see the announcement of a new story. It is such a powerful way to stay in touch with the feelings of devotion and laughter and love and magic, etc., etc. that are a part of that early time with Rinpoche. I just can't tell you how much I appreciate your efforts. Yours in the GES vision, Jeanne Cain Baker

Andre Papantonio , 9 December 2002

Thanks a million for organizing all this.

Cecile McHardy, 9 December 2002

Dear Vajra Brother, Thank you for initiating this - Chadwick did something similar on the site, Crooked Cucumber- touching recollections of Suzuki Roshi. With love and deep Bows,

Nancy Castlebury, 9 December 2002

Walter--Thank you for this posting at this time especially when there are a lot of upset, confused (including me) people in the sangha. I have meant a number of times to tell you how wonderful this work is and that I have been moved to tears by what you are posting from the project. Love,

Cassell Gross, 9 December 2002

Hi. Awhile ago I sent a note about linking to the Longchen Foundation in London, which is run by Michael Hookham. I didn't hear back or see it listed. I have met Michael a couple of times and have no connection with him or his current scene but I thought it might be interesting, as another facet of the diamond mind of VCTR. Since I didn't see or hear any mention, I was wondering if there are political problems. I know there were years ago when Vajradhatu was building up in Europe, but now? So many of the early English sangha members came via Michael....seems we might want to have some mention somewhere of that phase of Rinpoche's western teachings if we're chronicling. Let me know what happens. Warmly,

* * *

Thank you for writing. Sorry I haven't written sooner. After setting up the system that allows people to suggest new links, I forgot that I need to check once in awhile to see if any links have been suggested. . . . I have never met Michael Hookham but I know of him as a very devoted student of the Vidyadhara's from the Oxford days. But I never heard of Longchen Foundation and I never guessed that Rinpoche founded any organization beyond the obvious. I am delighted to add this site to our list of organizations that he established. Including this link helps to demonstrate Rinpoche's vast activity. All the best, Walter

Cassell Gross, 12 December 2002

Dear Walter...that's what I was thinking too. I often dream of going over to England to meet with Michael while he's still alive and to talk to him about those early days and the teachings Rinpoche gave him. He's the one to whom R taught the Longchen Nyingthig in a sense he is a holder of one stream of his dharma. My husband's from Vienna and we go to Europe fairly often to see his parents. Maybe next time, I'll just do it! Will let you know. Warmly, Cassell

Waylon Lewis, 12 December 2002

Beautiful, dignified web site. Fantastic article by that Linda Lewis lady. Keep up the great, good work. Yrs.,

(anonymous), 20 December 2002

Thank you for doing this amazing work. I just read all the stories and laughed and cried. We need this. Love, His Student

Steve Ritchie, 20 December 2002

Hey Walter, I have a story....but have thought that maybe I should not submit it because it is a little risque -- on the other hand very personally instructive! Maybe I could write it, and you could be the judge of where it goes?

* * *

Steve, By all means, please write it. The Chronicle Project is here to gather the stories. The questions of where and when they might be published are secondary. Look forward to reading it. Walter

Dalia Menendez, 26 December 2002

Fabulous! Wonderful! Thank you. My 19 year old son had just asked me if any stories about Trungpa Rinpoche had ever been recorded anywhere. He said he thought it would be good to have them archived so that his and future generations would have some idea of who he was and how he was, how he related to us. Timely. Best wishes.

Charlie Trageser, 30 December 2002

Dear Mr. Fordham, I have a question on a quote from the Vidyadhara that I'm trying to track down. . . . I don't know if you are the right person to ask - if you don't know, perhaps you could direct me to the right person. I seem to remember that some time shortly before his passing, Rinpoche left a message for his students to the effect that their lives would begin to weigh on them like a heavy shell pressing down on a turtle, but that eventually they would turn out fine. Do you recall anything like this or have I dreamt it up? Or is it possibly a quote from the Vajra Regent? Somehow as I traverse middle age, I find this idea very pertinent 8-). Thanks, . . . P.S. I just found your web site, and am reading through the stories. Thank you for your efforts in pulling this together. I'll pass this around to other old students in the Boston area to see if they have any contributions.

* * *

Dear Charles, I don't remember ever hearing about a message like that and I don't know who you would ask, except everyone. As the Chronicle Project goes forward, and as I interview people about what they remember, I might find someone who knows this story, or maybe not. In any case, I'm adding your question to a list of things Rinpoche might have said. Someday, if I find an echo out there, I'll let you know. I appreciate your passing it on. How 'bout it? Has anybody out there heard of this message? Walter

Amy Conway, 1 November 2002

Yes, the chronicle project website is so amazing. I was feeling I needed a little boost of devotion one day at work and by the time I finished reading, I was in tears. Thank you for doing this important work. Amy Conway, Berkeley, CA

Derek Kolleeny, 1 November 2002

thanks! it's such a relief to have this project as a way of preserving and making available all of the great stories of the vidhyadhara those of us who experienced him have, for all of us to share. best d

James Elliott, 1 November 2002

The project sounds great, and I'm working on a couple of stories myself. I wanted to drop a note anyway, and am using this opportunity to add it on, that it would be a good idea to re-post the request for stories from time to time.

Nicolette de Graaff, 1 November 2002

Dear sir, although we have never met, I take the liberty mailing you. I just read all the letters written about the meetings with Rinpoche. I am dutch, and joined the D.D. in Amsterdam in 1987 for the first time. It took a long time before I really started to understand what a great person he was. I felt always sad that i was too late... Now i read the stories, beautiful and it moves me very much. thank you. greetings Nicolette de Graaff Amsterdam

Chris Keyser, 1 November 2002

Hi Walter: I hope you and your family are well. I just read Linda Lewis' story about her trip to meet Rinpoche at the Crazy Wisdom seminar at Jackson Hole, Wyoming. I had also thought about writing about that occasion awhile ago, particularly an incident that occurred one night between Rinpoche and Johnny Meyer at the Snow Lion Inn. I know this could make the project even more cumbersome and difficult for you, but is there anyway we could add things to other people's stories if they occurred at the same time? Perhaps having some kind of chat room on the site would fulfill that need for a dialogue of sorts. I have tons of vivid memories from that seminar although I had been studying with Rinpoche for nearly two years at the time. Are you basically looking themes with these stories, such as Jim Lowrey's recruitment into the kasung and Linda Lewis' pilgrimage across the rockies in a blizzard to meet Rinpoche and study with him? Obviously those make better stories and are probably more relevant to other people rather than the disparate scenes and memories we all have of our various interactions with Rinpoche. Thanks for doing this. I imagine that new students will be among the most interested in these stories by us decrepit old folks since they convey personal experiences of the magic and trepidation of being in Rinpoche's presence. Best wishes, Chris Keyser

* * *

Hi Chris, I'd love to have your stories from the Crazy Wisdom seminar at Jackson Hole. I think it will be really interesting to have a series of accounts from different people about the same event. In fact that's what I'm hoping for -- the more the better. I have thought about a chat room kind of thing where we can have an online discussion about specific topics and events. It's a really good idea and I think we'll get there. But it will take a while to set it up. In the meantime, you could send your story to me and I can post it along side Linda's -- call it something like "Jackson Hole 2" or "More Crazy Wisdom Stories". My only caveat is that the project's board has to approve what gets posted. But regardless of whether or not we publish your story on the website, it will be a valuable addition to the collection. Are we looking for stories with themes? Not particularly. What we have so far is just such a few stories that it's too early to say what works and what doesn't. I can imagine a series of recollections that aren't held together by any particular theme being very interesting. Yes. New students really like to hear these stories. I've gotten some nice letters from people who never met Rinpoche. They're very appreciative. Thanks for writing. How's life? Where are you? How are you? All the best, W

Alan Schwartz, 1 November 2002

Hi Walter, I think your project is wonderful, and I consider many of the stories to be treasures of teaching. My question is about public vs private. I have some stories that I consider worth preserving and collecting, but I'm not at all comfortable with the notion that they are being displayed on a website available to the public. In fact, my gut feeling is that I feel most comfortable sharing them only within the boundaries and protection of a teaching environment. Wondering what your thoughts are about the public/private boundaries of such a project. Love to hear from you whenever, no rush. Alan Schwartz

* * *

Alan, Thanks for writing and thanks for the question. Certainly there are stories that need to be held closely for different reasons. But, I think that we as a community are in the process of exploring where the boundary should be between public and private. In general, it seems that the realm of what we feel comfortable saying in public is expanding. The video series put out by the Archives last year for the consecration is available to anyone in the sangha and includes footage of events that were originally for inner-circle eyes only, the first Sakyong Abhisheka for example. The recent Shambhala Sun article by Lady Diana was wonderfully open, raw, and naked -- shocking in a way reminiscent of how he himself was shocking. Your point is well taken: "only within the boundaries and protection of a teaching environment." I would say that Lady Diana's article, because it is so genuine, creates its own protected environment. Can a website do the same thing? I don't know; this is a work in progress. One step at a time.

Nonetheless, there are certainly stories that should not be told in a public forum. Some stories will be restricted to people who have vajrayana transmission; some stories might be hurtful to someone, or to their family; some storytellers might not want their story to be made public for various reasons. And all of these stories are important to record as part of his legacy.

In any case, in answer to your question, I am keeping certain stories away from the public eye. I will honor your wishes concerning who should and who should not have access to your stories. How's life? What are you up to? Walter

Irene Hirzmark, 3 November 2002

If I can help from the sticks of Appalachia, I would be delighted. . . . I'm still a lazy practitioner but am truly grateful for the Vidyadhara's voice in my heart. Yours in the dharma,

* * *

Thank you for your offer to help. I don't think that distance is a problem. I'm recording the interviews in a digital format, so there are a number of ways I can get them to you. . . . I really like your note, especially " . . grateful for the Vidyadhara's voice in my heart." Well said. All the best, WF

Elisabeth Gold, 3 November 2002

Just read the stories by Linda Lewis and Jim Lowrey. Wonderful, like spending time with the Dorje Dradul. Great work and thanks for doing it. I have a couple of stories to share when I get a chance later. regards,

Chris Keyser, 4 November 2002

Thanks for your message. This is a really exciting project. I loved Linda Lewis' story. It was so well-written and personal. Are you open to multiple submissions from individuals. If not I will forego sending anything about the Crazy Wisdom seminar in Jackson Hole because I have more compelling memories of Rinpoche. Specifically, I wanted to relate a few experiences during Rinpoche's first year teaching in Boulder (I arrived in Boulder in February 1971 having dropped out of UCLA and come to Colorado on a wing and a prayer looking for a Buddhist meditation teacher. I had no idea who Rinpoche was and that there was even a resident Buddhist teacher in Boulder). Rinpoche gave an incredibly powerful teaching he gave on the trust of suffering at his seminar that February that completely blew me away and ensnared me as his student (I never wanted a "guru," just someone to teach me how to meditate properly so I could go off in the mountains like Milarepa). I also wanted to write about his reactions to the birth of his son Tagtrug, the death of Suzuki Roshi at the end of that year, and the sudden death of our beloved sangha member, Melanie Papini that September. These were all incredible teachings for our young Buddhist community. I think I could put them all together in a coherent story. Thanks for your inspiration, energy, and wisdom to launch this project. It brings Rinpoche's presence vividly back in this world just to recall his incredible acts of kindness and outrageousness. Take care,

* * *

Chris, Yes. I want as many submissions from each person as each person is willing to write. So please write as much as you want. Write long pieces and short pieces -- pieces that talk about a series of events or just one event. It's entirely up to you. You were there at some really historic moments. So, I'm glad you're turned on by this project. Thanks for your encouragement. It means a lot. All the best, WF

Andrew Munro to David Chadwick, 4 November 2002

Dear Mr. Chadwick, I am a student of Trungpa Rinpoche and with Walter Fordham and some others have developed a website to collect stories and provide background information on our teacher. The address is Your comments and suggestions on this very new website would be welcome. I am in awe of the Crooked Cucumber website and if we can in the future achieve even a fraction of the richness of your site we will have done well. My heart-felt appreciation and thanks for all you have accomplished in making Suzuki Roshi accessible to so many. I love Roshi so much and it is wonderful that Crooked Cucumber exists. hoping you are in good health, Andrew Munro

David Chadwick, 5 November 2002

Hi. Thanks for the kind words. Just do what you feel like and don't be bound by limits. Don't think of it like a book but like a library full of stuff you want to read and stuff you don't. I go for everything anyone has to say and don't hide anything negative. In fact I yearn for anything negative. It makes the positve more real. I'll keep you in mind and try to come up with some stuff for you. And I'll put your letter on my web site so interested people can plug into what you're doing. All the best, David

Harriet Campbell, 8 November 2002

Dear Walter, This is a fantastic project and the results so far are superb! I could do some transcribing (used to do it alot in Boulder) if there is a need and it's not too inconvenient to send tapes to Crestone. Thanks for your work and inspiration to do this. Harriet

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Thank you for your kind words. I really appreciate your taking the time to write. And, especially, thank you for offering to do some transcribing. Best, W

Katherine Munro, 20 November 2002

I'd like to thank you for the Chronicle Project website. I enjoyed reading those stories very much and look forward to many more! I found them very moving in many ways and they made me feel closer to him. I never met him personally but feel an intense connection to him and I owe a lot of that feeling of closeness to those who did know him then and have passed down his lineage. For days after reading those stories I enjoyed a heightened state of awareness. His energy is everywhere but sometimes we need help in having that pointing out and I think your website does just that. Thanks so much, Katherine

Philip Rosemond, 17 October 2002

HI. I just wanted you all to know how much I enjoyed the stories of the Vidyadhara. My exposure to him was little. Please more stories. They are not only affirming of devotion, but delightful in the telling. I will make sure some of the "old dogs" (please excuse the painful expression) here in Seattle who have told me some outrageous stories over many a bottle of Oregonian Sake and 24 year old Scotch, relay them to you. A toast to y'all; this is a wonderful and archivally important resource. Yours in the Warmth of the 10 am Sunshine, Philip.

Robert Krupnick, 31 October 2002

Walter - It's wonderful! I'll send you something when I can write it out. Robert

Sarah Whitehorn, 8 September 2002

Walter, I am really impressed with the work you and others have done on the Chronicles Project website. It is very detailed, easy to read, and totally pleasurable to browse through. The best of luck to you and everyone. I hope to volunteer some time in transcription or other work, in the near future. I may even be able to offer a short story or two... Best regards, Sarah

Bea Ferrigno, 8 September 2002

Thank you so much for building the chronicle site. I was delighted to read the stories, which held some surprises, but especially because I've been languishing in Florida with few sangha these past two years. Warm regards, Bea Ferrigno

Judith Simmer-Brown, 8 September 2002

How wonderful, what a gift! Thanks so much!

Matt DiRodio, 9 September 2002

Thanks so much, I could actually here the voice of the Regent, Alan Sloane and of course the Vidyadhara. Many memories, many deep heart prostrations. Respectfully, Matt DiRodio

Don Milani, 9 September 2002

Hi, It's great that you are doing this project! Can I offer one suggestion? It seems that a lot of people's memories work in context. For example, newer students have said to me--"Tell me some stories about VCTR in the old days." and I draw a complete blank. But when someone says--"Remember in December of 1983 VCTR was at KCL and he taught the program called blah blah?"--then I have a context for remembering where I was and what happened. So I'm suggesting that what would be really helpful is if you published on the website a detailed timeline of VCTR's life--where he was, the city/place/practice center he was at, and the titles and dates of the programs he taught. I would bet that that type of information would really help jog people's memories. I'm sure a detailed timeline could be constructed from the Kalapa Recording archives (I bet it's all in their database) and in the A-Suite logs that people like Beverly Webster kept. Thanks for listening to this suggestion. Don

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Don, Nice to hear from you. Thanks for the suggestion. We will put a timeline together. I agree it will help a lot. thanks, Walter

Newcomb and Ditty Greenleaf, 9 September 2002

Thanks so much for the wonderful idea of the website and for the lovely story about the visit to Baca which was so evocative of the Vidyadhara and of those days. We particularly enjoyed it because last summer we made our first visit to Crestone/Baca for a retreat with Tsoknyi Rinpoche. Cheers and love, Newcomb and Ditty

Alan Sloan, 10 September 2002

Dear Walter and Andrew, Congratulations to you both on the launching of the website. It is extremely well done. Thank you for including my stories of meeting and getting to know the Vidyadhara.

Good luck on the future development of the Chronicle Project. I hope many people will contribute their stories of the Vidyadhara and further enrich our understanding and appreciation of him. Thank you so much for your hard work. Best wishes, Alan

Dan Hessey, 10 September 2002

Dear Walter, I would like to say how much I appreciate your taking the initiative (with a host of others, I understand) on this very important project. It is beautifully presented and wonderfully conceived. I will think of what I could contribute that would be useful. Dan

Suzanne Townsend, 10 September 2002

The site is nicely done, Walter. But of course, this is Suzanne, who can't just say nice things but hopefully useful things. I find that what is missing from the site is the interactivity and immediacy that the web is so good at! For example, a discussion forum would bring it alive and give people a chance to submit stories on the spot before they are filtered/edited/"saved" by various minds and committees and boards. Or/and a mailing list to deliver announcements when the site is updated with new stories.

Is it true you are taking a leave of absence to do this project? I really did think you had finished a book and were publishing it -- and am still impatient to see such a beast. But your site is the next best thing so far.--S.

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Suzanne, Thanks for your input. All really good suggestions regarding the site and some are already a part of the long range plan. When we'll add new functionality to the site is a matter of funding and time. No I definitely have not finished a book, or anything else. This is the beginning. I haven't taken a leave of absence. I've left my job entirely. What? Feels both good and scary. Thanks again, Walter

Judith Smith, 11 September 2002

Dear Walter, Finally I've taken the time to explore the website and to read the stories. Alan's is hilarious, as I would expect it to be. And yours -- the only thing I had remembered about the story was the ending, so it's great to read it again. I am going to write to Graeme to request him to write his Taos story. I only remember that he either drove Rinpoche to or around or back from Taos in the late 70s -- in his (Graeme's) 1965 VW van. I hope he can remember the details! I look forward to the growth of this marvelous project, and hope stories are beginning to pour in! Much love, Judith

Ellen Kearney, 18 September 2002

Hi Walter, The website is wonderful congratulations! I am so anxious to contribute, but my time is crazy this fall. I will try to work on some things in the next month and get them to you. I'm in the middle of many projects here, so when the sun breaks through, I will get busy. I just wanted to tell you that I'm so happy this is finally happening and that the many and varied stories can be shared by all. Thanks so much. Ellen Kearney

Liz Richardson, 26 September 2002

I just wanted to say how glad we are you're doing this project about the Vidyhadara's life. Over this past weekend, I heard some simply amazing personal stories from Sarah Cox, Christie and Paul Cashman, Allyn Lyon, and Hans de Wit about the Vidyhadara. I encouraged them to tell you and hopefully they will, but thought it might be a good idea to nudge them a bit. Sarah doesn't type, so I offered to type out her story if you would like. But then I thought maybe you record people or type them up yourself or have a special way of doing things. So just wanted to pass that on and wish you well. Love, Liz

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Liz, I'm doing interviews because many people might not find the time to write, and because I'm trying to research specific topics and events. But there are a lot of people and a lot of stories. We'd better not wait for me, or anybody else, to come around with a microphone. I would like to encourage everyone to write their stories down, or help each other do it. Thanks for the encouragement. Love, W