“Delight in itself is the approach of sanity. Delight is to open our eyes to the reality of the situation rather than siding with this or that point of view.” (In other words, BE HAPPY)
“Becoming awake involves seeing our confusion more clearly.”
“Enlightenment is ego's ultimate disappointment.”
“The essence of warriorship, or the essence of human bravery, is refusing to give up on anyone or anything.”
“A great deal of the chaos in the world occurs because people don't appreciate themselves.”
Chögyam Trungpa (February 28, 1939 – April 4, 1987) was a Buddhist meditation master and holder of both the Kagyu and Nyingma lineages, the eleventh Trungpa tülku, a tertön, supreme abbot of the Surmang monasteries, scholar, teacher, poet, artist, and originator of a radical re-presentation of Shambhala vision.
Recognized both by Tibetan Buddhists and by other spiritual practitioners and scholars as a preeminent teacher of Tibetan Buddhism, he was a major, albeit controversial, figure in the dissemination of Tibetan Buddhism to the West, founding Vajradhatu and Naropa University and establishing the Shambhala Training method.
Among his contributions are the translation of a large number of Tibetan texts, the introduction of the Vajrayana teachings to the West, and a presentation of the Buddhadharma largely devoid of ethnic trappings. Regarded as a mahasiddha by many senior lamas, he is seen as having embodied the crazy wisdom (Tib. yeshe chölwa) tradition of Tibetan Buddhism.
Trungpa had a number of notable students, among whom were Pema Chödrön, Allen Ginsberg, Peter Orlovsky, Anne Waldman, Diane di Prima, Peter Lieberson, José Argüelles, David Nichtern, Ken Wilber, David Deida, Francisco Varela, and Joni Mitchell, who portrayed Trungpa in the song "Refuge of the Roads" on her 1976 album Hejira.
Ginsberg, Waldman, and di Prima also taught at Naropa University, and in the 1980s Marianne Faithfull taught songwriting workshops. Lesser-known students Trungpa taught in England and the US include Alf Vial, Rigdzin Shikpo (né Michael Hookham), Jigme Rinzen (né P. Howard Useche), Ezequiel Hernandez (known as Keun-Tshen Goba after setting up his first meditation center in Venezuela), Miguel Otaola (aka Dorje Khandro), Francisco Salas Roche, and Francesca Fremantle. Rigdzin Shikpo promulgated Trungpa's teachings from a primarily Nyingma rather than Kagyü point of view at the Longchen Foundation.
In his view not only was individual enlightenment not mythical, but the Shambhala Kingdom, an enlightened society, could in fact be actualized. The practice of Shambhala vision is to use mindfulness/awareness meditation as a way to connect with one's basic goodness and confidence. It is presented as a path that "brings dignity, confidence, and wisdom to every facet of life." Trungpa proposed to lead the Kingdom as sakyong (Tib. earth protector) with his wife as queen-consort or sakyong wangmo.
Shambhala vision is described as a nonreligious approach rooted in meditation and accessible to individuals of any, or no, religion. In Shambhala terms, it is possible, moment by moment, for individuals to establish enlightened society. His book, Shambhala: The Sacred Path of the Warrior, provides a concise collection of the Shambhala views. According to Trungpa, it was his intention to propagate the kingdom of Shambala that provided the necessary inspiration to leave his homeland and make the arduous journey to India and the West.
1940: Born in Kham, Eastern Tibet. Enthroned as eleventh Trungpa Tulku, Supreme Abbot of Surmang Monasteries, and Governor of Surmang District. Some put his birth in 1939.
1944–59: Studies traditional monastic disciplines, meditation, and philosophy, as well as calligraphy, thangka painting, and monastic dance.
1947: Ordained as a shramanera (novice monk).
1958: Receives degrees of Kyorpön (Doctor of Divinity) and Khenpo (Master of Studies). Ordained as a bhikshu (full monk).
1959–60: Follows the Dalai Lama to India during the 1959 Tibetan uprising, which failed to overthrow the Chinese government
1960–63: By appointment of the 14th Dalai Lama, serves as spiritual advisor to the Young Lamas' Home School in Dalhousie, India.
1962: Fathers first son, Ösel Rangdröl (Mukpo), by a nun later referred to as Lady Kunchok Palden (or Lady Konchok Palden).
1963–67: Attends Oxford University on a Spaulding scholarship, studying comparative religion, philosophy, and fine arts. Receives instructor's degree of the Sogetsu School of ikebana (Japanese flower arrangement).
1967: Co-founds, with Akong Rinpoche, Kagyu Samyé Ling Monastery and Tibetan Centre, in Dumfriesshire, Scotland.
1969: Travels to Bhutan and goes on solitary retreat.
1969: Receives The Sadhana of Mahamudra terma text while on retreat in Paro Taktsang, a sacred cliffside monastery in Bhutan.
1969: Becomes the first Tibetan British subject. Injured in a car accident, leaving him partially paralyzed.
1970: After the accident Chögyam Trungpa renounces his monastic vows. He claims that the dharma needs to be free of cultural trappings to take root.
1970: Marries wealthy sixteen-year-old English student Diana Judith Pybus.
1970: Arrives in North America. Establishes Tail of the Tiger, a Buddhist meditation and study center in Vermont, now known as Karmê Chöling. Establishes Karma Dzong, a Buddhist community in Boulder, Colorado.
1971: Begins teaching at University of Colorado. Establishes Rocky Mountain Dharma Center, now known as Shambhala Mountain Center, near Fort Collins, Colorado.
1972: Initiates Maitri, a therapeutic program that works with different styles of neurosis using principles of the five buddha families. Conducts the Milarepa Film Workshop, a program which analyzes the aesthetics of film, on Lookout Mountain, Colorado.
1973: Founds Mudra Theater Group, which stages original plays and practices theater exercises, based on traditional Tibetan dance. Incorporates Vajradhatu, an international association of Buddhist meditation and study centers, now known as Shambhala International. Establishes Dorje Khyung Dzong, a retreat facility in southern Colorado. Conducts first annual Vajradhatu Seminary, a three-month advanced practice and study program.
1974: Incorporates Nalanda Foundation, a nonprofit, nonsectarian educational organization to encourage and organize programs in the fields of education, psychology, and the arts. Hosts the first North American visit of The Sixteenth Gyalwang Karmapa, head of the Karma Kagyü lineage. Founds The Naropa Institute, a contemplative studies and liberal arts college, now fully accredited as Naropa University. Forms the organization that will become the Dorje Kasung, a service group entrusted with the protection of the buddhist teachings and the welfare of the community.
1975: Forms the organization that will become the Shambhala Lodge, a group of students dedicated to fostering enlightened society. Founds the Nalanda Translation Committee for the translation of Buddhist texts from Tibetan and Sanskrit. Establishes Ashoka Credit Union.
1976: Hosts the first North American visit of Dilgo Khyentse Rinpoche, revered meditation master and scholar of the Nyingma lineage. Hosts a visit of Dudjom Rinpoche, head of the Nyingma lineage. Empowers Thomas F. Rich as his dharma heir, known thereafter as Vajra Regent Ösel Tendzin. Establishes the Kalapa Court in Boulder, Colorado, as his residence and a cultural center for the Vajradhatu community. Receives the first of several Shambhala terma texts (see termas). These comprise the literary source for the Shambhala teachings. Founds Alaya Preschool in Boulder, Colorado.
1977: Bestows the Vajrayogini abhisheka for the first time in the West for students who have completed ngöndro practice. Establishes the celebration of Shambhala Day. Observes a year-long retreat in Charlemont, Massachusetts. Founds Shambhala Training to promote a secular approach to meditation practice and an appreciation of basic human goodness. Visits Nova Scotia for the first time.
1978: Conducts the first annual Magyal Pomra Encampment, an advanced training program for members of the Dorje Kasung. Conducts the first annual Kalapa Assembly, an intensive training program for advanced Shambhala teachings and practices. Conducts the first Dharma Art seminar. Forms Amara, an association of health professionals. Forms the Upaya Council, a mediation council providing a forum for resolving disputes. Establishes the Midsummer's Day festival and Children's Day.
1979: Empowers his eldest son, Ösel Rangdröl Mukpo, as his successor and heir to the Shambhala lineage. Founds the Shambhala School of Dressage, an equestrian school under the direction of his wife, Lady Diana Mukpo. Founds Vidya Elementary School in Boulder, Colorado.
1980–83: Presents a series of environmental installations and flower arranging exhibitions at art galleries in Los Angeles, San Francisco, Denver, and Boulder.
1980: Forms Kalapa Cha to promote the practice of traditional Japanese Tea Ceremony. With the Nalanda Translation Committee, completes the first English translation of The Rain of Wisdom.
1981: Hosts the visit of the 14th Dalai Lama to Boulder, Colorado. Conducts the first annual Buddhist-Christian Conference in Boulder, Colorado, exploring the common ground between Buddhist and Christian contemplative traditions. Forms Ryuko Kyūdōjō to promote the practice of Kyūdō under the direction of Shibata Kanjuro Sensei, bow maker to the Emperor of Japan. Directs a film, Discovering Elegance, using footage of his environmental installation and flower arranging exhibitions.
1982: Forms Kalapa Ikebana to promote the study and practice of Japanese flower arranging.
1983: Establishes Gampo Abbey, a Karma Kagyü monastery located in Cape Breton, Nova Scotia, for Western students wishing to enter into traditional monastic discipline. Creates a series of elocution exercises to promote precision and mindfulness of speech.
1984–85: Observes a year-long retreat in Mill Village, Nova Scotia.
1986: Moves his home and the international headquarters of Vajradhatu to Halifax, Nova Scotia.
1987: Dies in Halifax; cremated May 26 at Karmê Chöling. (His followers have constructed a chorten or stupa, the The Great Stupa of Dharmakaya, located near Red Feather Lakes, Colorado, for his remains.)
1989: The child recognized as his reincarnation, Chokyi Sengay, is born in Derge, Tibet; recognized two years later by Tai Situ Rinpoche.
Born in Tibet (1966), autobiography, story of escaping from Tibet.
Meditation in Action (1969)
Cutting Through Spiritual Materialism (1973)
The Dawn of Tantra, by Herbert V. Guenther and Chögyam Trungpa (1975)
Glimpses of Abhidharma (1975)
The Tibetan Book of the Dead: The Great Liberation through Hearing in the Bardo, translated with commentary by Francesca Fremantle and Chögyam Trungpa (1975)
The Myth of Freedom and the Way of Meditation (1976)
The Rain of Wisdom (1980)
Journey without Goal: The Tantric Wisdom of the Buddha (1981)
The Life of Marpa the Translator (1982)
First Thought Best Thought: 108 Poems (1983)
Shambhala: The Sacred Path of the Warrior (1984)
Crazy Wisdom (1991)
The Heart of the Buddha (1991)
Orderly Chaos: The Mandala Principle (1991)
Secret Beyond Thought: The Five Chakras and the Four Karmas (1991)
The Lion's Roar: An Introduction to Tantra (1992)
Transcending Madness: The Experience of the Six Bardos (1992)
Training the Mind and Cultivating Loving Kindness (1993)
Glimpses of Shunyata (1993)
The Art of Calligraphy: Joining Heaven and Earth (1994)
Illusion's Game: The Life and Teaching of Naropa (1994)
The Path Is the Goal: A Basic Handbook of Buddhist Meditation (1995)
Dharma Art (1996)
Timely Rain: Selected Poetry of Chögyam Trungpa (1998)
Great Eastern Sun: The Wisdom of Shambhala (1999)
Glimpses of Space: The Feminine Principle and Evam (1999)
The Essential Chögyam Trungpa (2000)
Glimpses of Mahayana (2001)
Glimpses of Realization (2003)
The Collected Works of Chögyam Trungpa, Volumes One through Eight (2003)
True Command: The Teachings of the Dorje Kasung, Volume I, The Town Talks (2004)
The Sanity We Are Born With: A Buddhist Approach to Psychology (2005)
The Teacup & the Skullcup: Chogyam Trungpa on Zen and Tantra (2007)
Smile at Fear. Awakening the True Heart of Bravery (2010)
Work, Sex, Money. Real Life on the Path of Mindfulness (2011)
The Mishap Lineage. Transforming Confusion into Wisdom (2011)
The Profound Treasury of the Ocean of Dharma (2013)
The Path of Individual Liberation (volume 1) (2013)
The Bodhisattava Path of Wisdom and Compassion (volume 2) (2013)
The Tantric Path of Indestructible Wakefulness (volume 3) (2013)
Available June 2015