Chögyam Trungpa Rinpoche

CTR1Chögyam Trungpa Rinpoche was one of the last great Lamas to complete his training in Tibet before fleeing from the Chinese in 1957. He was already an accomplished yogin and scholar when he came to England in 1959. Rigdzin Shikpo met him in 1965 and received Dzogchen teachings from him. In 1970 he left Great Britain for America. He focused his teaching very much on the Kagyu lineage at that time although it was well known that he was also a Dzogchen master. In 1975 in consultation with H.H. Dilgo Khyentse Rinpoche he set up the Longchen Foundation as a vehicle for the Dzogchen teachings of the Tibetan tradition. Since his demise in 1986 his Tibetan son Sakyong Mipham Rinpoche has been continuing the close association with the Nyingma lineage. The previous Mipham Rinpoche was a great Nyingma Lama who died in the early years of this century.

Trungpa Rinpoche was very concerned to establish a tradition of practising Dharma in everyday life rather than in a monastery. He believed it was possible to establish what he called an ‘Enlightened Society’ in which everyone respected their own natural dignity and that of others. He called this society Shambhala after a legendary kingdom in the Himalayas where the whole society is devoted to Dharma. Now the main organisation of his lineage is called Shambhala. Trungpa Rinpoche emphasised that you did not have to be a Buddhist in order to become Enlightened or to be part of an Enlightened Society.

For more on the life and works of Trungpa Rinpoche please visit The Chronicle Project.

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