Born in Tibet by Chögyam Trungpa

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By Chögyam Trungpa

Chögyam Trungpa—meditation grasp, pupil, and artist—was pointed out on the age of merely 13 months as a huge tulku, or reincarnation of an enlightened instructor. because the 11th within the educating lineage often called the Trungpa tulkus, he underwent a interval of in depth education in mediation, philosophy, and fantastic arts, receiving complete ordination as a monk in 1958 on the age of eighteen. the subsequent yr, the chinese language Communists invaded Tibet, and the younger Trungpa spent many harrowing months hiking over the Himalayas, narrowly escaping catch.

Trungpa's account of his stories as a tender monk, his tasks because the abbot and religious head of a superb monastery, and his relocating relationships along with his academics deals a unprecedented and intimate glimpse into the lifetime of a Tibetan lama. The memoir concludes together with his bold get away from Tibet to India. In an epilogue, he describes his emigration to the West, the place he encountered many of us desirous to know about the traditional knowledge of Tibetan Buddhism.

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Trungpa Kiinga-gyaltzen was one of these: he was looked upon as an incarnation of Maitreya Bodhisattva, destined to be the Buddha of the next World Cycle, also of Dombhipa a great Buddhist siddha (adept) and of Milarepa. As his guru had also done, Kiinga-gyaltzen looked for a place for 32 THE FOUNDING OF SURMANG his monastery, and at one of the villages on his travels he was told the story of Dombhipa, who when he came there was holding a cup of amrita (symbolically the elixir of immortality) in his hand which he threw into space saying, 'Wherever this cup falls will be the place for my reincarnation'.

Occasionally some of the retreatants, and particularly my tutor's friends, would come to our room to talk; I enjoyed this, for it gave me a little break from my lessons, while in the summer a group picnic was also sometimes arranged, very welcome after so much hard work. This life continued until I was seven, when I was taken back to Diidtsi-til where all our monks were assembled, as the Venerable Genchung Lama had been invited to give a kalung (ritual authorization) for all the scriptures forming the Kangyiir; these are the sayings of the Buddha, translated from Sanskrit and filling one hundred and eight volumes.

At the end of the ritual reading another teacher was found, and Asang Lama had to leave me. than when my mother went away. My new tutor, Apho-karma by name, had previously taught the younger monks at the monastery, so he had had a great deal of experience, but he was more temperamental than Asang Lama. I felt unhappy in never knowing what was expected of me. My time-table was changed, and the studies now became more difficult; the painting lessons, which Asang Lama had encouraged, were stopped, and writing lessons were made shorter; more time was given to reading and much more memorizing had to be done in the eve~ings by lamp 47 BORN IN TIBET light, with the lesson having to be repeated correctly the following morning.

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