A Karma Kagyu lineage for the ages: the cremation of Chogyam Trungpa Rinpoche

Photo from chronicleproject.com

Dear readers,

Salut mes amis !

It happened, we did this.

Je me souviens !

“In a meadow ringed with pine and maple trees near this little town in northeastern Vermont, the body of Chogyam Trungpa Rinpoche, who died of a heart attack in Nova Scotia on April 4 at the age of 47, was set afire shortly after noon.

As a cloud of smoke rose into the blue sky, Americans in business suits and lamas in maroon robes prayed for the teacher’s reincarnation. First Such Ceremony in U.S. It was the first time such funeral rites for a high Tibetan lama were held in the United States, organizers said. Their teacher, known by his honorific Rinpoche (the precious one), was widely regarded as the most successful lama in making Buddhism accessible to Westerners.

‘There really has been a meeting of East and West, despite Kipling,” said the poet Allen Ginsberg, a student of the Rinpoche for 15 years.

‘Nobody here is crying, Oh dear Guru, don’t go away, Mr. Ginsberg said, referring to the Rinpoche. ‘His teaching is part of our minds now. In a sense we look though his eyes as some look through Hemingway’s or Dostoevsky’s eyes.’

Mr. Ginsberg told how the Rinpoche made the 1950’s Buddhism of a fellow writer, Jack Kerouac, come alive for him. And he spoke of others like himself who came under the Tibetan’s influence. These included the composer John Cage, the anthropologist Gregory Bateson, the psychiatrist R. D. Laing and the novelist William Burroughs.”

NYT 5/27/1987

Voilà !

It wasn’t for nothing.

Courage !

Bill


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