Remembering Chögyam Trungpa Rinpoche (1940-1987)
He was a short man with glasses and a penetrating smile, and a high, almost falsetto voice. He was enamored of Oxford English and taught elocution, after his own comical fashion. (Elocution lessons were given at one o’clock in the morning, before an audience of 400 laughing spectators.) Years ago he had crashed his car into a shop that sold jokes and novelties; since this bizarre accident he could hardly walk without assistance. Although he was often transported in a wheelchair, it never seemed appropriate to regard him as disabled. He had a string of titles Rinpoche, Vajra Master, Ocean of Dharma, the Vidyadhara, the Eleventh Trungpa Tulku. In his teens, he had been abbot of the monasteries in Surmang, a region of eastern Tibet. It was said that on the day of his birth, a rainbow was seen above his village, a pail supposed to contain water was unaccountably found full of milk, and members of his family dreamed that a lama was entering their tents.