Thursday, March 25, 2010

Kunga Dawa on meeting Chögyam Trungpa

Kunga Dawa, or Richard Arthure at the time, met Chögyam Trungpa Rinpoche in 1966. Kunga was married, pursuing a career as an actor and had just been introduced to his first experience with LSD. In this twenty-one minute video, Kunga described the intricate, accidental and uncanny path of search and discovery that ultimately led him to Chögyam Trunpa . At that time, Chögyam Trungpa was a relatively anonymous young Tibetan studying at Oxford and living in a basement apartment with two of his compatriots. As Kunga relates, atlhough essentially penniless, Chögyam Trungpa  nevertheless felt he would soon be "founding a meditation center." 

In the journey from hallucinogenic drug,  to reading Allen Watts or the Tibetan Book of the Dead and to seeking out a guru, this story is both a document of the spiritual search, circa 1960s, and the  meeting of mind between teacher and student. Now living in Boulder, Colorado, Kunga remains a dedicated practitioner of meditation and of the Buddhist path he was introduced to forty-four years ago. Kunga's daily practice is one of remembering, moment to moment and as much as he can, Chögyam Trungpa - which is the same nowness-memory as recognizing ones nature of mind, ones suchness, our essential and unchanging awake.
Photo collage by William Karnet



  1. Bill can you please describe the provenance of this photo? Is it "real" or is it art?

  2. It's a "real" image of Chogyam Trungpa (seen on the Shambhala website) but the background is photoshopped.