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