Jamgon Kongtrul of Sechen – Photo by Chogyam Trungpa Rinpoche

The following is from

First Issue – Garuda – Tibetan Buddhism in America – Tail of the Tiger – Barnet, Vermont

Devoted to presenting the teachings of Tibetan Buddhism and the work of Chogyam Trungpa, Rinpoche and the two meditation centeres he has founded in America – Tail of the Tiger in Barnet, Vermont, and Karma Dzong in Boulder Colorado.


“Making the journey… depends first of all on your personal realization of genuineness and basic goodness. Ultimately, giving up selfishness, or ego, is only possible if you have a living, human example—someone who has already done so, and therefore makes it possible for you to do the same.”
Chogyam Trunpga Rimpoche

Photo by Chogyam Trungpa Rinpoche


Jamgon Kongtrul the Great transmitted the complete teachings of the nine yanas to the Tenth Trungpa Tulku, who was in the direct line of the lineage; and he, in turn, transmitted them to the first incarnation of Jamgon Kongtrul the Great, Jamgon Kongtrul of Sechen. Jamgon Kongtrul of Sechen was raised from childhood by Gyaltsap Rinpoche, the Abbot of Sechen, who transmitted to his pupil the direct teachings of the Nyingmapa lineage. Gyaltsap Rinpoche encouraged his student to receive the teachings of all the schools, and, in this respect, Jamgon Kongtrul demonstrated the ecumenicalism of his previous incarnation.

Jamgon Kongtrul of Sechen continued the austere studies and practices of meditation of the Kagyupa and Nyingmapa lineages until the age of twenty-five. Then with the death of Gyaltsap Rinpoche, Jamgon Kongtrul became Abbot of Sechen. He continued the open style of his past incarnation, teaching students from all traditions. While less scholarly than Jamgon Kongtrul the Great, he was very direct, spontaneous, and outlandish, for he simply cut through people’s masks. His sense of humor would remove many layers of hesitation and self-consciousness. Although his fame as a meditation teacher brought him many students with high expectations, he would not feed their desire for spectacular and rapid achievement. Instead, he would begin with the basic simplicity of the Hinayana practice, taking his students through the psychological development of the Nine Yanas as they naturally became ready for them.

One of Jamgon Kongtrul’s most famous students was his adopted spiritual son, Khenpo Gangshar. Khenpo Gangshar’s upbringing was ideal, from the point of view of meditation, and he became famous as a meditation teacher and vidyadhara, “holder of the crazy wisdom.” He had an extremely penetrating insight with which he cut through the intellectuality of his scholarly colleagues, thus fulfilling the promise of his own name, Gangshar Wangpo — “The Lord of Whatever Arises From Your Mind.”



Jamgon Kongtrul of Sechen was Chögyam Trungpa root-guru

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