Home / Blog / COMING HOME – Chapter 7


This is the 7th chapter in a series of emails called COMING HOME that will be shared between now and mid-October that are written to entertain, maybe inform, spark memories, connect our hearts, and definitely beseech your help to sustain Karmê Chöling through April 30, 2020. Karmê Chöling needs your unrestricted donations now more than ever before.

I hope you enjoy it. If you missed Chapter 6, you can read it here.

Mahalo Nui!
Kit Kanohoaloha Wynkoop
Director of Development

In 17 years since landing at Karmê Chöling, the Vidyadhara built a world-wide organization based on Buddhist dharma, Shambhala terma, and the Khyentse RInpoche and Trungpa Rinpochecontemplative teachings & practices of many cultures. For his efforts, he received high praise by Tibetan Buddhist masters such as the Dalai Lama (spiritual leader of the Gelug lineage whom he hosted in Boulder in 1981), Dilgo Kyentse Rinpoche (one of his main teachers and head of the Nyingma lineage), the Sixteenth Gyalwa Karmapa (another one of his main teachers and head of the Kagyü lineage), Zen Buddhist masters such as Suzuki Roshi, Christian masters such as Thomas Merton, great poets & thinkers like Alan Ginsberg, and native shamans such as Gerald Red Elk  https://www.chronicleproject.com/when-gerald-red-elk-met-chogyam-trungpa/

In addition to numerous sadhanas and poems dedicated to the Vidyadhara, he was recognized as a mahasiddha by Dilgo Khyentse Rinpoche, the Sixteenth Gyalwa Karmapa, Thrangu Rinpoche, Khenpo Tsültrim Gyamtso Rinpoche, and Tai Situpa.

 “Exceptional as one of the first Tibetan lamas to become fully assimilated into Western culture, he made a powerful contribution to revealing the Tibetan approach to inner peace in the West.” – His Holiness, the Dalai Lama

Trungpa Rinpoche cremationThe Vidyadhara died in 1987 in Halifax, Nova Scotia. His kudung (sacred body form) was transported to Karmê Chöling and remained there in the main shrine room for six weeks while his students and Tibetan Buddhist masters practiced as an offering of devotion and respect. The area was protected around the clock. 

The Vidyadhara was cremated on May 26, 1987 in Karmê Chöling’s upper meadow with 2,000 family members, friends, teachers, students, admirers, the curious, press, and contemporaries in attendance. 

NY Times Article from 1987

Slideshow of cremation day on Chronicle site.

The purkhang (crematorium) – a structure typically destroyed immediately following a cremation – remains intact in Karmê Chöling’s upper meadow as a monument to the tremendous efforts by Trungpa Rinpoche to safeguard the dharma by carrying it out of Tibet, planting it in the U.S., and perpetuating its existence by spreading it around the world.

Stay Tuned for the FINAL episode ….


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