Sakyong Mipham Rinpoche
The Sakyong, Jamgon Mipham Rinpoche, was born in the birthplace of the Buddha, Bodgaya, India in 1963. Soon thereafter he came to the West to be raised by his father, Trungpa Rinpoche in a manner not too dissimilar from other westerners. He went to school in the US, and spent some time at Oxford in England.
After his fathers death in 1987, The Sakyong, having essentially been raised as a westerner, went to India to study in the traditional manner of Tibetan Monks. For a number of years he studied intensively with Dhilgo Khyentse Rinpoche, as well as Penor Rinpoche and Khenpo Namdral.
From 1990 onwards he took on the responsibility of leadership of Shambhala International. He now spends his time teaching both Shambhala and Buddhist teachings from his unique tradition of being both a westerner and educated in the traditional manner of Tibetan Buddhism. He spends some months a year on retreat in India, studying for his Khenpo degree.
The Vidyadhara Chogyam Trungpa Rinpoche
Trungpa Rinpoche was born in Tibet and raised in the strict monastic tradition of Tibetan Buddhism. In 1970, after fleeing Tibet following the Chinese invasion, he came to America. At that time many people were seeking a spiritual path, and Trungpa Rinpoche spent the next seventeen years of his life travelling and teaching western students about meditation and spiritual practice.
Although he was raised in strict monastic tradition of Buddhism in Tibet, he was very broad minded. He was able to appreciate the fundamental sacredness of life and the lives of people from many traditions. He not only followed the Buddhist path, but also explored many different aspects of life, which included an interest in the visual arts, poetry and so forth. He also possessed uncanny insight into our deepest fears and addressed many of them in his teachings: the speed and alienation of modern life, depression, materialism, aggression, anger, and anxiety, and a crippling lack of self worth.
Trungpa also held an unshakeable belief in human goodness and our ability to create enlightened human society. His most ardent message is that each of us is a genuine and powerful individual who can help this world. He challenged us to embrace life and to find the spark of sacredness and health in every moment.