The Treasury of Lives




Longchenpa is considered one of the greatest philosophers and authors of the Nyingma tradition of Tibetan Buddhism. In his many writings he brought together disparate strands of Dzogchen teachings, both those based on Indian scriptures and on revelations. He trained in both Kadam and Sakya monasteries before receiving the Dzogchen Nyingtik transmissions from his teacher Kumārarāja and in visions. Briefly banished from Tibet, he fathered children and established teaching lineages in Bhutan.

Chogyam Trungpa was one of the twentieth century's earliest and most influential Tibetan teachers in the West. An advocate of the creation of a Western Buddhist tradition, he was the founder of the Vajradhatu and the Shambhala organizations, and was the author of some of the most widely-read books on Buddhism for Western audiences. Born and trained in Tibet, he fled to India in 1959 and then to England in 1963. Charismatic and controversial, he created institutions that for many were means to traverse the path to liberation, and for others sites of addiction and sexual abuse. After crashing a car in 1967, resulting in life-long physical debilitation, he disrobed and began to adopt Western counter-cultural forms of expression and behavior. In 1970 he moved to North America where he founded Naropa University in Boulder, Colorado, in 1974, and, with Pema Chödron, Gampo Abbey in Halifax, Nova Scotia, in 1983, as well as many temples and dharma centers around the globe. He died at the age of forty-eight from cirrhosis of the liver brought on by alcoholism.

Dromton Zhonnu Lodro was a thirteenth-century Kadam teacher. According to tradition, he transmitted the Book of Kadam to the ninth abbot of Narthang, Nyima Gyeltsen, who first committed it to writing.

Rigpai Reltri was the younger son of Do Khyentse Yeshe Dorje. He was recognized as the reincarnation of Jigme Lingpa's son, Jigme Nyinche Wozer, and became a well-respected guru in Minyak. He was a lineage holder of his father's treasure cycle of The Heart Essence of the Exceeding Secret Ḍākinī, or the Yangsang Khandro Tuktik, containing The Self-Liberation of Fixation, or Dzinpa Rangdrol. He entrusted this lineage to his younger son Do Rinpoche Gyepa Dorje.

Jetsunma Kunga Trinle Wangmo was a yoginī, author, and lineage-holder of the Jonang order of Tibetan Buddhism. As a woman of the Jonang order in seventeenth-century central Tibet, she lived a contemplative life immersed in yogic practice while she wrestled with the real-time political and social unrest of her time. She was a close disciple and secret consort to Tāranātha and a key figure in the transmission of the Zhentong philosophy of emptiness. During the latter period of her life, she was a mentor to the generation of masters who were instrumental in transplanting the Jonangpas from Tsang in central Tibet to Dzamtang on the far eastern frontiers of the plateau after the confiscation of Takten Puntsok Ling Monastery by the Ganden Podrang government.