Meditation, Materialism and Mind: Chogyam Trungpa’s Legacy for the 21st Centruy.


The 11th Trungpa Rinpoche was a formative figure in Buddhism’s flourishing in the West. While remaining deeply rooted in the traditional teachings of his Tibetan Buddhist lineages, Chögyam Trungpa Rinpoche put forth a presentation of the Buddhadharma that was singular in its expression and suitable for the modern Western psyche and culture.

Increasing socio-cultural and political divisions within Western society, the dichotomy between fundamental and liberal world views affect the way we approach religion and spiritual disciplines. Recent struggles within Western Buddhist sanghas seem to be related to these developments. All this calls for a renewed understanding of Trungpa Rinpoche’s view and path towards spiritual awakening and social responsibility. Whether through his transmission of the Buddhadharma or his vision of enlightened society in the secular world through his Shambhala teachings, Trungpa Rinpoche’s vast body of teachings and practices always emphasized working within the world in which we live directly. From sitting meditation to the arts and poetry, to dealing with household and societal issues, Trungpa Rinpoche invoked the image of the philosopher-practitioner of ancient times for whom intellectual understanding, practice, and social life were inseparable.


This conference welcomes all individuals who have been inspired by the teachings of Trungpa Rinpoche. For those who studied under him, this will be an opportunity to reconnect and critically examine his work, now more than 50 years since his coming to the West. For newer generations, this conference will be an opportunity to learn about how and what it means to live a contemplative life in the current socio-cultural environment. Additionally, the conference will address challenges and issues which have arisen in the transmission of Chögyam Trungpa’s teachings. We hope to encourage new dialogues and cooperation between practitioners and scholars that will continue the legacy of Trungpa Rinpoche’s work and lead to further commentarial literature on his approach and methods.