Maintainer of Radio Free Shambhala.
Rigdzin Shikpo aka Michael Hookham
When Rinpoche met his principal teacher, Chögyam Trungpa Rinpoche in 1965, he had already been training in Buddhist meditation for a number of years, and was closely associated with the Buddhist Society in London.
As his root teacher, Trungpa Rinpoche gave him extensive and detailed teaching on all the practices of the Nyingma Dzogchen tradition. Trungpa Rinpoche later left for America and Rigdzin Shikpo continued to study and practise under his direction, visiting him in America from time to time. Trungpa Rinpoche also encouraged him to take teachings and guidance from his own teacher HH Dilgo Khyentse Rinpoche. In 1975 Trungpa Rinpoche established the Longchen Foundation in consultation with HH Dilgo Khyentse Rinpoche and they appointed Rigdzin Shikpo as spiritual leader. Khyentse Rinpoche told him to take further Dzogchen instruction from Khenpo Tsultrim Gyamtso Rinpoche, an eminent yogin and scholar who was also a student of HH Khyentse Rinpoche. Since the deaths of Trungpa Rinpoche and Khyentse Rinpoche, Khenpo Rinpoche has been Rigdzin Shikpo’s main source of guidance.
In 1993 Rinpoche completed a three year solitary retreat in Oxford under the direction of Khenpo Rinpoche. One unusual feature of this retreat was that it took place in an otherwise ordinary semi-detached house, in an urban setting. Following this retreat and in recognition of his realisation, Khenpo Rinpoche gave him the title The Rigdzin Shikpo. Rigdzin means Knowledge Holder (vidyadhara in sanskrit) and Shikpo means beyond concepts. Rigdzin Shikpo teaches his students the whole of the path according to the lineage transmissions he received from his own teachers. They encouraged him to transmit the teachings according to his inspiration in response to the needs of his students.
Khenpo Rinpoche emphasises that the Longchen Foundation lineage is more than simply an organisation. It is a Buddhist school in its own right. It is the living embodiment of the Mahayana and Maha Ati (Dzogchen) teachings and as such has a particular significance for the expression of the Buddha’s teachings in the West.
Openness Clarity Sensitivity https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/3114253-openness-clarity-sensitivity Never Turn Away http://www.longchenfoundation.org/books-and-media/ http://www.longchenfoundation.org/books-by-students-of-rigdzin-shikpo/
Student van Chogyam Trungpa and Dzigar Kongtrul Rinpoche. He teaches Wisdom Training for his vision on the Wisdom Society. His biography in his own words:
“I was born in 1934 in Łódź, Poland. My early childhood as a child of a relatively wealthy Jewish family proceeded without any problems. Everything changed dramatically with the advent of the German occupation: my family was of Jewish origin. Thanks to many extraordinary and successful coincidences and fearless help from a number of people, it was possible to survive not only for me, but also for my parents. But most of the family died. After the war, after a short period of enthusiasm, a long period of oppression and the dark, depressing greyness of the communist regime began. Nevertheless, personally, I did not feel bad: despite my “bad social background”, I graduated from university, completed my doctorate in computer science at the Polish Academy of Sciences and started a fast-growing scientific career. Later, in 1967, thanks to a series of unbelievable cases, I managed to get out of Poland (at that time legal emigration was completely prohibited) to Canada, where I became a professor of computer science at the University of Waterloo. My academic career lasted until 2000 when I retired as a professor of computer science at Dalhousie University and then left Canada to move to France.
During the 1960s, still in Poland, I started my scientific career in mathematics and, to put it mildly, non-linear optimization. Then, after a two-year break (already in Canada), I changed the subject matter into the mechanical proving of claims. Neither optimization nor mechanical proving of the theorems of no greater practical value but nevertheless very well evaluated and I became a kind of authority. Then I wanted to do something more practical, I took up visual programming languages and I was the main author of two Prograph and Lograph systems. It encouraged me to start a few years of flirting with business in the 80’s and together with my university colleague Professor Philip Cox we created TGS Systems company, which transformed Prograph into a commercial product for creating visual programs. After initial quite remarkable successes, the company went bankrupt.
In the 1970s, bored and disillusioned with university life, I began to look at the situation in the world and came to the conclusion that the direction it was taking was leading to a global disaster and that neither science nor political or religious systems could prevent it. Looking for a solution, I learned about the existence of the unorthodox Buddhist teacher Chogyam Trungpa Rinpoche. I started looking for him and was able to meet him. After this meeting I became his disciple. His approach, far removed from conventional Buddhism at the time, Shortly afterwards he presented visions of the “enlightened society” of Shambala. This was what I was looking for and soon I began to teach the so-called Shambhala Training under his guidance. After his death in 1987, I decided to continue my studies and practice of Dzogchen under the guidance of the eminent teacher Dzigar Kongtrul Rinpoche.
I have now returned to my early attempts to create a society that will be able to withstand a potential environmental and social disaster. A society called the Community of Wisdom of Collaboration would be egalitarian and based on the principle of intelligent, altruistic cooperation. Internet lectures on this subject will soon begin, combined with trekcho (Dzogchen branch) and Mahayana (Buddhist branch) practice.”
Fleet Maull graduated in 1979 with a degree in Buddhism and Psychology from the University of Naropa, founded by Chogjam Trungpa. In 1985, he was imprisoned for drug trafficking. The prison became a kind of 14-year meditation retreat for Fleet. It was there that he made a ngondro and there that he was initiated from Thrangu Rinpoche to Sadhana Vajrakilaya. In prison, he also founded the Prison Dharma Network, an organization that promotes meditation among prisoners, and the National Prison Hospice Association, an organization that helps incurable prisoners. In his book “Dharma in Hell”, he mentions this period:
“After years of mind training in meditation and intense retreats in prison, my experience of pain and darkness began to change radically. I experienced deep hopelessness and pain, an acute suffering that was almost blinding, and then my consciousness - or meditation mind - simply included this experience: that is, I was in direct contact with him, without immersing myself in thinking. When this happened, I found out that consciousness was a space that grew around intense pain. Then the pain was dissolving in space, and I continued in a state of joy, almost bliss. (trans. Robert Sudół)
After leaving the prison, Fleet Maull continued his Buddhist practice under the direction of Sakong Mipham Rinpoche and was appointed Acharia. He is also the heir of Roshi Bernie Glassman, a Zen master, and a fully authorized Zen teacher, sensei, in the tradition of Soto Maezumi Roshi.
Fleet Maull also founded the Peacemaker Institute, an organization that promotes peaceful ways of introducing social changes and organizes retreats in places marked by painful conflicts (including the so-called “street retreats” and retreats in Rwanda and Palestine). Every year, he comes to the Auschwitz death camp for a retreat entitled “Giving testimony”.
Fleet’s story about his stay in prison: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4CyFFOpagEk
Fleet talks about street retreats: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=j9dOWG7nGd8
Fleet’s speech at the international conference on Tibetan Buddhism: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cncqpuTMKBY
Interview with Fleet: https://tricycle.org/magazine/prison-monk-2/
Websites of organizations founded by Fleet Maull: http://prisondharmanetwork.org/ http://www.prisondharmanetwork.net/ http://peacemakerinstitute.org/ http://www.peacemakerinstitute.net/ http://npha.org/
Peter Conradi - retired professor of English literature (in the 1990s lecturer at the Jagiellonian University), a long-time student of Chogyam Trungpa Rinpoche and Sakjonga Mipham Rinpoche. Peter Conradi is a member of the Royal Society of Literature, alongside such prominent personalities as Seamus Heaney, V.S. Naipaul, Doris Lessing, Martin Amis, Ian McEwan, Kazuo Ishiguro, Tom Stoppard. He is the author of several books, including the biography of Iris Murdoch (“There would be no need to complain about the biographies if they were all as good as Conradio’s work”). - wrote in a review by John Updike) and “Going Buddhist: Panic and Emptiness, Buddha and Me”. Currently Conradi is finishing the biography of the British hero of the war commando Frank Thompson, who died on a mission in Bulgaria in 1944.
And it should also be mentioned that it was thanks to Peter Conradi that the first group of Shambhala Poland, namely in Krakow, was formed.
“While reading The Dhammapada in Irvington High School in the spring of 1976, Derek realized that he was a Buddhist, and after reading Meditation in Action and Myth of Freedom he realized that Chögyam Trungpa Rinpoche was his teacher. Upon graduating from high school the next year, he attended Naropa Institute in the summer of 1977 in order to meet Rinpoche, but found that he was in retreat. Derek entered Rinpoche’s world by taking refuge with Rinpoche’s Vajra Regent that summer, and finally met Rinpoche the following Spring.
He decided to study Buddhism and its languages in college. At Harvard, he studied Tibetan and Sanskrit with Professors Daniel Ingalls, Masatoshi Nagatomi, and Gary Tubb. For three summers he also studied Tibetan and Sanskrit at Naropa Institute with John Rockwell and Bill Ames, among others.
After graduation, he moved to Boulder, Colorado and joined the Nalanda Translation Committee, initially joining a small group led by John Rockwell on retranslating Trungpa Rinpoche’s Sadhana of Mahamudra. He also participated in working sessions with the group on the Shentong Senge Ngaro and with Khenpo Tsültrim Gyamtso Rinpoche on The Treasury of Knowledge. Derek then settled into the group working on The Life of Tilopa by Wangchuk Gyaltsen, with Lama Ugyen Shenpen and Scott Wellenbach, serving as the project coordinator for some time.
These days, Derek is not an active member but remains connected in various ways. Having pursued another career, he has not had time for translation work, but has made it his goal “to get as many folks as possible to read some of the incredible books that are being translated by translators today.” In particular, he focused on the study of the five texts, or more broadly the five core topics they present, which are the core of the traditional Tibetan Shedra curriculum. In 2004 he started the RimeShedra.NYC as a group dedicated to studying advanced classical Buddhist texts to the extent they are available in English translation.
On the side, Derek obtained and MBA from Columbia Business School in 1990 and since then has worked as Director of Financial Planning and Analysis, Controller, and CFO at a number of companies and not-for-profit organizations. He lives in Sleepy Hollow, right across from the headless horseman cemetery.”