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Born in Tibet

4.03  ·  Rating Details ·  161 Ratings  ·  15 Reviews
Chögyam Trungpa—meditation master, scholar, and artist—was identified at the age of only thirteen months as a major tulku, or reincarnation of an enlightened teacher. As the eleventh in the teaching lineage known as the Trungpa tulkus, he underwent a period of intensive training in mediation, philosophy, and fine arts, receiving full ordination as a monk in 1958 at the age ...more
Paperback, 280 pages
Published October 10th 2000 by Shambhala (first published August 30th 1971)
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Harry Rutherford
Born in Tibet is the story of Chögyam Trungpa’s early life in Tibet. He was a year old when some monks turned up and announced he was the eleventh Trungpa Tulku and hence the supreme abbot of the Surmang monasteries in eastern Tibet; at twenty he managed to escape the Chinese occupation and make his way to India.

So the book really has three main subjects: his traditional religious education, the increasing impact of the Chinese on Tibetan life, and the adventure/survival story of escaping cross-
...more
Kim
Dec 08, 2013 Kim rated it did not like it
I was sorely disappointed in this book – it shifted my perception of Buddhism in a way I wish it hadn’t.

The journey the man did to escape from the Chines invasion of Tibet could have been interesting. It’s a bloody long way to India via all those mountains, and that a group of people managed it is amazing. But the drone of the story-telling made me not really care after a while. I kept hoping they would run out of leather to boil or eat their actual last bit of food and expire. I lost count of h
...more
Steve
May 21, 2011 Steve rated it really liked it
Amazing story! It's fascinating to read of this kind of escape in the first person. The epilogue in this 1971 edition seems a little sad, which makes sense given the psychological trauma of having to leave your home and start over in a different world.
Also, reading about his post-Tibet life, it seems the trauma of escape had some long-lasting ramifications.
Shaun
May 05, 2013 Shaun rated it it was ok
Shelves: non-fiction
Pick Your Spokespersons Carefully

The Tibetan issue is clouded by lies, propaganda and poor spokesmen. I became disillusioned with the Tibetan plight years ago as I slowly began to learn that the violence and injustice that characterized Chinese and Tibetan relations for decades was no more, yet the government in exile kept shouting that it was and the CCP denied that it ever was. I became disillusioned when the Dalai Lama changed his stance, going from claiming that a real genocide was taking pl
...more
George Ilsley
A fascinating glimpse into monastic life in Tibet before the communist Chinese takeover. Trungpa's evocative style is not meant to be always taken literally. In other words, there are hidden teachings here. As well, we can only see the life from the point of view of privilege; other more ordinary lives are almost invisible in this text. Nonetheless, a classic text from a modern master (and trickster).
Scott Rennie
Oct 19, 2016 Scott Rennie rated it really liked it
An interesting read, I did find it a bit dry at times but also some great insights.
Thomas Thornborough
Aug 25, 2016 Thomas Thornborough rated it liked it
This is a somewhat long and quite difficult read but also a very interesting look at pre-Chinese occupation of Tibet from the inside out. It is also written from the perspective of a privileged class and because of that there are certain difficulties faced as a reader. It is hard a lot of the time to be sympathetic to the narrator and there are certain events which are hard to swallow. A silly example that got to me: about four times he quotes accounts where the Chinese force the servants and ...more
Mara
Dec 17, 2009 Mara rated it liked it
This was a very unique autobiography focused on the author's life from birth in Tibet through his escape across the Himalayan mountains and into India during China's invasion of Tibet. In addition to being eye-opening in regards to that region of the world during that period in history, it was similarly eye-opening regarding Tibetan buddhism and a way of life non-existent anywhere else in the world.

The destruction that communism wraught on a peaceful country was disheartening while the Tibetan
...more
Deb W
Aug 31, 2012 Deb W rated it it was amazing
This was an astounding work that informs the reader of the the Tibetan peoples before the Chinese occupation and of the upbringing of a Tibetan tulka (incarnation of a previous-lived Tibetan holy man). From his birth to his coronation to his flee from Chinese Communists capture and possible death, I read in rapt wonder that all this happened in so short a time.

After reading this book, I am compelled to read more by the author and recommend it to those interested in a greater understanding of Bu
...more
Janne Asmala
Sep 12, 2010 Janne Asmala rated it liked it
This unique book gave me an insider view of the achievements of Tibetan culture and of its downfall amidst the Chinese occupation. It is also a fascinating glimpse inside the head of one of the great spiritual masters of our times.
Jade Kranz
Jan 10, 2012 Jade Kranz rated it really liked it
A vivid depiction of monastic life in Tibet, and of the hardship brought by the Communist invasion.
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Vidyadhara Chögyam Trungpa Rinpoche (Tibetan: ཆོས་ རྒྱམ་ དྲུང་པ་ Wylie: Chos rgyam Drung pa; also known as Dorje Dradul of Mukpo, Surmang Trungpa, after his monastery, or Chökyi Gyatso, of which Chögyam is an abbreviation) was a Buddhist meditation master, scholar, teacher, poet, and artist. He was the 11th descendent in the line of Trungpa tulkus of the Kagyü school of Tibetan Buddhism. He was al ...more
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