Ashoka Mukpo

Ashoka Mukpo Photo by NBC News

Twenty years! It seems difficult to comprehend that it has been so long since Trungpa Rinpoche passed away. Even now I feel him more as a living, breathing entity than as a historical figure. His presence has been one of the few constants in the impermanent, shifting dream that has been my life, and I feel blessed to have been born in a time where I would have the opportunity to be exposed to his teachings. It is an inspiring testament to the power and timelessness of the buddhist teachings that he was able to arrive in such an alien and unfamiliar culture, and fully break all boundaries of custom, language, and habitual thought in such a powerful and lasting way. He was a walking enigma, and even in death he pushes me and teaches me to leave nothing unquestioned, nothing unexamined, and ultimately, nothing untrusted. I believe from the bottom of my heart that we will be unpacking his life and teachings for a thousand years, and that the foundation we are laying is going to produce something strong and powerful that will be of great benefit to our world.

What strikes me right now, as I look around and reflect on the time that has passed, is the power and importance of lineage. We have all come through so much together; we have survived events that could have torn us to pieces and we have kept our head and shoulders even in times where it has been unclear if there would be ground to walk on in front of us. We are a part of something very old and precious. Beneath the forms and the banners; the politics and irritations; there is an incredibly sharp and unyielding edge to our practice, a history that sometimes feels ethereal and just beyond my ability to describe. My devotion and gratitude to the Vidyadhara knows no horizon for bringing us the blessings of our lineage, which continue to inspire me to be a genuine and compassionate human being. It bears remembering how difficult it was for him to transmit that lineage, and what an integral part of his heart and mind it was. I have great faith that we are in a special moment right now; may the memory and legacy of Chögyam Trungpa Rinpoche guide us.

© 2007 Ashoka Mukpo
Ashoka Mukpo, adopted son of Trungpa Rinpoche, has a degree in International Studies from Georgetown University and is currently working on prison and immigration issues for Human Rights Watch in New York. Ashoka is also the chairman of the Taggie Mukpo Support Team. If you are interested in helping with Taggie's support, please contact Ashoka at this address: ]]>