What is Dzogchen? – Chögyal Namkhai Norbu

Posted on June 28, 2010


Chögyal Namkhai Norbu

Chögyal Namkhai Norbu

Chögyal Namkhai Norbu is a Dzogchen teacher who was born in 1938 in Derge, Kham (Eastern Tibet). When he was two years old, he was recognized as the ‘mindstream emanation’ of the great Dzogchen teacher, Adzom Drugpa (1842-1924), at five he was also recognized as a mindstream emanation of Shabdrung Ngawang Namgyel (1594–1651). From an early age Namkhai Norbu undertook an accelerated course of study, attending monastic college, taking retreats, and studying with renowned teachers, including some of the most important Tibetan masters of his time. Under the tutelage of these teachers, he completed the training required by Buddhist tradition in both Sutrayana and Tantrayana. At the age of sixteen he met master Rigdzin Changchub Dorje (1826-1961/1978), who became his principal Dzogchen teacher.

In 1960 he came to Italy at the invitation of Professor Giuseppe Tucci, and served as Professor of Tibetan and Mongolian Language and Literature from 1964 to 1992 at the Naples Eastern University. He is widely recognized as a leading authority on Tibetan culture, particularly in the fields of history, literature, and Traditional Tibetan medicine and astrological sciences. In 1976 Chögyal Namkhai Norbu began to give Dzogchen instruction in the West, first in Italy, then in numerous other countries. He quickly became a respected spiritual authority among many practitioners, and has created centers for the study of Dzogchen around the world.

In the brief video below, Chögyal Namkhai Norbu explains Dzogchen in a public talk at St. Kilda Town Hall, Melbourne, Australia, 3 April 2009.