A fascinating portrait of Chogyam Trungpa Rinpoche, one of the most charismatic, controversial, and visionary spiritual teachers of all time, this book is also an inspiring, heart-warming, and often humorous account of the author's own path of transformation from skeptic to mature spiritual practitioner. What's more, Warrior-King of Shambhala is a splendid presentation of the teachings and experiences that have become the heart of the Shambhala Buddhist tradition.
A pioneer in introducing Tibetan Buddhism to the West, Chogyam Trungpa is also one of its most controversial figures: he often defied notions of how a holy man should act, and his unconventional behavior and "crazy wisdom" caused some to view him with suspicion. But he was above all known for his compassion, insight, and vision and was immediately recognized as a living Buddha by a generation of spiritual seekers.
One of those seekers was Jeremy Hayward, who in little time became a close confidante of the teacher. Warrior King of Shambhala, Hayward's intimate memoir of Trungpa, begins with their first meeting in 1970, progressing year by year until Trungpa's death and beyond. Hayward vividly describes Trungpa's powerful, direct way of working with students, his groundbreaking work in bringing Buddhism to the West, and the teachings Trungpa presented each year. He also describes his own personal spiritual journey with the inimitable Chogyam Trungpa as his guide.
Trained as a physicist at Cambridge University, Jeremy Hayward is the author of several books, including Gentle Bridges: Conversations with the Dalai Lama on the Sciences of Mind and Sacred World: The Shambhala Way to Gentleness, Bravery, and Power He lives in Nova Scotia.
"Chogyam Trungpa Rinpoche is the father of Tibetan Buddhism in the United States."
– Gelek Rimpoche, author of Good Life, Good Death
"A tender, candid, beautifully written memoir by one of Chogyam Trungpa's closest, most senior students. This eloquent, affecting account shows what it was like to be with Rinpoche, in intimate proximity, throughout the excitement, turbulence, and unceasing creativity of his seventeen years teaching in North America. A unique, extraordinary book by an exceptional practitioner, teacher, and writer."
– Reginald A. Ray, author of Touching Enlightenment, Indestructible Truth, and Secret of the Vajra World
"In Warrior King of Shambhala, Dr. Hayward pulls the reader into his own spiritual journey. He also allows us to clearly glimpse the mind of a complex and important leader. This book belongs with anyone who wants to go behind the scenes of the development of an immensely important American spiritual community."
– Ethan Nichtern, author of One City, and founder of The Interdependence Project
"Trungpa Rinpoche was a true trailblazer of Tibetan Buddhism in the West. His wit, his humor, his scholarship, and most of all his understanding of the Western mind made him an outstanding teacher. We all owe him our deep gratitude for his wisdom and compassion. Jeremy Hayward, being a long term student of Rinpoche, has done us an invaluable service in introducing his life and teachings to the general public."
– Traleg Rinpoche, author of The Practice of Lojong
"Dr. Jeremy Hayward has written yet another beautiful book about his understanding of the path of Shambhala Buddhism. In his autobiographical account as a close student of the legendary Chogyam Trungpa, Dr. Hayward reveals to us what it was really like to learn firsthand from such an extraordinary teacher. His story is by turns funny, poignant, inspiring, astonishing, and heartbreaking. I believe it will be a lasting and unique contribution to the growing literature about the birth of the buddhadharma in the Western world."
– Prof. Frank Berliner, Naropa University
"Chogyam Trungpa Rinpoche is undoubtedly one of the most remarkable masters of Tibetan Buddhism. His vast vision paved the way for the precious teachings of Buddhism to be firmly planted in the West. Rinpoche was the true example of brilliant wisdom, warrior's courage and immeasurable unconditional love. This book on Rinpoche's life will undoubtedly be precious for all connected with Buddhism and will for generations inspire people to connect with this most remarkable master and bodhisattva. It is a wonderful and loving offering of a devoted student to his most precious teacher."
– Jetsun Khandro Rinpoche, author of This Precious Life
"I am deeply touched by the beautiful way in which Jeremy's profound love for Chogyam Trungpa Rinpoche shines through in this personal memoir. Jeremy describes him exactly as I knew him--wrathful, penetrating, loving, kind, merciful, maddening, irritating, frustrating, challenging, but most importantly constantly pushing us to go further, deeper, and become more genuine. He also portrays Rinpoche's loneliness and sadness in a way that cuts directly to the heart. The writing evokes so many wonderful images and memories, as well as the continuity of joy that Jeremy writes about in regard to Rinpoche's passing."
– Dr Mitchell Levy, personal physician to Chogyam Trungpa and currently Professor of Medicine at Brown University Medical School
"A completely fresh and mesmerizing account of British physicist Jeremy Hayward's close relationship with his Tibetan guru, Chogyam Trungpa. Beginning with bashful nerdiness, Hayward chronicles his mounting appreciation for this charmingly bold teacher, weaving engaging personal stories and sweeping perspectives on Rinpoche's evolution from dharma teacher to warrior king of Shambhala. Uniquely qualified to contextualize the Shambhala terma (treasure) teachings, Hayward provides the link missing in previous accounts of Rinpoche's life and teachings, showing the centrality of his daring vision of enlightened society beyond mere Buddhism."
– Judith Simmer-Brown, Naropa University professor and author of Dakini's Warm Breath: The Feminine Principle in Tibetan Buddhism
"Warrior King of Shambhala is a personal chronicle of the skeptic's journey, as well as an insider's account of the events that marked the establishment of one of the more vibrant and lasting Buddhist communities in North America. Those who come to this book seeking either a sordid tell-all or a saccharine endorsement of "the good old days" will be equally thwarted. In the end, Hayward demonstrates the difficult personal and public business of sorting out the ambiguous legacy of a powerful teacher. His honesty is courageous and imperfect-and that's likely the way Chogyam Trungpa would have had it."