Songs of Experience: A New Book of Meditation Teachings by Chögyam Trungpa

Songs of Experience: A New Book of Meditation Teachings by Chögyam Trungpa


These newly translated teachings on meditation were given by Chögyam Trungpa Rinpoche in Tibet, before he was 19. These meditation teachings are very personal words of advice, given directly by the teacher to the student, known as pith instructions. This tried and true method of transmission is to wake up the student to their own experience—as it is, on the spot.

Songs of Experience is a collection of three texts that are a small yet profound part of the Collected Tibetan Works of Chögyam Trungpa, a corpus of 175 surviving texts that he wrote in Tibet before his daring escape in 1959.

Years later, Chögyam Trungpa’s nephew, Surmang Rinpoche, spent nearly 20 years seeking out, gathering, and receiving instructions on these from over 90 of Chögyam Trungpa’s direct students in Tibet. In 2001, Sakyong Mipham Rinpoche made his first journey to Tibet. There he met his cousin, Surmang Rinpoche, who gave him an edition of many of these texts at the Dorje Khyung Dzong retreat center of Surmang Dütsi Tel.

Since that time, the Nalanda Translation Committee has been working with Surmang Rinpoche to translate, transmit, and publish these teachings. In our recent work with him, we have begun to focus on 100 shorter texts for the public, which do not require special authorization from a teacher to receive them.

Songs of Experience is our first offering of three of these shorter works of Chögyam Trungpa. The book contains the original Tibetan, English translation, and commentaries from Surmang Rinpoche on these texts. We plan to continue publishing small collections of these texts in order to make them more readily available to a wider audience.

Because we are a small, self-publishing translation group, without a publicity or marketing dept, in discussing this book with Sam and Hazel Bercholz of Shambhala Publications, they suggested that we make these small elegant books known through social media. Because these are short pith instructions with helpful commentary, and not scholarly tomes, perhaps the best way to let people know about them is by word-of-mouth, on social media sites such as Nalanda Translation on facebook. 

So please Share this on your pages, with your friends and other places.

May the teachings of being fully present here and now bring great benefit in these troubled times.

35 pp.

Chögyam Trungpa Rinpoche (1940 – 1987) was one of the main pioneers to bring Buddhism and mindfulness to the West. Trungpa Rinpoche was the 11th lineage holder in the line of Trungpa tülkus, important teachers of the Kagyü lineage of Tibetan Buddhism. Renowned for its strong emphasis on meditation practice, the Kagyü lineage is one of the four main schools of Tibetan Buddhism. Trungpa Rinpoche also trained in the Nyingma tradition, and was a practitioner of the ri-mé or “non-sectarian” tradition, which brought together and made all the teachings of the different schools available.

Throughout his life, Trungpa Rinpoche sought to bring the teachings he received to the largest possible audience. He founded a world-wide network of meditation centers, now known as Shambhala, as well as the first Buddhist-inspired university in the West: Naropa University. Some of his noted books are: Cutting Through Spiritual Materialism, Shambhala: Sacred Path of the Warrior, and Mindfulness in Action. For a more complete biography, please click here.

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