Taming Untameable Beings: Early Stories of Chogyam Trungpa Rinpoche with the Pygmies and Other Hippies Paperback – Sep 8 2015
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About the Author
Jim Lowrey is an “old dog” Trungpa student, who, with the rest of his Pygmy hippie family went to Trungpa Rinpoche’s first public talk in Colorado in 1970 and connected with him immediately. As part of the early baby boom generation, Jim is emblematic of the sixties generation of war protesters, college dropouts, and hippies, who matured as the American born-again organic, locally grown, free-run middle class.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
With Jim Lowry's beautiful memoir, I have come to accept that we will never have that biography and to realize that maybe that is not a bad thing. It is a hard task for a biographer not to project his views on his subject. Instead, with the range of Trungpa student memoirs that we now have, we have subjective portraits of this enigmatic teacher that present Trungpa R. in the context of the moments in time were meaningful to his students. These are projections of Trungpa R., not reality , but they are moving projections -- filled with love.
In the case of Lowry's memoir, he has gone back to original sources -- tapes of talks and conversations with old friends -- to supplement his forty-five year old memories. This is not a memoir that has been dictated into a tape recorder and edited. His chapter presenting memories of six or eight early students, friends of Lowry, describing their first meeting and first meditation instruction from Trungpa R. is alone worth the cost of the book.
Lowry is a good story teller and writes from the heart. The result is a well researched account of an incredible inflection point in the introduction of Buddhadharma in North America -- the years between 1970 and 1973 from when Trungpa R. met his first students through his first presentation of Vajrayana teachings in the West. We care about Lowry and his strange band of countercultural drop outs living below the poverty line in rural Colorado. We understand Trungpa's deep love for them and their love in return. I even felt affection for Lowry's father and family who stuck with him through it all, sending money and support, while never understanding his decisions and path.
If you love dharma, if you have read Trungpa, R.'s books and want to know what it was like to know him, this is the book to buy.
In all, this book is a wonderful and much needed portrait of devotion in the context of Vajrayana teachings that, these days, are increasingly becoming a subject of academic, intellectual study.
The book is filled with wonderful storytelling, and presents a great slice of the history of the dharma in America. It’s also a great depiction of late 1960s counterculture.