Chogyam Trungpa was one of the most visibly active of the Tibetan Buddhist refugees to come to the West and to lay the foundation in Europe and North America for the study of the Tibetan traditions. Born the son of a farmer and considered the eleventh incarnation of Trungpa Tulku, he was given a traditional training in religious philosophy but in his teens had to be hidden from the invading Chinese. Fleeing in 1959 when the Communists invaded Tibet, he ultimately moved to Great Britain, where he studied comparative religion at Oxford University and established a Tibetan meditation center in Scotland. He moved to the United States in 1970 and established the Buddhist university, Naropa, in Colorado. Naropa became the center for seminars, many of which he cotaught with prominent American artists, scholars, and scientists. His philosophical goal was to present traditional Tibetan Buddhist teachings in a new manner that would help them take root in Western soil. In that way, he would both preserve the insights of his culture and bring Buddhist philosophy to the benefit of humanity at large.
Francesca Fremantle is a scholar and translator of Sanskrit and Tibetan works of Hindu and Buddhist tantra, and was a student of Chogyam Trungpa for many years. Fremantle received her doctorate from the School of Oriental and African Studies, University of London. She is a teacher with the Longchen Foundation, established by Chogyam Trungpa and Dilgo Khyentse, and directed by Rigdzin Shikpo. She currently lives in London.