Traktung Rinpoche, also know as Traktung Yeshe Dorje and Traktung Khepa, is an American siddha and teacher of the methods for the realization non-duality and wisdom bliss. As a master of Vajrayana Buddhism and Dzogchen, and the incarnation of the 19th century siddha Do Kyentse Yeshe Dorje, and Speech incarnation of Dorje Trollo, Traktung Rinpoche manifests Buddha's teachings in myriad forms to benefit beings through the power of his enlightened Mind. While he primarily teaches the path of Inner Yogas according to the Nyingma (Old School) Lineage of Tantric Buddhism originating in the Eighth Century and earlier, Rinpoche is also able to guide students according to other esoteric systems such as Inquiry, Advaita Vedanta, esoteric Christianity or Kabbalah.
He was born in 1959 in Washington D.C., given name Stuart Kirpatrick, to parents Jean and Evron Kirkpatrick. As a child, his spiritual longings and abilities became apparent at a very early age. Both parents were professors at Georgetown University and his mother, Jean Kirpatrick became United States Ambassador to the United Nations under Reagan. His father Evron was instrumental in the formation of the Central Intelligence Agency or C.I.A. He did not take after his parents' political interests, and instead chose to pursue a spiritual life outside of worldly concerns. After graduating from Kenyan College with a degree in Comparative Religion, Kirkpatrick continued to fervently pursue his path to spiritual awakening. Living in an ashram and participating in the spiritual work of Osho (Rajneesh), Krishnamurti, Sufi Masters, Zen Roshis, Hassidic masters, Gurdjieff and others, he gained a deep appreciation of the various spiritual currents present in contemporary life. He and his wife-to-be spent 6 months on the Rajneeshpuram commune in Oregon about a year before the infamous 1984 Rajneeshee bioterror attack.
Eventually he met his Guru from previous lives, Thinley Norbu Rinpoche. All of this understanding played a critical role in his approach to presenting spiritual teachings, and the foundation the Ann Arbor-based Vajrayana Buddhist community at Tsogyelgar Dharma Center. Tsochen Khandro is Rinpoche's wife and khandro, and she also teaches and guides students according to her intuitive wisdom and with her beautiful singing voice, which gives form to the doha songs and sadhana recordings. Sangchen Tsomo and Sky are also part of the Arya Sangha, who having attained full spiritual realization, and guide beings to liberation with their musical recording of songs of realization and art.
- Traktung Rinpoche, Dharma Dictionary.
- What is Tantra, an interview with Tantric Master Prem Pranama, Ralph Abrams, 1994
P: "Tantra is the hot blood of spiritual practice. It smashes the taboo against unreasonable happiness; a thunderbolt path, swift, joyful, and fierce. There are many different types of paths. Some touch you like a gentle spring rain, but Tantra is the wild summer thunder storm churning with creation, destruction, bliss and emptiness. Tantra is a wild mother tiger - if you approach her with right motivation, right intention, and integrity, she'll suckle you at her breast; but if you come to her in a sloppy way, she'll rip apart your body-mind, eat you for dinner, and shit out what's left."
- Interview with Lama Traktung Rinpoche, Spiritual Traveler, 2001
"I had little idea what to expect. The entrance hall was already hung with dozens of coats as I came in, and the meeting hall, colorfully decorated with Tibetan wall coverings, was packed with over 60 people, mainly sitting cross-legged on the floor, some in chairs against the back wall. The two lamas entered, their palms pressed together, fingertips pointed upward, in a traditional Eastern greeting. They were dressed in broad, white skirts with maroon sashes slung over their shoulders. Lama Traktung Rinpoche was a heavy-set man in his early forties, with fair skin, blonde hair, a moustache, short-cropped goatee, and wearing a pair of ivory earrings. A'dzom Rinpoche, who preceded him to the dais, was also very fair-skinned, almost Nordic in appearance. The assembly bowed and began a chant that lasted for five or ten minutes, some with liturgical books open before them, but most singing the Tibetan words by rote in remarkable unison."
- At The Heart of Everything is Dharma, Crazy Wisdom Journal, 2016
"Tsochen Khandro met her husband-to-be 33 years ago at Kenyon College a week before her graduation. She was 22, he was 23 . . . His visit to Kenyon College came during his time off from school. The friend he visited at Kenyon was also Tsochen Khandro’s friend. When this friend brought them together, he introduced Traktung Rinpoche as “Pranama,” which was what he was then called. In fact, Tsochen Khandro never knew her husband by his original name, “Stuart.” They left Kenyon College together and she joined him at the Rajneesh commune in Oregon. They stayed there for six months."
Tsogyelgar Dharma Center. (2007). Tsogyelgar Website. Accessed 11/20/07 from http://www.tsogyelgar.org