One day I searched ‘zen trungpa’ on the internet and the Amazon page for The Teacup and the Skullcup: Chögyam Trungpa Rinpoche on Zen and Tantra came up first. So intriguing! I have been a zen student for a while and also read a majority of Chögyam Trungpa’s work. He has been my main ‘book’ teacher. The book was published in 2007. This is not so much a book review but rather a summary of what I discovered in connection with my own experience while reading it.
The material is drawn from two seminars that Trungpa Rinpoche led in 1974 in the US. It starts with an informing introduction by David Schneider where one learns about the close personal connections between Trungpa and the early American Zen teachers (Suzuki Roshi, Kobun Otogawa, Eido Roshi and Maezumi Roshi who founded ZCLA). At the time a lot of Zen students were drawn to Chögyam Trungpa’s teachings and he adopted a lot of zen practices in his dharma centers in the West, using zafus, working with the breath and performing kinhin. Zen Mind, Beginner’s Mind was read at retreats, calligraphy and kyudo were practiced at Shambhala and Trungpa was also an ikebana artist and accomplished calligrapher (I recommend reading his writings on dharma art). Stories of Trungpa and his American Zen friends abound, involving drinking sometimes!