Video of Sakyong Mipham Rinpoche’s 2004 Visit to Surmang
Surmang is the spiritual home of the lineage of reincarnated Buddhist teachers known as the Trungpa Tulkus, who trace their ancestry back over the centuries. Chögyam Trungpa Rinpoche was the Eleventh Trungpa Tulku. He was born into the Mukpo clan of Tibet, whose great ancestor was the famous monarch Gesar of Ling.
The Mukpo clan includes the Chögyam Trungpa Rinpoche’s surviving family, who also bear the name Mukpo, in addition to any other honorific titles or religious names also given to them.
Chögyam Trungpa Rinpoche’s son, Sakyong Mipham Rinpoche founded the Konchok Foundation.
This direct family connection between the Mukpo clan and Surmang—the religious and temporal seat of the Trungpa Tulkus—is at the heart of the Konchok Foundation.
The Foundation is named after Lady Kunchok Palden, the mother of Sakyong Mipham Rinpoche. She fled Tibet into exile with the Trungpa Rinpoche in 1959 and revisited Surmang again for the first time in 2001 when she accompanied the Sakyong.
For a description of Sakyong Mipham Rinpoche’s first visit to Tibet, see Auspicious Connections.
Lady Diana Mukpo, Chögyam Trungpa Rinpoche’s widow, visited Surmang in 2002 together with her current husband, Acharya Mitchell Levy, MD. For a description of this visit, see Cultural Exchanges.
The Sakyong wrote this Statement of Committment as he prepared to make his second visit to the Surmang region in 2004.
Lady Diana composed a Letter of Support shortly thereafter, encouraging the Shambhala Community to join her in supporting the construction of the Surmang Shedra.