Born in Eastern Tibet in 1938, he was recognized as the reincarnation of the great Dzogchen master Adzom Drugpa (1842-1924). As such,he underwent a rigorous traditional education, successfully completing his studies in philosophy and lettersat an early age.In 1955 he met and received teachings from his principal master, Changchub Dorje (1863-1961), whose way of life and method of transmitting the knowledge of Dzogchen became an enduring source of profound inspiration for him.
In 1959, when he was invited to Italy by the renowned Italian Tibetologist and Orientalist Giuseppe Tucci, Chögyal Namkhai Norbu was already noted as a scholar and spiritual master. He had taught the Tibetan language in Chengdu, China, and for a year had been living in Sikkim, India, where he worked as a writer of essays in Tibetan. Among other offers, Chögyal Namkhai Norbu chose to live in Italy, in particular due to his interest in the important library of Tibetan texts that the Italian scholar had collected over the years.
Thus, barely twenty, Chögyal Namkhai Norbu collaborated with Prof. Giuseppe Tucci on the catalogue of Tibetan texts of the ISMEO (Institute for the Middle and Far East) in Rome, and in 1962 became professor of Tibetan language and literature at the University of Naples “l’Orientale,” where he continued teaching until 1992.
This is how Chögyal Namkhai Norbu came to live in Italy. In 1971 he began teaching Yantra Yoga, and in 1976, on the request of students of various backgrounds and origins, he gave the first teachings on Dzogchen Atiyoga.
For more than 50 years he dedicated his life to introducing this ancient teaching, an authentic heritage of humanity, to thousands of people all over the world.
“The New Year’s Festival”; “P’o lha, P’ug lha, rLung rta”, Tibetan articles with
English Summary in Appendices I and II of Tibetan Folk Songs from Gyantse and Western Tibet, collected and translated by G. Tucci, Ascona, 1966.
“Musical Tradition of the Tibetan People. Songs in dance measure”, in Orientalia Romana: Essays and Lectures, 2, Rome, 1967.
“Tibetan Culture”, in Tibet Journal, vol. III n. 3, pp. 38-40, Autumn 1978,
The Necklace of Gzi. A Cultural History of Tibet, Dharamsala, 1981.
New enlarged edition: Shang Shung Edizioni, Arcidosso 2004.
“Some Observations on the Race and Language of Tibet”, in Tibet Journal, vol. VII, n. 3, pp. 63-68, Autumn 1982, Dharamsala.
Dzogchen and Zen, Blue Dolphin Publishing, Nevada City, CA 1984
The Cycle of Day and Night: An Essential Tibetan Text on the Practice of
Contemplation, Station Hill Press, Barrytown, NY 1987.
Primordial Experience: An Introduction to Rdzogs-Chen Meditation (co-author Kennard Lipman), Shambhala Publications, Boston, MA 1987.
Gangs ti se’i dkar chag. A Bon-po Story of the Sacred Mountain Ti-se and the Blue Lake Ma-pang, partially translated into English (with R. Prats), Rome, 1989.
Rigbai Kujug. The Six Vajra Verses, ed. C. Goh, Singapore, 1990.
Drung, Deu and Bön. Narrations, Symbolic Languages and the Bön Tradition in Ancient Tibet, Dharamsala, 1995.
The Golden Letters, Foreword, Snow Lion Publications, Ithaca, NY 1996.
The Self-Perfected State, Snow Lion Publications, Ithaca, NY 1996.
The Mirror: Advice on the Presence of Awareness, Station Hill Press, Barrytown, NY 1996.
The Supreme Source: The Fundamental Tantra of the Dzogchen Semde (co-author Adriano Clemente), Snow Lion Publications, Ithaca NY 1999.
The Crystal and the Way of Light: Sutra, Tantra and Dzogchen, Snow Lion
Publications, Ithaca, NY 2000.
Self-Liberation: Through Seeing with Naked Awareness, Station Hill Press,
Barrytown, NY 2000.
Journey Among the Tibetan Nomads, Paljor Publications, India 2002.
Dream Yoga and the Practice of Natural Light, Ithaca, NY 2002.
The Mirror: Advice on Presence and Awareness, Shang Shung Edizioni,
Dzogchen Teachings, Snow Lion Publications, Ithaca, NY 2006.
Yantra Yoga, The Tibetan Yoga of Movement, Snow Lion Publications, Ithaca, NY 2008.
Birth, Life and Death, Shang Shung Edizioni, Arcidosso 2008.
Longchenpa – Advice from the Heart, Shang Shung Edizioni, Arcidosso 2008.
The Light of Kailash, Vol. 1, Shang Shung Edizioni, Arcidosso 2009.
Rainbow Body, The Life and Realization of Togden Ugyen Tendzin, Shang Shung Edizioni, Arcidosso 2010.
Images from a Lost Kingdom, Shang Shung Edizioni, Arcidosso 2010.
Healing with Fire, A Practical Manual of Tibetan Moxibustion, Shang Shung
Publications, Arcidosso 2011.
The Tibetan Book of the Dead – Awakening Upon Dying, Introductory
Commentary, Shang Shung Publications, Arcidosso, 2012
The Longsal Divination of Dorje Yudrönma, Shang Shung Publications, Arcidosso 2012.