Harold Talbott: Remembering Thomas Merton’s Encounters with the Dalai Lama

Hear about one man’s powerful encounters with Dzogchen masters and his memories of facilitating the famous meeting of Thomas Merton with the Dalai Lama and other notable Tibetan lamas. In this episode of the Wisdom Podcast we meet Harold Talbott, long-time Dharma practitioner and editor for esteemed teacher Tulku Thondup. Harold tells us his fascinating journey in the Dharma, including how he initially met the Dalai Lama in India in the mid 1960s and became his student. He also shares with us many of his extraordinary encounters with Tibetan Buddhist teachers over the decades like Chatral Rinpoche, Dodrupchen Rinpoche, and Tulku Thondup Rinpoche. Harold then tells us how he came to facilitate the meeting of famed Catholic theologian and writer Thomas Merton with the Dalai Lama in 1968, and then accompanied Merton throughout his trip to India meeting several accomplished Tibetan lamas during the final weeks of his life.

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Podcast Extra

Harold Talbott with Dalai Lama and Dom Aelred Graham

Harold Talbott, far right, with the Dalai Lama and Dom Aelred Graham.

Harold Talbott with the 16th Gyalwa Karmapa

Harold Talbott with the 16th Gyalwa Karmapa, far left, and the Karmapa’s treasurer in 1967.

Harold Talbott and Dodrupchen Rinpoche

Harold Talbott and Dodrupchen Rinpoche.

Harold Talbott's teacher Lama Gyurda-la

Harold Talbott’s teacher Lama Gyurda-la.

Harold Talbott is the co-founder of the Buddhayana Foundation and writes and researches in the field of Tibetan Buddhism. Mr. Talbott also edits the writings of the Venerable Tulku Thondup. Talbott was a friend and student of Dom Aelred Graham and collaborated with Thomas Merton, helping the latter gain a deeper understanding of Buddhism. Harold Talbott spent time in the East studying Buddhism, including with the Dalai Lama himself.