Chogyal Namkhai Norbu was born in Derghe, eastern Tibet, in 1938. As a child he was recognized as the reincarnation of the great Dzogchen Master Adzom Drugpa (1842-1924) and later by the sixteenth Karmapa as a reincarnation of Shabdrung Ngawang Namgyal (1594-1651), the first Dharmaraja of Bhutan. In 1955 he met Changchub Dorje (1826-1961), his main Dzogchen teacher, whose lifestyle and way of teaching deeply inspired him.
In the mid-seventies Chogyal Namkhai Norbu started giving Dzogchen teachings, encountering a growing interest first in Italy and then throughout the West. In 1981 he founded the first centre of the Dzogchen Community in Arcidosso, Tuscany. Centres have been created in the United States, in various parts of Europe, in Latin America, in Russia and in Australia.
In 1989 Chogyal Namkhai Norbu founded the Shang Shung Institute, which has the task of safeguarding Tibetan culture by promoting and spreading it. Even today Chogyal Namkhai Norbu continues to travel constantly all over the world, giving talks and holding retreats attended by thousands of people