1, 16, 15 pp. 4to. Corrected Drafts of Ginsberg's Essay on his Spiritual Development. Computer print out, with annotations and paperclip marking; fax, with annotations, cover letter; all very good.
This article was originally published in the Shambhala Sun in their July 1994 issue, describing Ginsberg's spiritual development from his high school years until the date of publication. Includes a cover letter from the Shambhala Sun editor, Melvin McLeod, with his edited draft of Ginsberg's talk, which is heavily annotated by Ginsberg, and the letter has a lengthy note. Also included is a draft in which Ginsberg's edits are incorporated, with some notes likely in the hand of Jacqueline Gens, Ginsberg’s longtime archivist and secretary.
Ginsberg first discusses going to college at Columbia and meeting William Burroughs, Jack Kerouac, and Lucien Carr, and talking about what they called "a new conscioussness or new vision," before having "having a break in the normal modality of [his] conscioussness" in 1948: "While alone living a relatively solitary vegetarian contemplative life, reading St. John of the Cross, Plotinus some, notions of 'alone with the Alone' or 'one hand clapping',' or The Cloud of Unknowing, or Plato's Phaedrus, and William Blake, I had what was—for me—an extraordinary break in the normal nature of my thought when something opened up."
He further discusses first hearing the teachings of Buddhism from Jack Kerouac, how he developed an interest in Zen Buddhism through Gary Snyder, and his travels in India, in search of a Guru, before getting to the meat of the article, which is his relationship with his teacher, Chogyam Trungpa Rinpoche. Ginsberg first met Trungpa Rinpoche on the street in 1970, when he was attempting to get his father, overwhelmed by the heat of the New York summer, into a cab, which was first hailed by Rinpoche and his friend, Kunga Dawa, who recognized Ginsberg. Dawa introduced Rinpoche, and Ginsberg bowed and said "OM AH HUM VAJRA GURU PADMA SIDDHI HUM", a mantra he'd learned from Snyder only a week before. Years later Ginsberg asked Trungpa, now his teacher, his impression of their first meeting, and he said he "wondered whether I knew what I was talking about."
Great, personal, essay on Ginsberg's spiritual development and involvement with Buddhism.