Chögyal Namkhai Norbu was born in 1938 in Derghe, in Eastern Tibet and was recognised at birth as the reincarnation of a noted master of the Dzogchen tradition. Notwithstanding his youth, he was already well known by the end of the 1950s as a person with a profound knowledge of Tibetan culture and also as a great spiritual teacher.
His fame, in India and in Tibet, was such that in 1960 Professor Giuseppe Tucci, an eminent scholar and founder of the Is.M.E.O. (Instituto per l'Africa e l'Oriente, one of the major institutes of Oriental studies in Italy), invited him to Rome to collaborate in research. In 1962 he took up a post teaching Tibetan language and literature in Naples at the Istituto Universitario Orientale di Napoli where he worked until 1992. For the first fifteen years of his residence in Italy Chögyal Namkhai Norbu concentrated mainly on the Ancient History of Tibet. His works are evidence of his deep knowledge of Tibetan culture and are addressed to the young people of Tibet in order that their awareness of an ancient cultural heritage not die out.
From the mid seventies Chögyal Namkhai Norbu began to teach Yoga and Dzogchen meditation to a few Italian students and the growing interest in his teachings convinced him to dedicate himself increasingly to such activities. Together with a number of disciples he founded the Dzogchen Community in Arcidosso in Tuscany and then later founded other centers in various parts of Europe, Russia, the United States, South America and Australia.