Khenpo Gangshar Wangpo (b. 1925-?) was a highly respected lama in Eastern Tibet and one of the primary teachers of Chögyam Trungpa Rinpoche and Thrangu Rinpoche. Khenpo Gangshar was trained in Sechen Monastery, a monastic center established in the end of the sixteenth century and part of the Mindröling lineage within the Nyingma tradition. Khenpo Gangshar was a primary teacher for Trungpa Rinpoche from the age of 13 until presiding over Trungpa Rinpoche's kyorpön and khenpo degree examinations at the end of 1957. He was also referred to as a "crazy saint" who after a serious illness transformed from a quiet monk to an unconventional teacher who renounced his vows, entered into a romantic relationship, and acted strangely. Pema Chodron credited Khenpo Gangshar with the instructions to lean into the sharp points and to meditate on whatever provokes resentment.
According to Trungpa Rinpoche, in his account in "Born in Tibet", Khenpo Gangshar was tutored by Jamgon Kongtrul of Sechen. This began when his father died and his mother became a nun. Kongtrul Rinpoche then raised him as his spiritual son, and he was one of six senior professors at Sechen Monastery. Trungpa Rinpoche describes first visiting them both when he was 13 years old, when his studies were to begin in Sechen and a six month Rinchen Terzod transmission began. Khenpo Gangshar was assigned as his first tutor there, and after the Rinchen Terzod completed Trungpa Rinpoche joined a seminary program with about 100 other monks that Khenpo Gangshar was leading assisted by five kyorpöns.
When Trungpa Rinpoche had to return to Surmang early to take on responsibilities — because of a death of a senior lama — he asked if Khenpo Gangshar could come to Surmang as his tutor and to lead the Surmang seminary program, which he did in late 1956. In the fall of 1957, according to Trungpa Rinpoche, and in light of the changing times there Khenpo Gangshar instituted a radical change to the seminary. He opened the instruction to any and all laypeople and he asked the hermits with life long vows of seclusion to return to the monastery to help teach. Women were allowed to attend, which was unconventional.
- Naturally Liberating Whatever You Meet: Instructions to Guide You on the Profound Path
- Vomiting Gold
- Chökyi Nyima Rinpoche's web site - has two talks from March 28th, 2009 on Khenpo Gangshar's pith instructions in mp3 format. They are in the Buddhist Advice section of their web site.
- Collected Works by Khenpo Gangshar - a compilation by tsadra.org
- Chodron, Pema (2000) When Things Fall Apart ISBN 1570623449
- Hayward, Jeremy (2007) Warrior-King of Shambhala ISBN 0861715462
- Khenpo Karthar, Laura M. Roth (1993) Dharma paths ISBN 1559390026
- Mukpo, Diana J. and Carolyn Rose Gimian (2006) Dragon Thunder ISBN 1590302567
- Trungpa, Chögyam (1972) Mudra ISBN 0877730512
- Trungpa, Chögyam (2004) The Collected Works of Chögyam Trungpa: Volume One ISBN 1590300254