Chogyal Namkhai Norbu is a Dzogchen teacher who was born in Derge, Kham district (Eastern Tibet) on 8 December 1938. When he was two years old, Namkhai Norbu was recognized as the reincarnation of a great Dzogchen teacher, Adzom Drugpa Rinpoche. From an early age Namkhai Norbu undertook an accelerated course of study, attending monastic college, taking retreats, and studying with renowned teachers, including some of the most important Tibetan masters of his time. Under the tutelage of these teachers, he completed the training required by Buddhist tradition in both Sutra and Tantra. At the age of sixteen he met master Rigdzin Changchub Dorje, who became his principal Dzogchen teacher.
In 1960 he came to Italy at the invitation of Professor Giuseppe Tucci, and served as Professor of Tibetan and Mongolian Language and Literature from 1964 to 1992 at the Oriental Institute of the University of Naples. Namkhai Norbu is widely recognized as a leading authority on Tibetan civilization, particularly in the fields of history, literature, and the medical and astrological sciences. In 1983, he hosted the first International Convention on Tibetan Medicine, held in Venice, Italy.
In 1976 Chogyal Namkhai Norbu began to give Dzogchen instruction in the West, first in Italy, then in numerous other countries. He quickly became a respected spiritual authority among many practitioners, and has created centers for the study of Dzogchen around the world.