|Ginsberg and friend in Varanasi (formerly Benares), India, 1963.|
The Allen Ginsberg Project posts a talk by the American poet Allen Ginsberg, August 8, 1976, delineating the lineage that lead to the formation of the Naropa Institute (now Naropa University) in Boulder, Colorado:
back in the early and late (19)50’s and early (19)60’s, many of us were experimenting with meditation, with or without teachers, (but mostly without teachers) and so exploring our own consciousness, taking peyote (as many still do – in this city tonight, in fact), working with LSD, and reading The Tibetan Book of the Dead, reading the Evans-Wentz documents, and attempting to interpret them in isolation, like the old famous American isolatos of literature as portrayed by Thomas Wolfe and Sherwood Anderson and Vachel Lindsay, all the Swedenborgian mystics from small towns in Illinois, who had to explore on their own, with defective means and defective equipment, whatever they could get, through Theosophy, through Madame Blavatsky, through Timothy Leary, through Allen Ginsberg, through Beatniks, through home-made yogis, through American Indians. So there was a spiritual search, which I think was quite genuine, and in a sense has brought us all here together tonight finally, with many brothers and sisters all over the country. But what is great that’s happened here over the last few years is.. has.. it’s finally been.. like re-inforcements arrived from Tibet.