Buddhist scholar Harold Talbott died on February 7, aged 79. For decades, Talbott edited books written and translated by the Tibetan Buddhist teacher Tulku Thondup.
According to his obituary, Talbott discovered Buddhism in college, when he made friends with the famed philosopher Alan Watts. Watts introduced Talbott to Zen Buddhism and Thomist philosophy. Eventually, Talbott met the famed Trappist monk Thomas Merton.
While working in Asia, Talbott met the Dalai Lama and went on to spend the winter of 1968 studying with him as a private student. Eventually, Talbott met a monk from the Nyingma School of Tibetan Buddhism, named Lama Gyurdala, who introduced him to the Nyingma philosophy of Dzogchen and the head of the Nyingma lineage, Dudjom Rinpoche. Tulku Thondup, a Nyingma teacher, became Talbott’s mentor, translator, and friend.
After studying in India, Talbott returned to the United States and co-founded the Buddhayana Foundation in Marion, Massachusetts. With Buddhayana, Talbott worked on preserving and promoting Tibetan Buddhist wisdom.