Reginald Ray

Reginald Ray (born 1942) is an American Buddhist academic and teacher.

Ray studied Tibetan Buddhism, traditional shamanic wisdom, and yogic-contemplative practices with the Tibetan refugee and recognized Vajrayana traditional-wisdom holder Chögyam Trungpa; and later studied under the tutelage of traditional Dagara teacher from Burkina Faso, Malidoma Somé.

A founding academic member of Naropa University, Ray was a longtime senior teacher in Shambhala International and teacher-in-residence at Shambhala Mountain Center from 1996 to 2004.[1] He left the Shambhala organization to found his own teaching center in 2005, Dharma Ocean. Dhama Ocean, in addition to teaching meditation programs and hosting intensive retreats, also functioned as a non-profit foundation "dedicated to the practice, study and preservation of the teachings of Chögyam Trungpa Rinpoche."

Ray has a BA in religion from Williams College (1965), and received an M.A. (1967) and Ph.D. (1973) in History of Religions from the University of Chicago Divinity School, where he focused on Buddhism and Indian religions. Among his mentors at Chicago was Mircea Eliade, a Romanian historian of religion.[2][3]

Ray first encountered his main Buddhist teacher, Chögyam Trungpa Rinpoche, in 1970, and studied with him until Rinpoche's death in 1987. In 1974, at the invitation of Trungpa Rinpoche, Ray left a tenure-track position at Indiana University and relocated to Boulder, Colorado—then the center of Trungpa Rinpoche's community–to become the first full-time faculty member and chair of the Buddhist Studies Department at Naropa University, where he taught until his retirement in July 2009.[4][5] Ray also served on the Nalanda Translation Committee[6] and held a half-time appointment in the Religious Studies department at the University of Colorado.[7]

From 1996 to 2004, Ray was teacher-in-residence at the Rocky Mountain Dharma Center[8][5] (now called Shambhala Mountain Center).

In 2005, Ray and his then wife, Lee Ray, founded the Dharma Ocean Foundation, a nonprofit organization with an educational charter. From 2004 through 2007, Dharma Ocean held meditation programs at the White Eagle Village facility in Crestone, Colorado; in 2008, Dharma Ocean completed construction of the Blazing Mountain Retreat Center, also in Crestone, and began holding meditation retreats there.