Kurt's Bio - 1975

Kurt on Campus at Sac State University, circa 1975.

Kurt on Campus at Sac State University, circa 1975.

Kurt von Meier

Kurt von Meier was born in San Francisco, California, and grew up in Carmel, the dream-state induced by counting waves of the Pacific Ocean surf, awakening with the fog drifting through pine trees parting for the sun. This early enlightenment was usually followed in a rhythmic cycle by the alternation of hot oatmeal, toast, and bacon, soft-boiled eggs (accompanied by cocoa). He was introduced to formal paradigms of the cosmos in 18 steps by the genial Peter Hay, the Scots pro at Pebble Beach, as sea otters played through the kelp beds offshore. On special days his father Julian, a gourmet chef and wine connoisseur, made Kartoffelpfannkucher from dumplings of the night before. He sailed a Lightning class sloop, and later Mercurys, on Stillwater Cove, over bluefish and red abalones; later, on active duty, aboard the Eldorado, flagship of the Seventh Fleet, as printer and litho­grapher; also on the staysail schooner Quasilla on San Francisco Bay, on a Dragon class sloop out of the Royal Hong Kong Yacht Club, and in the Sea of Cortez aboard the Tahiti ketch Ku'u Ipo with Captain Pedro Pichilinque. At Berkeley studied international law and Middle Eastern culture, played for the University of California Rugby Club, served the ladies at Kappa Alpha Theta, practiced bridge forms, and at the Rathskeller contemplated fluid dynamics.

After working the clubs at Tahoe for a summer, von Meier conducted postgraduate studies at the University of Madrid and the Museo del Prado. Semana Santa was spent in Sevilla, the spring in Casablanca and Marrakech, the summer in Ravenna and Berlin. As a graduate fellow at Princeton he played with and later coached the university rugby club, while preparing a dissertation on 20th century German sculpture and the processes of cultural transformations within a totalitarian state. He was awarded a brown hood in 1966 as Philosophise Doctoris, Artibus Elegantoribus et Archeologiae. The teaching path led to New Zealand, Princeton, UCLA, and California State University, Sacramento, where as tenured full professor he introduced courses in art and mythology, mandala, and the laws of form.

For a decade (1962-72), von Meier wrote wildly and published widely, in, for example, Art International, Arts-Canada, Vogue, Art Forum. Translating the meditation of concept art into action, he helped create the Diamond Sutra tantric food theatre (restaurant) in San Francisco. T'ai Chi-ing in the world of commerce, he assumed some responsibility for growing vegetables and raking the bamboo leaves on the Diamond Sufi Ranch in the most happy Napa Valley, surrounded by cabernet sauvignon incarnations of the great god Dionysos.

An expedition to the Hindu Kush in 1973 was elevating. Several visits with the Hopis and among the Tarahumara Indians of Northern Mexico deepened an appreciation of native American etbnobotony. Performed extensive research in the mythology, lore, and practicing traditions associated with Amanita muscaria.

Through the inspiration of Rangjung Rigpe Dorje, the sixteenth Gyalwa Karmapa, and with the guidance of the Venerable Kalu Rinpoche, the eleventh Trungpa tulku Chögyam Trungpa Rinpoche, and Lama Taewang Jurmay, Tsenjur Rinpoche, Karma rDorje Wangdu began practice in the Vajrayana tradition, following the example of Marpa in contemplating reality as an activity of continuous translation, as exemplified in this book.