Francesca Fremantle is a scholar and translator of Tibetan and Sanskrit texts of Vajrayana Buddhism and related subjects. She received her doctorate from the School of Asian and African Studies at University of London .
Francesca Fremantle became a student of Ven Chogyam Trungpa Rinpoche in 1969 whom she met at Samye Ling in Scotland whilst working on a Buddhist text, the Guhyasamaja Tantra for her doctorial thesis.
She worked closely with him on the 1975 published translation of a major part of the Bardo Thodol published as the Tibetan Book of the Dead (Shambhala). A more faithful rendition of its title would be “Liberation through Hearing in the Intermediate State”. Traditionally, it is read aloud to the dying as a guide to the sequence of experiences and cast that will be encountered and how to respond at each stage to gain liberation or at least an auspicious rebirth. For the living it provides both a description of the experiences that may be encountered by a person whilst in the intermediate state (bardo) and also the practice that rehearses these experiences. The hope is that a practitioner who has gained familiarity in this lifetime with his/her future bardo experiences can use them as an opportunity to gain realisation. In 2001 she returned to the Bardo Thodol providing a commentary titled Luminous Emptiness (Shambhala), which is perhaps one of the most lucid introductions to Vajrayana Buddhism in the English language today.
She is a teacher with the Longchen Foundation, established by Ven Chogyam Trungpa Rinpoche and Dilgo Khyentse Rinpoche in the Nyingma tradition, and directed by Rigdzin Shikpo. She is currently based in London.