Very sad news: Letter to Sogyal Rinpoche / Abuse allegations

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Re: Very sad news: Letter to Sogyal Rinpoche / Abuse allegations

Post by Adamantine » Thu Jul 27, 2017 6:10 am

Another worthwhile teaching related to the thread, from the
recent Dorje Drollo retreat at Padmasambhava Buddhist Center on the topic of Crazy Wisdom

phpBB [video]
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Re: Very sad news: Letter to Sogyal Rinpoche / Abuse allegations

Post by Grigoris » Thu Jul 27, 2017 8:02 am

Adamantine wrote:My main engagement with this thread has been been posting quotes or references that seem relevant. So far HHDL and Patrul Rinpoche's. Those fell somewhat to one side. On another note,
it may also be useful to contemplate the notorious words of the great Dzogchenpa Thinley Norbu, considered an incarnation of Longchenpa himself. These are excerpted from his controversial interview in Tricycle "Words for the West", linked below. Interested to hear respectful and considered responses.
There have been negative experiences with teachers of all the Buddhist traditions, which have created doubt and cynicism. Doubt and cynicism are deep nihilist habits. They are not wonderful signs. Of course, I have heard stories many times about Westerners who have turned against and discarded their teachers,...
...to attain fully enlightened Buddhahood
Full interview is here: http://www.welcomingbuddhist.org/archives/124
Superb!
"My religion is not deceiving myself."
Jetsun Milarepa 1052-1135 CE

"Butchers, prostitutes, those guilty of the five most heinous crimes, outcasts, the underprivileged: all are utterly the substance of existence and nothing other than total bliss."
The Supreme Source - The Kunjed Gyalpo
The Fundamental Tantra of Dzogchen Semde

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Re: Very sad news: Letter to Sogyal Rinpoche / Abuse allegations

Post by treehuggingoctopus » Thu Jul 27, 2017 9:03 am

Adamantine wrote:Another worthwhile teaching related to the thread, from the
recent Dorje Drollo retreat at Padmasambhava Buddhist Center on the topic of Crazy Wisdom

phpBB [video]
Spot on. Nothing to add.
. . . there they saw a rock! But it wasn't a rock . . .

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Re: Very sad news: Letter to Sogyal Rinpoche / Abuse allegations

Post by smcj » Thu Jul 27, 2017 11:34 am

Adamantine wrote:Another worthwhile teaching related to the thread, from the
recent Dorje Drollo retreat at Padmasambhava Buddhist Center on the topic of Crazy Wisdom
That is the khenpo who is teaching the dzogchen 'shedra' next month in New York State.
http://www.padmasambhava.org/cal.html
I support Mingyur R and HHDL in their positions against Lama abuse.

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Re: Very sad news: Letter to Sogyal Rinpoche / Abuse allegations

Post by Lingpupa » Thu Jul 27, 2017 12:07 pm

We've all been here before, sadly.

The American case from the 90s, settled out of court: result – not much

Open letter in 2013 (https://dialogueireland.wordpress.com/2 ... nne-clark/): result - not much

Now this letter from prominent students. If they don't take it to court, the result will probably not be much.

This kind of thing has happened in other branches of Tibetan Buddhism, in Theravada, in Zen, In Hinduism, in new-age circles, in Christianity, Islam, political movements, avowedly anti-religious revolutionary movements… It appears to be something to do with human nature.

When symptoms break out, as here, then whoever is on hand must, of course, first give their care and attention to the victims and to the particular case. But there is a broader point, which is that authority – and especially authority that keeps secrets – must always be questioned. The answer to the question can quite possibly be that the authority is proper, legitimate, and is being used well. But we must educate ourselves and our children to know that the questioning is always proper and that any attempt to suppress questioning is suspect.

I don't have much skin in this game. I first met Sogyal in the 1970s, and found him quite an amusing speaker, but not someone who appealed as a teacher. His egomania and bullying only appeared later, so I only saw a bit of it first-hand. But I do have good friends who consider themselves his students, so I keep hoping that some compassionate, healing solution might be found.
All the best
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Stupa in the Snow blog at http://chagchen.org/

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Re: Very sad news: Letter to Sogyal Rinpoche / Abuse allegations

Post by smcj » Thu Jul 27, 2017 12:39 pm

Open letter 2013
Evidently this writer believes it is somehow HHDL's responsibility or role to discipline Sogyal R. I don't think that is the case.
I support Mingyur R and HHDL in their positions against Lama abuse.

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Re: Very sad news: Letter to Sogyal Rinpoche / Abuse allegations

Post by TRC » Thu Jul 27, 2017 12:56 pm

Grigoris wrote:
Adamantine wrote:My main engagement with this thread has been been posting quotes or references that seem relevant. So far HHDL and Patrul Rinpoche's. Those fell somewhat to one side. On another note,
it may also be useful to contemplate the notorious words of the great Dzogchenpa Thinley Norbu, considered an incarnation of Longchenpa himself. These are excerpted from his controversial interview in Tricycle "Words for the West", linked below. Interested to hear respectful and considered responses.
There have been negative experiences with teachers of all the Buddhist traditions, which have created doubt and cynicism. Doubt and cynicism are deep nihilist habits. They are not wonderful signs. Of course, I have heard stories many times about Westerners who have turned against and discarded their teachers,...
...to attain fully enlightened Buddhahood
Full interview is here: http://www.welcomingbuddhist.org/archives/124
Superb!
Doubt and cynicism maybe nihilistic, but timely and just criticism are not.

People should discard their abusive teachers.

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Re: Very sad news: Letter to Sogyal Rinpoche / Abuse allegations

Post by PemaSherab » Thu Jul 27, 2017 1:06 pm

Adamantine wrote:Another worthwhile teaching related to the thread, from the
recent Dorje Drollo retreat at Padmasambhava Buddhist Center on the topic of Crazy Wisdom

phpBB [video]

:good:

As usual, Khenpo gets to the point.

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Re: Very sad news: Letter to Sogyal Rinpoche / Abuse allegations

Post by TRC » Thu Jul 27, 2017 1:10 pm

Adamantine wrote:Another worthwhile teaching related to the thread, from the
recent Dorje Drollo retreat at Padmasambhava Buddhist Center on the topic of Crazy Wisdom

phpBB [video]
Just to paraphrase the Lama: crazy wisdom does not involve abuse and harm and are the activities of enlightened beings.

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Re: Very sad news: Letter to Sogyal Rinpoche / Abuse allegations

Post by narraboth » Thu Jul 27, 2017 1:21 pm

I am not that much emotionally/spiritually linked to SR and I have no intention to defend whatever. All I want to say about this thing is, everyone is responsible for his/her own spiritual path. Since people talk about samaya, do take samaya seriously. No matter you like it or not, there are samayas about guru/students and vajra brothers/sisters. It might look 'evasive' 'protecting/covering' for non-buddhists, but many people keeping mouth shut not because they want to protect certain teachers or organisations, but their own vows and practices.
Tibetan lama have responsibilities or not is not important. YOU have responsibility for your own practice, it's your own practice, it's your own samaya, actually, if you keep meeting teachers behaving weird, it's also your own karma. People should have checked the teachers at the first place; if not, people should have checked their own progress all the way. Once you find that you are too troubled by the teacher and centre and you can't keep practice going on, find a better way. If leaving is the best way for you, do it quickly. No point to moan about it and regret what you have done. It ruins your samaya and merit. If a teacher doesn't suit you anymore, be thankful of whatever he did good to you, be thankful to whatever you did good about the whole thing, and gently move on, so that you don't totally waste your time there and at least something nice can be kept.
Last edited by narraboth on Thu Jul 27, 2017 1:40 pm, edited 2 times in total.

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Re: Very sad news: Letter to Sogyal Rinpoche / Abuse allegations

Post by Grigoris » Thu Jul 27, 2017 1:28 pm

"does not involve abuse and harm"

But who judges if there is abuse and harm? How do you know if there is actual abuse and harm or if it is just an ego-centered reaction?

Guru Rinpoche, after being adopted by the childless king of Odiyana, killed a child in it's cot. When people protested about the murder he then killed the child's mother (if I remember correctly). I imagine that if Guru Rinpoche was alive now many here would be trying to get him lynched.

I think our vision is too obscured to be able to make the necessary judgments without falling prey to aversion and attraction.
"My religion is not deceiving myself."
Jetsun Milarepa 1052-1135 CE

"Butchers, prostitutes, those guilty of the five most heinous crimes, outcasts, the underprivileged: all are utterly the substance of existence and nothing other than total bliss."
The Supreme Source - The Kunjed Gyalpo
The Fundamental Tantra of Dzogchen Semde

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Re: Very sad news: Letter to Sogyal Rinpoche / Abuse allegations

Post by Tiago Simões » Thu Jul 27, 2017 1:35 pm

Grigoris wrote:"does not involve abuse and harm"

But who judges if there is abuse and harm? How do you know if there is actual abuse and harm or if it is just an ego-centered reaction?

Guru Rinpoche, after being adopted by the childless king of Odiyana, killed a child in it's cot. When people protested about the murder he then killed the child's mother (if I remember correctly). I imagine that if Guru Rinpoche was alive now many here would be trying to get him lynched.

I think our vision is too obscured to be able to make the necessary judgments without falling prey to aversion and attraction.
The version I heard he killed a baby and a fly with a single rock, because they were going to be the next hitlers or something, and then he got exiled from the kingdom. I think I heard it from a Facebook live of Robert Thurman.

Rigpa wiki says this:
Perceiving that a harmful minister’s son was just on the point of dying and being reborn in the lower realms, he dropped his trident while dancing on the palace roof, and it caused the death of the child, who was liberated and reborn in a buddha realm. Padmasambhava was banished, and roamed in ‘The Chilly Grove’, Shitavana, charnel ground, and then in the other charnel grounds, ‘Joyous Grove’ and Sosadvipa.

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Re: Very sad news: Letter to Sogyal Rinpoche / Abuse allegations

Post by TRC » Thu Jul 27, 2017 1:53 pm

Grigoris wrote: But who judges if there is abuse and harm? How do you know if there is actual abuse and harm or if it is just an ego-centered reaction?
I'll go by the eight senior signatories who composed the letter to Sogyal outlining the harm and abuse. I am going to trust their account, as they are the closest to him and have seen and witnessed his actions and the results of his actions. They are also long-term Dharma practitioners and are best placed to make a judgement.

Here is what they said to Sogyal in their reply to him. I've already quoted this, but it's worth quoting again. They actually deal directly with this point:
We did not question your motivation, nor did we write about the “appearance” of harm. What we said is that we clearly observe your actions and the consequences. You also repeatedly mentioned the manner in which your actions have been “perceived.” Again, the critical issue here is not about our and others’ perception; it is about how your actions have caused actual harm to many people.

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Re: Very sad news: Letter to Sogyal Rinpoche / Abuse allegations

Post by Karinos » Thu Jul 27, 2017 2:48 pm

It's interesting fact that Dharma courses charged $100 per day or more, are so often turning to be run by some kind of abusive teachers

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Re: Very sad news: Letter to Sogyal Rinpoche / Abuse allegations

Post by Grigoris » Thu Jul 27, 2017 2:52 pm

TRC wrote:
Grigoris wrote: But who judges if there is abuse and harm? How do you know if there is actual abuse and harm or if it is just an ego-centered reaction?
I'll go by the eight senior signatories who composed the letter to Sogyal outlining the harm and abuse. I am going to trust their account, as they are the closest to him and have seen and witnessed his actions and the results of his actions. They are also long-term Dharma practitioners and are best placed to make a judgement.

Here is what they said to Sogyal in their reply to him. I've already quoted this, but it's worth quoting again. They actually deal directly with this point:
We did not question your motivation, nor did we write about the “appearance” of harm. What we said is that we clearly observe your actions and the consequences. You also repeatedly mentioned the manner in which your actions have been “perceived.” Again, the critical issue here is not about our and others’ perception; it is about how your actions have caused actual harm to many people.
Like I said: "I think our vision is too obscured to be able to make the necessary judgments without falling prey to aversion and attraction."

I am not going to deny that it SEEMS that there is abuse.
"My religion is not deceiving myself."
Jetsun Milarepa 1052-1135 CE

"Butchers, prostitutes, those guilty of the five most heinous crimes, outcasts, the underprivileged: all are utterly the substance of existence and nothing other than total bliss."
The Supreme Source - The Kunjed Gyalpo
The Fundamental Tantra of Dzogchen Semde

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Re: Very sad news: Letter to Sogyal Rinpoche / Abuse allegations

Post by treehuggingoctopus » Thu Jul 27, 2017 3:22 pm

Grigoris wrote:"does not involve abuse and harm"

But who judges if there is abuse and harm? How do you know if there is actual abuse and harm or if it is just an ego-centered reaction?
For anyone who has experienced or been witness to any genuine abuse these are ridiculously easy questions, you know. We tend to recognise suffering as suffering when we see it happen.

One could also claim that all emotional suffering is just an ego-centered reaction -- which in no way means we Buddhists ought to ignore it.
. . . there they saw a rock! But it wasn't a rock . . .

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Re: Very sad news: Letter to Sogyal Rinpoche / Abuse allegations

Post by Grigoris » Thu Jul 27, 2017 3:49 pm

treehuggingoctopus wrote:
Grigoris wrote:"does not involve abuse and harm"

But who judges if there is abuse and harm? How do you know if there is actual abuse and harm or if it is just an ego-centered reaction?
For anyone who has experienced or been witness to any genuine abuse these are ridiculously easy questions, you know. We tend to recognise suffering as suffering when we see it happen.

One could also claim that all emotional suffering is just an ego-centered reaction -- which in no way means we Buddhists ought to ignore it.
I did not say anything about ignoring something, I aid that it is difficult for us to recognise what is happening without falling into the habitual reactions of aversion and attraction.

One must look really closely at one's motivation for acting before one can say if they are doing so out of great compassion or ego-centred knee-jerk reaction. How many of the posts here fit either category?
"My religion is not deceiving myself."
Jetsun Milarepa 1052-1135 CE

"Butchers, prostitutes, those guilty of the five most heinous crimes, outcasts, the underprivileged: all are utterly the substance of existence and nothing other than total bliss."
The Supreme Source - The Kunjed Gyalpo
The Fundamental Tantra of Dzogchen Semde

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Re: Very sad news: Letter to Sogyal Rinpoche / Abuse allegations

Post by smcj » Thu Jul 27, 2017 4:09 pm

We can--and should--toss around "crazy wisdom" understandings as much as we want. But it should be done with the knowledge that when something finally ends up in court the judge isn't going to want to hear anything about it.
I support Mingyur R and HHDL in their positions against Lama abuse.

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Re: Very sad news: Letter to Sogyal Rinpoche / Abuse allegations

Post by smcj » Thu Jul 27, 2017 4:16 pm

We can--and should--toss around "crazy wisdom" understandings as much as we want. But it should be done with the knowledge that when something finally ends up in court the judge isn't going to want to hear anything about it.

So maybe a good test of how much 'wisdom' is included in with the crazy is how the lama reacts to the court case/notoriety.

The U.S. Courts are much more PC now than when Trungpa was alive. I hope lamas understand that there are now major consequences that Trungpa never imagined. In some states they have even criminalizes clergy/congregant sexual relations regardless of consent

Could be an opportunity to do some in depth prisoner outreach.
Last edited by smcj on Thu Jul 27, 2017 5:08 pm, edited 4 times in total.
I support Mingyur R and HHDL in their positions against Lama abuse.

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Re: Very sad news: Letter to Sogyal Rinpoche / Abuse allegations

Post by Minobu » Thu Jul 27, 2017 4:32 pm

smcj wrote:We can--and should--toss around "crazy wisdom" understandings as much as we want.
It's like taking the fifth amendment with a wife in this case.
it was never meant for frauds , who use ghost writers and have men place them in power and then bilk millions from students along with sex scandals and punching nuns scandals and what ever...

smell the coffee mr jones.

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