Very sad news: Letter to Sogyal Rinpoche / Abuse allegations

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dzogchungpa
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Re: Very sad news

Post by dzogchungpa » Sun Jul 23, 2017 5:03 pm

Pero wrote:
dzoki wrote:
dzogchungpa wrote:
I am not trying to defend the notion that SR has realization but it is interesting to note the following passage from http://all-otr.org/public-talks/1-follo ... gchen-path:
Statements like these mean nothing. Only buddha can see realization of others.
Not to mention that one has to take OT's word for it... So maybe no need to have diminished faith, eh Michael? :smile:
Well, I remember when I first read this statement I took note because it is the only such statement about SR that I have seen. As far as whether one person can recognize realization in another I think probably some can, especially in a situation where you have a guru like NK evaluating the progress of a close student like SR.
There is not only nothingness because there is always, and always can manifest. - Thinley Norbu Rinpoche

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liuzg150181
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Re: Very sad news

Post by liuzg150181 » Sun Jul 23, 2017 5:24 pm

Malcolm wrote:
If our guru is a truly harmful being, it is they who are breaking samaya and not we. They cannot repair samaya they break with their students. We can always repair our samaya with respect to all our teachers.
Repairing our samaya with all our teachers,as in through Hundred-syllable mantra(with four powers)/guru yoga/tsog? And there is limited time period for that afaik?

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Re: Very sad news

Post by Pero » Sun Jul 23, 2017 5:25 pm

dzogchungpa wrote: Well, I remember when I first read this statement I took note because it is the only such statement about SR that I have seen. As far as whether one person can recognize realization in another I think probably some can, especially in a situation where you have a guru like NK evaluating the progress of a close student like SR.
IDK... There's a story how Chatral Rinpoche met Tulku Urgyen and thought him to be fake until Dudjom Rinpoche intervened. :shrug:
That said, depending on what one is practicing there could be signs according to which one could judge I guess. But then again, even if at some point one had some signs, he could still regress right?
Although many individuals in this age appear to be merely indulging their worldly desires, one does not have the capacity to judge them, so it is best to train in pure vision.
- Shabkar

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dzogchungpa
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Re: Very sad news

Post by dzogchungpa » Sun Jul 23, 2017 5:36 pm

Pero wrote:
dzogchungpa wrote: Well, I remember when I first read this statement I took note because it is the only such statement about SR that I have seen. As far as whether one person can recognize realization in another I think probably some can, especially in a situation where you have a guru like NK evaluating the progress of a close student like SR.
IDK... There's a story how Chatral Rinpoche met Tulku Urgyen and thought him to be fake until Dudjom Rinpoche intervened. :shrug:
That said, depending on what one is practicing there could be signs according to which one could judge I guess. But then again, even if at some point one had some signs, he could still regress right?
Well, obviously, I am not an expert but with regards to your example let me make 2 points. One, Chatral Rinpoche was not TUR's guru and two, Dudjom Rinpoche intervened so, presumably, he did recognize TUR's realization, no?

As far as regression is concerned, my understanding is that when the word "realization" is used in this context it refers to something that is permanent but, again, I am not an expert.
There is not only nothingness because there is always, and always can manifest. - Thinley Norbu Rinpoche

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Re: Very sad news

Post by Pero » Sun Jul 23, 2017 5:42 pm

dzogchungpa wrote:
Pero wrote:
dzogchungpa wrote: Well, I remember when I first read this statement I took note because it is the only such statement about SR that I have seen. As far as whether one person can recognize realization in another I think probably some can, especially in a situation where you have a guru like NK evaluating the progress of a close student like SR.
IDK... There's a story how Chatral Rinpoche met Tulku Urgyen and thought him to be fake until Dudjom Rinpoche intervened. :shrug:
That said, depending on what one is practicing there could be signs according to which one could judge I guess. But then again, even if at some point one had some signs, he could still regress right?
Well, obviously, I am not an expert but with regards to your example let me make 2 points. One, Chatral Rinpoche was not TUR's guru and two, Dudjom Rinpoche intervened so, presumably, he did recognize TUR's realization, no? As far as regression, my understanding is that when the word "realization" is used in this context it refers to something that is permanent, but again I am not an expert.
Not sure, it seems to me he believed TUR was legit because TUR gave the Karmapa Chokgyur Lingpa's Dzogchen Desum. But you could be right (on both counts).
Although many individuals in this age appear to be merely indulging their worldly desires, one does not have the capacity to judge them, so it is best to train in pure vision.
- Shabkar

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Re: Very sad news

Post by Vasana » Sun Jul 23, 2017 6:07 pm

dzogchungpa wrote:
As far as regression is concerned, my understanding is that when the word "realization" is used in this context it refers to something that is permanent but, again, I am not an expert.
I'm no expert either but I think there are 'degrees' of realization based upon the duration one can remain distracted from the natural state. Even those who have recognized and trained in the natural state for a while still run the risk of deviating from the path if the continuity of that recognition isn't sustained. Karma is still generated in any moment where recognition is absent. I think someone can still technically be considered a 'master' even if they don't have that unbroken continuity.
ཨོཾ ་ མ ་ ཎི ་ པ ་ དྨེ ་ ཧཱུྃ ། འ ་ ཨ ་ ཧ ་ ཤ ་ ས ་ མ །
Om Mani Peme Hum ། 'A Ah Ha Sha Sa Ma
'When alone, watch your mind,When with others, watch your speech' - Old Kadampa saying

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Re: Very sad news

Post by dzogchungpa » Sun Jul 23, 2017 6:32 pm

There is some discussion of OTR's letter here:
https://buddhism-controversy-blog.com/2 ... en-broken/
and it appears that the addressee of the letter is commenting there under the handle "polarsangye".
There is not only nothingness because there is always, and always can manifest. - Thinley Norbu Rinpoche

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Re: Very sad news

Post by kirtu » Sun Jul 23, 2017 6:47 pm

dzoki wrote:
dzogchungpa wrote:
kirtu wrote:If he had realization then he would have acted differently.
I am not trying to defend the notion that SR has realization but it is interesting to note the following passage from http://all-otr.org/public-talks/1-follo ... gchen-path:
OTR wrote:... Sogyal Rinpoche’s level of practice is extremely high, he is extremely realised—Nyoshul Khen Rinpoche told me this himself.
Statements like these mean nothing. Only buddha can see realization of others.
Only a Buddha can accurately or possibly directly know the realization of others. But Shantideva clearly says "where there is smoke, there is fire (in a positive way). Although we are personally afflicted we can examine the good qualities of others and infer some level of realization (or not). Secondly there are other guidelines and these were apparently used in the mid 1800's by Jamgon Kongtrul and Janmyang Khyentse Wangpo to evaluate each other's levels of realization (probably initiated on the part of JKW).

Kirt
Kirt's Tibetan Translation Notes

"Even if you practice only for an hour a day with faith and inspiration, good qualities will steadily increase. Regular practice makes it easy to transform your mind. From seeing only relative truth, you will eventually reach a profound certainty in the meaning of absolute truth."
Kyabje Dilgo Khyentse Rinpoche.

"Only you can make your mind beautiful."
HH Chetsang Rinpoche

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Re: Very sad news

Post by kirtu » Sun Jul 23, 2017 6:55 pm

Yesterday four articles were published in De Telegraaf (the largest newspaper in the Netherlands, a bit on the tabloid side in terms of European newspapers). Three of them are behind a paywall (one with the unfortunate title "Sex as a path to Enlightenment", complete with a picture of HHDL, Sogyal and former French First Lady Carla Bruni). The one not behind a paywall follows (my translation):

Sex Lama (70) cornered
The Tibetan spiritual teacher Sogyal Rinpoche, whose Rigpa movement in the Netherlands has hundreds of followers, is heavily under fire. Ex-members accuse him of physical violence, money laundering and sexual abuse. The lama, who has an entourage of young beauties around him, is so shocked by the commotion that he has announced that he will go on retreat. He has not accepted responsibility for the situation.

Former Rigpa member Oane Bijlsma is investigating whether other accusations can be leveled against the guru. Two others have already been reported to her. Angry followers in England and Australia are also making accusations.

For Bijlsma, it is not enough for Sogyal to withdraw. "People are really very damaged. He has been able to do what he wants to for thirty years. "

The 70-year-old Sogyal Rinpoche is the founder of the global Rigpa movement with more than 130 branches in 41 countries.
Kirt's Tibetan Translation Notes

"Even if you practice only for an hour a day with faith and inspiration, good qualities will steadily increase. Regular practice makes it easy to transform your mind. From seeing only relative truth, you will eventually reach a profound certainty in the meaning of absolute truth."
Kyabje Dilgo Khyentse Rinpoche.

"Only you can make your mind beautiful."
HH Chetsang Rinpoche

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Re: Very sad news

Post by kirtu » Sun Jul 23, 2017 7:20 pm

cky wrote:Could someone with some knowledge on the topic of Samaya (Malcolm?) please be so kind and say a few words to clear up the following?

1) We're harming Samaya by exposing our Guru after we've have been sexually or physically abused by him
.....
If real abuse has occurred then we can simply leave and there is no breech of samya. IMO the guru should be confronted privately but this is not always possible.

However HHDL has clearly said that such cases need to be exposed. OTOH, we also need to take care in examining a guru and be careful about whom we accept as a guru. In the traditional view, once we accept a person as a guru then we are basically "locked in" although we can still actually leave them physically (not attend anymore teachings).

In this particular case OTR said that the people who wrote the exposure letter (or at least one of them) broke their samaya. I personally think that Rinpoche is in error on this. OTR has said that he personally never took teaching from Sogyal and has based his assessment of Sogyal on the high esteem accorded to Sogyal when he was a boy by Sogyal teachers, apparently esp. Jamyang Khyentse Chökyi Lodrö. So OTR's view of Sogyal is based on the high esteem (or hopes) that one especially significant teacher invested in Sogyal 57 years ago (and also possibly by truly other great lamas such as Dilgo Khyentse Rinpoche). These are not insignificant endorsements but the fact is that Sogyal was called on his behavior at least 20 years ago.

Kirt
Kirt's Tibetan Translation Notes

"Even if you practice only for an hour a day with faith and inspiration, good qualities will steadily increase. Regular practice makes it easy to transform your mind. From seeing only relative truth, you will eventually reach a profound certainty in the meaning of absolute truth."
Kyabje Dilgo Khyentse Rinpoche.

"Only you can make your mind beautiful."
HH Chetsang Rinpoche

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Re: Very sad news

Post by kirtu » Sun Jul 23, 2017 7:35 pm

Pero wrote: IDK... There's a story how Chatral Rinpoche met Tulku Urgyen and thought him to be fake until Dudjom Rinpoche intervened. :shrug:
When did this happen?

The majority of gurus and great practitioners do not have unimpeded clairvoyance (in this case I don't really mean clairvoyance but intuitive [or possible actual inductive or even deductive] apprehension of another lama's realization. For example Jamgon Kongtrul was not able to determine if Chokgyur Lingpa was a legitimate terton or not when Chokgyur Lingpa was a monk and had to rely on Jamyang Khytense Wango. In our time Tai Situpa encountered Orgyen Trinley Dorje as a very young monk and didn't recognize him.

Kirt
Kirt's Tibetan Translation Notes

"Even if you practice only for an hour a day with faith and inspiration, good qualities will steadily increase. Regular practice makes it easy to transform your mind. From seeing only relative truth, you will eventually reach a profound certainty in the meaning of absolute truth."
Kyabje Dilgo Khyentse Rinpoche.

"Only you can make your mind beautiful."
HH Chetsang Rinpoche

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dzogchungpa
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Re: Very sad news

Post by dzogchungpa » Sun Jul 23, 2017 7:48 pm

kirtu wrote:
Pero wrote: IDK... There's a story how Chatral Rinpoche met Tulku Urgyen and thought him to be fake until Dudjom Rinpoche intervened. :shrug:
When did this happen?
I think he is referring to an incident described in "Blazing Splendor" but, having just read through it, it seems that CR was questioning whether TUR had the lineage for the empowerments he was offering to DR at that time.

Anyway, not to belabor the point, here we are not discussing someone doing a "cold" recognition of someone's realization but rather of a highly qualified guru evaluating a close student's realization.
There is not only nothingness because there is always, and always can manifest. - Thinley Norbu Rinpoche

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Re: Very sad news

Post by Pero » Sun Jul 23, 2017 8:10 pm

dzogchungpa wrote:
kirtu wrote:
Pero wrote: IDK... There's a story how Chatral Rinpoche met Tulku Urgyen and thought him to be fake until Dudjom Rinpoche intervened. :shrug:
When did this happen?
I think he is referring to an incident described in "Blazing Splendor" but, having just read through it, it seems that CR was questioning whether TUR had the lineage for the empowerments he was offering to DR at that time.
It's pretty much the same thing.
Anyway, not to belabor the point, here we are not discussing someone doing a "cold" recognition of someone's realization but rather of a highly qualified guru evaluating a close student's realization.
Got it...
Although many individuals in this age appear to be merely indulging their worldly desires, one does not have the capacity to judge them, so it is best to train in pure vision.
- Shabkar

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Re: Very sad news

Post by kirtu » Sun Jul 23, 2017 8:16 pm

Malcolm wrote: I am afraid that Sogyal is now something like the OJ Simpson of Tibetan Buddhism, his letter is the white bronco, and one's opinion of his guilt or innocence depending on which side of the ethnic/traditionalist divide you stand.
Well that is hyperbole.
Malcolm wrote:One thing to bear in mind is that Sogyal has had a huge hand in introducing thousands of western students to luminaries like Dilgo Khyentse and so on, whom they otherwise may have never met or would have had great difficulty receiving teachings from. His book, whether personally authored or ghostwritten, has been a major introduction to Tibetan Buddhism for hundreds of thousands of people.
Very true and very meritorious.
If someone has a criminal or civil complaint, they should file it in the French Courts.
It appears that a case will be filed in the Dutch courts.

Kirt
Kirt's Tibetan Translation Notes

"Even if you practice only for an hour a day with faith and inspiration, good qualities will steadily increase. Regular practice makes it easy to transform your mind. From seeing only relative truth, you will eventually reach a profound certainty in the meaning of absolute truth."
Kyabje Dilgo Khyentse Rinpoche.

"Only you can make your mind beautiful."
HH Chetsang Rinpoche

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kirtu
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Re: Very sad news

Post by kirtu » Sun Jul 23, 2017 8:21 pm

dzogchungpa wrote: Anyway, not to belabor the point, here we are not discussing someone doing a "cold" recognition of someone's realization but rather of a highly qualified guru evaluating a close student's realization.
Which of Sogyal's teachers ever said that he was realized? His great teachers said that he was a tulku and may have added that he was a qualified teacher.

Kirt
Kirt's Tibetan Translation Notes

"Even if you practice only for an hour a day with faith and inspiration, good qualities will steadily increase. Regular practice makes it easy to transform your mind. From seeing only relative truth, you will eventually reach a profound certainty in the meaning of absolute truth."
Kyabje Dilgo Khyentse Rinpoche.

"Only you can make your mind beautiful."
HH Chetsang Rinpoche

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Re: Very sad news

Post by kirtu » Sun Jul 23, 2017 8:26 pm

dzogchungpa wrote:
kirtu wrote:
Pero wrote: IDK... There's a story how Chatral Rinpoche met Tulku Urgyen and thought him to be fake until Dudjom Rinpoche intervened. :shrug:
When did this happen?
I think he is referring to an incident described in "Blazing Splendor" but, having just read through it, it seems that CR was questioning whether TUR had the lineage for the empowerments he was offering to DR at that time.

Anyway, not to belabor the point, here we are not discussing someone doing a "cold" recognition of someone's realization but rather of a highly qualified guru evaluating a close student's realization.
Maybe I've missed the point but Chatral Rinpoche was not one of TUR teachers (at least not at that time).

But now the custom of great teachers giving mutual empowerments to one another is a lot clearer.

Kirt
Kirt's Tibetan Translation Notes

"Even if you practice only for an hour a day with faith and inspiration, good qualities will steadily increase. Regular practice makes it easy to transform your mind. From seeing only relative truth, you will eventually reach a profound certainty in the meaning of absolute truth."
Kyabje Dilgo Khyentse Rinpoche.

"Only you can make your mind beautiful."
HH Chetsang Rinpoche

Pero
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Re: Very sad news

Post by Pero » Sun Jul 23, 2017 8:38 pm

kirtu wrote:
dzogchungpa wrote:
kirtu wrote:
When did this happen?
I think he is referring to an incident described in "Blazing Splendor" but, having just read through it, it seems that CR was questioning whether TUR had the lineage for the empowerments he was offering to DR at that time.

Anyway, not to belabor the point, here we are not discussing someone doing a "cold" recognition of someone's realization but rather of a highly qualified guru evaluating a close student's realization.
Maybe I've missed the point but Chatral Rinpoche was not one of TUR teachers (at least not at that time).
My point was that it's difficult to know another's realization even among great teachers but Dzogchungpa pointed out that Sogyal was a close student of Nyoshul Khen which might make a difference.
Although many individuals in this age appear to be merely indulging their worldly desires, one does not have the capacity to judge them, so it is best to train in pure vision.
- Shabkar

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dzogchungpa
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Re: Very sad news

Post by dzogchungpa » Sun Jul 23, 2017 8:46 pm

kirtu wrote:
dzogchungpa wrote: Anyway, not to belabor the point, here we are not discussing someone doing a "cold" recognition of someone's realization but rather of a highly qualified guru evaluating a close student's realization.
Which of Sogyal's teachers ever said that he was realized? His great teachers said that he was a tulku and may have added that he was a qualified teacher.

Kirt
Apparently Nyoshul Khenpo, see https://dharmawheel.net/viewtopic.php?f ... 20#p398081
There is not only nothingness because there is always, and always can manifest. - Thinley Norbu Rinpoche

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Re: Very sad news

Post by Karma Dorje » Sun Jul 23, 2017 8:51 pm

With all due respect, if this fat, abusive Sogyal prick was a Mormon we would all be going on about how degenerate the Mormon religion is and not hemming and hawing about whether he "has realization".

I am sorry, but all of the equivocation on this is not good for Tibetan Buddhism in the West. The ridiculous level of sexism and misogyny in Tibetan culture has to stop, if not in Tibet and the diaspora, then certainly among western practitioners. This is not a case of he said/she said. There are years of reports from some of his closest students that substantiate Sogyal's abusive, predatory behaviour.

If we can't draw clear lines against behaviour like that, it is no wonder that western sanghas with a few exceptions are the domain of aging hippies and GenX'ers. Even if this alleged tulku has the realization to carry on like this without harm to himself, he is clearly harming others. I mean, Jesus H. Christ have we learned nothing from the Osel Tenzin fiasco? This is not a difficult topic.

What would we say about abusive Catholic priests molesting young boys? That it was OK because it brought the boys closer to God? Give me a break.

Whether you are Sogyal Lhakar, Younge Khachab or Osel Tenzin if you can't keep your pants on, don't call yourself a Dharma teacher.
"Although my view is higher than the sky, My respect for the cause and effect of actions is as fine as grains of flour."
-Padmasambhava

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dzogchungpa
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Re: Very sad news

Post by dzogchungpa » Sun Jul 23, 2017 9:24 pm

Karma Dorje wrote:With all due respect, if this fat, abusive Sogyal prick was a Mormon we would all be going on about how degenerate the Mormon religion is and not hemming and hawing about whether he "has realization".

I am sorry, but all of the equivocation on this is not good for Tibetan Buddhism in the West. The ridiculous level of sexism and misogyny in Tibetan culture has to stop, if not in Tibet and the diaspora, then certainly among western practitioners. This is not a case of he said/she said. There are years of reports from some of his closest students that substantiate Sogyal's abusive, predatory behaviour.

If we can't draw clear lines against behaviour like that, it is no wonder that western sanghas with a few exceptions are the domain of aging hippies and GenX'ers. Even if this alleged tulku has the realization to carry on like this without harm to himself, he is clearly harming others. I mean, Jesus H. Christ have we learned nothing from the Osel Tenzin fiasco? This is not a difficult topic.

What would we say about abusive Catholic priests molesting young boys? That it was OK because it brought the boys closer to God? Give me a break.

Whether you are Sogyal Lhakar, Younge Khachab or Osel Tenzin if you can't keep your pants on, don't call yourself a Dharma teacher.
KD in da house! :smile:

In all seriousness, what hemming and hawing? The only reason I pointed out that thing about NK was to stimulate thought regarding whether or not "realization" really guarantees as much, behaviorwise, as some would like to think.
There is not only nothingness because there is always, and always can manifest. - Thinley Norbu Rinpoche

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