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 Grigoris »

climb-up wrote: Sat Dec 30, 2017 11:02 pmReally?
I apologize, because I have not read the 42 pages on this thread so perhaps I shouldn't comment, but isn't that just victim blaming?
No. Not the way she explained it.
"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 Dan74 »

Grigoris wrote: Sat Dec 30, 2017 8:12 pm
From Patrul Rinpoche in “Words of my Perfect Teacher"

A Millstone of Wood

The first kind of teacher to be avoided is the teacher who is like a millstone of wood, which looks like a genuine millstone, but in actuality has no strength and no power. When a teacher has no strength of learning and no power of realization, then that teacher is like a millstone made of wood.

These teachers have no trace of the qualities arising from study, reflection and meditation. Thinking that as the sublime son or nephew of such and such a lama, they and their descendants must be superior to anyone else, they defend their caste like brahmins. Even if they have studied, reflected and meditated a little, they did so not with any pure intention of working for future lives but for more mundane reasons[.] (139-40)

Patrul Rinpoche is attacking natural hierarchy, basing his reasoning on the vinaya, where the Buddha said that the abbot of a monastery should be the one who is the most learned, the one who has the most experience and realization. Furthermore, he should be someone who has compassion, a good heart to help other beings. The Buddha said teachers should not be chosen by their caste, like the Brahmins; they should not be chosen by any kind of family connection, but they should be chosen on the basis of their knowledge and realization.

A Frog that Lives in a Well

The second kind of teacher to be avoided is like a frog that lives in a well; that is, someone who has a very narrow understanding of the dharma, someone with a limited view, with limited experience and realization.

Teachers of this kind lack any special qualities that might distinguish them from ordinary people. But other people put them up on a pedestal in blind faith, without examining them at all. Puffed up with the pride by the profits and honors they receive, they are themselves quite unaware of the true qualities of great teachers. They are like the frog that lived in a well. (140)

Patrul Rinpoche tells the story like this. The frog living in the well encounters a frog who comes from the ocean and asks him, “How big is the ocean?” The other frog replies, “It is very big.” “Is it one-third of my well here?” “No, it is much bigger.” “Is it half as big as my well?” “No, it is much bigger than that.” “Is it the same size as my well?” “No, no comparison; it is much bigger.” So the frogs go together to the ocean. When the frog from the well sees the ocean, he has a heart attack and dies. Teachers with narrow training and a limited view cannot withstand the vast view of great teachers.

The Mad Guide

The third kind of teacher to be avoided is the mad guide.

These are teachers who have very little knowledge, never having made the effort to follow a learned master and train in the sutras and tantras. Their strong negative emotions together with their weak mindfulness and vigilance make them lax in their vows and samayas. Though of lower mentality than ordinary people, they ape the siddhas and behave as if their actions were higher than the sky. (140)

There are teachers who act like the mahasiddhas of India but have no realization like the siddhas. These people are mad guides since, without the siddhas’ realization, their actions are simply those of a crazy person.

The siddhas of the past appear to be totally crazy; their behavior seems crazy, lunatic, but their realization transforms their actions. Tilopa pushed his student Naropa off a hundred-foot cliff. Then he climbed down to where Naropa lay and asked, “How is my son Naropa?” Naropa replied, “I am dying.” Tilopa also had the power to heal. He placed his hand on Naropa’s back and patted him three times, healing Naropa’s broken body, his fractures and his pain.

These days we have guides who mimic the actions of the mahasiddhas, but they do not have their power of realization. They know how to push you from the cliff, but they do not have the compassion to come down to you, nor the power to heal your pain. Avoid these mad guides.

The Blind Guide

The fourth teacher to avoid is the blind guide.

In particular, a teacher whose qualities are in no way superior to your own and who lacks the love and compassion of bodhichitta will never be able to open your eyes to what should and should not be done. (140)

Teachers like this are called blind guides because they do not know what is to be adopted and what is to be avoided. If you follow them you become like one of them.

Therefore, examine the teacher. Know the teachers to be avoided and the qualities to be adopted. If we see any teacher possessing those qualities, we should follow their guidance and we will definitely achieve liberation and realization swiftly. As Padmasambhava warns in a poem that Patrul Rinpoche quotes:

Not to examine the teacher is like drinking poison;
Not to examine the disciple is like leaping from a precipice. (141)
The trouble, it seems to me, is not so much with these kinds of teachers, who are relatively easy to see through, but when some insight and charisma are mixed up with deep selfishness and serious unresolved issues. Such 'mixes bag' teachers are both common and dangerous.
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Re: Very sad news: Letter to Sogyal Rinpoche / Abuse allegations

Post by climb-up »

Grigoris wrote: Sat Dec 30, 2017 11:08 pm
climb-up wrote: Sat Dec 30, 2017 11:02 pmReally?
I apologize, because I have not read the 42 pages on this thread so perhaps I shouldn't comment, but isn't that just victim blaming?
No. Not the way she explained it.
Ok.
I liked her advice on education, and being aware of vinaya and maintaining common-sense.
I felt like the reaction of "what happens to common sense?" in response to a woman showing up to a teacher is not so great (at least how I read it). For sure this woman needed more education and awareness and less naivete; but someone taking advantage of a young naive person is the one at fault, wouldn't you say?
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Re: Very sad news: Letter to Sogyal Rinpoche / Abuse allegations

Post by Grigoris »

climb-up wrote: Sat Dec 30, 2017 11:20 pm
Grigoris wrote: Sat Dec 30, 2017 11:08 pm
climb-up wrote: Sat Dec 30, 2017 11:02 pmReally?
I apologize, because I have not read the 42 pages on this thread so perhaps I shouldn't comment, but isn't that just victim blaming?
No. Not the way she explained it.
Ok.
I liked her advice on education, and being aware of vinaya and maintaining common-sense.
I felt like the reaction of "what happens to common sense?" in response to a woman showing up to a teacher is not so great (at least how I read it). For sure this woman needed more education and awareness and less naivete; but someone taking advantage of a young naive person is the one at fault, wouldn't you say?
I am not interested in assigning fault, I am interested in seeing the problem in it's entirety and positing intelligent solutions. The blame game is boring and pointless. Once you engage in blame then you also engage in exoneration and you close your eyes to half of the issue and that'll only lead to half-measures.
"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 climb-up »

Grigoris wrote: Sat Dec 30, 2017 11:23 pm
climb-up wrote: Sat Dec 30, 2017 11:20 pm
Grigoris wrote: Sat Dec 30, 2017 11:08 pm No. Not the way she explained it.
Ok.
I liked her advice on education, and being aware of vinaya and maintaining common-sense.
I felt like the reaction of "what happens to common sense?" in response to a woman showing up to a teacher is not so great (at least how I read it). For sure this woman needed more education and awareness and less naivete; but someone taking advantage of a young naive person is the one at fault, wouldn't you say?
I am not interested in assigning fault, I am interested in seeing the problem in it's entirety and positing intelligent solutions. The blame game is boring and pointless. Once you engage in blame then you also engage in exoneration and you close your eyes to half of the issue and that'll only lead to half-measures.
huh, I found my agreement non-dual with my disagreement.
I (think I) get what your saying and I think it's a very good point.
I guess ultimately there is probably never anyone to blame for anything, because karma and dependent origination, but...
...huh.
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Re: Very sad news: Letter to Sogyal Rinpoche / Abuse allegations

Post by Grigoris »

If the teacher was 100% to "blame", then every person the teacher invited to the pool after teachings, for a skinny dip, would do it. They don't. That means there is more happening. Unless we recognise that (and this does not happen by assigning blame in one direction or the other) then we are never going to effectively change it.

It is easy to just assign blame, it is harder to find a complete solution.
"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 PeterC »

climb-up wrote: Sat Dec 30, 2017 11:20 pm
Grigoris wrote: Sat Dec 30, 2017 11:08 pm
climb-up wrote: Sat Dec 30, 2017 11:02 pmReally?
I apologize, because I have not read the 42 pages on this thread so perhaps I shouldn't comment, but isn't that just victim blaming?
No. Not the way she explained it.
Ok.
I liked her advice on education, and being aware of vinaya and maintaining common-sense.
I felt like the reaction of "what happens to common sense?" in response to a woman showing up to a teacher is not so great (at least how I read it). For sure this woman needed more education and awareness and less naivete; but someone taking advantage of a young naive person is the one at fault, wouldn't you say?
I think we need to consider her response in its totality, and not just pick out sentences. She emphasizes the need to educate students on ethical responsibilities so that, amongst other things, they know when a teacher is behaving incorrectly and can challenge that. She rightly notes that this isn't a problem that can be solved by focussing only on the teachers; the students also need to understand that there isn't some overriding samaya-get-out-of-jail-free card that allows teachers to do everything. Mingyur R. also focussed on this point in his response - he spent a lot of time talking about the three levels of vows being practiced together.

I don't view it as "victim-blaming" - in the US sense of the term, that means excusing the abuser and blaming the situation on the failings of the abused. She's not in any way excusing the abusers.
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Re: Very sad news: Letter to Sogyal Rinpoche / Abuse allegations

Post by gb9810 »

PeterC wrote: Sun Dec 31, 2017 9:54 am
climb-up wrote: Sat Dec 30, 2017 11:20 pm
Grigoris wrote: Sat Dec 30, 2017 11:08 pm No. Not the way she explained it.
Ok.
I liked her advice on education, and being aware of vinaya and maintaining common-sense.
I felt like the reaction of "what happens to common sense?" in response to a woman showing up to a teacher is not so great (at least how I read it). For sure this woman needed more education and awareness and less naivete; but someone taking advantage of a young naive person is the one at fault, wouldn't you say?
I think we need to consider her response in its totality, and not just pick out sentences. She emphasizes the need to educate students on ethical responsibilities so that, amongst other things, they know when a teacher is behaving incorrectly and can challenge that. She rightly notes that this isn't a problem that can be solved by focussing only on the teachers; the students also need to understand that there isn't some overriding samaya-get-out-of-jail-free card that allows teachers to do everything. Mingyur R. also focussed on this point in his response - he spent a lot of time talking about the three levels of vows being practiced together.

I don't view it as "victim-blaming" - in the US sense of the term, that means excusing the abuser and blaming the situation on the failings of the abused. She's not in any way excusing the abusers.
:thumbsup:

recognizing that earthquakes, fires, and other calamities do happen, a responsible teacher then discusses ways to stay alive when they hit.
victim blaming would be: earthquake proofing & having fire extinguishers in buildings CAUSE the quake and the fire
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Re: Very sad news: Letter to Sogyal Rinpoche / Abuse allegations

Post by gb9810 »

gb9810 wrote: Mon Jan 01, 2018 3:24 am
PeterC wrote: Sun Dec 31, 2017 9:54 am
climb-up wrote: Sat Dec 30, 2017 11:20 pm
Ok.
I liked her advice on education, and being aware of vinaya and maintaining common-sense.
I felt like the reaction of "what happens to common sense?" in response to a woman showing up to a teacher is not so great (at least how I read it). For sure this woman needed more education and awareness and less naivete; but someone taking advantage of a young naive person is the one at fault, wouldn't you say?
I think we need to consider her response in its totality, and not just pick out sentences. She emphasizes the need to educate students on ethical responsibilities so that, amongst other things, they know when a teacher is behaving incorrectly and can challenge that. She rightly notes that this isn't a problem that can be solved by focussing only on the teachers; the students also need to understand that there isn't some overriding samaya-get-out-of-jail-free card that allows teachers to do everything. Mingyur R. also focussed on this point in his response - he spent a lot of time talking about the three levels of vows being practiced together.

I don't view it as "victim-blaming" - in the US sense of the term, that means excusing the abuser and blaming the situation on the failings of the abused. She's not in any way excusing the abusers.
:thumbsup:

recognizing that earthquakes, fires, and other calamities do happen, a responsible teacher then discusses ways to stay alive when they hit.
victim blaming would be: earthquake proofing & having fire extinguishers in buildings (or not doing them) CAUSE the quake and the fire
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Re: Very sad news: Letter to Sogyal Rinpoche / Abuse allegations

Post by weitsicht »

I have a question on ethical behavior to you that concerns RIgpa and its remaining actors:

If you have the opportunity to participate in a teaching of a Rinpoche who follows Rigpa's invitation, hence you pay Rigpa for the tuition and play part in Rigpa's way of reciting Refuge and Dedication (inclusion Sogyal's chants from tape and a long life prayer for him) and you would have no other chance to have this teaching or see this Rinpoche otherwise, would you go or would you abstain?

I did so mid-December. The hostess's introduciton mentioned that for the unfortunate accusations to Sogyal by a very few ex-members there was no room this weekend. Big compassion overcame me when I heard the members sing Sogyal's long life prayer extra loud. They are deeply in denial mode and I am not sure whether the guests' presence like mine isn't a good confirmation for them to pursue the strategy of letting things calm down and then let Sogyal return. Hence my above quesiton.
Ho! All the possible appearances and existences of samsara and nirvana have the same source, yet two paths and two results arise as the magical display of awareness and unawareness.
HO NANG SRI KHOR DAE THAMCHE KUN ZHI CHIG LAM NYI DRAE BU NYI RIG DANG MA RIG CHOM THRUL TE
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Re: Very sad news: Letter to Sogyal Rinpoche / Abuse allegations

Post by Malcolm »

weitsicht wrote: Mon Jan 01, 2018 4:46 pm

If you have the opportunity to participate in a teaching of a Rinpoche who follows Rigpa's invitation, hence you pay Rigpa for the tuition and play part in Rigpa's way of reciting Refuge and Dedication (inclusion Sogyal's chants from tape and a long life prayer for him) and you would have no other chance to have this teaching or see this Rinpoche otherwise, would you go or would you abstain?

If the teacher or teaching were important to me, I would go.
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Re: Very sad news: Letter to Sogyal Rinpoche / Abuse allegations

Post by philji »

Same here. I would definTely go.
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Re: Very sad news: Letter to Sogyal Rinpoche / Abuse allegations

Post by Fortyeightvows »

Do they actually play tapes of chanting?
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Re: Very sad news: Letter to Sogyal Rinpoche / Abuse allegations

Post by heart »

weitsicht wrote: Mon Jan 01, 2018 4:46 pm I have a question on ethical behavior to you that concerns RIgpa and its remaining actors:

If you have the opportunity to participate in a teaching of a Rinpoche who follows Rigpa's invitation, hence you pay Rigpa for the tuition and play part in Rigpa's way of reciting Refuge and Dedication (inclusion Sogyal's chants from tape and a long life prayer for him) and you would have no other chance to have this teaching or see this Rinpoche otherwise, would you go or would you abstain?
I would go, no question about it.

/magnus
"We are all here to help each other go through this thing, whatever it is."
~Kurt Vonnegut

"The principal practice is Guruyoga. But we need to understand that any secondary practice combined with Guruyoga becomes a principal practice." ChNNR (Teachings on Thun and Ganapuja)
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Re: Very sad news: Letter to Sogyal Rinpoche / Abuse allegations

Post by weitsicht »

Fortyeightvows wrote: Mon Jan 01, 2018 5:36 pm Do they actually play tapes of chanting?
Yes, Sogyal's chant as I mentioned...
Last edited by weitsicht on Mon Jan 01, 2018 5:50 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Ho! All the possible appearances and existences of samsara and nirvana have the same source, yet two paths and two results arise as the magical display of awareness and unawareness.
HO NANG SRI KHOR DAE THAMCHE KUN ZHI CHIG LAM NYI DRAE BU NYI RIG DANG MA RIG CHOM THRUL TE
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Re: Very sad news: Letter to Sogyal Rinpoche / Abuse allegations

Post by weitsicht »

DJKR follows their invitation in February. He'll fly in to Berlin (and maybe other venues) just for Rigpa.
No Siddharta's Intent event planned...
Ho! All the possible appearances and existences of samsara and nirvana have the same source, yet two paths and two results arise as the magical display of awareness and unawareness.
HO NANG SRI KHOR DAE THAMCHE KUN ZHI CHIG LAM NYI DRAE BU NYI RIG DANG MA RIG CHOM THRUL TE
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Re: Very sad news: Letter to Sogyal Rinpoche / Abuse allegations

Post by Fortyeightvows »

weitsicht wrote: Mon Jan 01, 2018 5:46 pm
Fortyeightvows wrote: Mon Jan 01, 2018 5:36 pm Do they actually play tapes of chanting?
Yes, Sogyal's chant as I mentioned...
Weird
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Re: Very sad news: Letter to Sogyal Rinpoche / Abuse allegations

Post by Pero »

Fortyeightvows wrote: Mon Jan 01, 2018 7:59 pm
weitsicht wrote: Mon Jan 01, 2018 5:46 pm
Fortyeightvows wrote: Mon Jan 01, 2018 5:36 pm Do they actually play tapes of chanting?
Yes, Sogyal's chant as I mentioned...
Weird
Why is that weird?
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.
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Re: Very sad news: Letter to Sogyal Rinpoche / Abuse allegations

Post by Fortyeightvows »

I've never been able to appreciate when recordings are played at dharma assemblys.
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Re: Very sad news: Letter to Sogyal Rinpoche / Abuse allegations

Post by heart »

weitsicht wrote: Mon Jan 01, 2018 5:48 pm DJKR follows their invitation in February. He'll fly in to Berlin (and maybe other venues) just for Rigpa.
No Siddharta's Intent event planned...
I can't find anything on the internet, where when?

/magnus
"We are all here to help each other go through this thing, whatever it is."
~Kurt Vonnegut

"The principal practice is Guruyoga. But we need to understand that any secondary practice combined with Guruyoga becomes a principal practice." ChNNR (Teachings on Thun and Ganapuja)
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